Donald Trump has become the first US president in history to be impeached for a second time, after being charged with “incitement of insurrection” over last week’s deadly storming of the US Capitol
The House of Representatives has impeached President Donald Trump, accusing him of encouraging violence after his false claims of election fraud during the US Presidential election.
Trump now faces trial in the upper chamber, in the Senate, but not before he leaves the White House to be replaced by Joe Biden next Wednesday.
Impeachment is when a sitting president is charged with crimes. In this case, President Trump is accused of inciting insurrection by encouraging his supporters to storm the Capitol.
The House of Representatives has impeached him, moving the case to the Senate for a trial, but a trial will not be carried out before Mr Trump leaves office on the 20th of January. A trial can happen after his term ends, and senators can vote to bar him from holding public office again.
With the impeachment, senators can vote to ban the current President him from ever holding public office again. In a video released by the White House’ Twitter account, after the vote in the House on Wednesday, Donald Trump called upon his followers to remain peaceful, without mentioning the impeachment vote.
“Violence and vandalism have no place in our country… No true supporter of mine would ever endorse political violence,” he said, striking a sombre and conciliatory tone.
The FBI has warned of possible armed protests planned for Washington DC and all 50 US state capitals in the days before Joe Biden, a Democrat, is inaugurated as the new US president.
Impeachment charges are political, not criminal. The president was accused by the House of inciting the storming of the Capitol – the seat of the US Congress, with a speech on the 6th of January to supporters outside the White House.
He urged them to “peacefully and patriotically” make their voices heard, but also to “fight like hell” against an election that he falsely told them had been stolen.
Following Mr Trump’s remarks, his supporters broke into the Capitol, forcing lawmakers to suspend certification of election results and take shelter. The building was placed on lockdown and five people died in the melee.
The article of impeachment stated that Mr Trump “repeatedly issued false statements asserting that the presidential election results were fraudulent and should not be accepted”.
It says he then repeated these claims and “wilfully made statements to the crowd that encouraged and foreseeably resulted in lawless action at the Capitol”, leading to the violence and loss of life.
This comes after US Democrats are charging United States President Donald Trump with “incitement of insurrection” as part of their attempt to impeach him, following the invasion of the US Capitol by pro-Trump supporters that left five people dead, including one police officer.
“President Trump gravely endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of government, threatened the integrity of the democratic system, interfered with the peaceful transition of power, and imperilled a coequal branch of government.”
Last week, 139 Republicans voted against accepting the result of the 2020 election and Mr Trump’s defeat.