14 January 2021 02:40
Definition of process faced by Donald Trump – and what happens next Democrats are calling for the president to be impeached after rioters stormed the US Capitol last week Democrats are are attempting to impeach Donald Trump after he incited his supporters to storm the US Capitol last week. In December 2019, President Trump was impeached for pressuring the Ukrainian president to investigate President-elect Biden, but the Senate acquitted him in February 2020. However many Democrats – including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi – want him to be removed again for "inciting violence against the government". While there are calls to impeach President Trump it seems unlikely that a trial would take place before he leaves office on 20 January (Photo: AP) For the 25th Amendment to be invoked, Vice President Mike Pence and the majority of the Cabinet would need to declare Mr Trump unfit to perform the duties of the presidency. Impeachment begins with a vote in the House of Representatives on the articles of impeachment, which is essentially a list of charges against the president.
Ms Pelosi has introduced a charge of "incitement of insurrection" against Mr Trump, following the deadly riots that took place at the Capitol in Washington DC on Wednesday, when Mr Trump addressed his supporters. If the vote passes with a simple majority, then the President has been impeached and is then subject to a trial in the Senate. After the trial, the Senate votes on whether to convict and remove the President from office. The last time Mr Trump was impeached, Republicans controlled the Senate so he was easily able to stay in power. US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi wants President Donald Trump to be removed for 'inciting violence against the government' after the Capitol riots last week (Photos: AFP) A vote to impeach Mr Trump will be held on Wednesday, when he could become the only president in US history to have been impeached twice.
He tweeted: "It's important to impeach & convict this president even if he has [a] few days left in office. The House of Representatives will vote on Wednesday on an article of impeachment against incumbent US president, Donald Trump. As the US election votes were being certified, pro-Trump rioters stormed the US Capitol, and five people died during the incident. Vice President Mike Pence has resisted calls to invoke the US Constitution's 25th Amendment, which would allow Mr Trump to be removed from office. Mr Pence said in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi: "I do not believe that such a course of action is in the best interest of our Nation or consistent with our Constitution." Subsequently, the House will now push forward with an impeachment vote today (Wednesday, January 13). The Democrats hold the majority in the House, and therefore it is likely Mr Trump will become the first US president to have been impeached twice after this week's proceedings. D onald Trump is tonight expected to become the first US president to be impeached twice, a week after a mob of his supporters stormed the Capitol building. Three previous impeachments - of Presidents Andrew Johnson, Bill Clinton and Trump - took months before a final vote, including investigations and hearings. Mr Trump is accused of inciting last Wednesday's riot that left five dead, including a Capitol police officer, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said: "We must take action". That's what happened in 2019 when the House impeached Trump over his dealings with the president of Ukraine. With so few days to act before Trump leaves office, Democrats feel there is little need to investigate what happened. Once the House votes to impeach, the articles and evidence would be sent to the Senate, where a trial would be held and there would be final votes to convict or acquit. It's what the Senate did in early February of last year after Trump was impeached the first time. (Supporters of US President Donald Trump protest inside the US Capitol / AFP via Getty Images) On Tuesday, five Republicans said they would support impeachment. No Republicans supported Trump's first impeachment in 2019. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the No3 Republican in the House and the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, said she would vote to impeach Trump because "there has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution". New York Republican John Katko was the first in his party to say he'd vote to impeach. "To allow the president of the United States to incite this attack without consequence is a direct threat to the future of our democracy," Katko said. If the House votes to impeach Trump what happens next? Once the House passes the articles, Pelosi can decide when she sends them to the Senate. Some Democrats suggested Pelosi might wait to send the articles and allow Biden to begin his term without impeachment hanging over him. Related Republicans break ranks ahead of Trump impeachment vote If the trial isn't held until Trump is already out of office, it could still have the effect of preventing him from running for president again. It's unlikely, for now, that enough Republicans would vote to convict, since two-thirds of the Senate is needed. Only one Republican voted to convict Trump last year, Utah's Mitt Romney. Before proceeding with impeachment, the House pressed Vice President Mike Pence and the Cabinet to remove Trump more quickly and surely, warning that he is a threat to democracy in the few remaining days of his presidency. The House approved a resolution late on Tuesday calling on Pence and the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment to the Constitution to declare the president unable to serve. Pence, who was among those forced to take shelter inside the Capitol complex during the attack, said before the vote that he would take no such action, leaving politicians with impeachment as their only option to remove Trump from office before January 20, when President-elect Biden is set to be sworn in as president.