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After weeks of discussions among legislators, the House of Representatives voted to impeach the 45th President, Donald Trump, for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress on December 18, 2019. The vote fell largely along party lines: 230 in favor, 197 against and 1 present. Trump became only the third president ever to be impeached, joining Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton, after Democrats raised concerns about his alleged attempts to seek foreign interference in the 2020 election and to hamper their investigation.
READ MORE: How Many US Presidents Have Faced Impeachment?
Some Democrats had advocated impeaching Trump, who was elected despite losing the popular vote, since the moment of his election. After they regained control of the House of Representatives, Democrats launched multiple investigations into his business dealings and his campaign's ties to Russian hackers who targeted his 2016 opponent, Hillary Clinton. After an exhaustive effort failed to convince Speaker Nancy Pelosi and others that they had reason to impeach, a new scandal emerged that succeeded in doing so.
In September 2019, the public learned of a whistleblower complaint regarding a July phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. The complaint, which was corroborated by the acting Ambassador to Ukraine, stated that Trump had threatened to withhold U.S. foreign aid money until Zelensky promised to investigate Hunter Biden, son of leading Democratic 2020 candidate Joe Biden, for suspicious dealings in Ukraine.
The White House denied any "quid pro quo." Nonetheless, by late November, it was clear that the Democrats felt confident enough in their case for wrongdoing and obstruction of Congress that they would go through with impeachment.
After both articles were approved in the House, the case then moved to a Senate trial, which began on January 16, 2020. U.S. Supreme Court chief justice John Roberts presided over the trial. On February 5, 2020, in a vote that again fell largely along party lines, the Senate voted to acquit President Trump on both charges.
On January 13, 2021, President Trump was impeached again following the January 6, 2021 riot at the U.S. Capitol, becoming the only U.S. president to be impeached twice. Unlike his first impeachment, 10 House Republicans joined Democrats in voting in favor of impeachment. The former president was found not guilty in the Senate trial, though seven Republican senators joined Democrats in voting to convict.
READ MORE: What Happens After Impeachment?
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Trump Becomes Only President in U.S. History to Be Impeached TwiceU.S. President Donald Trump walks to the White House residence after exiting Marine One upon his return on January 12, 2021 in Washington, DC. Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images
With only one week left in his divisive presidency, Donald Trump became the first president in the history of the United States to be impeached–twice.
When vice president Mike Pence declined to invoke the 25th Amendment and remove Trump from office, a step he said was not “in the best interest of our Nation or consistent with our Constitution,” House Democrats switched to plan b and brought impeachment to a vote on the House floor Wednesday afternoon (Jan. 13).
Unlike the first time Trump was impeached in December 2019 for soliciting foreign help in the 2020 U.S. presidential election, the Democrats received support from House Republicans who decided to hold the President accountable for inciting an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol last week.
“The President of the United States summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack,” Republican Liz Cheney said in a statement Tuesday (Jan. 12). “Everything that followed was his doing. None of this would have happened without the President. The President could have immediately and forcefully intervened to stop the violence. He did not. There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.
The impeachment of Trump passed 232-197. In all, 10 Republicans joined 222 Democrats to vote him out of office.
“Donald Trump is a living, breathing, impeachable offense,” Democratic Rep. Hakeem Jeffries said during the impeachment debate Wednesday. “Violence will not win. Insurrection will not win. Sedition will not win. Terror will not win. Lawlessness will not win. Mob rule will not win. Not today, not tomorrow, not ever. Democracy will prevail.”
Now, the impeachment will go to trial in the Senate where Trump will either be convicted or acquitted of the charge of inciting an insurrection. On Tuesday, The New York Times reported that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell believes the President committed impeachable offenses.
On Wednesday, McConnell told Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s staff that he would not agree to have the impeachment trial with Trump still in office. This means the trial will likely take place after President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated Jan. 20 as the 46th President of the United States. If convicted, the Senate could also vote to ban Trump from holding federal office in the future.
President Donald Trump Impeached for a Historic Second Time
President Donald Trump became the only president in U.S. history to be impeached twice, after the House on Wednesday afternoon secured enough votes &mdash including from at least 10 Republicans — to support the action.
The final tally of 232 to 197 marked the most bipartisan impeachment in history.
The vote, which was brought forth on a single charge of “incitement of insurrection,” came exactly one week after a pro-Trump gathering in Washington, D.C. — to protest Congress’ certification of the November election’s Electoral College votes, naming Joe Biden the 46th President of the United States — turned violent. After circumventing barricades and pushing past law enforcement, a mob of dozens breached the Capitol building, while the Vice President Mike Pence, senators and representatives were rushed to safety or hid in offices/under tables.
As of Wednesday, five people had died during the attempted insurrection, including one police officer, Brian Sicknick, who had been overpowered and beaten by rioters.
At a rally held prior to the march to the U.S. Capitol, President Trump had told the crowd, &ldquoRepublicans are constantly fighting like a boxer with his hands tied behind his back…. We want to be so respectful of everybody, including bad people. And we&rsquore going to have to fight much harder.”
“We will never give up. We will never concede,” he said. “And to use a favorite term that all of you people really came up with, we will stop the steal…. We fight like hell, and if you don&rsquot fight like hell, you&rsquore not going to have a country anymore.”
Once reports of the attack on the U.S. Capitol surfaced, Trump tweeted a plea for respect for law enforcement, saying, “Stay peaceful.” Later, though — in a tweet that was removed (ahead of his Twitter account being suspended) — he said, regurgitating well-worn falsehoods, &ldquoThese are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long. Go home with love & in peace. Remember this day forever!&rdquo
President Trump has also been banned or restricted by Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat, Spotify, Reddit, twitch, YouTube, TikTok and Pinterest, among other platforms.
Donald Trump impeached a second time over mob attack on US Capitol
The House of Representatives on Wednesday impeached Donald Trump for inciting a violent insurrection against the government of the United States a week after he encouraged a mob of his supporters to storm the US Capitol, a historic condemnation that makes him the only American president to be charged twice with committing high crimes and misdemeanors.
After an emotional day-long debate in the chamber where lawmakers cowered last week as rioters vandalized the Capitol, 10 House Republicans joined Democrats to embrace the constitution’s gravest remedy after vowing to hold Trump to account before he leaves office next week.
The sole article of impeachment charges the defeated president with “inciting an insurrection” that led to what the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, said would be immortalized as a “day of fire” on Capitol Hill.
The president, Pelosi said, represented a “clear and present danger to the nation we all love”.
The final count was 232 to 197, with 10 members of the president’s party supporting his unprecedented second impeachment. Among them was Liz Cheney, the No 3 House Republican and daughter of Dick Cheney, George W Bush’s vice-president. Though she did not rise to speak on Wednesday, she issued an unsparing statement announcing her support for impeachment, in which she said that there had “never been a greater betrayal by a president of the United States” than Trump’s conduct on 6 January.
Nancy Pelosi: Trump is a clear and present danger to the nation – video
“The president of the United States summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack,” said Cheney in a statement.
Kevin McCarthy, the House Republican leader, attempted to carve a middle path for his caucus. He said Trump “bears responsibility” for Wednesday’s attack, while warning that impeachment would “further fan the flames of partisan division”. As an alternative, he proposed a censure.
The result of the lightening-fast proceedings was the most most bipartisan presidential impeachment vote in US history, a stunning end to the Trump presidency.
The scene at the Capitol on Wednesday. Photograph: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images
The House was prepared to immediately transmit the article of impeachment to the Senate after Wednesday’s vote. In a statement, the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, said there was “simply no chance” of concluding a trial before Trump leaves office, ensuring that the affair would begin during the inaugural days of Joe Biden’s presidency.
In a statement, Biden said the House had exercised its power to “hold the president accountable”, and that he hoped “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”.
Though consequences for Trump will not include premature removal from office, the Senate trial would not be entirely symbolic. Two-thirds of the 100-member body are required to convict a president, meaning 17 Republicans would have to join Democrats to render a guilty verdict.
If convicted, it would then require only a simple majority to disqualify him from ever again holding public office.
“Make no mistake,” said New York senator Chuck Schumer, who will become the majority leader when his party takes control of the chamber later this month, “there will be an impeachment trial in the United States Senate there will be a vote on convicting the president for high crimes and misdemeanors and if the president is convicted, there will be a vote on barring him from running again.”
While it is currently considered unlikely that enough Senate Republicans would break with Trump, two have called on the president to resign, and the New York Times reported that McConnell believes the president had committed impeachable offenses.
US House votes to impeach Donald Trump for a second time – video report
McConnell’s souring on Trump is significant, because as Washington’s most powerful Republican his view could make it easier for others in his party to turn against the president.
In a letter to colleagues on Wednesday, McConnell said he had “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.”
The deadly assault a week ago came as the House and Senate were in session to certify Biden’s victory in November’s presidential election, a result Trump refused to accept. Five people died during the siege, including a police officer.
“We are debating this historic measure at an actual crime scene, and we wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for the president of the United States,” said Jim McGovern, a Democratic congressman from Massachusetts and the chair of the rules committee, opening Wednesday’s session.
All around as members argued the merits of impeaching a defeated president were reminders of the the destruction wrought by rioters – the first occupation of the US Capitol since British troops burned the building during the war of 1812.
The building lawmakers call the People’s House, poorly defended last Wednesday, had been turned into a fortress, protected by thousands of national guard troops and with metal detectors stationed outside the chamber doors. Some Republicans rebelled against the new safety protocols, evading the security check.
A remorseless Trump on Tuesday called his inflammatory language at a rally immediately before the mob marched on the Capitol “totally appropriate”. Efforts to hold him accountable were nothing more than a “continuation of the greatest witch-hunt in the history of politics”, he said.
Republican congresswoman Liz Cheney with Democrat Jamie Raskin after the House vote. Photograph: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
After his impeachment, Trump released a video statement belatedly condemning the violence and appealing to his supporters for calm ahead of Biden’s inauguration next week – remarks lawmakers implored him to make during the hours-long siege of the Capitol.
“There is never a justification for violence, no excuses, no exceptions,” he said, asking his followers to “ease tensions and calm tempers”.
“Mob violence goes against everything I believe in and everything our movement stands for. No true supporter of mine could ever endorse political violence,” he said.
Donald Trump releases video statement after being impeached for historic second time
The Washington Post reported that Trump’s daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner, along with Pence and deputy chief of staff Dan Scavino, had persuaded Trump to record the video in order to boost his support among Republicans likely to desert him.
Few Republicans were willing to defend Trump’s incendiary behavior last week. But those who oppose impeachment objected to the rushed nature of the proceedings.
“I can think of no action the House can take that is more likely to further divide the American people,” said Tom Cole, a Republican of Oklahoma, who was among the more than 120 House Republicans who voted last week to reject the electoral votes of key swing states that Biden won, despite officials at every level calling November’s vote the most secure election in US history.
Democrats were incensed by calls for bipartisanship, particularly from Republicans who refused to recognize Biden’s election victory and voted to overturn the results of a democratic election even after the assault on the Capitol.
“It’s a bit much to be hearing that these people would not be trying to destroy our government and kill us if we just weren’t so mean to them,” said Jamie Raskin, a Democratic Maryland congressman who will serve as the lead impeachment manager.
The House proceeded with impeachment on Wednesday after Mike Pence formally rejected calls to strip Trump of power by invoking the 25th amendment to the US constitution, which allows for the removal of a sitting president deemed unfit to perform his job.
Members of the National Guard take a rest in the Capitol rotunda. Photograph: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images
Pence’s signal came just hours before the House passed a resolution calling on him to take the unprecedented action.
Trump’s day of reckoning on Capitol Hill comes less than a year after he was acquitted in a Senate impeachment trial for pressuring Ukraine to open investigations into Biden and his son. But with just days left in his presidency, the political landscape had shifted dramatically.
No House Republicans voted in support when Trump was impeached in 2019 over his attempts to persuade the leader of Ukraine to investigate the family of Biden, then his election rival.
But as fear turned to fury in the days since the attack on the Capitol, senior Republican leaders signaled – tacitly and explicitly – a desire to purge the party of Trump. Their break with the president came only after months of tolerating and indulging his campaign of lies about a stolen election, long after it was undeniably clear he had lost.
Trump's 2nd impeachment is the most bipartisan in US history
The House of Representatives voted to impeach President Donald Trump on Wednesday over his role in inciting a insurrection at the US Capitol that resulted in five deaths.
It was the second time Trump was impeached and the most bipartisan impeachment vote in US history.
Ten House Republicans sided with Democrats to charge Trump with "incitement of insurrection." The lawmakers were:
- Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the chair of the House Republican Conference and the third-highest-ranking GOP lawmaker in the chamber.
- Rep. Jaime Herrera-Beutler of Washington.
- Rep. Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio.
- Rep. John Katko of New York.
- Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois.
- Rep. Peter Meijer of Michigan.
- Rep. Dan Newhouse of Washington.
- Rep. Tom Rice of South Carolina.
- Rep. Fred Upton of Michigan.
- Rep. David Valadao of California.
Five House Democrats voted to impeach President Bill Clinton in the late 1990s, and no Democrats voted to impeach President Andrew Johnson in 1868. President Richard Nixon resigned from office before he was impeached.
Trump was previously impeached on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress related to his efforts to strong-arm the Ukrainian government into launching politically motivated investigations targeting the Biden family ahead of the 2020 election.
One House Republican, former Rep. Justin Amash, voted with Democrats to impeach the president, and Trump was later acquitted by the Republican-controlled Senate. Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah was the sole Republican to vote to convict the president.
This time, a number of Republican senators have signaled openness to holding the president accountable. Romney and GOP Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and John Thune of South Dakota have sharply criticized Trump's efforts to overturn the election results.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is said to be furious with Trump for inciting the insurrection and costing Republicans their Senate majority in two runoff elections in Georgia.
He has not publicly indicated which way he will vote, but The New York Times reported that the Kentucky Republican was "pleased" with Trump's impeachment and believed he committed impeachable offenses. Axios also reported McConnell might vote to convict Trump.
Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey said publicly that Trump violated his oath of office.
Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski called on the president to resign and said if the GOP couldn't separate itself from Trump, she may leave the party. Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse also said he would seriously consider any articles of impeachment against the president in the wake of the violence at the Capitol.
Donald Trump Impeached, Makes History as Only President to Be Impeached Twice
The U.S. House of Representatives has impeached President Donald Trump for “incitement of insurrection,” BBC.com reports. The move comes one week after an army of Trump supporters violently stormed the Capitol building, resulting in five deaths and multiple arrests. This makes Trump the first president in history to be impeached twice.
But this doesn't mean Trump will be removed from office…yet. The Senate also has to convict him if that happens, it could stop him from ever running from public office again.
So when will the Senate meet? Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says not until at least January 19, which could stretch any hearing well past President-Elect Joe Biden's inauguration on January 20. That's a complication but not a deal breaker the Senate can still hold an impeachment hearing about Trump after his term ends, and if there's a conviction, bar him from holding public office.
The Twitter reactions to Trump's impeachment are, unsurprisingly, off the charts. Of course, Trump himself won't be able to read them because his Twitter account has been permanently suspended. (The social platform has the same thinking as the House, writing that it blocked Trump for good to prevent “the risk of further incitement of violence.”)
“First home alone 2 actor to be impeached twice i’m guessing,” writer Hunter Harris tweeted, referring to Trump's cameo in the film.
“Donald Trump just made history as the only U.S. president to be impeached twice,” Senator Elizabeth Warren wrote. “For the sake of our democracy, let’s make history again by making him the first president to be convicted by the Senate.”
One person accurately (and hilariously) pointed out, “Trump got impeached AGAIN and he can’t even log into Twitter to rant about it. He’s MAD mad.”
Trump becomes 1st president in American history to be impeached twice
President Trump has officially become the first president in American history to be impeached two times.
The House of Representatives on Wednesday passed an article of impeachment charging Trump with "incitement of insurrection," one week after a mob of his supporters stormed the Capitol building in a deadly riot. The resolution was passed with ten Republicans voting in favor, including Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), the third highest-ranking member of the party in the House.
The vote came following several hours of debate, which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) opened by arguing Trump is a "clear and present danger" to the United States after he "incited this insurrection, this armed rebellion, against our common country." House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) argued impeaching Trump "in such a short time frame would be a mistake," but he agreed that the president "bears responsibility" for the attack on the Capitol.
Trump spoke to his supporters prior to the riot last week and urged them to "walk down to the Capitol" where Congress was meeting to certify President-elect Joe Biden's election win, telling the crowd, "you will never take back our country with weakness." The subsequent riot at the Capitol left five people dead, but Trump has denied responsibility and claimed his remarks were "totally appropriate" despite facing a bipartisan rebuke.
Trump was previously impeached in 2019 for pressuring the president of Ukraine to investigate the Bidens. That time, no Republicans voted in favor of impeaching him. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) doesn't plan to use his emergency powers to bring the Senate back for an immediate impeachment trial before Jan. 19, however. McConnell has said he has "not made a final decision" on whether he'll vote to convict Trump.
Donald Trump becomes 3rd president in US history to be impeached
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.
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Cartoons: Trump makes history as first president impeached twice
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The House of Representatives made history Wednesday after voting to impeach President Donald Trump one week after the assault at the U.S. Capitol. It’s the second time Trump has been impeached.
According to the Associated Press, “With the Capitol secured by armed National Guard troops inside and out, the House voted 232-197 to impeach Trump. The proceedings moved at lightning speed, with lawmakers voting just one week after violent pro-Trump loyalists stormed the U.S. Capitol after the president’s calls for them to ‘fight like hell’ against the election results.Michael Ramirez
“Actual removal seems unlikely before the Jan. 20 inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden. A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the Republican leader would not agree to bring the chamber back immediately, all but ensuring a Senate trial could not begin at least until Jan. 19.
“Still, McConnell did not rule out voting to convict Trump in the event of a trial. In a note to his fellow Republican senators just before the House was to begin voting, he said he is undecided.
“The impeachment proceedings came one week after a violent, pro-Trump mob breached the U.S. Capitol, sending lawmakers into hiding and revealing the fragility of the nation’s history of peaceful transfers of power.”
Five people died in the assault on the Capitol, including one law enforcement officer.
In a video address late Tuesday, Acting Attorney General Jeffrey A. Rosen confirmed that the Department of Justice has charged more than 70 people and opened more than 170 investigations in connection to the siege. Meanwhile, the FBI has gathered more than 100,000 digital tips from the public.