Article Of Impeachment Cites Trump's 'Incitement' Of Capitol Insurrection
Updated Feb. 9 at 12:30 p.m. ET
The Senate begins its impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump Tuesday.
Last month, the House approved a single article of impeachment, charging him with "incitement of insurrection" over the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
"Donald John Trump engaged in high Crimes and Misdemeanors by inciting violence against the Government of the United States," the article argues, citing his false claims of election fraud in the months leading up to the riot — which he repeated on Jan. 6 — and a phone call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in which Trump urged him to "find" votes to overturn the results there.
The impeachment article says that during an address to supporters on the day of the violence, Trump "willfully made statements that, in context, encouraged — and foreseeably resulted in — lawless action at the Capitol, such as: 'if you don't fight like hell you're not going to have a county anymore.' "
The House approved the article 232-197, with 10 Republicans joining all Democrats in favor of the resolution. The Jan. 13 vote made Trump the first U.S. president to be impeached twice. It will require two-thirds of senators, 67 votes, to convict Trump, a prospect considered unlikely.
Read the full article below (see it in its original form here) and watch the House clerk read the text during last month's debate.
Resolution impeaching Donald John Trump, President of the United States, for high crimes and misdemeanors.
Resolved, the Donald John Trump, President of the United States, is impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors and that the following article of impeachment be exhibited to the United States Senate:
Article of impeachment exhibited by the House of Representatives of the United States of America in the name of itself and of the people of the United States of America, against Donald John Trump, President of the United States of America, in maintenance and support of its impeachment against him for high crimes and misdemeanors.
ARTICLE 1: INCITEMENT OF INSURRECTION
The Constitution provides that the House of Representatives "shall have the sole Power of Impeachment" and that the President "shall be removed from Office on Impeachment, for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors." Further, section 3 of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution prohibits any person who has "engaged in insurrection or rebellion against" the United States from "hold[ing] and office ... under the United States.' In his conduct while President of the United States — and in violation of his constitutional oath faithfully to execute the office of President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, provide, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States and in violation of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed — Donald John Trump engaged in high Crimes and Misdemeanors by inciting violence against the Government of the United States, in that:
On January 6, 2021, pursuant to the 12th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, the Vice President of the United States, the House of Representatives, and the Senate met at the United States Capitol for a Joint Session of Congress to count the votes of the Electoral College. In the months preceding the Joint Session, President Trump repeatedly issued false statements asserting that the Presidential election results were the product of widespread fraud and should not be accepted by the American people or certified by State or Federal officials. Shortly before the Joint Session commenced, President Trump, addressed a crowd at the Ellipse in Washington, D.C. There, he reiterated false claims that "we won this election, and we won it by a landslide." He also willfully made statements that, in context, encouraged — and foreseeably resulted in — lawless action at the Capitol, such as: "if you don't fight like hell you're not going to have a country anymore." Thus incited by President Trump, members of the crowd he had addressed, in an attempt to, among other objectives, interfere with the Joint Session's solemn constitutional duty to certify the results of the 2020 Presidential election, unlawfully breached and vandalized the Capitol, injured and killed law enforcement personnel, menaced Members of Congress, the Vice President, and Congressional personnel, and engaged in other violent, deadly, destructive and seditious acts.
President Trump's conduct on January 6, 2021, followed his prior efforts to subvert and obstruct the certification of the results of the 2020 Presidential election. Those prior efforts included a phone call on January 2, 2021, during which President Trump urged the secretary of state of Georgia, Brad Raffensperger, to "find" enough votes to overturn the Georgia Presidential election results and threatened Secretary Raffensperger if he failed to do so.
In all this, President Trump gravely endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of Government. He threatened the integrity of the democratic system, interfered with the peaceful transition of power, and imperiled a coequal branch of Government. He thereby betrayed his trust as President, to the manifest injury of the people of the United States.
Wherefore, Donald John Trump, by such conduct, has demonstrated that he will remain a threat to national security, democracy, and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office, and has acted in a manner grossly incompatible with self-governance and the rule of law. Donald John Trump thus warrants impeachment and trial, removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit under the United States.
This post was originally published on Jan. 11, ahead of the House impeachment.
Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.