-Blank NEWS Online (NIGERIA):

The United States House of Representatives on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 voted 232 against 197 in favour of impeachment of President Donald Trump, making him the first American president to be impeached twice in US history. Ten Republicans also voted alongside Democrats to impeach Trump.

President Trump was charged with “incitement of insurrection” for his role in the violent protest by a pro-Trump mob in the U.S. Capitol that left at least five people dead. Lawmakers were allegedly terrorized as they sought to affirm President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.

The article of impeachment had also cited Trump’s alleged January 2 phone call urging Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find” enough votes to overturn the state’s election results as part of his effort “to subvert and obstruct the certification of the results of the 2020 presidential election.”

The House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi had promised to immediately send the article of impeachment to the Senate, to commence a trial process of conviction against Trump and to ban him from further holding public office.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said that the trial would begin after the Senate reconvenes on Tuesday, a day before president-elect Biden is sworn into office.

Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, a member of the GOP leadership, was the highest-ranking Republican to vote to impeach Trump. She was joined by John Katko of New York, Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, Fred Upton of Michigan, Peter Meijer of Michigan, Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio, Tom Rice of South Carolina, David Valadao of California, and Jaime Herrera Beutler and Dan Newhouse of Washington. Four other Republicans didn’t vote.

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

Many House Republicans argued during debate that Trump was not afforded due process and that the impeachment process was rushed. Some said impeaching Trump for a second time would only further divide the country, while others maintained that his actions of January 6 did not meet the legal standard for incitement.

“I believe impeaching the president in such a short time frame would be a mistake,” Kevin McCarthy of California, the top House Republican, said during debate.

“No investigations have been completed. No hearings have been held,” he added. “A vote to impeach will further fan the flames of partisan division.” But McCarthy said Trump needed to accept his share of responsibility for the riot, and he said a congressional censure would be in order.

The impeachment vote follows a House vote late Tuesday to formally call on Vice President Mike Pence to use the 25th Amendment of the Constitution to remove Trump from office, citing his inability to continue acting as president. The act, which was largely symbolic, passed the House by 223-205 along partisan lines, with Kinzinger as the sole Republican to vote in favor.

Pence, had last week, informed Pelosi shortly before the vote that he would not invoke the 25th Amendment, writing in a letter to Pelosi that he did not believe “such a course of action is in the best interest of our Nation or consistent with our Constitution.”

One week after the attack, hundreds of armed National Guard officers paraded the Capitol while others reportedly slept at the Capitol on Tuesday night ahead of Wednesday sitting.

Earlier, the Senate Historical Office claimed it was aware of only two other occasions during which troops stayed overnight in the Capitol: during World War II and during the riots in Washington in 1968.

Two former American presidents, Andrew Johnson, Bill Clinton have been impeached for “high crimes and misdemeanours”, but Trump remains the first to have been impeached twice, and the only one to be impeached barely week to the end of his term and inauguration of another president.

News Reporter
Blank NEWS Online founding Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, Albert Eruorhe Ograka, is a Graduate of Mass Communication. He also holds a Post Graduate Diploma (PGD) in Journalism from the International Institute of Journalism (IIJ).

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