This is the second attempt to remove the president from power. National Guard units put on alert
The House of Representatives voted to impeach Trump
The House of Representatives, the lower house of the U.S. Congress, in connection with the recent riots in Washington, D.C., voted to impeach the current U.S. President Donald Trump. The document was voted for by a majority of lawmakers - 232 people, 197 opposed. It is reported that among those who supported the removal of the head of state from office were 10 members of the Republican Party.
The politician was accused of sedition, as well as the fact that he "posed a serious threat to the security of the United States and government institutions. This relates to the protests that took place in Washington on Jan. 6 and led to the storming of the Capitol by supporters of the president. According to members of the House of Representatives, Trump remains a threat to national security and democracy and should be removed from office because of this.
The House's passage of the resolution is the first step in the process. Next, it will be sent to the Congressional Senate for consideration.
During the debate, congressmen called impeachment the salvation of the United States
Before the vote on the resolution, there was a debate in the House of Representatives. They lasted more than seven hours. During them, the leader of Republicans in the House, Kevin McCarthy, said that Trump was partly responsible for the attack of his supporters on the building of Congress.
House Speaker and Democrat Nancy Pelosi, for her part, called Trump a clear and present danger and a threat to liberty, self-governance, and the rule of law during the debate. She also accused the head of the White House of lying about the election results and "sowing doubt about democracy. She said impeachment is "a constitutional means to ensure that the country is saved from a man who has been so determined to destroy what we hold dear." Pelosi had previously noted that many support impeachment because it would prevent a Republican from running for president again.
Democrats, before voting on the resolution, had asked Trump to personally resign and also urged Vice President Mike Pence to use the 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to remove the head of state from power. That amendment allows the process to begin if the vice president and a majority of senior administration officials conclude that the president is incapable of performing his functions. Pence did not do so.
Trump released a statement and urged Americans to refrain from violence
The incumbent U.S. president issued a statement amid new protests calling on citizens to refrain from violence and to help reduce tensions in the country. "In light of reports of new demonstrations, I call for no violence, lawbreaking, and vandalism. That is not what I am advocating, that is not what America is advocating. I call on all Americans to help reduce tensions and ensure calm. Thank you," the document reads.
Trump did not explain what kind of demonstrations he was talking about, but there was a not-so-large rally of the president's opponents outside the Capitol before the vote. They tried to hang on the fence posters with the names of 121 congressmen and 12 senators who are accused of supporting Trump because they spoke out against the approval of the election results.
This is the second time congressmen have tried to remove Trump from power
Trump became the first American president against whom impeachment proceedings have been initiated twice. In the fall of 2019, Democrats had already attempted to remove Trump from power. At that time, two articles of accusation - "abuse of power" and "obstruction of a congressional investigation" - were put to a vote. Both were approved by the House of Representatives. However, the Senate acquitted the head of state in February 2020.
A new impeachment resolution will also be sent to the Senate. This time, there is a good chance that the upper chamber simply will not have time to vote on the initiative before Trump's presidential term expires on January 20. Republican and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has already announced that he does not intend to assemble the Senate for a vote before President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration - the upper chamber is on recess until January 19.
At the same time, Democrat Chuck Schumer, who will become the majority leader of the upper chamber after Biden's inauguration, announced plans to hold a vote on an additional initiative: to ban Trump from holding public office. He intends to do so if the Senate supports the House and finds the current president guilty of sedition.
A simple majority vote in the House of Representatives was enough to impeach the president. The Senate needed a two-thirds vote of the legislature to pass such a resolution.