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Impeachment hearing: House compels Pence to declare Trump unfit as US president


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DONALD Trump, United States president, is facing a second impeachment in 13 months as the House of Representatives voted 223-205 Wednesday to compel Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 24th amendment and take over power from the president following the Capitol Hill attack.

The development followed Pence’s rejection of a letter from the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi urging him to invoke the 24th amendment.

Pelosi had written to the vice president to declare Trump unfit to serve as president of the United States just seven days to the end of his tenure.

In response to Pelosi, Pence had said that invoking the 25th amendment at this time was not in the best interest of the country, stressing that he would not join in ‘political games.’

“I do not believe that such a course of action is in the best interest of our nation or consistent with our Constitution,” Pence wrote.

The motion for the resolution was moved by Jamie Raskin, a democrat and representative of Maryland, who insisted that “the time of a 25th amendment emergency has arrived.”

During deliberation on the motion, all House Republicans but one voted against the move of a second impeachment.

“The vice president has given you your answer before you asked the question. Your ultimatum does violence to a core feature of the architecture of the Constitution,” Representative Dan Bishop, Republican of North Carolina said.

While other House Republicans voted against the move, Representative Adam Kinzinger of Illinois voted in favour of the impeachment motion.

The House resolved to reconvene Wednesday to vote on the impeachment.

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Related Story: Fear of uprising in US as House prepares Trump’s second impeachment

Can Trump be impeached again?

There are indications that the president could be impeached by the Democrat-controlled House for a second time.
However, if the president is impeached by the House, the Senate would sit to determine if he should be convicted of the allegations or not.

It is unlikely that he would be impeached by the Senate as seen in the previous impeachment by the House. Apart from all Democrats voting, about 17 Republicans would have to vote in favour of the move to achieve a two-thirds number in the Senate as stipulated by the US Constitution.

What happens if Trump is impeached?

If Trump is impeached, he would become the first US president to be impeached twice in the history of the nation.

Apart from that, Trump would be banned from engaging in politics in the US. This would make him unable to contest for presidency in 2024.He could also be prosecuted.

What led to talks of a second impeachment?

The move to impeach Trump for a second time followed charges of ‘incitement of insurrection’ at the US Capitol Hill on January 6, 2021.  Five people died in the Capitol Hill attack, including two police officers. Trump made inciting comments before the incident, asking his supporters to fight to regain their country. For many weeks, he refused to conceded defeat after losing November 2020 election to Joe Biden,a Democrat.

Trump had told his supporters to ‘fight like hell’ in clear attempt to overturn election defeat to Joe Biden, the US president-elect.

Several world leaders, including Zimbabwean president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, trolled Trump and the US over the attack on the Capitol Hill.

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“Last year, President Trump extended painful economic sanctions placed on Zimbabwe, citing concerns about Zimbabwe’s democracy.

“Yesterday’s events showed that the U.S. has no moral right to punish another nation under the guise of upholding democracy. These sanctions must end,” Mnangagwa had said.

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