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Senin, 11 Januari 2021

House to vote on impeaching Trump, FBI warns of ‘uprising’ - The Australian

The House will vote on impeaching Donald Trump on Wednesday.
The House will vote on impeaching Donald Trump on Wednesday.

House Democrats have introduced an article of impeachment against Donald Trump, accusing him of inciting an insurrection and announced a vote will be held on impeaching the President on Thursday (AEDT).

On Wednesday, the House will vote on a resolution demanding Vice President Mike Pence invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Mr Trump from office, Democrat leaders have confirmed.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said she plans to reconvene the full House for a vote on the 25th Amendment resolution, and if approved and Mr. Pence doesn’t act to remove Mr. Trump from office within 24 hours, the House will proceed to impeachment.

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It comes as the FBI warned of possible armed protests at all 50 state Capitols starting January 16 and lasting through Inauguration Day on January 20. The Agency sent a memo to law enforcement agencies that also warned an armed group had threatened to travel to Washington, the same day and stage an uprising if Congress removed President Donald Trump from office, US media report.

“Armed protests are being planned at all 50 state capitols from 16 January through at least 20 January, and at the US Capitol from 17 January through 20 January,” the bulletin said.

Some of the information came from social media, some from open source, and some from other sources of information.

The Pentagon has authorised up to 15,000 National Guard troops for the inauguration, according to Gen. Daniel Hokanson, the chief of the National Guard Bureau.

National Guard soldiers provide security around the US Capitol in Washington. Picture: AFP.
National Guard soldiers provide security around the US Capitol in Washington. Picture: AFP.

Joe Biden told reporters he was “not afraid” to take the oath of office outside the Capitol despite last week’s violence.

“I’m not afraid of taking the oath outside,” Mr Biden said.

The presiden’t-elect’s inauguration is already set to be a whittled down affair due to coronavirus restrictions.

Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser urged Americans to stay away from the inauguration and said she had requested that Donald Trump issue a pre-emergency declaration for the city. Mr Trump has already declared that he would not attend the swearing-in.

The White House didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment, but a spokesman for the president and many GOP politicians have said that the push for impeachment with just days left in Mr. Trump’s presidency would divide the country.

Democrats said the president and some GOP politicians’ efforts to discredit the election results had been divisive, and it was imperative that they press ahead with efforts to remove Mr. Trump for encouraging a mob that attacked the US Capitol last Thursday (AEDT).

The attackers forced their way into the Capitol, threatening politicians and disrupting a joint session of Congress to confirm President-elect Joe Biden’s electoral win. A rioter and a police officer were killed and three others died of medical emergencies.

An American Flag flies at half staff at the US Capitol to honour two Capitol Police officers who died following the violence on Capitol Hill. Picture: AFP.
An American Flag flies at half staff at the US Capitol to honour two Capitol Police officers who died following the violence on Capitol Hill. Picture: AFP.

“This was an effort to stop that process so that Donald Trump could remain in office,” said Rep. David Cicilline who was one of the writers of the article of impeachment. “This was an attempted coup to overthrow the government. And we have a responsibility in Congress to respond that we took an oath of office to defend and protect the Constitution and our democracy in the face of a direct attack on our democracy, even though it was incited by the president — or in fact because it was.”

Mr. Pence isn’t expected to move forward with a 25th Amendment process, people familiar with his thinking said. The 25th Amendment, ratified in 1967, lays out the details of presidential succession in the event that a president dies or becomes ill. One section of the amendment allows for the vice president to take over the president’s duties if the vice president and the majority of the cabinet determine that the president “is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.”

That section of the amendment has never before been invoked, and it could set off a clash between the president and his No. 2. Congress would get the final say over whether the vice president can maintain the president’s powers, which would be decided by a two-thirds majority. Republicans have enough seats to block an incapacity vote in each house of Congress.

Since releasing a statement criticising Twitter for banning his account on Friday, the president hasn’t issued any comments or appeared in public, a contrast to his typical barrage of tweets on any given weekend.

First lady Melania Trump issued a statement Monday in which she condemned last week’s violence but also took aim at her critics. “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,” she said.

Several of the president’s allies have broken with Mr. Trump since Wednesday’s riot, with some Republicans calling for him to resign and others saying they would consider supporting impeachment. Mick Mulvaney, a former congressman who served as Mr. Trump’s acting chief of staff until March, said in a Fox News interview Sunday that he would seriously consider supporting impeachment if he were still a member of Congress and said politicians would view a second impeachment “very differently.”

The unprecedented second impeachment has gathered quick support among House Democrats, with 210 signed on to a resolution that accuses Mr. Trump of inciting an insurrection, according to a Democratic aide. A total of 222 politicians are in the House Democratic caucus, and it would take 217 votes to pass an impeachment measure, with 433 House seats currently filled.

Should the House pass impeachment articles and send them to the Senate, it is unlikely the president will be removed before the Jan. 20 inauguration. The Senate is set to be on recess until Jan. 19, and a Senate trial could require unanimous consent to get started before Inauguration Day. A conviction in the Senate needs the approval of two-thirds of senators, requiring significant Republican support. If all 100 senators were to vote, it would take 67 to convict, and the Senate will have 50 Democrats, suggesting they would need support from 17 Republicans.

Golf: The PGA has announced that a future PGA event will not be held at a course owned by Donald Trump as it would be bad publicity for the organisation.

The House could also hold on to the article of impeachment to avoid triggering a trial before Inauguration Day, and allow the new Democratic-controlled Senate to confirm Mr. Biden’s nominees and get started on his agenda, before sending an impeachment article to the Senate for a trial.

Instead of backing impeachment, more GOP politicians have said that Mr. Trump should resign in his final days in office.

Republican senator Pat Toomey on Sunday said Mr. Trump should step down. “I think the best way for our country is for the president to resign and go away as soon as possible. I acknowledge that may not be likely, but I think that would be best,” Mr. Toomey said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Some of the president’s advisers, meanwhile, have begun considering who would join the president’s defence team if the House moves to impeach him. White House counsel Pat Cipollone, who led the defence team during the president’s first impeachment trial, isn’t expected to join the team this time, according to a person familiar with the matter, nor is Pat Philbin, Mr. Cipollone’s deputy, or Jay Sekulow, or Jane and Marty Raskin, the president’s personal lawyers, according to a person familiar with the matter. Mr. Cipollone initially considered resigning after Wednesday’s riot but is considered likely to stay in his post, according to people familiar with the matter.

The president’s defence team, according to the person familiar with discussions, would likely include Rudy Giuliani, Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer, and Alan Dershowitz, a constitutional-law professor who assisted the defence team for the last impeachment. Mr. Giuliani wasn’t on Mr. Trump’s defence team last time because of the significant role he played in the events leading up to Mr. Trump’s impeachment over his dealings with Ukraine. He also played a major role in the events for which House Democrats are seeking to impeach the president this time.

Mr. Dershowitz said in a text message Sunday that he hadn’t been asked to join any team but that he would “continue to defend the First Amendment against partisan attempts to weaponize it for short time partisan advantages.”

House Democrats are also discussing how to handle Republican politicians who they see as encouraging the mob that stormed the Capitol, possibly using the 14th Amendment that says no one should hold office who has engaged in rebellion or insurrection.

Several politicians sent tweets of support for pro-Trump protesters before the crowd turned violent and stormed the Capitol. Rep. Mo Brooks (R., Ala.), speaking at a rally last Wednesday ahead of the riot, asked Mr. Trump’s supporters if they were willing to sacrifice their lives to build the greatest nation. Mr. Brooks told a conservative radio host after the riot that he didn’t regret the comments.

With Dow Jones

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2021-01-11 22:27:42Z
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