Embattled US President Donald Trump has been impeached for inciting an insurrection that led to the death of at least five citizens, including a police officer. In an unprecedented move, the House of Representatives impeached Trump on Wednesday, a week after he encouraged an attack on the Capitol building.
Clear and Present Danger
This latest check on Trump’s administration makes him the only president in history to be charged twice with committing high crimes and misdemeanors.
After an emotionally charged debate which lasted the best part of a day, 10 House Republicans joined Democrats to call for the most serious penalty prescribed by the constitution, vowing to hold Trump to account before he vacates the White House next week.
Trump was charged with “inciting an insurrection” that culminated in “what would be immortalized as a day of fire on Capitol Hill,” in the words of the House speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Pelosi also added that Trump represented a “clear and present danger to the nation we all love.”
Ten members of the president’s party supported his historic impeachment, making it the most bipartisan impeachment vote in US history. At the end of the vote, the final count was 232 to 197.
The most high-profile of them was Liz Cheney, the daughter of George Bush’s vice-president Dick Cheney and No. 3 House Republican. In a scathing statement, she announced her decision, stating that there had “never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States” than Trump’s conduct on 6 January.
The House Republican leader, Kevin McCarthy, adopted a less extreme stance. According to him, impeaching Trump would further fan the flames of partisan division.” He proposed a censure as an alternative.
However, the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell said in a statement that there was “simply no chance” of concluding a trial before Trump vacates office.