The US House of Representatives have voted to advance a bill to impeach Donald Trump for a second time, despite the president having just days left in office. It remains unclear what the path forward is in the Senate.
The latest article of impeachment accused Trump of “inciting an insurrection” and gained more than just Democratic support in the wake of the US Capitol riot last week, an event many blamed on the president’s rhetoric regarding election fraud. Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyoming) was among the Republicans to join the opposing party in the effort to remove Trump from office.
Opening the debate, Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Massachusetts) said members of Congress were standing at “an actual crime scene” to debate the “historic measure.”
Republicans arguing against impeachment argued the act would only further divide a fractured nation.
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“I can think of no action the House can take that is more likely to further divide the American people,” Rep. Tom Cole (R-Oklahoma) said.
The House previously passed a resolution calling on Vice President Mike Pence to begin the process of removing Trump from his position under the powers of the 25th Amendment, but this was quickly shot down by Pence.
It remains unclear how impeachment would move forward in the Senate, as members are not set to be in session until January 19, only a day before Joe Biden’s inauguration.
Incoming Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) could use emergency powers to reconvene members before then, but he would need the agreement of current Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky).
According to media reports citing people close to McConnell, whose tone when it comes to the president has become much more critical, the Kentucky senator is privately supporting impeachment efforts.
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