WORLD / AMERICAS
Trump faces impeachment
President refuses to take blame for Capitol riot
Published: Jan 13, 2021 07:48 PM

Trump Photo:VCG


 
A defiant Donald Trump rejected blame Tuesday for a deadly assault on Congress by his supporters, but cracks emerged in the president's Republican support with several now backing his removal on the eve of an all-but-certain historic second impeachment.

Vice President Mike Pence gave the besieged Trump a lifeline by saying he would not invoke the 25th Amendment that allows him and the Cabinet to strip a sitting president of his powers.

"I do not believe that such a course of action is in the best interest of our nation," Pence wrote in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

The House of Representatives delivered a stinging rebuke to Trump anyway, voting almost entirely along party lines to call on Pence to take action and remove the president.

Pelosi quickly announced her managers for the process, and a House impeachment vote has been scheduled for roughly 3 pm (2000 GMT).

The single charge of "incitement of insurrection" - over Trump's January 6 speech in which he claimed he was the real winner of the November election, then urged supporters to march on Congress and "fight" - is all but sure to get majority support.

Earlier Trump traveled to Alamo, Texas, and although he urged "peace and calm" during a visit to the US-Mexico border wall, his overall message was of refusal to take blame for last week's violence.

On January 6, the pro-Trump crowd attacked the Capitol, fighting with police, ransacking offices, and briefly forcing terrified lawmakers - and Pence - to abandon a session certifying Democrat Joe Biden's election victory.

An unapologetic Trump insisted that "everybody" thought his speech was "totally appropriate." 

Trump dubbed his likely impeachment a "continuation of the greatest witch hunt in the history of politics."

And he warned that while "you have to always avoid violence," his supporters are furious. "I've never seen such anger," he said.

Democrats are all but sure to approve impeachment in the House.

It seemed unlikely though that the Republican-controlled Senate would be called into an emergency session to put Trump on trial before his term runs out on January 20.
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