The House of Representatives impeached President Donald Trump Wednesday for “incitement of insurrection” against the United States.
Trump is now the only American president to be impeached two times. Two other presidents also were impeached and found not guilty of charges. Trump received the same ruling last year in his 2019 impeachment.
The impeachment comes just seven days before Trump leaves office. President-elect Joe Biden will be sworn-in as president on January 20.
The House voted 232 to 197 for impeachment.
The vote came a week after thousands of Trump supporters carried out a deadly attack and occupation of the U.S. Capitol Building. The Congress was meeting at the time to officially declare Joe Biden the winner of the 2020 presidential election. Lawmakers and others fled and hid, among them Vice President Mike Pence. Five people died as a result of the violence.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi opened the impeachment debate. The Democrat said, "We know that the President of the United States incited this insurrection, this armed rebellion against our common country. He must go, he is a clear and present danger to the nation that we all love."
Pelosi added that Trump has “repeatedly lied” about the results of the presidential election. Trump, she said, raised “doubt about democracy."
Republican House member Jim Jordan of Ohio led a defense for the president. He said, “In seven days there will be a peaceful transfer of power just like there has been every other time in our country, but Democrats are going to impeach President Trump again. This doesn’t unite the country.”
House minority leader, Republican Kevin McCarthy voted against impeachment, but he said, “The President bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack.”
Representative Liz Cheney, a powerful Republican lawmaker, and nine other Republicans joined Democrats in voting for impeachment.
Cheney said in a statement before the vote, “There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.”
Dan Newhouse of Washington state is another Republican lawmaker who voted for impeachment. He said of the president, “Last week, there was a domestic threat at the door of the Capitol, and he did nothing to stop it.” Newhouse said, “I will vote yes…” to applause from some in the House.
Trump was charged with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress in his first impeachment. At the time, only Democratic lawmakers voted to impeach. The next month, the Republican-controlled Senate cleared Trump of all charges.
This second impeachment will now go to the Senate for trial.
Republican Senator Mitch McConnell, the outgoing majority leader, said the trial will not start until after January 19. He said it would be best “if Congress and the executive branch spend the next seven days completely focused” on a safe and orderly transfer of power to the incoming Biden Administration.
McConnell was fiercely opposed to Trump’s first impeachment. He has expressed no opposition to this one. He told members of the Republican Party that he is undecided about how he might vote in the trial. Several other Republican senators have expressed similar openness.
With Vice President-elect Kamala Harris to become presiding officer and tie-breaking vote, Democrats will control the Senate on January 20 for the historic second impeachment trial against Trump.
I'm Caty Weaver.
Hai Do wrote this story for Learning English. Caty Weaver was the editor.
Words in This Story
insurrection - n. a usually violent attempt to take control of a government
doubt - n. a feeling of being unsure about something
transfer - n. a process of moving something to another
bear - v. to accept
oath - n. a formal and serious promise to do something
applause - n. show of approval by striking hands together
focus - v. to direct your attention to something