Donald Trump impeached: What is the 25th amendment? Will Donald Trump be impeached?
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Donald Trump supporters seeking to overturn the result of the November presidential election clashed with police at the US Capitol building in Washington DC on Wednesday. The new President-elect Joe Biden condemned Mr Trump’s “insurrection” of the violence during which four people died. But will Donald Trump be impeached?
The Democratic Party candidates for Senate in Georgia claimed victory on Wednesday meaning control of the Senate tipped in its favour.
With the victory of Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, the Democrats would effectively control both houses of Congress: the Senate and the House of Representatives.
Mr Trump supporters gathered outside the US Capitol building where members of Congress were meeting to confirm the 2020 election results.
This ceremonial process involves counting and confirming electoral college votes, the system used to select the US president, which has already certified Joe Biden’s victory.
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Protesters outside the US Capitol stormed the building on Wednesday, breaking the temporary barrier which had been put in place.
Footage showed violent clashes between the police and Trump supporters prompting authorities to place the US Capitol on lockdown.
US media describe some protesters climbing on parts of the Capitol building, attempting to get inside.
Both chambers of US Congress abruptly stopped proceedings and lawmakers reported they had been asked to evacuate, shelter in place and put on gas masks.
Donald Trump issued appeals to his supporters against violence.
He tweeted: “I am asking for everyone at the US Capitol to remain peaceful. No violence! Remember, WE are the Party of Law & Order – respect the Law and our great men and women in Blue. Thank you!”
However, in a social media video to protesters, he said “I love you” before telling them to go home.
Mr Trump also repeated false claims about election fraud, and three tweets sent by the US President have since been removed by Twitter for “severe violations of our Civic Integrity policy”. Mr Trump has now been banned from Facebook for 24 hours.
The US Capitol has now been secured but four people died during the protests, including one woman who was shot by police.
DC Police Chief Robert Contee said: “One adult female and two adult males appear to have suffered from separate medical emergencies, which resulted in their deaths.
“Any loss of life in the District is tragic and our thoughts are with anyone impacted by their loss.”
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What is the 25th amendment?
The unprecedented breach of the US Capitol building by pro-Donald Trump rioters has led to growing calls for the early removal of Mr Trump from power through Constitutional means.
The 25th amendment has repeatedly been outlined as a means by which the President could be removed from office by the Vice President and cabinet members.
The 25th amendment provides the procedures which allow for this removal when a president is found to be unable to discharge the powers and duties of their position.
Both Democratic and Republican lawmakers have tweeted in support of using the 25th amendment to oust Mr Trump from office.
US Congressman Ted Lieu tweeted: “He is why the 25th amendment exists when the president has ‘lost it.’ If Trump doesn’t resign, then [vice president] Mike Pence needs to start the process to remove [Donald Trump] ASAP.”
Mr Lieu later tweeted: “Leadership in the Senate and House are misreading the situation if they simply adjourn after we accept the electoral college results.
“There is much anger among the members and the American public.
“We cannot just leave without holding Trump accountable. That will only embolden him.”
In a statement, the Assistant House Speaker Katherine Clark said: “Despite the seditious attempt to overthrow our democracy, we in Congress will fulfil our duty to ensure the will of the people and the integrity of our democracy are upheld.
“But the next days and weeks remain dangerous.
“Donald Trump is a traitor to our country and our Constitution.
“He must be removed from office and prevented from further endangering our country and our people.”
Will Donald Trump be impeached?
People around the globe have condemned Mr Trump for “inciting insurrection”.
Mr Trump has just 13 more days in office until Mr Biden is sworn in as the 46th US President at midday on January 20.
However, despite this short timeframe, if the 25th amendment is involved, Mike Pence would take over from Mr Trump for the remainder of his tenure.
Despite the short time frame, it is possible Mr Trump will be impeached.
Mr Trump was impeached once earlier in his term and could now face a second impeachment for a different crime.
Impeachment does not actually infer the removal of a sitting president but instead refers to the process where the House of Representatives brings charges against the president for “high crime or misdemeanours” – a process akin to an indictment in a criminal case.
Republican Ilhan Omar announced that she is drawing up articles of impeachment, said: “It’s a matter of preserving our Republic and we need to fulfil our oath.”
Currently, at least 32 House members have announced Donald Trump should be impeached, but it unclear how many more support or condemn the idea.
A staffer for a House member involved in the impeachment efforts said the plan has “substantial support,” but could not immediately provide an exact number of lawmakers who are backing it.
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