Donald Trump impeachment session opens

US House passes resolution asking Pence to invoke amendment to oust Prez

Donald Trump impeachment session opens

An activist holds placards outside the US Capitol ahead of House vote in Washington. REUTERS

Washington, January 13

A week after President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the US Capitol, the House of Representatives began an emotional debate on Wednesday on impeaching him for his role in an assault on American democracy that stunned the world and left five dead.

Donald Trump, Outgoing President

Free speech under assault: Trump

Free speech is under assault like never before. The 25th Amendment is of zero risk to me but will come back to haunt Joe Biden and the Biden administration. As the expression goes, be careful what you wish for.

At least five Republicans have said they would join Democrats in voting for an article of impeachment for inciting an insurrection, although just seven days remain for a Senate trial to expel Trump from office. If the Democratic-led House approves it, Trump would become the first president to be impeached twice.

The Democratic-controlled US House of Representatives has passed a resolution urging Vice President Mike Pence to invoke 25th Amendment to remove the President from office.

The resolution was voted by 223 to 205 votes on Tuesday night. The voting was mostly on party lines, with one Republican voting in favour of the resolution and another five abstaining. The resolution calls upon Pence to mobilise the Cabinet to activate the 25th Amendment to remove the president from office.

“The President of the United States instigated an attempted coup in this country," Democratic Representative Jim McGovern said on the House floor before a procedural vote on moving forward with impeachment. “People died. Everybody should be outraged. If this is not an impeachable offence, I don't know what the hell is.”

Some Republicans made speeches urging the House not to impeach Trump in the interest in promoting national healing. “Instead of moving forward as a unifying force, the majority in the House is choosing to divide us further,” Oklahoma Republican Tom Cole said on the House floor. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, the No. 2 Democrat, said Democrats intended to send the impeachment charge, once approved, to the Senate “as soon as possible”, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi named nine impeachment managers who would present the House's case during a Senate trial.

The swiftness with which Democrats were moving reflects the danger that Trump poses to national security, says a Democrat. — Reuters

Clamour for removal

  • The House of Representatives is moving to impeach Trump for the second time in his tenure within a span of 12 months
  • His fiery speech at a rally just before the January 6 riots is at the centre of the impeachment charge against him
  • The falsehoods he spread for months about election fraud are still being championed by some Republicans

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