Donald Trump: Nancy Pelosi confirms votes for impeachment

On Wednesday the House of Representatives secured enough votes to charge Donald Trump, making him the first ever US president to be impeached twice. President Trump was previously impeached over his calls with the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Mr Trump was charged by the House for inciting an insurrection following the violent protests at the US Capitol last week.

Speaking to Express.co.uk, Jonathan Parker, senior lecturer in politics at Keele University, explained that Mr Trump is creating a divide within the Republican party.

He said: “The incentives are mixed – Trump is creating a civil war in the party.

“There in an incentive for the party to jettison him and make him ineligible to run in 2024.

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“That would make life a lot easier for many, and it would allow the party to try and separate itself from everything bad that happened under Trump.”

But Dr Parker warned it is “unclear how Republican senators will vote”.

The Senate is expected to hold a trial to establish whether Mr Trump is guilty of his charges and if he should be removed from office.

However, it is unlikely this will happen before President-elect Joe Biden takes office in a week’s time.

Dr Parker said he predicted that Republican senators “will move en masse”.

He added: “Either they hold firm and no conviction or a lot of them break – safety in numbers – under McConnell’s leadership and convict him handily.”

Mitch McConnell, the Republican majority leader of the Senate, said he remains undecided on whether he’ll vote to convict President Trump.

In a separate statement, Mr McConnell added: “The House of Representatives has voted to impeach the President.

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“The Senate process will now begin at our first regular meeting following receipt of the article from the House.”

But Dr Parker explained “there is no way it can be held” before President Trump leaves office as the Senate is in recess.

Mr McConnell added: “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. This is not a decision I am making; it is a fact.”

The earliest date a trial could begin is January 20, the day of President-elect Biden’s inauguration ceremony.

To start a trial any sooner, all 100 senators would have to vote in favour of ending the recess.

Mr McConnell urged Congress to spend the next seven days “completely focused on facilitating a safe inauguration”.

The FBI have warned that Trump supporters are planning protests ahead of Mr Biden’s inauguration.

Security efforts are expected to be ramped up after the violent riots in Washington last week.

President Trump was previously impeached in 2020 over claims he abused his power by withholding aide from Ukraine in an attempt to pressure the country to investigate Mr Biden’s son.

In a new video released on Wednesday, after the impeachment vote, Mr Trump “unequivocally” condemned the violent attack on Capitol Hill.

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