Kemi Osukoya

January 13, 2021

The U.S. House of Representative voted Wednesday to impeach President Donald Trump from office, with just one week shy of the end of his presidential term.

In what is considered a historic bipartisan political move against a U.S. President, led by House Democrats, House Congressional members accused President Trump of “incitement of insurrection” against the federal government at the Capitol Hill when he encouraged his loyal supporters last week to riot against the government during the official certification of the Electoral College votes that have been tallied by states .

The riots at the Capitol Hill left several people injured and six people dead, including a Capitol Hill policeman.

In an impassioned speech, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif called the Capitol riots the “most dangerous moment” in American democracy in over a century.

“One week ago, the president incited an insurrection against Congress to prevent the peaceful transition of power. It was the most dangerous moment for our democracy in a century,” said Schiff. “Today we invoke the remedy the founders provided for just such a lawless president impeachment. More important today we begin the long road to restoration.”

“America has been through a civil war, world wars, a great depression, pandemics, McCarthyism, and now a Trumpism and white nationalist insurrection and yet our democracy endures because at every juncture, every pivotal moment when evil threatened to overtake, good patriotic Americans step forward to say, enough. This is one of those moments to preserve this sacred place, this citadel of democracy for ourselves and for posterity. Let us say, Enough,” Schiff said.

One Congressman who has had enough of President Trump’s anomalous behavior is Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas who said in his speech to his colleagues that the current American President is the “most dangerous man to ever occupy the Oval Office”

“The Oval Office, about one week ago today, when people were barging through these doors, breaking the windows, weapons, armed pipe bombs coming here to harm all of you, to harm your Speaker, to harness in it. But let me ask you a question: What if they had gotten in, what do you think they would have done to you and who do you think sent them here? If the most dangerous man to ever occupy the Oval Office inciting a deadly insurrection is not enough to get a president impeached, then what is? All of us must answer that question today. The Constitution requires us to impeach and remove Donald John Trump,” said Castro emphatically.

Following hours of debates by both parties, the House cast 232 votes for impeachment and 197 against, with five abstaining from voting, charging President Trump with “high crime and misdemeanors”

House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn, D-S.C. was also among those who voted to impeach the President, urging that Trump must be held accountable. “We have good instruction to count the Electoral votes that have been tallied by the state and submitted to us. This President refused to accept those results. Instead, he sought to overturn them by inciting a violent insurrection. But we were not deterred from doing our constitutional duty. Today, we must constitute today once again the President failed in his attempt to upend our democracy last Wednesday events,” said Clyburn.

Underscoring the weigh of the moment and the decision that Congress needed to make, the Majority Whip remarked “make clear that if we do not hold him accountable, and remove him from power, at least to attempt the fair will be successful. The survival of our democracy depends on the sitting candidates accepting their defeats whatever be the case in every presidential election since 1864. Our January 6 joint session is a vital part of the transfer of power, not the contest for power. Vice President Gore understood this, accepting and certifying the 2000 election result in which he was defeated. Vice President Biden understood this, accepted and certified this President’s victory in the 2016 election. This president refusal to participate in the peaceful transfer of power and his role inciting of last week’s violence poses an existential threat to our constitution democracy. This threat must be extinguished, immediately. This president must be impeached and convicted, and he must be prevented from ever attempting to seize power again.”

Ten House Republicans- Representatives Liz Cheney of Wyoming, Fred Upton of Michigan, John Katko of New York, Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, Jaimie Beulter of Washington, Dan Newhouse of Washington, Peter Meijer of Michigan, Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio, Tom Rice of South Carolina and David Valadao of California broke party lines to vote to impeach President Trump from office.

Speaking with reporters after the impeachment votes, Rep. Ilhan Omar, D- Minn., a major critic of President Trump and his administration, said “in defending our nation against not only foreign but domestic threats, history would not look so kindly on those who have decided to cower in this moment, who have decided to choose party and their political viability and success over their country and over their oath of office. As someone who truly believes in restorative justice. I know that there is always room for repair. There’s always room for healing. There’s always room for unity, but a precursor to any of those things is accountability, is truth and it’s justice, and without any of those things. We will not be able to accomplish unity in this house.”

The article of impeachment, signed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, will now go to the Senate for trial.

The House Speaker Pelosi- D- Calif, who led the House impeachment proceeding said “today in a bipartisan way, the house demonstrated that no one is above the law, not even the President of the United States. That Donald Trump is a clear and present danger to our country and that once again, we honor our oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, so help us God. And now I sadly, broken over what this means for our country to have a President incite insurrection, I sign the advancement of the article of impeachment.”

After Congress voted to impeach the incumbent President, President-elect Joe Biden released a statement, urging the Senate to “find a way to deal with their Constitutional responsibilities on impeachment,” while also working on vetting and approving incoming Cabinet posts such as Secretaries for Homeland Security, State, Defense, Treasury, and Director of National Intelligence.

“Last week, we saw an unprecedented assault on our democracy. It was unlike anything we have witnessed in the 244-year history of our nation.  A violent attack on the United States Capitol itself. On the people’s representatives. On police officers who every day risk their lives to protect them. And on fellow citizens who serve as public servants in that Citadel of Liberty,” Biden said in the statement. “Today, the members of the House of Representatives exercised the power granted to them under our Constitution and voted to impeach and hold the president accountable. It was a bipartisan vote cast by members who followed the Constitution and their conscience. I hope that the Senate leadership will find a way to deal with their Constitutional responsibilities on impeachment while also working on the other urgent business of this nation.” 

Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, a loyal supporter of President Trump’s agenda for the past four years stated that he does not intend to start Trump’s second impeachment trial until after the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden, by which time President Trump will be out of office.

Lawmakers from both parties, including those who didnot vote for impeachment but condemned the President’s speech that incited mob riots at the Capitol Hill on Jan. 6 said the impeachment trial is just a formality to make sure President Trump does not seek official office again.

President Trump lost his bid for a second term in office in the 2020 Presidential election.

*This news article was updated.