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U.S. House poised to impeach Trump for second time

U.S. House poised to impeach Trump for second time
WASHINGTON, JAN 13 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 1/13/2021 12:18:46 PM IST

The House is expected to impeach President Donald Trump Wednesday afternoon for a second time, charging the president with “incitement of insurrection” for his role in the violent takeover by a pro-Trump mob of the U.S. Capitol that left five people dead and terrorized lawmakers as they sought to affirm President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. Lawmakers arrived at the Capitol on Wednesday morning to debate the article just one week after the attack, entering now heavily guarded building swarming with thousands of National Guard officers.

“Those insurrectionists were not patriots. They were not part of a political base to be catered to or managed. They were domestic terrorists and justice must prevail,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on the House floor, kicking off two hours of debate before the final vote is schedule to be held around 3 p.m. ET.

“But they did not appear out of a vacuum. They were sent here, sent here by the president, with words such as a cry to ‘fight like hell,’” Pelosi, D-Calif., continued. “The president saw the insurrectionists not as the foes of freedom, as they are, but as the means to a terrible goal: the goal of him personally clinging to power.” Several Republicans announced Tuesday night that they would vote in favor of impeachment.

Republican Reps. John Katko of New York, Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, Fred Upton of Michigan and Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington also said Tuesday they would vote to impeach Trump.

No House Republican voted to impeach Trump during the inquiry earlier in his term that resulted in a Senate acquittal.

The House is prepared to immediately send the article of impeachment to the Senate for them to begin the process of holding a trial to determine whether to convict Trump and potentially bar him from ever running for any office again. However, it is unclear when that trial will happen. The Senate is currently operating under an agreement where no business can be conducted until Jan. 19th, one day before Biden is sworn into office.

While Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., could use an emergency provision to jointly call the Senate back early, a spokesperson for McConnell said Wednesday that the leader would not consider doing so. Some Democrats have raised concerns that if the impeachment case does not come before the Senate until Biden is in office, Biden’s Cabinet nominees could be left waiting for confirmation until the trial is over.

It is unclear what will happen in the Senate once the trial begins. Although Trump is likely to have already left office by then, a vote to convict Trump could still bar him from holding federal office again.

The impeachment vote follows a House vote late Tuesday night to formally call on Vice President Mike Pence to use the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office. Pence informed Pelosi shortly before the vote that he would not invoke the 25th Amendment, writing in a letter to the speaker that he didn’t believe “such a course of action is in the best interest of our Nation or consistent with our Constitution.”

 

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