The US House of Representatives, dominated by the Democrats, has decided to initiate impeachment proceedings against Trump. Several Republicans also voted in favor. The next step is for the Senate to decide.
“Incitement to riot” is the name of the charge. The US House of Representatives voted for impeachment proceedings against outgoing President Donald Trump. The background to this is the behavior of Trump before and during the storming of the Capitol last week. The process was initiated by the Democrats, but many Republicans have since turned their backs on their president.
At the meeting in the House of Representatives, Chairwoman Nancy Pelosi described Trump as a “threat to the country”. The Republican has incited “domestic terrorists” to fight back against his election defeat. The attackers did not come from a vacuum, explained Pelosi. Trump was guilty of incitement and he must be held accountable for this.
The Democrats are concerned with principle
Senior Republicans see it the same way as the Democrat. Trump should have “condemned the mob as soon as he saw what was going on,” said House Republican minority leader Kevin McCarthy. “The president is not without guilt.” At the same time, however, he refused to initiate impeachment proceedings against him. Such a vote would further divide this nation, McCarthy said. Nevertheless, Trump should be held accountable. He advocated a commission of inquiry and a resolution in which a reprimand against the president should be formulated.
The Democratic majority leader Steny Hoyer campaigned for an impeachment at the end of the session. Even if it no longer takes place before the end of Trump’s term in office, it is about principle, about defending the constitution and democracy, said Hoyer.
Proceedings ceased during Trump’s tenure
Next, the Senate has to vote. But that is not expected to happen until January 19, when the Congress Chamber meets for its next session – one day before the regular end of Trump’s term of office. A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell confirmed that there would be no extraordinary session before that.
The impeachment proceedings would then also take place in the Senate, which is similar to a court case. A two-thirds majority is required in this chamber to convict Trump. For that to happen, well over a dozen Republican senators would have to side with the Democrats. Individual Republicans in the Senate have openly opposed Trump, but so far have not agreed to the impeachment. McConnell said in a letter to his party colleagues that he had not yet made up his mind.
Trump is the first US president in history against whom two impeachment proceedings have been opened. In a first trial he had to answer in the so-called Ukraine affair, among other things, for abuse of power. He was eventually acquitted in the Republican-dominated Senate.