Donald Trump makes history as first U.S. President to be impeached twice

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Donald Trump has become the first president in US history to be impeached twice, after being charged with “incitement of insurrection” over last week’s deadly storming of Congress.

The House of Representatives accused Mr Trump of encouraging violence with his false claims of election fraud.

He now faces trial in the upper chamber, the Senate, but not before he leaves office next Wednesday.

Senators can vote to bar him from ever holding public office again.

In a video released after the vote in the House on Wednesday, Mr Trump called on his followers to remain peaceful, without mentioning his impeachment.

“Violence and vandalism have no place in our country… No true supporter of mine would ever endorse political violence,” he said, striking a sombre and conciliatory tone.

The FBI has warned of possible armed protests planned for Washington DC and all 50 US state capitals in the days before Joe Biden, a Democrat, is inaugurated as the new US president.

What was Trump charged with?

Impeachment charges are political, not criminal. The president was accused by the House of inciting the storming of the Capitol – the seat of the US Congress – with a speech on 6 January to supporters outside the White House.

He urged them to “peacefully and patriotically” make their voices heard, but also to “fight like hell” against an election that he falsely told them had been stolen.

Following Mr Trump’s remarks, his supporters broke into the Capitol, forcing lawmakers to suspend certification of election results and take shelter. The building was placed on lockdown and five people died in the melee.

The article of impeachment stated that Mr Trump “repeatedly issued false statements asserting that the presidential election results were fraudulent and should not be accepted”.

It says he then repeated these claims and “wilfully made statements to the crowd that encouraged and foreseeably resulted in lawless action at the Capitol”, leading to the violence and loss of life.

“President Trump gravely endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of government, threatened the integrity of the democratic system, interfered with the peaceful transition of power, and imperilled a coequal branch of government.”

Last week, 139 Republicans voted against accepting the result of the 2020 election and Mr Trump’s defeat.