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Friday, April 19, 2024

US Reps impeach Trump over Capitol Hill invasion


Just seven days to the inauguration of a new administration, the President of the United States, Donald Trump, was impeached on Wednesday.

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With the development, Trump becomes the first US president to be impeached twice.

The House of Representatives voted on Wednesday after a debate on the article of impeachment read by the Speaker, Nancy Pelosi.

The final vote was 232 to 197, with 10 House Republicans supporting the measure, while five abstained, The Guardian UK said.

The matter will now go before the Senate, which will decide whether Trump should be convicted and removed from office or not.

The House voted on a single article of impeachment – a formal charge – accusing Trump of “incitement of insurrection” just a week after a pro-Trump mob rampaged through the US Capitol in a deadly protest.

The rioters disrupted the formal certification of Democratic President-elect Joe Biden’s victory over Trump in the November 3 election and sent lawmakers into hiding.

Biden is due to take office on January 20.

The mob attack followed an incendiary speech Trump delivered to thousands of supporters in which he repeated false claims that the election was fraudulent and urged them to march on the Capitol.

Five people, including a police officer, died as a result of the violence.

An emotional debate, conducted with extraordinary security inside and outside the Capitol, including armed National Guard personnel, unfolded in the same House chamber where lawmakers had crouched under chairs and donned gas masks on January 6, as rioters clashed with police officers outside the doors.

“The president of the United States incited this insurrection, this armed rebellion against our common country,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, said on the House floor.

“He must go. He is a clear and present danger to the nation that we all love,” she added.

Democratic congressman Julian Castro, a former presidential candidate, called Trump “the most dangerous man to ever occupy the Oval Office.”

A fellow Democrat, Maxine Waters, accused Trump of wanting a civil war.

Some Republicans argued that the impeachment drive was a rush to judgment that bypassed the customary deliberative process, including hearings and called on Democrats to abandon the effort for the sake of national unity.

“Impeaching the president in such a short time frame would be a mistake,” said Kevin McCarthy, the House’s top Republican.

A handful of Republicans said they would support impeachment, including Liz Cheney, the No. 3 House Republican.

Republican Jamie Herrera Beutler said she would vote to impeach Trump, drawing applause from Democrats.

“I am not choosing a side, I’m choosing truth. It’s the only way to defeat fear,” she said.