As a result, 232 legislators – 222 Democrats and 10 Republicans – voted for the removal of Trump from power, against 197 Republicans and none of the Democrats. There are no abstentions. Several people did not take part in the vote, which took approximately 40 minutes, due to precautions related to COVID-19. President Trump oversaw the impeachment proceedings primarily from the Oval Office, according to a US administration official, NBC News reported.
Thus, Trump became the first American president to be impeached twice during his rule. Some MPs voted in person in the conference room, some through their assistants, who came to the podium and announced the decision of the congressmen. During the pre-vote debate, Democratic-controlled House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Trump “must go,” adding that he “poses a clear and real danger to the nation we all love.” Doug LaMalfa, a California Republican, said the House session was dedicated to “unbridled Democratic hatred of this president.”
Although Trump’s first impeachment in 2019 did not bring House Republican votes, this time ten of them broke with the party to join Democrats, claiming Trump had broken his vow to defend U.S. democracy. This is more than originally anticipated. Among them was Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, the third-seat Republican in the House of Representatives and the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney. The previous record of votes against the party leader was in 1998, when five Democrats voted to impeach Bill Clinton.
Earlier, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell rejected calls from Democrats to reconvene a meeting of the upper house for an immediate trial. This, notes Reuters, almost guarantees that Trump will not be fired until his term expires next week.
Under the US Constitution, impeachment in the House of Representatives initiates a Senate trial. Trump’s conviction and removal would require a two-thirds majority in the Republican-led Senate, which means that at least 17 Republicans in the 100-member house will have to join the Democrats. McConnell said the trial could not begin until the Senate returns for a regular session on January 19, just a day before Biden’s inauguration. However, according to sources, the trial in the Senate may continue even after Trump officially leaves office.
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