President Donald Trump and his allies were “stoking the anger of a violent mob,” Democratic Rep. Jim McGovern, chairman of the House Rules Committee, remarked as he formally opened the proceedings on Wednesday that led to the unprecedented second impeachment of the outgoing commander in chief.
“A member of this very body proclaimed on that stage, today is the day American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass,” the Massachusetts congressman stated.
“Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani called for trial by combat. Then Donald Trump told the crowd, ‘we’re going to have to fight much harder. You’ll never take back our country with weakness.”
Despite some pushback from die-hard Trump supporters in Congress, the House pushed forward with impeachment. Unlike the January 2020 impeachment, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), the Republican leader in the Senate, has declared support for impeaching Trump.
At least seven other Republicans have also voiced support for impeachment.
A Senate trial takes place next – lawmakers have not scheduled the proceedings.
If convicted in the Senate, Trump would no longer be eligible to hold public office, lose his $200,000 pension for the rest of his life and forfeit a $1 million per year travel allowance.
Trump would still maintain eligibility for secret service protection.
The House impeachment resolution that passed on Wednesday cited “incitement and insurrection” for the president’s role in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
Before introducing impeachment legislation, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) attempted to pass a resolution to ask Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove the president from office.
The law has only been used a handful of times, most recently when, on June 8, 2002, President George W. Bush’s powers were transferred to Vice President Dick Cheney for about an hour because Bush had been sedated for a medical procedure.
Section 4 of the Amendment strips power from the president.
It states that “the vice president and a majority of Cabinet can deem the president unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.”
If the 25th Amendment were invoked, Pence would assume the presidency and serve out what’s left in Trump’s term.
However, Pence declined to invoke the measure.
“[Trump] needs to be removed. He’s dangerous,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) stated, echoing the sentiments of more than 200 members of Congress.
In the impeachment legislation, Congress members wrote that the president “demonstrated that he would 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.”
Further, the resolution states, “President Trump warrants impeachment and trial, removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit under the United States.”
Specifically, the resolution identifies Trump’s January 2 phone call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger urging him to “find” enough votes to overturn the state’s election results.
“We cannot allow this unprecedented provocation to go unanswered,” House members said in a statement. “Everyone involved in this assault must be held accountable, beginning with the man most responsible for it – President Donald Trump. We cannot begin to heal the soul of this country without first delivering swift justice to all its enemies — foreign and domestic.”
This article appeared originally in The Washington Informer.