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Two hours after historic second impeachment, Trump preaches peace

10 Republicans joined Democrats to charge him with inciting an insurrection

WASHINGTON: Just two hours after he was impeached for a historic second time by the House of Representatives for "incitement of insurrection", US President Donald Trump was preaching peace.

"I want to be very clear. I unequivocally condemn the violence that we saw last week. Violence and vandalism have absolutely no place in our country and no place in our movement," Mr Trump said in a five-minute video on YouTube.

Mr Trump said the mob violence goes against everything he believes and everything his movement stands for.

"No true supporter of mine could ever endorse political violence," he said.

His comments are in stark contrast to what he said on Jan 6, which incited his supporters to attack the Capitol.

The attack left five dead, including one police officer.

He told his supporters then to "stop the steal", "show strength", "fight much harder" and use "very different rules" and promised to go with them to the Capitol, although he did not.

"If you don't fight like hell, you're not going to have a country anymore," Mr Trump told his supporters.

In Wednesday's impeachment, 10 of Mr Trump's fellow Republicans joined Democrats to charge him with inciting an insurrection.

The vote in the Democratic-controlled House was 232-197, although it appeared unlikely the swift impeachment would lead to Mr Trump's ouster before his four-year term ends and Democratic President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated on Wednesday.

The Senate's Republican majority leader Mitch McConnell rejected Democratic calls for a quick impeachment trial, saying there was no way to conclude it before Mr Trump leaves office. But even if he has left the White House, a Senate conviction of Mr Trump could lead to a vote on banning him from running for office again.

Mr Biden said it was important that a Senate impeachment trial in the early days of his term not delay work on his legislative priorities, including Cabinet confirmations, and urged Senate leaders to find a way to do both at the same time.

Under the US Constitution, impeachment in the House triggers a trial in the Senate. A two-thirds majority would be needed to convict and remove Mr Trump, meaning at least 17 Republicans in the 100-member chamber would have to join the Democrats. - THE STRAITS TIMES, REUTERS

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