Donald Trump has claimed that the imminent impeachment hearings against him are causing “tremendous anger”.
Trump is on the verge of being impeached for the second time in his presidency – the first time this has ever happened in US history – following last week’s violent riot at the US Capitol in Washington D.C., which was carried out by a mob of Trump supporters.
A vote on Trump’s impeachment is likely to be held in the House of Representatives later today (January 13) after he was charged with “incitement of insurrection” earlier this week for his role in the riot. Trump told his supporters to “fight like hell” against November’s election results in a speech given at a rally before the Capitol was stormed last Wednesday (January 6).
Trump has denied any responsibility for the violence which took place during the riot, during which five people died.
Speaking to reporters yesterday (January 12), Trump, giving his first public remarks since last week’s riot, said: “To continue on this path [of impeachment], I think it’s causing tremendous danger to our country, and it’s causing tremendous anger.”
“This impeachment is causing tremendous anger, and you’re doing it, and it’s really a terrible thing that they’re doing,” Trump added, before claiming that the “real problem” was the rhetoric used by Democrats during the Black Lives Matter protests last year (via BBC News).
A small but growing number of Republican lawmakers are reportedly committed to breaking from party ranks to vote with the Democrats in favour of impeaching Trump. The third-ranking House GOP leader Liz Cheney of Wyoming said that she will be voting to impeach the President.
“The President of the United States summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack,” said Cheney in a statement. “There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.”
While the vote to impeach Trump will almost certainly pass in the Democrat-controlled House this week, the outcome of a subsequent trial in the Senate is unclear. At least 17 Republican Senators would need to vote in favour of impeachment in order to secure the two-thirds majority required to convict Trump.
The trial is unlikely to be finished before Joe Biden takes office on January 20.
The FBI has warned of further armed protests by supporters of Trump being held across the US in the days leading up to the President-elect’s inauguration next week.