STATE OF AMERICA

Donald Trump is impeached – again – in unprecedented US House vote for incitement of insurrection

By An Wentzel 14 January 2021
Caption
US President Donald Trump. (Photo: Anna Moneymaker-Pool / Getty Images)

Ten Republicans joined the Democrats as an angry House impeached US President Donald Trump at 4:25 Eastern Standard Time (EST) yesterday in the US.

The United States House of Representatives was tense on Wednesday, 13 January, with tempers flaring as the impeachment vote debate saw temperatures rise on both sides. In an impeachment showdown, strong words were thrown down by both sides. But ultimately, the Democrats won, their margin bolstered by 10 Republicans who plainly had enough of Donald Trump. 

Ten Republicans joined the Democrats as an angry House impeached US President Donald Trump at 4:25 Eastern Standard Time (EST) yesterday in the US.

Bemused representatives and capitol staffers arrived at work to find hundreds of National Guard troops filling the Capitol Buildings, some still asleep in the halls – they had arrived Tuesday night as part of inauguration security measures.

Majority Whip James Clyburn (R) walks past members of the National Guard trying to get some sleep inside the US Capitol in Washington, DC, USA, 13 January 2021. EPA-EFE/JIM LO SCALZO

The strengthened security measures at the state Capitol no doubt will be echoed across the country as all 50 states are forced to beef up security in expectation of more pro-Trump violent uprisings ahead of the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden on 20 January, next Wednesday.

This is the first time in US history that a president has been impeached twice. If Trump had not been assured of an ignominious spot in the history books after the terrifying riot at the national Capitol exactly a week ago on Wednesday, January 6, his place is now forever on the wall of shame.

After a speech by Trump, the mob rampaged through the Capitol complex last Wednesday, leaving five people dead in their wake, including a Capitol police officer, Brian Sicknik, who had been dragged into the mob and beaten so severely he later died of his injuries. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi the day after the riots said: “He will have to resign or we will impeach him.”

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi bangs the gavel after presiding over the House of Representatives as it voted to impeach Donald J. Trump for a second time inside the US Capitol in Washington, DC, USA, 13 January 2021. Trump was impeached for incitement of insurrection following the attack on the Capitol last week as lawmakers worked to certify Joe Biden as the next President of the United States. This is the second time the US House of Representatives impeach Trump, making him the first President to be impeached twice in the same term. EPA-EFE/JIM LO SCALZO

Speaking at the Capitol, amid growing calls for Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment – which allows for the Vice President and a Cabinet majority to declare a president unfit for office – and remove Trump from office, Pelosi said that “The president of the United States incited an armed insurrection against America… Any day can be a horror show for America.”

During impeachment proceedings at the House on Wednesday, the Speaker said Trump was a “clear and present danger to the nation.”

The final vote was 232 in favour, with 197 against, with four representatives not voting.  The matter now moves to the Senate, where it will be decided if Trump should be convicted and removed from office.

(In short, “the Senate sits as a High Court of Impeachment in which senators consider evidence, hear witnesses and vote to acquit or convict the impeached official”. See the rules on impeachment here.)

A still taken from video provided by the United States House of Representatives shows the House of Representatives shows the final vote count on agreeing on ‘H.Res.24 – Impeaching Donald John Trump, President of the United States, for high crimes and misdemeanors’, in the House chambers in the US Capitol, in Washington, DC, USA, 13 January 2021. The House impeached US President Donald J. Trump for inciting the insurrection that lead to the storming of the US Capitol by Trump partisans on 06 January 2021. This is the second time the US House of Representatives impeach Trump. EPA-EFE/US HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES HANDOUT HANDOUT

While surprise has been expressed from some quarters that 10 Republicans voted to impeach, some senior US political pundits suggest those Republicans are not supporting impeachment because he incited an insurrection, but because the insurrection failed.

The vote itself was the most bi-partisan impeachment vote in US history, even more than the vote against President Andrew Johnson in 1868.

Trump himself, in the middle of the impeachment proceedings, sent out a statement via the White House in which he said “I urge there must be NO violence, NO lawbreaking and NO vandalism of any kind… I call on ALL Americans to help ease tensions and calm tempers.”

By then, his fate was already sealed. DM

An Wentzel is Night Editor and specialist reporter for Daily Maverick based in the United States.

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All Comments 21

  • Trump to armed mob in the Capitol : “We love you. You are special.” Famous last words. With that, the donald went too far and finally managed to offend middle america out of its slumber.

  • Regardless, the terrifying truth is that more than half the Whites in the US still support Trump, and at least 45% of the total population. And this is mostly fanatical support, not just “preference”. Shockingly, an incredible high percentage of people in South Africa, Australia, and virtually all countries of the world (except Africa outside SA) also still support him. This despite his crimes. The only person I can think off in modern history with the same support base is/was….Adolf Hitler!
    What now for the US? The country has become the shame of the world. No more to be admired, supported, or even feared. Events at the Capitol illustrates clearly that even armed forces are split in their support, with the defence of the country taking a secondary role. I’ll be surprised if anti-US elements and terrorists don’t take advantage of this chaos now prevailing. It will not be soon that any kind of normality returns to the US, and I’m not talking about Covid-19

    • With Tramp having been Tramp, his replacement, enthroned Comrade President Joe Xiden an his deputy Harris, backed by the radical left of the now hypocrite Democrats Party will mark the end of Pax Americana era and the birth of the new SinoAmerika in a lower notch in the Banana scale….I think

    • The satirical website The Onion recently posted a headline stating that ‘the FBI has uncovered an Al-Qaeda plot to sit back and do nothing while the US destroys itself’ – that sums up the disastrous state of affairs over the Atlantic!
      Personally, I think its only a matter of time before we see another civil war – one that’ll be much uglier this time, since so many people there today own dozens of assault rifles – but nonetheless, one where we will hopefully see the racist white supremacists once again have their butts handed to them…

      • If the backyard soldiers think they can fight with assault rifles they deserve what is coming. Less than 500 drone strikes and the uncivil war is over. I give it 15 days

  • Some of the comments thus far are a clear indication that ‘white supremacists’ still thrive in South Africa also. Their ‘white fragility’ and hyper-masculinity is on clear display in their responses. Like their fellow American closet supremacist colleagues in the Capitol like the Jordan, Gaitz, McCarthy and a host of other spineless Republicans, they want to keep an openly (proud boy?) and brazen white supremacist like Trump in office. They need and want him in office because he has the ability (stupidity more likely) to say exactly the kind of things they are not willing to say openly. In America their fragility is such that where minority groups challenge or contest those prejudices (now with the support of a growing number of white Americans who are beginning to understand their priveldge), they are demonised as the ‘radical’ or ‘socialist’ left. It is remarkable how much visceral fear (as Trump has discovered) such labels can generate. Let it be clear that the overwhelming majority of people who vote Republican, do so because they know no better, and falsely believe it enhances their chance of maintaining their privileges and prejudices. The truely fascist elements in that party (as displayed on past Wednesday) is miniscule. BUT… they remain a demonstrable threat to the ‘democratic’ project.

  • Just listening to an interview of the Secretary General of Interpol and his concerns about ‘criminal networks’ exploiting the subversives. Despite reports of the many American corporates cutting ties with Trump, other reports of his ties and flourishing business contacts in Turkey, Saudi Arabia and UAE (the latter two ‘models’ of democracy!), as well as India (and who knows maybe even Russia)…suggests that the US has got a high flying criminal (who still has not released his tax compliance status) occupying the white house ! Why worry about small level criminals ? His international ‘swamp’ comes to the rescue ! And the Jordan’s, Gaitz’s, Hawleys and Cruz’s amongst others, continue their comradely denial charade.

  • Reading the comments one immediately is struck by the divisive nature of American politics. Life under Trump was virtually identical to life under Obama in every socio economic metric you may pick.

    What then the cause for all the venom and excitement?

    Seems as if the far left and the far right have infiltrated the mainstream parties to the extent that they dominate the discourse (even if not the numbers – it is factually incorrect to say that almost half of America supports Trump – he was the only choice given to the average Republican.)

    He was electable because he galvanises the 10 % rabble who rattled the gates and would otherwise not vote.

    Soon the same fate will befall the Dems. They cosey up to unmentionables on the left and for the same reasons.

    Intransigent minorities frequently dominate public life. In the US the average Democrat IS NOT and old style Bolshevik. Neither is the average Republican a reactionary fascist.

    It is just the way they are conducting their politics.

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