Trump's wall of GOP support breaks during impeachment vote

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi walks through a new metal detector outside the House chamber in the Capitol in Washington on Jan 12 2021

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi walks through a new metal detector outside the House chamber in the Capitol in Washington on Jan 12 2021

"Their argument is that things have died down and there won't be anymore violence or insurrection".

A growing collection of corporations, many of them reliably Republican donors, have promised to stop sending political donations to any of the 147 Republicans who perpetuated Trump's false claims of election fraud by voting to reject Biden's victory last week.

One of President Trump's newest allies in the House said Wednesday night that she will file articles of impeachment against President-elect Joseph R. Biden on January 21, his first day in office, for "abuse of power". That means any conviction would nearly certainly not be completed until after he leaves the White House.

The impeachment comes just seven days before Trump leaves office.

"Is there little time left?"

Her announcement came hours after the House impeached Mr. Trump for the second time, for inciting last week's riot at the U.S. Capitol.

The biggest outcome for Trump could be disqualifying him from holding office again.

Shortly after the vote to impeach him President Trump released a video (below) calling on his followers to "remain peaceful". But if the Senate were to convict him, the Constitution allows a subsequent vote to bar an official from holding "any office of honour, trust or profit under the United States".

That vote would require only a simple majority of senators.

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State Department attributed the cancellations to transition work before President-elect Joe Biden takes office on January 20. The Tsai administration will prioritize its pursuit of a free trade agreement with the U.S.

Karl Rove, the former White House chief of staff to President George W. Bush, recently told Fox News that he thought it was important that Democrats let Mr Trump fade into irrelevance and disgrace on his own, and not go ahead with a second impeachment. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, is said to hold the latter view.

During a brief trip to the US-Mexico border on Tuesday, he offered those who support impeachment an ominous warning: "Be careful what you wish for". So the trial will be undertaken by a Senate controlled by the Democrats.

This second impeachment will now go to the Senate for trial. But because the Senate is not scheduled to hold a regular session until 19 January, even if the House immediately transmitted the charge to the other side of the Capitol, an agreement between Senate Republican and Democratic leaders would be needed to take it up before then.

McConnell said Wednesday that he would not agree to do so, meaning that the proceeding could not be taken up until the day before Biden is sworn in. "This is a moment that the new president wants to have the focus on him, this is sucking the oxygen out of the room for Joe Biden", he said.

Mr Biden will also need the Senate to be free to confirm his administration's cabinet appointees, something that could be hindered or delayed if an impeachment trial for Mr Trump is being held in the chamber.

The impeachment charge is political, not criminal. Under rules in place for decades, impeachment is the only issue the Senate can consider while a trial is underway; it cannot simultaneously consider other legislative business.

"The left in America has incited far more violence than the right", said Rep. Matt Gaetz, a Florida Republican who was among the 197 who opposed impeachment. McConnell told Biden he would consult with the Senate parliamentarian on whether that would be possible.

However, there were those who did not feel the same level of excitement about the impeachment.

Ms Pelosi announced on Wednesday that when the Democratic-majority House returns to session on Jan 21, members will vote on a rule change mandating fines for members who refuse to follow the protocols - United States $5,000 for the first offence and US$10,000 for the second, to be deducted from lawmakers' salaries.

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