In Historic House Vote, Only 10 Republicans Join Democrats to Impeach Trump for Inciting Insurrection

14.01.2021 - US, United States - Common Dreams

In Historic House Vote, Only 10 Republicans Join Democrats to Impeach Trump for Inciting Insurrection
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“If Congress had a shred of decency, this impeachment would be unanimous.”

By Jessica Corbett

With only a week left in office, President Donald Trump on Wednesday became the first U.S. president in history to be impeached for a second time when all House Democrats—joined by just 10 Republicans—passed an article charging him with “high crimes and misdemeanors” for inciting a deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.

Members of the Democrat-controlled House voted 232-197 to impeach the president, with four lawmakers not voting. Introduced by Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), the approved resolution states that Trump “engaged in high crimes and misdemeanors by inciting violence against the government of the United States.”

The document notes that while members of Congress met on January 6 to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory, “Trump repeatedly issued false statements asserting that the presidential election results were the product of widespread fraud and should not be accepted by the American people or certified by state or federal officials.”

Shortly after the president’s inflammatory speech at a rally in Washington, D.C., a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol complex, delaying the certification of Biden’s win for several hours as lawmakers and congressional staff hid and fled for their lives. Five people—including one U.S. Capitol Police officer—were left dead and scores were wounded.

Notably, House GOP Conference Chair Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, voted in favor of impeaching Trump. Some GOP members reportedly supported impeachment but, in the face of death threats, feared the consequences of voting for it.

The other nine Republicans who joined with Democrats to impeach the president were Reps. Anthony Gonzalez (Ohio), Jaime Herrera Beutler (Wash.), John Katko (N.Y.), Adam Kinzinger (Ill.), Peter Meijer (Mich.), Dan Newhouse (Wash.), Tom Rice (S.C.), Fred Upton (Mich.), and David Valadao (Calif.).

The advocacy group Public Citizen tweeted Wednesday that “if Congress had a shred of decency, this impeachment would be unanimous.”

The ACLU, also responding on Twitter, declared that “accountability doesn’t end here.”

Following reports that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) privately supports impeaching the president, the soon-to-be minority leader confirmed reporting that he won’t reconvene the Senate early to hold a trial before President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20.

McConnell said in a statement after the House vote that “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.”

On December 18, 2019, the House voted largely along party lines to pass two articles of impeachment put forth by the Democratic majority—one for abuse of power and the other for obstruction of Congress. After that historic move, the Republican-controlled Senate declined to convict him.

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