Democrats launch impeachment of Trump

 

The Democrats formally introduced their resolution to impeach President Donald Trump for a second time on Monday, charging him with "incitement of insurrection" for his role in the Capitol riots.

The single impeachment article accuses Mr Trump of making repeated false claims about widespread fraud in the US election.

 

It further accuses him of inciting his supporters to interrupt a vote on Joe Biden's Electoral College victory in Congress and pressuring Georgia's secretary of state to overturn Mr Biden's victory in that state.

House Democrats gathered Monday local time to officially push Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment and remove President Trump after last week's violent US Capitol siege.

 

But that motion was immediately blocked by Republicans, and Democrats moved to bring impeachment proceedings to the floor in a bid to make Mr Trump the only commander in chief to be impeached twice.

 

A vote is expected in the House this week.

"In all this, President Trump gravely endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of Government," the resolution said. "He threatened the integrity of the democratic system, interfered with the peaceful transition of power, and imperilled a coequal branch of Government. He thereby betrayed his trust as President, to the manifest injury of the people of the United States.

"These insurrectionary protests were widely advertised and broadly encouraged by President Donald J. Trump, who repeatedly urged his millions of followers on Twitter and other social media outlets to come to Washington on January 6 to 'Stop the Steal' of the 2020 Presidential election."

The resolution also referred to the Constitution's 14th Amendment, noting that it "prohibits any person who has 'engaged in insurrection or rebellion against' the United States" from holding office.

 

But House Republicans blocked quick consideration of the bill, triggering an automatic adjournment until Tuesday morning local time - when the House will move straight to impeachment proceedings if, as expected, Mr Pence has not invoked the 25th.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi told Democrats that the House would proceed with bringing an impeachment resolution to the floor this week unless Mr Pence moves to invoke the 25th Amendment with a majority of the Cabinet to remove Mr Trump from power.

"As the days go by, the horror of the ongoing assault on our democracy perpetrated by this President is intensified and so is the immediate need for action," she said.

 

The impeachment articles accuse Mr Trump of "inciting an insurrection" as politicians gathered to certify Joe Biden's Electoral College victory last Wednesday, and have drawn more than 180 co-sponsors.

Pelosi admitted in a 60 Minutes interview that a major reason for moving towards a second d impeachment was to try and bar Trump from being able to run again, potentially in 2024.

"This President is guilty of inciting insurrection," Ms Pelosi said, describing Mr Trump as being a "deranged, unhinged, dangerous President of the United States".

"We are calling on the Vice President to respond within 24 hours. Next, we will proceed with bringing impeachment legislation to the Floor."

Republican leader Mitch McConnell said the Senate would not consider the impeachment case until after the inauguration, while senior Democrat, House whip Jim Clyburn, said it was possible the matter would not be sent to the Senate until after Mr Biden's first 100 days in office.

 

"Let's give President-elect Biden the 100 days he needs to get his agenda off and running," Mr Clyburn said. "And maybe we will send the articles some time after that.

"We will take the vote that we should take in the House. And Nancy Pelosi will make the determination as to when is the best time to get that vote and get the managers appointed and move that legislation over to the Senate."

American networks reported that Mr Pence and Mr Trump have not spoken since the riots as the FBI warned of armed protests in all 50 states should the President be removed before the January 20 Inauguration Day.

 

An FBI bulletin obtained by ABC News raised alarm about a group calling for the "storming" of state, local, and federal government administrative buildings and courthouses should President Trump be removed before inauguration.

 

MELANIA CONDEMNS 'VIOLENT' TRUMP SUPPORTERS

Breaking her silence on the chaos gripping the US, First Lady Melania Trump has condemned a group of her husband's supporters who stormed the Capitol building, saying she was "disappointed and disheartened" by the violence.

She also slapped down her own critics who have questioned her whereabouts during the riots after she was nowhere to be seen during the chaos that resulted in the deaths of at least five people.

 

"I am disappointed and disheartened with what happened last week," Mrs Trump said in a 600-word statement released by the White House.

"I find it shameful that surrounding these tragic events there has been salacious gossip, unwarranted personal attacks, and false misleading accusations on me - from people who are looking to be relevant and have an agenda.

"This time is solely about healing our country and its citizens. It should not be used for personal gain."

 

She went on to confirm that she condemns the violence, dubbing it "never acceptable."

"Our Nation must heal in a civil manner. Make no mistake about it, I absolutely condemn the violence that has occurred on our Nation's Capitol. Violence is never acceptable."

Five people, including a US Capitol Police officer and a pro-Trump Air Force veteran, died in the riots.

"I pray for their families comfort and strength during this difficult time," the First Lady said.

 

In her statement, she said it "has been the honour of my lifetime to serve as your first lady."

"I want to thank the millions of Americans who supported my husband and me over the past 4 years and shown the incredible impact of the American spirit," she said. "I am grateful to you all for letting me serve you on platforms which are dear to me."

Mrs Trump's top aide, Stephanie Grisham, resigned last week.

The first lady did not address her husband's role in inciting the mob that attacked the Capitol.

 

 

THOUSANDS OF TROOPS HEADING FOR DC

More than 10,000 National Guard troops from a dozen starts are on their way to DC as warnings ramp up of potential violence there before Joe Biden's January 20 inauguration.

The beefed up security plans follow comments from the Department of Defence that it was aware of "further possible threats posed by would-be terrorists in the days up to and including Inauguration Day", Congressman Jason Crow said in a statement.

The Department of Homeland Security is working with the Defence Department, local DC authorities and inauguration officials to hone the law enforcement response, including putting up non-scalable fencing and security checkpoints around Capitol Hill.

"Now that it happened people will take it much more seriously," a senior DHS official told CNN. "Now, the planners, they are all going to take it much more seriously."

Meanwhile, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser has called for a "pre-disaster declaration" for Mr Biden's inauguration to increase security following the deadly US Capitol riots.

"We believe strongly that the 59th Presidential Inauguration on January 20 will require a very different approach than previous inaugurations given the chaos, injury, and death experienced at the United States Capitol during the insurrection," Mayor Bowser wrote in a letter to the Department of Homeland Security.

 

The Mayor did not request federal law enforcement backup ahead of the Capitol Hill mayhem.

But she has now asked for a "pre-disaster declaration" for the inauguration amid "new threats from insurgent acts of domestic terrorists".

 

"This declaration will enhance and direct federal assistance needed to prepare for the Inauguration," Mayor Bowser said.

She has faced criticism for the district being so woefully unprepared for the invasion on Capitol Hill that killed five people.

 

The Democrat defended a letter that declined additional federal law enforcement before Wednesday's riots, saying that the district "already requested federal support and it was granted in the form of the DC national guard".

 

GOLF "MAJOR" STRIPPED FROM TRUMP COURSE TO PROTECT BRAND

The 2022 PGA Championship - one of the four prestigious men's Major tournaments - will not be played at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster in New Jersey, according to an announcement from PGA of America President Jim Richerson.

"The PGA of America Board of Directors voted tonight to exercise the right to terminate the agreement to play the 2022 PGA Championship at Trump Bedminster," Richerson said in a written statement.

But the Trump Organisation said the termination was a breach of contract.

 

"It has become clear that conducting the PGA Championship at Trump Bedminster would be detrimental to the PGA of America brand, it would put at risk the PGA's ability to deliver our many programs, and sustain the longevity of our mission," Richerson added in a video address. "It was a decision made to ensure that PGA of America and the PGA Professionals can continue to lead and grow our great game for decades to come."

The Trump Organization said that the decision to pull the 2022 PGA Championship from Trump National Golf Club Bedminster in New Jersey "is a breach of a binding contract and they have no right to terminate the agreement", CNN reported.

 

The PGA of America did not announce a replacement course to host the tournament, which is slated to be played in May 2022.

 

 

BIDEN ANNOUNCES DIPLOMAT FOR CIA TOP JOB

President-elect Joe Biden will nominate former ambassador to Russia and Jordan, William Burns, as his CIA director.

Veteran diplomat Burns, 64, spent more than three decades at the State Department under both Republican and Democratic presidents.

"Bill Burns is an exemplary diplomat with decades of experience on the world stage keeping our people and our country safe and secure," Mr Biden said.

"He shares my profound belief that intelligence must be apolitical and that the dedicated intelligence professionals serving our nation deserve our gratitude and respect.

 

"Ambassador Burns will bring the knowledge, judgment, and perspective we need to prevent and confront threats before they can reach our shores. The American people will sleep soundly with him as our next CIA Director."

Burns was the executive secretary of the State Department and special assistant to former Secretaries of State Warren Christopher and Madeleine Albright; minister-counsellor for political affairs at the US Embassy in Moscow; and acting director and principal deputy director of the State Department's policy planning staff.

He received three Presidential Distinguished Service Awards and the highest civilian honours from the Pentagon and the US intelligence community.

Burns earned a bachelor's degree in history from LaSalle University and master's and doctoral degrees in international relations from Oxford University.

 

Originally published as Democrats launch impeachment of Trump



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