(in 3rd paragraph Biden’s first name and party inserted)
WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) – After the storming of the US Capitol by supporters of Donald Trump the House of Representatives has opened another impeachment procedure against the elected president. The Congress Chamber voted by a majority on Wednesday that Trump must answer in the Senate for “inciting a riot”. Trump goes down in history: never before have two impeachment proceedings been opened against a US president.
In the vote in the Congress Chamber, several Republican MPs also voted to remove their party colleagues from office. The background to this is the storming of the US Capitol by supporters of Trump, for which the president is made personally responsible in the impeachment resolution.
Angry Trump supporters broke into the Capitol on Wednesday last week after an inciting speech by the president. There Congress met to formally confirm the election victory of Democrat Joe Biden. Several people were killed in the riots. The unprecedented outbreak of violence in the political center of the US caused a shock both nationally and abroad.
The Democrats accused Trump of instigating the riots and within a few days prepared impeachment proceedings against him. In the resolution opening the procedure, Trump is described as “a threat to national security, democracy and the constitution”.
Trump now has to face an impeachment process in the Senate. The decision in impeachment proceedings is always made in this Congress Chamber, which takes on the role of a court in the procedure. In the Senate, a two-thirds majority would be needed to condemn Trump in the end. To do this, numerous Republican senators would have to side with the Democrats. As things stand, it is unclear whether this could happen. The exact schedule for the further procedure is also open.
Trump will automatically leave office with the swearing-in of his Democratic successor Joe Biden on January 20. In all likelihood, a decision in the impeachment process will not be made until after Trump’s term of office ends.
In addition to impeachment, the resolution also provides that Trump should be banned from future government offices. This would mean that he would not be allowed to run for president in 2024. Therefore the impeachment procedure would be more than a symbolic step. Leading Democrats had also argued that it was important to set an example to condemn Trump’s actions and thus prevent similar misconduct by future presidents.
Trump had already undergone impeachment proceedings during his tenure – as only the third president in the history of the United States. In the first trial he had to answer in the so-called Ukraine affair for abuse of power and obstruction of congressional investigations. In February 2020, however, he was ultimately acquitted of all charges – with a majority of his Republicans in the chamber. Since then, however, some party colleagues have turned away from him. The riots at the Capitol had aroused great indignation in the ranks of the Republicans too. / Jac / DP / he