This has never happened before in US history. The US Congress just adopted Donald Trump’s second impeachment. This makes Donald Trump the first President of the United States of America, who was impeached twice.
THE IMPEACHMENT DEBATE
The impeachment debate opened with a haunting speech by Nancy Pelosi. Just a week ago, the office of the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives was devastated by the rioters instigated by Donald Trump.
Thereby, her name badge and documents were stolen. In her speech, the impressive woman underlined once again that Donald Trump is still a clear and present danger.
After two preliminary votes, the representatives had the opportunity to make statements within 30 seconds to 3 minutes. Many recalled that exactly one week ago, they feared for their lives here.
The representatives pointed out that not just the constitution and democracy of the United States have been severely damaged.
They recalled that the world is watching this resolution and expects the person responsible for the riot to be held accountable, Donald Trump.
Probably the most moving speech of the impeachment resolution was given by the Majority Leader of the House, Steny Hoyer. The experienced, wise 81-year-old politician declared visibly moved:
It is a troubled time. A sad time. It is a time where all of us have stood up almost to a person and lamented the violence and the assault on this capitol, and the assault on democracy itself.
He quoted the Republican Chair of the Republican Conference.
She said the president of the United States summoned the mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of that attack. There has never been, she said, a greater betrayal by a president of the United States of his office and his oath to the constitution. That is why we are here today just a week before that president, at the request from American people, will leave his office.
And the issue is what do we do, the 433 of us, I believe, who are here, do on behalf of the American people to respond to what representative Cheney described happened on the 6th of January. A mob, assembled by, summoned by, and then spoken to light the flame of the attack. To stop the steal. As we sat here, exercising our constitutional duty, and to his great credit, the Vice President of the United States of America following the constitution of the United States of America, notwithstanding the fact that he was opportune by the president not to do so.
That mob sent by the president to stop the steal did so for a few hours. Not the steal, but the constitutional duty that we had. And so we ask ourselves what do we do. What is our responsibility? What should we say in light of only the civil war as an analogy? That doesn’t mean there been demonstrations in Washington and throughout this country before. But it is the first and only physical presence, other than the 9/11 attack on this nation, which came from abroad and had a plane aimed at our capitol dome.
This attack was not from abroad. It was, as Liz Cheney said, summoned, assembled, and inflamed by the president of the United States of America. Liz Cheney’s words: There has never been a greater betrayal by a president of the United States of his office and oath the constitution. I pride myself as a member of this congress who for 40 years has worked in a bipartisan fashion with many of your leaders, and do to this day.
But are we to remain silent in the face of Liz Cheney’s saying: this was the greatest betrayal of the duty of the president of the United States in history? Or are we to stand silent? Will we stand silent? Will we not stand up and say this is not acceptable? Madam Speaker, for four years Donald Trump has made no effort to hide his ambitions or his lacking of Republican principles. Not our principles, but the principles that Abraham Lincoln was just quoted as having said.
Your president, our president, has never displayed those in the four years. He has allowed little constraint on his worst inclinations, his glorification of violence has not been tempered, but rationalized, rationalized by those who sought to profit financially and politically from their proximity to power. Upon the foundation of virtue, reason, and patient wisdom, laid down by George Washington as our first president, Donald Trump has constructed a glass palace of lies, fearmongering, and sedition.
Last Wednesday on January 6th, the nation, and the world watched it shatter to pieces. There can be no mistake any longer, the kind of man sitting in the Oval Office, his intentions, and capabilities. The curtain has been pulled back. The office to which he was elected cannot temper or reform him.
Washington’s legacy was passed down to us, not as written decrees but understood norms. How we ought to act, how we ought to conduct ourselves. Term after term, each occupant has observed those norms out of a recognition that our constitutions’ articles are not the only preservative of our democracy. For more than two centuries, Madam Speaker, whenever those norms were tested and strained, good and virtuous citizens on both sides of the aisle found common purpose in reaffirming those norms. But memory fades and from time to time it must be refreshed. Madam Speaker, as the framers emerge from the constitution of the convention, Benjamin Franklin was asked whether they had made America a monarchy or republic. Probably all of us know this response. A republic, he answered, if you can keep it.
That’s the question today. If we can keep it. And the way we keep it is to say no to actions and words that do not promote the keeping of that republic. People have understood that a republic is only as stable and lasting as the citizens and leaders who commit themselves to its upkeep. This president has shown us he’s not committed to that project. His tweets, every day, have shown he is not committed to that project. Indeed, he openly disdains it and appears to prefer the alternative. But the rest of us, those who have the honor and the great privilege, and the weighty responsibility to represent the views of 750,000 of our fellow citizens, we in this congress have an opportunity, no a duty, to demonstrate our commitment both as leaders and as citizens to keeping America a republic. A republic that resolves its differences not through being ordered to come to the Capitol to prevent them from stealing the election, which was an absurd assertion from the very first day it was made.
We cannot erase the last four years. We cannot turn back the clock. But we can look to the ideals and principles inherited from great presidents, like Washington, like Jefferson, and, yes, certainly like Abraham Lincoln. And Franklin Roosevelt, and from outstanding Americans like Frederick Douglas, Harriet Tubman, Susan Anthony, Martin Luther King, and Thurgood Marshall. Our beloved John Lewis, and, yes, RBG, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who taught us a lot about equality and inclusion. It’s up to us to restore the vibrancy by reaffirming our commitment to the norms they passed on to us and entrusted to our care. But to make that possible, we must rise to this moment, and not only affirm the virtues we cherish, but reject the vices we abhor.
That’s what I’m asking my fellow representatives on both sides of the aisle to do today. We all stood and we abhorred the violence that occurred and the threat to the democracy that we hold so dear and swore an oath to protect and uphold.
Reject deceit. Reject fearmongering. Reject sedition, tyranny, and insurrection. Reject the demand over loyalty to one man. When I addressed the house over the debate over the articles of impeachment the debate over the articles of impeachment in 2017, I said the following: We need not ask who will be the first to show our courage by standing up to President Trump. The question we must ask, who will be the last to find it.
Senator McConnel, representative Cheney, a number of other representatives who have spoken on this floor with great courage. Because there is much fear of Donald Trump. There is much fear of Donald Trump’s tweets, there’s much fear of Donald Trump’s retribution for the opposition. In my view, Donald Trump demands absolute loyalty and gives none in return.
I hope others will join Liz Cheney. I hope others will be honest with themselves and with their constituents as Liz Cheney was saying, there has never been a greater betrayal by a president of the United States of his office and oath to the constitution. Don’t dismiss that. She is the daughter of a Vice President of the United States, who was the whip when I came to congress. As she has taken a stand, I hope others will as well.
Soon, the clerk will call the roll and ask for our votes. Make no mistake, this will be no ordinary roll call. This is about our country, our constitution, and our democracy. These votes will be inscribed on the role of history, a record of courage and our commitment to country and constitution, our commitment to the rule of law, and that which we inherited and hope to pass on. Unbroken. Unshattered.
With just seven days left in the president’s term, this vote is not about timing, it is about principle and fidelity to our constitution. It concerns the clear and present danger facing our country, not only in these final days of the Trump administration but in the weeks, months, and years that will follow. It is about the necessity to demonstrate to this generation and to future generations the duty we share to protect our democracy every single day.
Do not pretend, my friend, that it was simply those who came into the Capitol, encouraged by our president to stop the steal at any cost. And by the way, if the Vice President doesn’t my bidding and follows the constitution, sweep him away. We know that this President would never emulate George Washington and give up his power for the good of our republic. Even after losing an election.
Somebody talked about a peaceful transition. There has not been a peaceful transition. I don’t know what you’re talking about. You’re not living in the same country I am. It was just days ago that the president, after committing this terrible act, though he had to admit that Joe Biden might, yes, be president of the United States.
We know that this president neither recognizes norms nor reflects the rule of law. We know that this president is not a patriot. So I ask this house, who among us, will be recorded on the roll of history for their council, their commitment, the constitution, and their country?
We do this today, not for politics. We don’t need this for politics. Georgia showed that. There was no mistake in this election. We do this today to preserve and protect this great democracy. We do it for the America we love. Our America, the beautiful, whose founders sacrifices we praise in songs, o beautiful for heroes proved, in liberating strife, who more than self their country loved, and mercy more than life.
Sadly, as our current president, the appropriate words would be, who less than self his country loved and victory more than truth. Vote for this, for America, for our constitution, for democracy, for history. I yield back the balance of my time.
THE IMPEACHMENT VOTING
Then the impeachment voting started. After all, ten Republicans had the courage to vote for the impeachment. The result was 232 votes in favor versus 197 representatives who voted with no. Nancy Pelosi then stated the impeachment resolution as adopted.
A short time later, the Speaker of the House signed the impeachment article against Donald Trump, again calling him a clear and present danger.
As the House of Representatives debated to consider impeaching President Trump for his role in an assault on American democracy, National Guard troops lined the interior of the Capitol to provide extra security after the deadly riot. More here: https://t.co/m3ugpFIUg1 pic.twitter.com/nFKxDaki35— Reuters (@Reuters) January 13, 2021
It is now up to the Senate to continue the impeachment process. However, they will not meet before January 19th. Probably. After all, this is a special form of a state of emergency. The entire area around the Capitol has now transformed into a restricted zone.
Washington in a state of emergency
High fences are supposed to prevent rioting again on Joe Biden’s inauguration day. 15,000 National Guards and soldiers are detached to protect the city. More than are stationed in the war zones in which the USA was and is involved. The protectors of the Capitol were already sleeping on the hard marble floor this morning.
In all other of the 50 states of the USA, massive security precautions are being taken. Because attacks or riots are suspected everywhere. The FBI is investigating last week’s criminal rioters. Furthermore, they investigate Donald Trump himself.
ALWAYS REMEMBER HISTORY
In Germany, almost 100 years ago, an arrogant, selfish, radical narcissist could gain power over a country. Today, in an enlightened world supported by the internet and free media, this should no longer be possible. Although the Internet was a powerful communication platform for Donald Trump, it also showed the whole world the madness of the incumbent President of the United States and his acceptance of violence. Hopefully, after January 20th, things will change. It is to be hoped that the situation calms down, the wounds of the country will heal, and people, regardless of their political or religious opinion, their origin, or social class, will reunite again.