Donald Trump became the first US president in history to be impeached twice when the House of Representatives voted on Wednesday to charge him with inciting last week’s mob attack on Congress.
The Senate will not hold a trial before January 20, when Democrat Joe Biden assumes the presidency, meaning the real estate tycoon will escape the risk of being forced to leave early. He will, however, depart in disgrace — and likely due to face a Senate trial later.
The only question in the House had been how many Republicans would join the Democratic majority.
In the end, 10 Republicans broke ranks, including the party’s number three in the House, Representative Liz Cheney.
Holed up in the White House, Trump had no immediate reaction but he earlier issued a brief statement insisting that he opposed violence among his supporters.
“In light of reports of more demonstrations, I urge that there must be no violence, no lawbreaking and no vandalism of any kind. That is not what I stand for,” he said.
“I call on all Americans to help ease tensions and calm tempers. Thank You.”
Reflecting the fear of upheaval, armed National Guards deployed across the capital and central streets were blocked to traffic.
In the Capitol building itself, guards in full camouflage and carrying assault rifles assembled, some of them grabbing naps early Wednesday under the ornate statues and historical paintings.
Trump survived the first impeachment almost exactly a year ago when the Republican-controlled Senate acquitted him of abusing his office to try and get dirt on Biden’s family before the election.
This time, his downfall was triggered by a speech he delivered to a crowd on the National Mall on January 6, telling them that Biden had stolen the presidential election and that they needed to march on Congress and show “strength.”
Amped up on weeks of election conspiracy theories pushed by Trump, the mob then stormed into the Capitol, fatally wounded one police officer, wrecked furniture and forced terrified lawmakers to hide, interrupting a ceremony to put the legal stamp on Biden’s victory.
One protester was shot dead, and three other people died of “medical emergencies,” bringing the toll to five.
Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told the chamber that Trump “must go.”
“He is a clear and present danger to the nation that we all love,” she said.
And Democratic lawmaker Ilhan Omar branded Trump a “tyrant,” saying that “for us to able to survive as a functioning democracy there has to be accountability.”
But Nancy Mace, a newly-elected Republican congresswoman said that while lawmakers “need to hold the president accountable,” the speed of the impeachment “poses great questions about the constitutionality.”
The top Republican in the House, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, said that while Trump deserves censure, hurriedly impeaching will “further divide this nation.”
McConnell open to impeachment
Trump, who has been stripped of his social media megaphones by Twitter and Facebook, and finds himself increasingly ostracized in the business world, is struggling to impose his message — let alone any kind of resistance.
His refusal to accept any responsibility for the horrifying scenes on January 6 — including his insistence Tuesday that his speech was “totally appropriate” — has infuriated allies and opponents alike.
The main question now is to what extent former Republican allies in the Senate will turn on their party’s figurehead. Last year, they acquitted Trump overwhelmingly after the House impeached him for abuse of office.
Powerful Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell has made clear there is no time before Trump’s January 20 exit to hold an impeachment trial, given that the Senate is in recess until January 19.
However, he said Wednesday that he was open to the possibility of voting to convict Trump in a trial, which could still be held after Biden takes over.
“I have not made a final decision on how I will vote and I intend to listen to the legal arguments when they are presented to the Senate,” McConnell said.
The New York Times reported Tuesday that McConnell is signaling privately that he believes Trump did commit impeachable offenses.
This presents a potentially fatal shift in the ground under Trump’s feet, because it could lead other Republican senators to join in convicting Trump with the goal of turning the page in the turbulent relationship between the party and former reality TV host and real estate magnate.
Meanwhile, the increasingly toothless Trump’s social media woes deepened late Tuesday when video-sharing giant YouTube said it was suspending his official account for at least a week, out of concern his videos could incite violence.
He is also being cut out by the business world, threatening his financial future once he leaves the White House.
The latest blow to the Trump empire was when the mayor of his native New York City, Bill de Blasio, announced Wednesday a termination of contracts to run a golf course, two ice-skating rinks and a carousel in Central Park.
“New York City doesn’t do business with insurrectionists,” de Blasio, a Democrat, tweeted.
Oyo APC women stakeholders mobilise for party’s membership registration
Women stakeholders in the Oyo state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have resolved to mobilize all existing and prospective members to participate in Party’s forthcoming nationwide membership registration and revalidation exercise billed for January 25, 2021.
Rising from a stakeholders meeting held at the Oke-Ado, Ibadan State Secretariat of the APC on Monday and attended by women executive committee members, party chieftains, serving and former elected lawmakers, former political appointees and faithful, Oyo APC women expressed their readiness to support the exercise which, according to them, would send the signal to the world that APC remained the party to beat in the state come 2023.
In her welcome address, the Oyo APC Caretaker Woman Leader, Mrs Mabel Williams, charged those in attendance to do all that was necessary to encourage old members of the party to revalidate their membership as required and also mobilize all residents across the state to register as new members with a view to accommodating all willing patriots wishing to contribute their quota to the cause of democracy and nation building.
“Women have always been at the forefront when it comes to mobilization of people, electioneering campaigns and promotion of the ideals within the Progressive fold. This time, we would do more to maximize the gains for our great party and also give hope to the people of the state who are currently suffering in the hands of the current PDP administration. We shall take the gospel to all the nooks and crannies of the state to ensure that Oyo APC’s membership population rise to, at least, 2.5 million”, Mrs Williams said.
In her remarks, the former Head of Service and a stalwart of the party in the state, Mrs Hannah Olawumi Ogunesan, observed that it was time for all leaders and members of Oyo APC to sheathe their sword and give a room for genuine reconciliation among themselves.
“We must all bury the hatchet and embrace one another as members of the same Progressive family. As women, we are agents of peace and tranquillity. So, we must spare no efforts to preach peace and harmony at all times”.
A serving member of the State House of Assembly representing Ogbomoso North Constituency, Hon. Wumi Oladeji, in her own address at the meeting, also charged those in attendance to go all out and encourage people at the grassroots to keep faith with the party as doing so “would guarantee the quick realisation of the dream to make the Pacesetter state great again”.
Notable party faithful at the meeting are the representatives of former member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Folake Olunloyo-Oshinowo and a former Senatorial candidate in Oyo South, Chief (Mrs) Olanrewaju Otiti. Others include; Mrs Toyin Ajibade (deputy state woman leader), Taiwo Moteleola (Oyo South Senatorial woman leader), Mrs Juliannah Ajuwon (Oyo North Senatorial woman leader) as well as all the Woman Leaders in the 33 local government areas of the state.
2023: Ex -Osun governor, Akande promises to consult Yoruba leaders over Tinubu’s presidency
A former governor of Osun state, Chief Bisi Akande has promised to consult with the Yoruba leaders over the presidential ambition of Mr. Bola Tinubu.
Akande, who receives in courtesy visit delegation of South West Agenda for Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu (SWAGA) led by Senator Dayo Adeyeye on Sunday lauded the effort of the group.
He promised to deliver SWAGA’s message calling on Tinubu to throw his hat into the ring for the 2023 presidency to all the Yoruba leaders in the region.
According to the elder statesman, it is the turn of South to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari, declaring that Asiwaju Bola Tinubu from the South-west, is the best man for the job .
The group later visited Alhaji Adegboyega Oyetola, the Osun state governor.
Coordinators from Lagos, Oyo, Osun, Ekiti, Ogun, Ondo states were also part of the entourage.
LEADERSHIP TUSSLE: Lagos PDP Endorses Makinde As S’ West Leader
The Lagos State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on Saturday, declared that it was endorsing Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State as the leader of the party in the South West.
Lagos PDP leaders, who made the declaration after a meeting with Governor Makinde in Ibadan, the state capital said that they were highly appreciative of the outstanding role the governor has played in the life of the party.
The party leaders also pledged their unflinching loyalty to the leadership of Governor Makinde in the South West PDP, adding that his leadership style was exemplary.
The Deputy Chairman of the PDP in Lagos State, Alhaji Waliu Hassan, and the former House of representative member, Hon Rita Orji, who spoke to journalists shortly after a stakeholders meeting held at the Government House, Agodi, Ibadan, asked the governor to continue his leadership role and never to relent in showing leadership.
According to a statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, the party leaders informed that members of the PDP in Lagos have agreed to continually resolve their crisis amicably so as to ensure that the party takes over the baton of leadership come 2023.
“The purpose of today’s meeting, to be very precise, is to thank Governor Makinde for standing by the party and to pledge total loyalty to his leadership of the South-West. No more, no less.
“We can tell you that the governor does not want anything from us. He, as the Chief Security Officer of Oyo State, needs nothing from the party, rather we are the ones who came all the way from Lagos, to plead with him to keep leading the party.
“We resolved to, irrespective of any rancor, move the party forward and we will ensure that the party takes its better seat in 2023”, the duo submitted.
They also hinted that all PDP members in Lagos state have restated their commitment to Governor Seyi Makinde and promised to stand by him always.
“We did not come here to discuss who takes anything for zonal congress. The congress will soon come up and for all we care, we have come to restate our commitment to our own governor, ‘Seyi Makinde, and we stand by him anywhere he is going on the issue of the South West.”
They told newsmen that the full structure of the Lagos PDP Executive attended the meeting, adding that 12 executive council members were present out of 19, while all the 17 non -working committee members were also present.
They added: “Yes, it is the full structure of Lagos that is represented here. Out of 19, we have the representation of 12 local government chairmen. And we also have 17 complete non-working committee members of state exco here present. We have the deputy chairman of the party here. We have the secretary, legal adviser and the entire party structure of Lagos State here. This is a complete House of PDP, Lagos State.”
On his part, the Caretaker Zonal Chairman of the party, Dayo Ogungbenro affirmed that Governor Makinde remains the undisputed leader of the party in the zone.
Ogungbenro called on other leaders like Ayodele Fayose and others to rally round Makinde with a view to forming a formidable party for future elections.
The event, according to the statement, had in attendance the former Federal House of Representatives member from Lagos State, Honourable Rita Orji, and a host of other party leaders.
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