In a pre-recorded statement released shortly after his impeachment, United States President Donald Trump denounced the deadly riot that ensued at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
“I unequivocally condemn the violence that we saw last week,” Trump said, adding that, “violence and vandalism have absolutely no place in our country and no place in our movement.”
The video did not mention his Wednesday impeachment, when Trump became the first president in United States history to be impeached twice.
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Just one week after asking a crowd of protesters to “march” to the U.S. Capitol, the Republican president urged calm.
“No true supporter of mine could ever endorse political opponents. No true supporter of mine could ever disrespect law enforcement or our great American flag. No true supporter of mine could ever threaten or harass their fellow Americans,” he said.
Five people died, including one U.S. Capitol police officer, after thousands of Trump’s supporters stormed the Capitol building in an attempt to prevent Congress from certifying President-Elect Joe Biden’s election win.
The U.S. House voted to impeach Trump for a second time on Wednesday over the charge of “incitement of insurrection.”
In a draft of the Article of Impeachment, Democrats claimed the Republican president “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.’”
‘No true supporter of mine could ever endorse political violence’ Trump says in video following 2nd impeachment
Democratic lawmakers claimed that allowing Trump to remain in office “threatened the integrity of the Democratic system, interfered with the peaceful transition of power, and imperiled a coequal branch of Government.”
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Trump was impeached after a vote of 232 to 197, with ten Republicans joining Democrats favour of impeachment.
“Today in a bipartisan way, the House demonstrated that no one is above the law, not even the president of the United States,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement following the impeachment vote.
“That Donald Trump is a clear and present danger to our country and that once again we honoured our oaths of office to protect and defend the Constitution of the United states, so help us God.”
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has rejected calls for an immediate trial, saying he felt Congress could “best serve” the nation by focusing on facilitating a “safe inauguration and an orderly transfer of power to the incoming Biden administration” in an online statement.
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“Even if the Senate process were to begin this week and move promptly, no final verdict would be reached until after President Trump had left office,” McConnell’s statement read.
“Given the rules, procedures, and Senate precedents that govern presidential impeachments trials, there is simply no chance that a fair or serious trial could conclude before President-elect Biden is sworn in next week.”
In his video, the Republican president also addressed what he claimed was an “unprecedented assault on free speech” seen over the last week.
“The efforts to censor, cancel and blacklist our fellow citizens are wrong and they are dangerous,” he said.
“What is needed now is for us to listen to one another, not to silence one another.”
Following the riots, Trump was permanently suspended from Twitter, and barred from Facebook and banned from YouTube until after Biden’s inauguration.
— More to come.
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