Impeachment Article Engrossment ceremony against U.S. President Donald Trump at the U.S. Capitol in Washington
U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) shows the article of impeachment against U.S. President Donald Trump after signing it in an engrossment ceremony, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington Jan. 13, 2021.
REUTERS/Leah Millis

Caribbean American Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke voted on Wednesday with her Democratic colleagues and 10 Republicans to impeach for the second time US President Donald J. Trump.

In a vote of 232 to 197, the US House of Representatives voted to impeach Trump for inciting an insurrection, eight days ago, against the United States through encouraging his supporters to attack the US Capitol.   “Today, I rise in support of H. Res. (24), the Article of Impeachment against Donald J. Trump for high crimes and misdemeanors for a second time,” said Clarke, the daughter of Jamaican immigrants, who represents the 9th Congressional District in Brooklyn, on the floor on the House of Representatives.

“Let me be very clear, what took place on Jan. 6, 2021, was an act of domestic terrorism by right wing sycophantic white supremacists, promoted, instigated and advanced by the man in the White House, Donald Trump,” she added, invoking the words of slain US civil rights leader, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: “’The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it.’

“Instead of focusing on that beacon of hope, we are here again,” Clarke continued. “We did not enter into this lightly. And on behalf of the constituents of the 9th Congressional District of New York, I will vote yes, Madam Speaker, to impeach Donald J Trump. Talk about déjà vu (already seen in French).”

On Monday, Clarke joined Democratic calls for US Vice President Michael R. Pence to convene and mobilize the principal officers of the executive departments of the Cabinet to activate section 4 of the 25th Amendment to the US Constitution to declare Trump incapable of executing the duties of his office and to immediately exercise powers as acting president.

“Madam Speaker, today I rise in support of H. Res.21, calling on Vice President Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment,” she said on the House floor. “Five Americans died due to this violent attack, and more than 50 Capitol police officers were seriously injured.”

The congresswoman said Trump “continues to have blood on his hands,” adding that the attack against the United States Government “will forever stain our nation’s history.

“Despite what Donald Trump and his supporters are now saying, he fomented this violence and incensed his supporters by using social media to call for the insurrection,” she said.

Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke. Photo by Nelson A. King

Clarke noted that Trump spoke at a rally, just before the attack on the US Capitol Building by pro-Trump supporters, urging them to “march on the Capitol” and “fight.”

She said Trump then “blatantly ignored pleas to call off his mob.

“While this is certainly not the first time the 25th Amendment should have been invoked to protect America from the ineptitude and vile cruelty of Donald J. Trump, but for the sake of our democracy, I pray that it will be the last,” she said. “He must be removed.”

Clarke’s New York Democratic colleague Hakeem Jeffries, who represents parts of Brooklyn and Queens that are heavily populated with Caribbean nationals, said while he did not come to the US Congress to impeach Trump, “the constitutional crimes by an out-of-control president, inspired by his hatred and the big lie that he told, cannot be ignored.

“Donald Trump is a living, breathing impeachable offense,” said Jeffries, who represents the 8th Congressional District in New York, on the House floor, before voting to impeach Trump. “It is what it is. The violent attack on the US Capitol was an act of insurrection incited by Donald Trump.

“He is a clear and present danger to the health, safety and well-being of the American people, and that is why this impeachment is necessary on the House floor for a second time with a bipartisan majority,” added Jeffries, chairman of the House Democratic Caucus.

“Violence will not win, insurrection will not win, sedition will not win, terror will not win, lawlessness will not win, mob rule will not win – not today, not tomorrow, not ever,” he continued. “Democracy will prevail.”

Immediately after the House vote to impeach Trump, New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, the son of Grenadian immigrants, said “there has never been a president more deserving of the distinction of having been impeached twice, or less deserving of the office he still occupies until either the Senate acts courageously to convict him or his term expires, than Donald Trump.

“We are not safe with Donald Trump in the Presidency,” he said. “It was true four years ago, and it is acutely, intensely, urgently true today.

“He has incited domestic terror; not only through his actions over the course of one day but over four years,” Williams added. “A week ago, we saw the consequences of the president’s desperate attempts to cling to power and his emboldened supporters’ desperate attempts to cling to a system of supremacy, where they are empowered. These remain ongoing threats.

“The vote to impeach Donald Trump is one of moral clarity and governing imperative,” he continued. “I am glad that, unlike the first House impeachment, today’s vote was bipartisan. But the reality is that it should not take four years and an armed insurrection against our Congress to know that Donald Trump has always been an existential danger and unfit threat. Yet, this party (Republican Party) has enabled and championed him for years.

“Impeachment was a necessity, but it was the beginning, not the end, of the work to combat the forces that led to Trump’s rise and empowered his atrocities,” Williams said.

Prior to the House vote to impeach Trump, Haitian American New York State Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn said the US president “violated the oath of office by inciting insurrection.

“Mr. Trump’s divisive, hateful speech directly led to the attempted coup of our government and extraordinary acts of domestic terrorism,” said the daughter of Haitian immigrants, who represents the predominantly Caribbean 42nd Assembly District in Brooklyn. “Trump was fully aware that his words would incite violence and sedition.

“Trump’s actions are an affront to our democracy,” added Bichotte Hermelyn, chair of the Brooklyn Democratic Party. “He must be punished for his role in the assault that caused five deaths and has stained our standing in the world.

“Trump is the true danger to our country,” she continued. “He must be removed from office expeditiously and be held accountable for his inexcusable actions.”

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