Fri | Feb 26, 2021

Trump on verge of second impeachment after Capitol siege

Published:Wednesday | January 13, 2021 | 9:32 AM
President Donald Trump speaks to the media before boarding Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House, Tuesday, January 12, 2021, in Washington. He was travelling to Texas. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is on the verge of being impeached for a second time in an unprecedented House vote Wednesday, a week after he encouraged a mob of loyalists to “fight like hell” against election results just before they stormed the US Capitol in a deadly siege.

While Trump’s first impeachment in 2019 brought no Republican votes in the House, a small but significant number of leaders and lawmakers are breaking with the party to join Democrats, saying Trump violated his oath to protect and defend U.S. democracy.

The stunning collapse of Trump’s final days in office, against alarming warnings of more violence ahead by his followers, leaves the nation at an uneasy and unfamiliar juncture before Democrat Joe Biden is inaugurated January 20.

“If inviting a mob to insurrection against your own government is not an impeachable event, then what is?” said Representative Jamie Raskin, a drafter of the article of impeachment.

Trump, who would become the only US president twice impeached, faces a single charge of “incitement of insurrection.”

The four-page impeachment resolution relies on Trump’s own incendiary rhetoric and the falsehoods he spread about Biden’s election victory, including at a White House rally on the day of the January 6 attack on the Capitol, in building its case for high crimes and misdemeanours as demanded in the Constitution.

Trump took no responsibility for the riot, suggesting it was the drive to oust him rather than his actions around the bloody riot that was dividing the country.

“To continue on this path, I think it’s causing tremendous danger to our country, and it’s causing tremendous anger,” Trump said Tuesday, his first remarks to reporters since last week’s violence.

A Capitol police officer died from injuries suffered in the riot, and police shot and killed a woman during the siege.

Three other people died in what authorities said were medical emergencies.

Lawmakers had to scramble for safety and hide as rioters took control of the Capitol and delayed by hours the last step in finalising Biden’s victory.

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