One week before the end of President Donald Trump’s term, the United States House of Representatives began voting on Wednesday (13) for the second impeachment process against the Republican leader.
Initiated by the Democratic bench, the president’s impeachment demand is based on the speech inciting insurgency and violence that prompted the invasion of the U.S. Congress last week by a crowd of Trump supporters.
Five people died during the episode, but the president showed no regret for inflating his supporters to “fight for real” hours before Democrat Joe Biden’s certification ceremony for victory. On the contrary, Trump says his speech was “very appropriate”.
According to the petition filed by MPs, Trump “has deliberately made statements which encouraged illegal actions” and “will remain a threat to national security, democracy and the constitution if allowed to remain in office.”
“At the president’s request, members of the crowd he addressed (…) raped and vandalized the Capitol, injured and killed security teams, threatened members of Congress, the vice-president and are engaged in acts of violence, murder and destruction. and seditious, ”the document says.
The letter also quotes Trump’s lines, such as “if you don’t really fight, you won’t have a country,” and mentions his efforts to overthrow the election he lost, such as the phone call to Georgia’s secretary of state, whom he asked to “find votes” to change the outcome, and the repeated and baseless claims that Biden’s victory was the result of widespread electoral fraud.
“In all of this, President Trump has seriously endangered the security of the United States and its government institutions. He has threatened the integrity of the democratic system, interfered with the peaceful transition of power, and endangered a branch With that, he betrayed his reliability as president, to the obvious detriment of the American people, ”the text said.
The session to discuss the president’s impeachment began shortly after 9 a.m. in Washington (11 a.m. Brasilia time), with Democratic and Republican lawmakers presenting their arguments for and against the impeachment.
The first to speak was the Chairman of the House Rules Committee, Democrat Jim McGovern. He said that as long as he stays in the White House, Trump will be a danger to the United States. McGovern also accused the Republican leader of “fueling the rage of a violent crowd” by repeating “his big lie that this election was a blatant attack on democracy.”
In the aftermath, Republican Tom Cole criticized the “rush” to vote for removal and said nothing could aggravate American divisions more than this impeachment process, although he called the Capitol invasion day as “the darkest” in the United States. his period of House service.
The impeachment process is unlikely to be able to remove Trump from office before his term ends on January 20. The goal, however, is another: to prevent him from running for president again.
In the United States, the impeachment process provides for two penalties: loss of mandate and prohibition on the defendant from returning to federal office, the latter depending on a simple majority vote after conviction.
Approval of the removal request in the House is taken for granted, as the Democrats have a majority in the House: they have 222 representatives, out of a total of 435. Then the process will go to the Senate, which saved Trump of impeachment last year. .
Additionally, while no House Republican voted in favor of Trump’s impeachment in the first instance, this time some Trump supporters were prepared to vote against the president.
In the Senate, the scenario is less predictable. One of the doubts, for example, concerns the date on which the process will go to the House. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has the option of waiting a few weeks to move forward, allowing the two new Democratic senators elected in Georgia to take office.
When they arrive, there will be 50 senators who will vote with the Democrats and 50 Republicans. The deciding vote, however, will go to Vice President-elect Democrat Kamala Harris.
The removal of a president by impeachment requires a two-thirds majority (67 senators out of 100). Then it is possible to proceed to another vote to judge the loss of political rights, which can be withdrawn by approval by a simple majority (51 senators).
Last year, Trump was acquitted by senators with 52 votes to 48 in favor of the abuse of power charge, and 53 to 47 for obstruction of Congress.
Sending the impeachment to the Senate could also be postponed so as not to distract from the start of the Biden administration, and there are already those who argue that the U.S. Legislature should only continue the process after the first hundred days of the new administration.