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The House of Representatives reached enough votes to impeach President Donald Trump on Wednesday afternoon over his role in inciting a violent riot and an attempted coup at the US Capitol that resulted in five deaths. The article of impeachment against Trump charged him with “incitement of insurrection.”
Ten Republican lawmakers broke ranks and sided with their Democratic colleagues in the impeachment vote, and Trump is the first president to be impeached twice.
The events that led up to the Capitol riots were set in motion months before January 6, as the president fed his loyalists a steady diet of lies and disinformation about the election. He falsely insisted that the only way he would lose the election was if it was fraudulent, that the race was “stolen” from him, and that he was the legitimate winner despite losing the popular vote and Electoral College vote.
After a string of defeats in courts across the country and after the Electoral College certified President-elect Joe Biden’s win on December 14, Trump turned his attention to the legislative branch in a last-ditch effort to hang onto power.
He made the false claim that Vice President Mike Pence and Congress, who count the electoral votes and formalize the president-elect’s victory, had the legal authority to “decertify” some states’ electors and throw the White House back to Trump.
Pence has no such power and his role overseeing the counting of electoral votes is largely ceremonial. Still, in the weeks before Congress met, Trump publicly and privately urged Pence to step in and block the process.
At a rally in Washington, DC, on January 6, shortly before Congress convened, the president called on thousands of his supporters to march to the Capitol and stop the peaceful transfer of power.
“You’ll never take back our country with weakness,” he told his fanatics. “You have to show strength, and you have to be strong.”
“We’re going to have to fight much harder,” he said, before unleashing the mob.
What happened next resembled a scene from a dystopian novel.
Pro-Trump insurrectionists converged on the US Capitol as lawmakers debated election challenges in the House and Senate chambers. The frenzied crowd clashed with law enforcement and eventually breached barriers set up around the Capitol as overwhelmed police officers rushed to clear the building.
Capitol Police interrupted Congress’ proceedings and frantically evacuated Pence and senior lawmakers as Trump supporters swarmed in, ransacked offices, and stole property, including records that the Justice Department said may have contained “national security equities.”
One of the rioters who participated in the siege was carrying 11 Molotov cocktails and an assault rifle, prosecutors said, while others were armed with metal pipes, ziptie handcuffs, pepper spray, and more objects used to attack law enforcement and get into the building.
Insurrectionists were seen roaming the halls of Congress with Confederate flags and banging on doors as frightened lawmakers, Hill staffers, and reporters hid under desks and behind makeshift barricades. An armed standoff …read more
Source:: Business Insider – Politics