With just days to go until the end of his presidency, Donald Trump is facing an impeachment trial after the US House of Representatives voted on Wednesday by 232 votes in favour to 197 against.
In an unprecedented level of bipartisan support for an impeachment, 10 Republicans broke rank with their party.
Trump’s second impeachment came after the storming of the US Capitol by Trump supporters on January 6, in which five people lost their lives and many were injured.
Trump is accused of inciting the Capitol siege by his incendiary remarks beforehand, in which he told his supporters to “fight like hell“ against the election results.
The article of impeachment now goes to the Senate, where a trial will be held – the details of which have not yet been released.
Having been muzzled since the suspension of his Twitter account, Trump gave a televised address on Wednesday evening, in which he called for calm and denounced violence – which many saw as a week too late.
He chose not to mention the impeachment vote and focused instead on freedom of speech.
GUE/NGL co-chair Manon Aubry said, “Trump is a horrible man and a dangerous political enemy. But it's not up to Google, Facebook, Twitter or Amazon to decide to cut him off from public speaking.”
“Political fight yes, privatisation of censorship no!“
Reaction to the impeachment vote on this side of the Atlantic was relatively muted, though some policymakers shared their opinions on Twitter.
“This is more than a historic end of an awful presidency: it’s a signal to all future Presidents and hopefuls - never again!” Guy Verhofstadt, Renew Europe
Former Belgian Prime Minister and Renew Europe MEP Guy Verhofstadt said, “After 4 years going from bad to worse, the US House of Representatives calls a halt to Trump’s destruction of democracy.”
“This is more than a historic end of an awful presidency: it’s a signal to all future Presidents and hopefuls - never again!”
Polish S&D member Robert Biedroń said that democracy had “shown strength,” adding, “The House of Representatives has just achieved the required number of votes in favour of Donald Trump's re-impeachment.”
“This is the first such situation in the US, but also a clear signal - there is no place for autocrats in a democratic state ruled by law.”
Greens/EFA member Ciarán Cuffe said simply, “Doubly impeached. Suspect the healing won’t begin just yet, but a clear warning to those in power not to shout ‘Fire’ in a crowded theatre.”
Finnish S&D MEP Miapetra Kumpula-Natri quoted historian Timothy Snyder, saying, “Post-truth is pre-fascism, and Trump has a been post-truth president.”
“This is the first such situation in the US, but also a clear signal - there is no place for autocrats in a democratic state ruled by law” Robert Biedroń, S&D
She added, “Snyder’s writing mirrors through history why nurturing the truth is valuable.”
Spanish Renew Europe deputy José Ramón Bauzá explained to those wondering what the point was of the impeachment vote, given that Joe Biden's inauguration is on January 20.
“The fact of the matter is that if the motion of censure is approved in the Senate, for which a 2/3 majority would be necessary (totally unlikely), Trump will not be able to run for re-election in 2024. That is the reason why he is censured even after his term ends.”