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US politics: Live coverage of the push to impeach Donald Trump

Donald Trump is the first President in US history to be impeached twice. Ten members of his own party voted against him. Sam Clench,Ben Graham and Natalie Brownnews.com.au January 14, 2021 5:13AM LIVE Last updated January 14, 2021 9:05AM AEDT The US House of Representatives has impeached Donald Trump again, making him the only president…

Donald Trump is the first President in US history to be impeached twice. Ten members of his own party voted against him.

Sam Clench,Ben Graham and Natalie Brown

news.com.au

January 14, 2021 5:13AM

LIVE

Last updated January 14, 2021 9:05AM AEDT

The US House of Representatives has impeached Donald Trump again, making him the only president in US history to be impeached twice.

The single article of impeachment, charging Mr Trump with “incitement of insurrection”, passed by a margin of 232-197.

Every Democrat voted yes. Ten Republicans joined with them, voting against their own party’s President.

Technically, that makes this the most bipartisan impeachment in history. Five Democrats voted to impeach Bill Clinton in 1998. No Republicans supported Mr Trump’s first impeachment in December of 2019.

“Am I disappointed by 10? No, I’m pleased that 10 people had the courage to stand up and say, ‘We have no alternative,’” the Democrats’ House Majority Leader, Steny Hoyer, told NBC.

So, the next step here is an impeachment trial in the Senate, where a two-thirds majority of 67 senators will be required to convict Mr Trump.

That trial is not expected to happen until after president-elect Joe Biden takes office, as the Senate is not currently in session. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has indicated it will not return until January 19.

Mr Trump will likely comment on the House’s vote later today. Earlier, he released a statement urging his supporters to engage in no further violence.

“In light of reports of more demonstrations, I urge that there must be NO violence, NO lawbreaking and NO vandalism of any kind,” Mr Trump said (emphasis his).

“That is not what I stand for, and it is not what America stands for. I call on ALL Americans to help ease tensions and and calm tempers. Thank you.”

Read on for the latest news.

Live Updates


Sam Clench

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has issued a statement confirming the President’s impeachment trial will not take place until after he leaves office on January 20.

“The House of Representatives has voted to impeach the President. The Senate process will now begin at our first regular meeting following the receipt of the article from the House,” he says.

“Given the rules, procedures and Senate precedents that govern presidential impeachment trials, there is simply no chance that a fair or serious trial could conclude before president-elect Biden is sworn in next week.

“The Senate has held three presidential impeachment trials. They have lasted 83 days, 37 days and 21 days respectively.

“Even if the Senate process were to begin this week and move promptly, no final verdict would be reached until after President Trump had left office. This is not a decision I am making; it is a fact. The president-elect himself stated last week that his inauguration on January 20 is the ‘quickest’ path for any change in the occupant of the presidency.

“In light of this reality, I believe it will be best for our nation if Congress and the executive branch spend the next seven days completely focused on facilitating a safe inauguration and an orderly transfer of power to the incoming Biden administration.”

JUST IN: ⁦@senatemajldr⁩ makes it clear that the Senate trial will NOT take place before Trump leaves office. pic.twitter.com/8lzLyA02h2

— Ryan Nobles (@ryanobles) January 13, 2021

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Sam Clench

If you’re interested, these are the 10 Republicans who voted to impeach the President: Liz Cheney, Adam Kinzinger, Jaime Herrera Beutler, Dan Newhouse, Peter Meijer, John Katko, Fred Upton, David Valadao, Tom Rice and Anthony Gonzalez.

The most significant name on that list is Ms Cheney, the daughter of former vice president Dick Cheney, who is the third-highest ranking Republican in the House.

I should also note that five members of Congress, all Republicans, did not vote. They are: Dan Crenshaw, Dan Webster, Greg Murphy, Michelle Steel and Kay Granger.


Sam Clench

We now have the final result. The article of impeachment has been passed by a margin of 232-197.

Every Democrat voted in favour of impeaching Donald Trump. Ten Republicans joined with them, voting against their own party’s President.

That makes this the most bipartisan impeachment in history, though there haven’t been very many in the past. Five Democrats voted to impeach Bill Clinton in the 1990s.

No Republicans supported Mr Trump’s first impeachment in December of 2019.

“Am I disappointed by 10? No, I’m pleased that 10 people had the courage to stand up and say, ‘We have no alternative,'” the Democrats’ House Majority Leader, Steny Hoyer, told NBC.

So, the next step is an impeachment trial in the Senate, where a two-thirds majority of 67 senators will be required to convict Mr Trump.

That trial is not expected to happen until after president-elect Joe Biden takes office, as the Senate is not currently in session. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has indicated it will not return until January 19.


Sam Clench

We’re still awaiting the final margin, but with 229 yes votes recorded in the House of Representatives so far, we have crossed the threshold required for the article of impeachment to pass.

As things stand, 10 Republicans have joined with the Democrats.


Sam Clench

That’s the end of the debate. The House is now voting.

We expect the article of impeachment to pass. Let’s see what the final margin is.


Sam Clench

A seventh Republican, Congressman Peter Meijer, has announced he will vote in favour of impeachment.

“We saw profiles in courage during the assault on the Capitol,” Mr Meijer said in a statement, citing police officers, members of Congress and Vice President Mike Pence.

“There was no such courage from our President, who betrayed and misled millions with claims of a ‘stolen election’ and encouraged loyalists that ‘if you don’t fight like hell you’re not going to have a country anymore’.

“The one man who could have restored order, prevented the deaths of five Americans and avoided the desecration of our Capitol shrank from leadership when our country needed it most.

“As gallows were erected on Capitol grounds and members of the mob chanted, ‘Hang Mike Pence,’ the President assailed the Vice President regarding the certification vote.

“The President also released a video expressing his admiration for those who stormed the Capitol while Congress was still under attack.

“Since last week, the President has accepted no responsibility for the violence his rhetoric and actions inspired.

“I have wrestled with the division this vote will cause. I wrestled with the precedent it will establish and I have concerns with due process.

“But today, my job is to apply my best judgment to the article of impeachment that is on the floor. With the facts at hand, I believe the article of impeachment to be accurate.

“The President betrayed his oath of office by seeking to undermine our constitutional process, and he bears responsibility for inciting the violent acts of insurrection last week.”

President Trump betrayed his oath of office by seeking to undermine our constitutional process, and he bears responsibility for inciting the insurrection we suffered last week. With a heavy heart, I will vote to impeach President Donald J. Trump. pic.twitter.com/SREfFp0nd2

— Rep. Peter Meijer (@RepMeijer) January 13, 2021

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Sam Clench

You may have seen the photos earlier of all the National Guard troops currently inside the Capitol.

Congressman Seth Moulton, a Democrat, brought that up during his brief remarks on impeachment.

“There are more troops right now in Washington D.C. than in Afghanistan, and they are here to defend us against the commander-in-chief, the President of the United States, and his mob,” said Mr Moulton.

“I would ask my colleagues to look at the faces of those young Americans defending democracy, defending us, and find an ounce of their courage to do the right thing, as several Republicans have.”

We are approaching the end of the debate, which means a vote will happen soon.

“There are more troops right now in Washington DC than in Afghanistan. And they are here to defend us against the commander in chief, the president of the United States and his mob,” Rep. Seth Moulton says. pic.twitter.com/ZXiT1B52hZ

— MSNBC (@MSNBC) January 13, 2021

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Sam Clench

CBS reports Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has written to his Republican colleagues, stressing that he has not yet made a decision on impeachment.

“While the press has been full of speculation, I have not made a final decision on how I will vote and I intend to listen to the legal arguments when they are presented to the Senate,” Mr McConnell said.

This has also been confirmed by CNN reporter Kaitlan Collins.

Per his office, what McConnell said to GOP senators: “While the press has been full of speculation, I have not made a final decision on how I will vote and I intend to listen to the legal arguments when they are presented to the Senate.”

— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) January 13, 2021

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Sam Clench

Eric Swalwell, a Democratic Congressman and one of the party’s 2020 presidential candidates – rest assured, no one else remembers him either – is in some hot water after comparing Donald Trump to al-Qaeda terrorist Osam bin Laden.

He did this during an appearance on PBS.

“Osama bin Laden did not enter US soil on September 11, but it was widely acknowledged he was responsible for inspiring the attack on our country,” Mr Swalwell said.

“But the President, with his words – using the words ‘fight’, with the speakers that he assembled that day who called for ‘trial by combat’ and said we have to ‘take names and kick ass’ – that is hate speech that inspired and radicalised people to storm the Capitol.”

The program’s host, Judy Woodruff, asked whether Mr Swalwell was indeed intending to compare the US President to bin Laden.

“I’m comparing the words of an individual who would incite and radicalize somebody, as Osama bin Laden did, to what President Trump did,” he responded.

“You don’t actually have to commit the violence yourself, but if you call others to violence, that itself is a crime.”

WATCH: Eric Swalwell compares Trump to Osama Bin Laden in PBS News interview pic.twitter.com/w8SIaDZYGL

— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) January 13, 2021

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Sam Clench

A group of about 30 members of Congress, led by Democrat Mikie Sherrill, has written to Capitol Police requesting an investigation into the visitors allowed into the Capitol the day before the riot, on January 5.

“Many of the members who signed this letter, including those of us who have served in the military and are trained to recognise suspicious activity, as well as various members of our staff, witnessed an extremely high number of outside groups in the complex,” Ms Sherrill says.

“This is unusual for several reasons, including the fact that access to the Capitol Complex has been restricted since public tours ended in March of last year due to the pandemic.”

The uptick in visitors was so noticeable that it got reported to the sergeant at arms on January 5.

Yesterday, Ms Sherrill claimed to have witnessed some Republican members of Congress leading visitors in what she called “reconnaissance” the building.

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