The US House of Representatives has voted to impeach Donald Trump for a second time, making him the first president in US history to be impeached twice.
The House voted to impeach the president on a single charge of “incitement of insurrection” on Thursday (AEDT), with the final vote tallying 232-197, with every Democrat and ten Republicans voting in favour of impeachment.
The charge came about after Trump incited a mob to assault the US Capitol on January 6.
“He threatened the integrity of the democratic system, interfered with the peaceful transition of power, and imperilled a co-equal branch of government,” the impeachment resolution said. “He thereby betrayed his trust as President, to the manifest injury of the United States.”
In an impassioned speech prior to the vote, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said: “He must go. He is a clear and present danger to the nation we all love.”
The House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump include: Liz Cheney of Wyoming, John Katko of New York, Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, Fred Upton of Michigan, Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington state, Dan Newhouse of Washington state, Peter Meijer of Michigan, Tom Rice of South Carolina, Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio, and David Valadao of California.
The vote in the House of Representatives took place in a heavily guarded setting, with hundreds of national guard troops sleeping on the floor of the Capitol overnight.
Inside the Capitol this morning where Speaker Pelosi usually walks to her office. pic.twitter.com/BQIEf5b2s4— Erin Schaff (@erinschaff) January 13, 2021
The impeachment charge against Trump will now go to the Senate, where the chamber will vote to either convict or acquit him of the charge.
Members of Congress take an oath to support and defend the Constitution. The House fulfilled that duty today by impeaching President Trump for inciting an insurrection. The Senate must fulfill its oath immediately by convicting and barring him from ever holding office again.— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) January 13, 2021
The impeachment vote in the House took place after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi urged Vice President Mike Pence to use the 25th Amendment to strip Trump of his presidential authority. Pence rejected the resolution, saying invoking the amendment should not be used as a “means of punishment or usurpation” and would “set a terrible precedent”.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said the Senate trial will not go ahead until after Joe Biden’s inauguration, which means Trump will likely serve the remaining week of his presidential term. If a two-thirds majority of the Senate vote to convict Trump, he will not be able to seek run for president again.
“Given the rules, procedures, and Senate precedents that govern presidential impeachment trials, there is simply no chance that a fair or serious trial could conclude before President-elect Biden is sworn in next week,” McConnell said.
“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.”
Trump was last impeached in December 2019 for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, over allegations he urged Ukrainian investigations into Joe Biden and his son. The charges were acquitted in the Senate.