United States

Democrats begin impeachment process against Trump

Democrats have begun a process to impeach President Donald Trump for his role in the violence at the US Capitol.
Democrats have begun a process to impeach President Donald Trump for his role in the violence at the US Capitol. AP - Evan Vucci

Congressional Democrats have initiated the process of impeaching US President Donald Trump for a historic second time, for his role in the storming of the US Capitol by his supporters on 6 January.


Accusing him of “incitement of insurrection”, the resolution in the House of Representatives calls for Vice President Mike Pence and the cabinet to remove Trump under the Constitution’s 25th amendment, which allows the removal of the President deemed unfit for office.

House Republicans blocked an immediate adoption of the resolution, forcing a vote, and Democrats followed up by introducing an article of impeachment of Trump for “incitement of insurrection”.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi hit out at House Republicans, accusing them of enabling Trump’s “unhinged, unstable and deranged acts of sedition to continue.”

“Their complicity endangers America, erodes our Democracy, and it must end,” she said in a statement.

Pelosi said the House would vote on Tuesday on the demand for Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment, and would give him 24 hours to respond. 

According to House majority leader Steny Hoyer, the House of Representatives could vote on impeachment as early as Wednesday. 

Trump was already impeached once by the Democratic-controlled House in December 2019 for pressuring the Ukrainian president to dig up political dirt on Biden. He was acquitted by the Republican-majority Senate.

If the House again votes to impeach, Trump would be the first US President to be formally charged for a second time with “high crimes and misdemeanours.”

Trump has been largely silent in recent days, making few statements and holding no news conferences. Twitter, his favoured public platform, has banned him for language that could incite violence.

Even with time running short, Democrats likely have the votes in the House to impeach Trump again and Congressman David Cicilline, who introduced the resolution, told reporters afterward he expects it will find Republican backing.

"This was an attempted coup, to overthrow the government, and we have a responsibility as Congress to respond to that," said Cicilline.

- (with AFP and Reuters)

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