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Trump impeached, again; may never be able to run for president

Twitter: @realDonaldTrump

Outgoing US President Donald Trump has been impeached by the House days before leaving office, reports said.

Wednesday’s historic 232-197 vote makes Trump the only U.S. president to be impeached twice, a little more than a year since his first. It was supported by all Democrats and 10 Republicans, including Liz Cheney, the third-ranking GOP leader in the House.

 

The previous three impeachments – those of Presidents Andrew Johnson, Bill Clinton and Trump – took months before a final vote, including investigations in the House and hearings. This time it only took a week after Trump encouraged a crowd of his supporters who attacked the US Capitol.

Democrats and 10 Republicans voted to impeach Trump on one charge: incitement of insurrection.

“We know that the president of the United States incited this insurrection,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said before the vote. She called Trump “a clear and present danger to this country that we all love.”

Trump, in a video released by the White House Wednesday evening, denounced the Capitol attack and called on Americans to avoid further violence. He did not mention the impeachment vote.

He has kept an iron grip on the Republican Party for most of his four years in office. But his stoking of the angry mob of supporters that stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6 was too much for some in the GOP. Even Republicans who didn’t vote for his impeachment denounced his actions.

Outgoing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said the Senate will not begin a trial until next Tuesday, at the very earliest, which is the day before Democrat Joe Biden is sworn in as president. It’s unclear, for now, exactly how that trial will proceed and if any Senate Republicans will vote to convict Trump.

Even though the trial won’t happen until Trump is already out of office, it could still have the effect of preventing him from running for president again.

McConnell has told associates that he believes that Trump committed an impeachable offense last week when he egged on the protesters, two people familiar with the matter said. In a note Wednesday to his Republican colleague, McConnell wrote, “I have not made a final decision on how I will vote and I intend to listen to the legal arguments when they are presented to the Senate.”

The repercussions were wide. Major companies began a torrent of announcements that they would at least temporarily cut off contributions to lawmakers who joined Trump in false claims of electoral fraud and the attempt to block results of the Nov. 3 election. Twitter, which has served as Trump’s megaphone to his followers, banned him, and he was kicked off other platforms. His business also took hits as the banks handling his finances and the American golf industry that brings business to his clubs pulled away.