Never has a president of the United States gone through a process of impeachment twice. None had encouraged insurrection against the government of their country.
The House of Representatives approved on Wednesday the formal impeachment of Donald Trump for “inciting violence against the United States government” with the support of Democratic congressmen and a dozen Republicans, including one of the party’s leaders, Liz Cheney . The resolution also condemns Trump for trying to reverse the election result illegally. lobbying the Republican in charge of managing the elections in Georgia. The text was approved with 232 votes in favor and 197 against, and it is the impeachment resolution of a president with the most bipartisan support in history.
The vote came after a long and gloomy debate session, with some congressmen on the verge of tears and the surveillance of the national guard in the corridors. The words against the president were harsh after a “devastating” week in the words of the Republicans themselves. Several congressmen from both parties spoke of how they had feared for their lives and those of their families.
Liz Cheney’s words were repeated often in the session.
“The president of the United States summoned this mob, gathered them together and lit the flame of this attack. Everything that happened afterwards is his handiwork. None of this would have happened without the president. The president could have intervened immediately and energetically to stop the violence. It did not”, Cheney said, who is the third in the leadership of the Republican party in the House and one of the representatives of the state of Wyoming. “There has never been a greater betrayal of a president of the United States of his office and his oath of the Constitution.”
The congresswoman is the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney and a conservative Republican (she took on her own sister, who is a lesbian, over the right to same-sex marriage). Liz Cheney also rejected attempts by some of her colleagues to question the outcome of the election. At the rally just before the Capitol storming, Trump said congressmen like Cheney had to be “dumped”.
“As Liz Cheney has said” was a catchphrase used this Wednesday often by Democratic congressmen in their interventions during the debate in the House.
They also voted in favor of impeachment from the president of his party the Republicans John Katko from New York, Fred Upton and Peter Meijer from Michigan, Adam Kinzinger from Illinois, Tom Rice from South Carolina, Anthony Gonzalez, from Ohio, David Valadao, from California, and Jaime Herrera Beutler and Dan Newhouse, from Washington State. Kevin McCarthy, the Republican minority leader in the House, said the president “bears the responsibility for the mob attacks on Capitol Hill,” but decided to vote against the resolution because of the nearing end of the president’s term. , within a week.
Most Republicans speaking in the House defended the president and avoided referring to the violence on Capitol Hill. Ohio Congressman Jim Jordan even launched a petition to force Cheney to resign. Jordan complained that the Democrats were “canceling” their president. One of Trump’s last acts will be award Jordan with the Medal of Freedom, an honor reserved for great figures of the country’s politics and culture.
Republicans had freedom to vote, the common practice in America’s parties, but, unlike usual, party leaders did not lobby or campaign for any position.
“Examine your conscience,” Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, asked them. “Does the president’s war against democracy respect the Constitution?” “The president has incited an insurrection, an armed revolt, against our country,” Pelosi said of the mob of Trump supporters who stormed the Capitol and planted homemade bombs at party headquarters. Five people were killed, including a policeman.
Republicans who voted for the impeachment They broke with their own past and marked a small milestone: this Wednesday was the impeachment resolution with the most support from congressmen from the president’s same party.
A year ago, no Republican member of the House voted for the first impeachment to Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress for pressure on the President of Ukraine to help him in his campaign against Joe Biden. Three Democrats then voted against. In December 2019, the House passed the resolution by 230 votes to 197 on the charge of abuse of power and 229 votes to 198 on the charge of obstruction of Congress. In February 2020, the Senate rejected the charges and only the senator Mitt Romney broke ranks with your party.
‘Impeached’ for the story
With this vote, and whatever happens, Trump has already been challenged (“impeached”) In this political trial provided for by the Constitution and which does not exclude criminal or civil lawsuits in ordinary courts when his term as president ends on January 20 at 12 in the morning.
The president is already being investigated by the Washington prosecutor’s office for his speech at the January 6 rally encouraging his followers to march to the Capitol and show “strength” to “not lose” their country, and for his tweets falsely assuring that he had won the elections and promised that the rally in Washington would be “wild.” “If you don’t fight like crazy (“like hell“In English), you are going to be left without a country,” he told his followers a few minutes before they launched the assault on the Capitol.
Impeachment is, in any case, a symbol for Americans. “One second impeachment a Trump is the way to create a historical record that remembers this insult to democracy “, says Rick Perlstein, historian and expert on the evolution of the American right since the 1950s, in an interview with elDiario.es.
Most of the citizens, including a minority of Republicans, now support this impeachment process.
As provided by the Constitution, the president’s disapproval now passes to the Senate, which acts as a political court and decides whether the president should be removed from office. In this case, since the Senate sessions are suspended until after the new president takes office, the debate and vote on Trump’s guilt will be when he is no longer in office. Now, the Senate can also vote on removing Trump from public office for life.
17 Republicans … or less
For the political condemnation of the president, the support of two thirds of the senators present is necessary. The new Senate after the elections is made up of 50 Democratic and 50 Republican senators, with Vice President Kamala Harris’ casting vote. To condemn the president, if all the senators were present, the vote in favor of 17 Republicans would be necessary. If senators were absent, it would take fewer votes to pass the sentence.
So far, half a dozen senators have condemned the president’s actions and believe they should have consequences: Romney of Utah, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, Ben Sasse of Nebraska, Joni Ernst of Iowa, and Susan Collins from Maine. Mitch McConnell, the leader of the Republicans in the Senate and until now Speaker of the Upper House, is in favor of the process of impeachment according to him New York Times, but this Wednesday he said he has not yet decided how he will vote. No Republican senator has made it clear that they will vote to convict Trump. CBS asked all Republican senators and nine answered that will vote against
The process of impeachment of the United States comes from the English tradition by a rule of the fourteenth century. In the United Kingdom it is no longer used, but that is how it remained in the United States Constitution. Alexander Hamilton, Secretary of the Treasury and founder of the country very concerned about the possible rise to power of tyrants, explained that the impeachment it was “a method of national investigation of the conduct of public men” who may have violated “the public trust.”
In the history of the United States, only two presidents have been formally impeded by the House of Representatives: Andrew Johnson, in 1868, and Bill Clinton, in 1998. In both cases, the Senate voted in their favor later. In 1974, Richard Nixon resigned before the House of Representatives voted when he realized he was losing the support of his fellow Republicans.