U.S. president Trump impeached! And Africa reacts

Mohammed Awal December 19, 2019
Picture: CNBC

Donald Trump on Wednesday became the third American President to be impeached.

Deeply divided along party lines, the House of Representatives voted for two articles of impeachment to remove the President from office.

The first vote, 230-197, accused Trump of abuse of power and the second, 229-198, accused him of obstructing Congress. 

Two Democrats voted against both articles – Reps. Collin Peterson of Minnesota and Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey. But a third, Jared Golden of Maine, voted for one of the impeachment articles.

Also, Republican-turned-independent Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan voted to impeach Trump on both charges.

The impeachment came 85 days after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the opening of the impeachment inquiry following allegations that Trump pressed Ukraine to investigate his possible challenger in the 2020 elections, former Vice president Joe Biden while withholding US security assistance and a White House meeting.

The impeachment inquiry was instigated by complaints of an anonymous whistleblower about a call Trump had with the Ukrainian president in which he asked the latter to investigate the former Vice President.

In her address before kicking off the debate on the floor of the House, Pelosi stated: “We gather today under the dome of this temple of democracy to exercise one of the most solemn powers that this body can take: The impeachment of the President of the United States.”

She added: “If we do not act now we would be derelict in our duty. It is tragic that the President’s reckless actions make impeachment necessary. He gave us no choice.”

The trial in the Republican-controlled Senate on whether to convict and remove Trump from office will likely begin in early January. It is likely that Trump will be exonerated because a two-thirds majority is required for conviction.

Taking the stage at a campaign rally in Battle Creek, Michigan minutes before the vote, Trump told the cheering crowd: “It doesn’t really feel like we’re being impeached.”

“The country is doing better than ever before. We did nothing wrong. And we have tremendous support in the Republican Party like we have never had before. Nobody has ever had this kind of support.”

In a bizarre six-page letter issued on Tuesday, Trump accused Pelosi of orchestrating “an illegal, partisan attempted coup.”

“You are the ones subverting America’s Democracy. You are the ones Obstructing Justice. You are the ones bringing pain and suffering to our Republic for your own selfish personal, political, and partisan gain,” Trump wrote. “You view democracy as your enemy!” 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said last week that he was working “in total coordination” with the White House, added: “My hope is there won’t be a single Republican who votes for either of these articles of impeachment.”

Following Wednesday’s vote, Face2face Africa looks at how Africa reacted to the impeachment of the man who once called the continent a “shit hole”.

Last Edited by:Sandra Appiah Updated: December 19, 2019


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