Washington: President Donald Trump is on the verge of becoming the first president to be impeached twice. Lawmakers are moving quickly to punish him over last week’s deadly US Capitol attack. Donald Trump however, has remained as defiant as before. Trump’s fiery speech at a rally just before the January 6 riot is at the centre of the impeachment charge against him. The House of Representatives has already convened to bring impeachment proceedings against Trump for the second time. At least five Republicans have said they would support the Democrats to impeach Trump.
A Capitol police officer died from injuries suffered in the riot, and police shot and killed a woman during the siege. Three other people died in what authorities said were medical emergencies.
This is the second time in 13 months the Democratic-controlled House has moved to impeach Trump. The outgoing president has only a few days left in the chair.
Before proceeding with impeachment, the House pressed Vice- President Mike Pence and the Cabinet to remove Trump more quickly. It warned that Trump is a threat to democracy in the few remaining days of his presidency.
The House approved a resolution late Tuesday calling on Pence and the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment to the Constitution to declare the president unable to serve. Pence, who was among those forced to take shelter inside the Capitol complex during the attack, said before the vote that he would take no such action, leaving lawmakers with impeachment as their only option to remove Trump from office before January 20, when President-elect Joe Biden is set to be sworn in as president.
Case for impeachment
Trump faces a single charge — ‘incitement of insurrection’ — after the deadly Capitol riot in an impeachment resolution that the House will begin debating Wednesday. It’s a stunning end for Trump’s presidency as Democrats and a growing number of Republicans declare he is unfit for office. They say he could do more damage after inciting a mob that ransacked the Capitol.
“President Trump gravely endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of Government,” reads part of the four-page impeachment bill. “He will remain a threat to national security, democracy and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said impeachment is needed despite the limited number of days left in Trump’s term. “The president’s threat to America is urgent, and so too will be our action,” she said. Trump’s actions were personal for Pelosi and many other lawmakers. She was among those forced to huddle in a bunker during the Capitol riots, and armed rioters menaced staffers with taunts of ‘Where’s Nancy?’
How many Republicans will support
Unlike the last time Trump was impeached, when no House Republicans supported charges against Trump over a call he made to Ukraine’s new president. The current impeachment effort has drawn support from some Republicans.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California and his deputy, Louisiana representative. Steve Scalise, are again expected to oppose impeachment. However, but Wyoming Representative Liz Cheney, the No. 3 House Republican, said Tuesday she will support impeachment.
Representatives John Katko and Adam Kinzinger, also said they would back impeachment, and some other Republicans seem likely to follow. Overall five to seven Republicans are expected to support the impeachment movement.
Will House just censure Trump and let him go
In a move short of impeachment, McCarthy and other Republicans have floated the idea of a House censure of Trump. Although it was not clear how much support the proposal has, McCarthy said censure or some other mechanism — such as a bipartisan commission to investigate the attack — would ‘ensure that the events of January 6 are rightfully denounced and prevented from occurring in the future’.’ Democrats, with the votes to impeach in hand, aren’t buying it.
Trump’s line of action
So far, Trump has taken no responsibility for his part in fomenting the violent insurrection, despite his comments encouraging supporters to march on the Capitol and praising them while they were still carrying out the assault. “People thought that what I said was totally appropriate,” he said Tuesday.
One significant difference from Trump’s first impeachment: He no longer has a Twitter feed to respond in real time.