Which Republicans supported Trump’s impeachment?
With seven days until the official handover of power to Joe Biden, the House of Representatives has made Trump the only president to be impeached twice.
In a final vote of 232-197, the House of Representatives has once again voted to impeach president Donald Trump. The lower chamber’s Wednesday vote reflected the fact that it’s Democrat-controlled, but members didn’t simply vote along party lines. Alongside the 222 Democrats who voted in favour of the article, ten Republicans joined ranks against their leader. Trump was first impeached in September 2019 but was aquitted in a trial at the GOP-controlled Senate by December.
Shortly following news of the impeachment Wednesday afternoon, Trump posted a video calling for peace and unity. The president has still failed to take responsibility for his part in the insurrection.
Why was Trump impeached a second time?
The article of impeachment, which is just four pages long, indicts President Trump of inciting a riot, with false claims of a stolen election that led to the storming of the Capitol and at least five deaths.
Trump has since shown no remorse for his part in encouraging the historic and shocking violence on 6 January at the Capitol which endangered the lives of members of Congress. As the impeachment debate was on going in the House Wednesday afternoon, Trump - who has been banned or suspended from posting on all social media – released a statement in response to rumours of future demonstrations expected as Joe Biden’s inauguration looms.
“In light of reports of more demonstrations, I urge that there must be NO violence, NO lawbreaking and NO vandalism of any kind,” the president said. “That is not what I stand for, and it is not what America stands for. I call on ALL Americans to help ease tensions and calm tempers. Thank You.”
Which Republicans voted to impeach Donald Trump?
The ten Republicans who broke ranks to side with Democrats against president Trump are:
When Dan Newhouse of Washington became the sixth Republican to publicly break with Trump, Democrat colleagues applauded in encouragement.
“These articles of impeachment are flawed, but I will not use process as an excuse,” he said. “There is no excuse for President Trump’s actions.”
Republican Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington, another defector, said, “I am not choosing a side — I’m choosing truth. It’s the only way to defeat fear.”
On Tuesday, the third most powerful Republican in Congress Liz Cheney of California said in declaring her support for impeachment:
“The President of the United States summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack…there has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.”
What happens next with Trump’s impeachment?
Now that the House has impeached Trump, the next stage in the process is that the president will face trial in the Senate.
The outgoing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell today refused a request from Minority Leader Democrat Chuck Schumer to reconvene the Senate as a matter of urgency to launch Trump’s trial.
This means that Trump’s impeachment trial in the Senate will start at the very earliest on 19 January, just one day before Biden’s inauguration.
According to the US constitution a two-thirds Senate majority is necessary to convict a president of an article of impeachment. The penalty for an impeached official is removal from office and in some cases, disqualification from holding any public office in the future.
Georgia Democrat Senators Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, as well as future president of the Senate and vice president Kamala Harris, have not been sworn in to their roles in the upper chamber yet, which is due to tip the balance of power in the Senate to whisper-thin Democrat control, with a 50-50 split, and Harris breaking ties where necessary.
Unseated Republican Senators Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue have conceded defeat and the incoming Democrats could be sworn in as early as 20 January.
Democrats will need at least 17 Republican Senators to vote in favour of Trump’s impeachment for him to be convicted.