Donald Trump to be charged with incitement to insurrection

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President Donald Trump.  Picture: AP Photo/Patrick Semansky
President Donald Trump. Picture: AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

NEWS


US Democrats plan to introduce an article of impeachment against President Donald Trump for his role in Wednesday’s invasion of the US Capitol building in Washington, DC.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she would proceed with impeachment if Trump did not resign immediately.

The charge of incitement to insurrection is set to be introduced by House Democrats tomorrow.

They accuse Trump of encouraging the riot in Congress, in which five people died.

President-elect Joe Biden said that it was for Congress to decide whether to impeach the president, but he had thought “for a long time that President Trump was not fit to hold the job”.

Read: US Capitol stormed by Trump ‘extremists’ as Biden calls for the president to ‘step up’

The White House dismissed the impeachment plan as a “politically motivated” move that would “only serve to further divide our great country”.

Nearly 160 House of Representatives Democrats have signed on to the bill, which congresspeople Ted Lieu of California and David Cicilline of Rhode Island began drafting while they were sheltering in place during Wednesday’s chaos at the Capitol.

If the process does go ahead, it would be the second time the House has pursued impeachment against Trump.

In December 2019, the lower chamber impeached Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. But the Republican-controlled Senate acquitted him on both charges last February.

No US president has been impeached twice and the prospect of an impeachment conviction seems remote because of Trump’s support in the Senate.

An explosion caused by a police munition is seen while supporters of President Donald Trump gather in front of the US Capitol Building in Washington DC on January 6, 2021.

However, one moderate Republican senator, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, told the Anchorage Daily News on Friday that Trump simply “needs to get out”. Republican Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska, a regular critic of Trump, said he would “definitely consider” impeachment.

But there is so far no indication that enough members of the Republican party would agree to convict Trump.

That means an impeachment in the House might only be a symbolic action to hold Trump accountable for the invasion of Congress.

An internal Senate memo says the soonest it could take up any articles of impeachment from the House would be on January 19, the day before Trump’s term expires, and a trial could only begin after he had left office.

Constitutional experts are split on whether impeachment can still proceed to a Senate trial in this event.

Read: What does US-CHINA decoupling mean for emerging markets?

If convicted, Trump would lose benefits granted to former presidents, and senators could vote to bar him permanently from public office. – BBC.com


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