Donald Trump makes American history by becoming the first President of the United States to be indicted twice in Congress. A week before the end of its mandate, the House of Representatives voted, Wednesday, January 13, in favor of this « impeachment » by 232 votes against 197. Contrary to the act of impeachment in the Ukrainian affair, in December 2019, adopted without a single Republican vote, ten elected Republicans, including Liz Cheney, number three of the Grand Old Party in the House and daughter former Vice President Dick Cheney, voted in favor of committal.
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The indictment article accuses the outgoing president of “ incitement to insurgency “Citing his words, Wednesday, January 6, during the meeting preceding the assault on Capitol Hill by his supporters, as well as his phone call on Saturday, January 2, to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, asking him to” find The voices that would have allowed him to win.
Uncertainty over timing
Uncertainty remains over the rest of the procedure. Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell – in charge of the Senate agenda until Democrats take over, perhaps as early as January 20 – said the upper house could not get hold of it of the file before January 19, the day before Donald Trump’s departure. A vote on his conviction cannot therefore take place before the first days of the Biden presidency, a timetable that does not suit the Democrat.
The Senate would not be able to focus on implementing its ambitious program to fight the pandemic and support the economy. The rapid confirmation of appointments to the heads of the various departments and agencies of the federal government would also be compromised. Joe Biden has suggested that the Senate find a way to divide his time between conducting the trial, working on confirmations and voting on his proposals. The House of Representatives could wait for the installation of the new administration before transmitting the indictment to the Senate.
The two-thirds majority required for a conviction
Whatever the timing, Democrats will need the rallying of 17 Republican senators to achieve the two-thirds majority needed for a conviction. So far, only a small minority of elected Republican officials have distanced themselves from Donald Trump. “I have not made my final decision on my vote, I intend to listen to the legal arguments when they are presented to the Senate”, said Mitch McConnell, in a note to his Republican colleagues. If he gives a signal for conviction, this influential strategist could encourage more Republican lawmakers to turn the Trump page.
Support from the electoral base
The pressure could also come from the dozen or so large American companies that have suspended their donations and threaten to no longer fund the campaigns of Republicans who opposed the certification of Joe Biden’s victory. ” I felt betrayed “, Affirmed, Wednesday, January 13, Ken Langone, the billionaire founder of Home Depot and support of Donald Trump, on the CNBC channel.
Polls, like the debate in Congress, show, however, that the president still has significant support within his party and his constituency. « Three quarters of Trump voters still believe the election was stolen “, underlines a Republican consultant. In a video released by the White House, the president called on Americans to “The unit”, without mentioning his referral to trial, or acknowledging any responsibility for the violence of last week.