WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump is about to be imputed for the second time in an unprecedented vote in the House on Wednesday, a week after he encouraged a crowd of loyalists to “fight like hell” against the election results just before the US Capitol invasion in a deadly siege.
Until Trump’s first impeachment in 2019 brought Republican votes to the House, a small but significant number of leaders and lawmakers broke with the party to join the Democrats, saying Trump had broken his oath to defend and defend American democracy.
The stunning collapse of the last days of the Trump administration against alarming warnings of more violence from his followers leaves the nation in a troubled and unfamiliar situation before Democrat Joe Biden was inaugurated on January 20.
“If inviting a mob to revolt against your own government is not an impeachment event, then what is?”
Trump, who will become the only U.S. president to impeach twice, faces charges of “inciting an uprising.”
The impeachment decision on four pages relies on Trump’s own inflammatory rhetoric and the lies he spreads about Biden’s election victory, including the White House rally on the day of the January 6 attack on the Capitol, in building his high-profile and criminal case, as required in the Constitution.
Trump did not take responsibility for the uprising, assuming that this is the desire to overthrow him, not his actions around the bloody revolt that divides the country.
“To continue on this path, I think it poses a great danger to our country and causes great anger,” Trump said on Tuesday, his first remarks to reporters since last week’s violence.
A Capitol police officer died from injuries sustained in the riot, and police shot and killed a woman during the siege. Three other people died in medical emergencies. Lawmakers had to fight for safety and hide while the rebels took control of the Capitol and delayed for hours the final step in finalizing Biden’s victory.
The outgoing president did not express his condolences for the dead or wounded, saying only: “I do not want violence.”
At least five Republican lawmakers, including Wyoming leader Liz Cheney of the third parliamentary league, were not subjected to the president’s logic. Republicans have announced they will vote to impeach Trump, splitting the Republican leadership and the party itself.
“The president of the United States convened this crowd, gathered the crowd and ignited the flames of this attack,” Cheney said in a statement. “There has never been a greater betrayal by the President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.”
Unlike a year ago, Trump faces impeachment as a weakened leader who has lost his own re-election, as well as a Republican majority in the Senate.
Senate Republican Party leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky is believed to be angry with Trump and it is unclear how the impeachment process will take place. In the House, Republican leader Kevin McCarthy of California, Trump’s best ally, tried to offer a lighter rebuke, but that option fell through.
So far, Republicans John Katko of New York, a former federal prosecutor; Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, a veteran of the Air Force; Fred Upton of Michigan; and Jaime Herrera Boitler of Washington said they would join Cheney to vote for impeachment.
The chamber first tried to urge Vice President Mike Pence and the cabinet to intervene by passing a resolution Tuesday night calling on them to invoke the 25th Amendment to the Constitution to remove Trump from office. The resolution called on Pence to “declare the obvious about the terrified nation: that the president is unable to successfully carry out the duties and powers of his office.”
Pence has indicated he will not, saying in a letter to Parliament Speaker Nancy Pelosi that “it is time to unite our country as we prepare for the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.”
The debate over the resolution was intense after lawmakers returned the Capitol for the first time since the siege.
Sylvia Garcia’s spokeswoman, Texas, says Trump should go because, as she said in Spanish, he’s crazy.
In opposition, Republican Jim Jordan of Ohio said the “culture of repeal” was simply trying to overturn the president. He said Democrats have been trying to reverse the 2016 election since Trump took office and ended their term in the same way.
While Republican parliamentarians allow lawmakers to vote their consciences for impeachment, it is far from clear that there will then be two-thirds of the votes in the evenly divided Senate needed to condemn and remove Trump. Republican Sen. Pat Tomy of Pennsylvania joined Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska over the weekend, urging Trump to “leave as soon as possible.”
With just over a week left in Trump’s tenure, the FBI has ominously warned of potential armed protests. by Trump loyalists before Biden took office. Capitol police have urged lawmakers to be vigilant.
With the new security, lawmakers had to go through metal detectors to enter the House’s cell, not far from where the Capitol police, with their weapons down, had barricaded the door against the rebels. Some Republicans complained about the screening.
Biden said it was important to ensure that “people who engaged in riots and threatened lives by desecrating public property caused great damage – to be held accountable.
Rejecting fears that the impeachment process would sink into his first days in office, the president-elect encouraged senators to split their time between taking on his priorities to confirm the nominees and approving the COVID-19 relief while conducting the process.
The impeachment bill is based on Trump’s own false statements about his defeat in the Biden election. Judges across the country, including some Trump-nominated candidates, have repeatedly dropped cases challenging election results, and former Attorney General William Barr, an ally of Trump, has said there are no signs of widespread fraud.
Like the resolution citing the 25th Amendment, the impeachment bill also describes Trump’s pressure on Georgian government officials to “find” more votes for him, and his White House rally is rumored to be “fighting like hell.” to the Capitol.
While some question the president’s impeachment so close to the end of his term, there is a precedent. In 1876, during the administration of Odysseus Grant, Secretary of War William Belknap was imputed by the House on the day he resigned, and the Senate convened a trial months later. He is justified.
Associated Press writers Alan Fram and Zake Miller contributed to this report.
This story has been adjusted to show that Trump’s first impeachment was in 2019, not last year.