January 24, 2021

Donald Trump impeached for historic second time over deadly riots at US Capitol

January 13, 2021

President Donald Trump has been impeached for a historic second time after the House of Representatives secured enough votes to charge him.

A total of 10 Republicans voted against their party and Mr Trump, with the final result standing at 232 votes to impeach and 197 against.

He is the first US president to be impeached twice - previously charged over his calls with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

This time, Mr Trump is accused of inciting an insurrection following the deadly riots at the US Capitol on 6 January.

The Republicans who voted for impeachment were: Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio, Peter Meijer of Michigan, Fred Upton of Michigan, Liz Cheney of Wyoming, John Katko of New York, Adam Kinzinger Illinois, Tom Rice of South Carolina, Jamie Herrera Beutler of Washington, Dan Newhouse of Washington and David Valadao of California.

But the Senate trial that follows the House vote will not be imminent, with majority leader Mitch McConnell claiming there is not enough time for a "fair or serious trial" to take place before Joe Biden is sworn in.

He said: "The president-elect himself stated last week that his inauguration on 20 January is the 'quickest' path for any change in the occupant of the presidency.

"In light of this reality, I believe it will best serve 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."

Mr Biden fell short of welcoming the impeachment decision, but said instead: "I hope that the Senate leadership will find a way to deal with their constitutional responsibilities on impeachment while also working on the other urgent business of this nation."

When the Senate finally do put Mr Trump on trial, they will need a two-thirds majority to officially impeach him.

They can also vote to ban him from standing for election ever again - which only requires a simple majority (50% + 1).

Mr Trump did little to condemn the riots in Washington DC as they took place, nor in the immediate aftermath, but in recent days has attempted to ease tensions.

In a recorded statement from the White House after the impeachment vote on Wednesday, he said: "There is never a justification for violence. If you do any of these things, you are not supporting our movement."

He vowed to bring those involved in the riots "to justice", but did not mention his impeachment during the five-minute clip, saying the country's focus "must be on advancing the interests of the whole nation".

The scenes at the Capitol left him "shocked and saddened", he added, describing the violence as a "calamity".

More than 160 cases have been opened as a result of the rioting, with 70 people charged so far.

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On Wednesday it emerged that five-time Olympic medallist Klete Keller is among those charged.

The 38-year-old swimmer stands accused after a video appeared to show him storm Capitol buildings with a mob of Trump supporters.

Since the riots, the president has been banned from most social media platforms - including Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and most recently Snapchat - and there has been little communication from the White House.

But he did release a Twitter-esque statement via the press secretary ahead of the impeachment debate, saying: "In light of reports of more demonstrations, I urge that there must be NO violence, NO lawbreaking and NO vandalism of any kind.

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

Late on Wednesday, Twitter founder Jack Dorsey posted to say he "does not celebrate or feel pride in having to ban @realDonaldTrump from Twitter".

But he says although it "sets a dangerous precedent", it was the right decision.

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