LOS ANGELES (Variety.com): The United States House of Representatives moves to impeach President Donald Trump on Wednesday (Jan 13) for inciting an insurrection, finding that he poses a threat to democracy and the US Constitution.
The vote comes just a week after pro-Trump rioters attacked the Capitol building in a doomed effort to block the certification of Joe Biden's victory in the presidential election.
It also comes with just one week left in Trump's term. Several Republicans said Tuesday (Jan 12) that they would vote in favour of the motion.
Debate over the impeachment resolution was scheduled to begin at 9am ET Wednesday (10pm in Malaysia).
The single article recounts Trump's efforts to pressure Georgia's secretary of state to "find" enough votes to overturn Biden's win in that state.
It also quotes his words at a rally at the Ellipse, when he told the crowd "if you don't fight like hell you're not going to have a country anymore."
The crowd would go on to storm the Capitol.
"In all this, President Trump gravely endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of Government," the impeachment article states.
"He threatened the integrity of the democratic system, interfered with the peaceful transition of power, and imperiled a co-equal branch of Government."
The vote will make Trump the first president ever to be impeached twice.
He would also be the first ever to be tried for impeachment after leaving office, unless Democrats and Republicans can reach an agreement to move more quickly.
If convicted by the Senate, Trump would be barred from ever holding office again.
Biden will be sworn in on Jan 20, and the Senate trial could slow down efforts to confirm his Cabinet nominees.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi last week called on Trump to resign, or for Vice-President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment, saying either option would be more efficient.
But Pence declined to invoke the amendment on Tuesday, saying that it would set a "terrible precedent."
Five people were killed in the attack, as rioters vandalised offices and members of Congress fled the floor.
Pence, who was tasked with presiding over the certification, was hustled to a secure location.
At about the same time, Trump was tweeting an attack on Pence, saying he "didn't have the courage" to cave to Trump's pressure to reject the election result.
Trump has been unrepentant in the week since, saying on Tuesday that his remarks at the "Save America Rally" near the White House were "totally appropriate."
He also hinted that the effort to impeach him would only lead to more violence, saying that the move was "causing tremendous anger and division and pain - far greater than most people will ever understand, which is very dangerous for the USA." - VARIETY.COM
Did you find this article insightful?
76% readers found this article insightful