On January 11th, US House Democrats introduced an article of impeachment against incumbent President Donald Trump, accusing him of “incitement of insurrection” in the wake of the January 6th Capitol mayhem, legislators in that same building voted to impeach Donald Trump for the second time in his single term in office.
Donald Trump became the first US president in history to be impeached twice when the House of Representatives voted Wednesday to charge him with inciting last week’s mob attack on Congress.Ten Republicans voted in favour of the motion, the most to ever support the impeachment of a president of their own party. Historic. One of those members, Liz Cheney, said of his incitement of the insurrectionist riot “There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the constitution.”
The final vote on the article of impeachment accusing Trump of “incitement of insurrection,” held shortly after 4 p.m. on Wednesday, was 232 for impeachment, 197 opposed, with four members not voting.
Earlier in the day, House of Representatives Rules Committee Chair Jim McGovern began the day’s discussion, saying, “We are debating this historic measure at an actual crime scene.”
It looked, however, more like a war zone. For the first time since the civil war, thousands of federal troops were stationed overnight at the Capitol building, sleeping on its marble floors as reporters and staff arrived early in the morning, and patrolling the grounds in large groups wearing camouflage and carrying rifles. Blocks and blocks of downtown Washington surrounding Capitol Hill had been fenced off, with access tightly guarded at a limited number of checkpoints. Because of elevated threats from Trump’s supporters expected in the week ahead, the measures will stay in place through the inauguration on January 20th.
“There are more troops here in Washington, D.C. today than there are in Afghanistan, and they are here to protect us from our president and his mob,” Democratic Rep. Seth Moulton said.
The surreal sense that the seat of American government had been transformed into a dangerous battlefield was invoked in the speeches of many Democrats who spoke through the day. Many cited their direct experience of fear when their lives were threatened by Trump’s supporters during the siege. Over and over, they expressed disgust and rage at Trump’s encouragement of the crowd.
“It was the single most depraved betrayal of the constitution by a president,” Democratic Rep. Kathy Castor said in her speech. “Trump’s defilement of this Capitol, will not stand. It demands impeachment right now.”
The Senate will not hold a trial before January 20th, when Democrat Joe Biden assumes the presidency, meaning the real-estate tycoon will escape the risk of being forced to leave early. He will, however, depart in disgrace – and likely due to face a Senate trial later.
This is the second Democrat attempt to impeach Donald Trump, with the previous one taking place back in 2019.