The House of Representatives voted 232 to 197 with 10 Republicans joining Democrats to impeach Donald Trump for a second time on Wednesday for “incitement of insurrection” following last week’s siege on the U.S. Capitol by his supporters.
The NYT reports: “Advisers said that Mr. Trump had to be dissuaded from going to the House floor to try to defend himself during Wednesday’s impeachment proceedings, something he wanted to do during his first impeachment in December 2019, advisers said.”
Trump issued a recorded video statement following the impeachment, but didn’t mention it, instead lying about his supporters and attacking the social networks that have removed him and thus his power to incite more violence.
Said Trump in the message: “No true supporter of mine could ever endorse political violence. No true supporter of mine could ever disrespect law enforcement or our great American flag. Now I am asking everyone who has ever believed in our agenda to be thinking of ways to ease tensions, calm tempers and help to promote peace in our country.”
“Efforts to censor, cancel and blacklist our fellow citizens are wrong and they are dangerous,” Trump added. “What is needed now is for us to listen one another, not to silence one another”
The Washington Post reports: “When Trump on Wednesday became the first president ever impeached twice, he did so as a leader increasingly isolated, sullen and vengeful. With less than seven days remaining in his presidency, Trump’s inner circle is shrinking, offices in his White House are emptying, and the president is lashing out at some of those who remain. He is angry that his allies have not mounted a more forceful defense of his incitement of the mob that stormed the Capitol last week, advisers and associates said.”
Trump’s impeachment will now go to the Senate. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he would not immediately reconvene the body for a trial. McConnell told Republican Senators that the Senate won’t return until January 19, one day before Joe Biden’s inauguration.
CNN reports: “McConnell has privately indicated that he believes impeaching Trump would be the way to rid him from the party, a dramatic break between the top Republican who has worked in tandem with the Republican President over the last four years. … McConnell is furious, sources say, over Trump’s incitement of the violent riots that turned deadly at the US Capitol last week, and he also blames Trump for the party’s failure to hold the two Georgia Senate seats that went to runoffs earlier this month, losses that will send him and Republicans into the minority in the Senate for the next two years”
Democrats continue to call on McConnell to act immediately.