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House votes to impeach Trump, making him first president to be impeached twice

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UPDATED 5:41 pm (ET)

The U.S. House of Representatives have voted 232-197 in favor of impeaching President Donald Trump on the single charge of “high crimes and misdemeanors” for “willful incitement of insurrection” regarding last week’s deadly pro-Trump Capitol riot. There were five no-votes.

Trump is now the first president in U.S. history to be impeached more than once.

House Democrats were joined by 10 Republicans in casting “yays” for impeachment. Most notable among these Republicans is the No. 3 GOP member of the House, Rep. Liz Cheney (Wyo.). Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, said of Trump’s actions calling the mob to Washington, D.C. last Wednesday that “there has never been a greater betrayal by a President” of his office.

Republicans who joined Cheney include Reps. Anthony Gonzalez (Ohio), Tom Rice (S.C.), Dan Newhouse (Wash.), Adam Kinzinger (Ill.), John Katko (N.Y.), Jaime Herrera Beutler (Wash.), and David Valadao (Calif.). Four Republicans did not vote.

Trump’s legacy is now in the hands of the U.S. Senate, who will vote whether to impeach the soon-departing president after a trial is held. After the House vote, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell issued a statement confirming reports that he will not reconvene the Senate’s 100 members earlier than January 19, the day before President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, to begin the trial.

“Given the rules, procedures, and Senate precedents that govern presidential impeachment trials, there is simply no chance that a fair or serious trial could conclude before President-elect Biden is sworn in next week,” McConnell said.

“Even if the Senate process were to begin this week and move promptly,” the Kentucky Republican argued, “no final verdict would be reached until after President Trump has left office.”

By the time the Senate reconvenes, McConnell will become the minority leader, due to the two January 5 Senate runoff races in Georgia that saw Democrats sweep both seats. Democrats will control 50 seats and have Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, effectively giving them a majority in the upper chamber—albeit an extremely narrow and delicate one. Moreover, they will have “the trifecta”: the House, Senate, and White House.

There is also the question of if McConnell will vote to convict Trump, about which there has been an abundance of reports and speculation, with the bulk of these reports indicating that he thinks Trump committed an impeachable offense.

Despite this, prior to the House impeachment vote, Sahil Kapur of NBC News reported that a McConnell aide told him the longtime Republican is telling his party colleagues he’s undecided on impeachment.

On McConnell’s behalf, the aide wrote that “while the press has been full of speculation, I have not made a final decision on how I will vote and I intend to listen to the legal arguments when they are presented to the Senate.”

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar kicked off House Foreign Affairs Committee

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Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar was voted off the House Foreign Affairs Committee Thursday. The action was expected, as Republican members of Congress had criticized Omar’s antisemetic and anti-American rhetoric.

After intense debating on the House floor, the resolution passed with a 218-211 vote. Democrats attempted to pull the race card, accusing Republican House members of racism for removing Omar from the committee.

Omar also accused House Republicans of racism, saying, “I am Muslim, I am an immigrant, and interestingly, from Africa…Is anyone surprised that I am being targeted? Is anyone surprised that I am somehow deemed unworthy to speak about American foreign policy, or that they see me as a powerful voice that needs to be silenced?”

“There is this idea that you are a suspect if you are an immigrant or if you are from certain parts of the world or certain skin tone or a muslim.” Omar said during the heated debate. A fiery Alexandria Ocasia Cortez also chimed in shouting, “This is an attack on women of color!”

Republican Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, from New York, said she had personally witnessed Omar spew anti-American rhetoric. Malliotakis said, “I have been in that committee room where, the representative, equates Israel and the United States to Hamas and the Taliban. Absolutely unacceptable for a member of that committee.”

A four-page resolution was written for the justification of removing Omar from the house Foreign Affairs Committee. The resolution states that in 2019, Omar suggested that Jewish people were buying U.S. political support when she posted on Twitter, “it’s all about the Benjamins, baby.”

Omar also commented on the September 11th attacks saying, “some people did something.” This type of comment is unacceptable for any representative who is sitting on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, lawmakers said.

In the resolution it states that members of this committee should all be held to an “equal standard of conduct due to the international sensitivities and national security concerns under the jurisdiction of this committee.”

 

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