Impeachment, Again: House indicts Trump for inciting violence, trying to subvert election

Gage Skidmore

Even though Democrat Joe Biden's inauguration was just a week away, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 232-197 on Wednesday, Jan. 13, to impeach President Donald Trump for a second time following his incitement of a mob that overran the U.S. Capitol in early January.

Five people, including a Capitol Police officer, were killed in the resulting rampage.

Ten Republicans, including Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, joined the all of the House Democrats in voting for impeachment.

The impeachment resolution states that Trump "engaged in high crimes and misdemeanors by inciting violence against the government of the United States."

It notes that while a joint session of Congress was in the process of counting the electoral votes affirming Biden's win, Trump addressed a crowd of supporters and "reiterated false claims that 'we won this election, and we won it by a landslide.' He also willfully made statements that, in context, encouraged—and foreseeably resulted in—lawless action at the Capitol, such as: 'if you don't fight like hell you're not going to have a country anymore.' Thus incited by President Trump, members of the crowd he had addressed ... unlawfully breached and vandalized the Capitol, injured and killed law enforcement personnel, menaced Members of Congress, the Vice President, and Congressional personnel, and engaged in other violent, deadly, destructive, and seditious acts."

The resolution also points to other efforts by Trump to subvert the election, such as his January phone to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to rig the election in his favor. A recording of the call was released to the media.

Trump "has demonstrated that he will remain a threat to national security, democracy and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office, and has acted in a manner grossly incompatible with self-governance and the rule of law," the resolution reads.

The vote broke along party lines, as all five Democrats in the Arizona delegation—Reps. Raul Grijalva, Ann Kirkpatrick, Tom O'Halleran, Ruben Gallego and Greg Stanton—voted in favor of impeachment. All four Republicans—Reps. Paul Gosar, Andy Biggs, Debbie Lesko and David Schweikert—voted against it.

Grijalva (D-AZ03) said Trump remains a "clear and present danger to this country and must face responsibility for his actions."

"Impeachment is reserved for the extreme situations when a President betrays their oath of office, abuses their power, and loses the trust of the American people," Grijalva said. "President Trump did exactly that as he urged deranged individuals to march on the Capitol and threaten lawmakers to overturn the results of the election and illegally install him in power. As mobs overpowered Capitol police, he refused to forcefully condemn them. He has since showed no remorse for his actions and bears responsibility for this horrific attack."

Kirkpatrick said she "did my constitutional duty and voted to remove him from office for not doing his."

"My Democratic colleagues and I took this measure swiftly and strongly so that not only is he removed from serving the rest of his term, but also so that he may never hold federal office again," said Kirkpatrick (D-AZ02). "I encourage my Republican colleagues to support the efforts to hold the President responsible for his unconscionable actions. We owe justice to Americans. Unity now is putting country over party."

O'Halleran (D-AZ01) said that Trump "refused to concede in a free and fair election, making countless attempts to overturn the results that were all struck down in courts of law. He incited insurrection by domestic terrorists who attacked our Capitol, threatening the lives of law enforcement officers, staff, and Members, and desecrating the building that represents our very democracy."

Biggs (AZ-05) said Democrats were being unfair to Trump.

"The Democrats' shameful, reckless, and partisan quest to obliterate their nemesis, Donald J. Trump, will only serve to make him a political martyr," Biggs said.

Biggs and Gosar (AZ-04) have been praised by one of the organizers of last week's Stop the Steal rally for assisting him in organizing it, according to the Washington Post.

Biggs told the Washington Post he did not help organize the rally, while Gosar did not comment to the Washington Post.

Gosar, who made a motion to reject Arizona's electoral voters during the ceremonial counting last week, did not comment to the Washington Post regarding his role in the planning of last week's events. 

The impeachment now moves to the U.S. Senate, which is expected to conduct the trial as it also moves to Democratic control.

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