January 13, 2021
At 4:37pm today, one week after the deadly assault on the US Capitol, the United States House of Representatives impeached President Donald J. Trump for "high Crimes and Misdemeanors," forever cementing his name in history as not only the third President in US history to be impeached, but as the only President to be so condemned twice.Ten Republicans joined the Democratic majority in passing the resolution 232 to 197.
The swift action by Congress comes amid the national and international outcry over the President's role as architect and instigator of the seige by his supporters of the US Capitol building last Wednesday -- one that resulted in the deaths of five people and injury to dozens more.
As new daily media footage and intelligence information reveals the depth of the danger and damage to our democracy, so has the increasingly bipartisan call for Trump's removal from office.
Last night, as the House passed a resolution calling on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment of the Constitution to remove Trump from office, Pence issued a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, saying acting on the amendment is not "in the best interest of our Nation or consistent with our Constitution."
In the Impeachment Article, titled "Incitement of Insurrection," the President is charged with "willfully inciting violence against the Government of the United States" with a speech to supporters "that encouraged - and foreseeably resulted in - imminent lawless action at the Capitol."
"Incited by President Trump, a mob unlawfully breached the Capitol, injured law enforcement personnel, menaced Members of Congress and the Vice President, interfered with the Joint Session's solemn constitutional duty to certify the election results, and engaged in violent, deadly, destructive, and seditious acts."
The document also cites Trump's "prior efforts to subvert and obstruct the certification of the results of the 2020 presidential election," including his threatening phone call to the Georgia Secretary of State '"to find' enough votes to overturn" that state's presidential election results.
|In doing so, Trump "threatened the integrity of the democratic system, interfered with the peaceful transition of power, and imperiled a coordinate branch of government. He thereby betrayed his trust as President, to the manifest injury of the people of the United States." -- Article of Impeachment against Donald J. Trump|
Under the Constitution, the article of impeachment now goes to the United States Senate for trial and potential conviction.
McConnell, however, announced today that he will not call a special session to conduct a trial before Senators are scheduled to return to Washington on January 19th, one day prior to the inauguration of Joseph Biden.
That means the Senate will be conducting a trial after Biden and the new Senate are sworn in.
On Monday, Biden reportedly spoke to McConnell to ask whether it was possible to set up a dual track that would allow the Senate to confirm his Cabinet nominees and hold a Senate trial at the same time.
A two-thirds vote is required to convict Trump. If the Senate were to vote to convict, they could then proceed to a simple majority vote on whether to bar him from holding federal office in the future.In anticipation of today's vote, Democrats announced the team of House Impeachment Managers that will argue the case during the Senate trial. Pelosi has not indicated when the House will send the article of impeachment to the Senate.
In the interim, the FBI has warned that protests are being planned in all 50 state capitals and Washington, DC in the days leading up to the inauguration, and this week the Capitol police briefed members of Congress on new threats against them by "domestic violent extremists" and white supremacist groups.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley and the entire Joint Chiefs of Staff, which is comprised of the heads of each military branch, issued a statement Tuesday condemning the violent invasion of the US Capitol last week.
The memo reminds service members that, in accordance with the Constitution, on January 20, 2021, "President-elect Biden will be inaugurated and will become our 46th Commander in Chief."
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Sources: NewYorkTimes, NBCNews, USCongress