- Aides talked President Trump out of showing up in person to defend himself at Wednesday’s impeachment vote in the House of Representatives, reported The New York Times.
- Trump has been isolated since last week’s riot at the US Capitol, abandoned by allies, cut off by the business world and deprived of his Twitter account.
- On Wednesday lawmakers voted 232-197 to impeach Trump, with 10 Republicans supporting the move.
- Instead Trump issued a video after impeachment condemning the violence in stronger terms than before.
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President Donald Trump was talked out of showing up in person at the House of Representatives to defend himself ahead of his second impeachment, The New York Times reported.
Aides are said to have convinced the president it would be a bad idea to offer a defense during Wednesday’s vote.
In December 2019, when he was impeached for the first time, reports suggested he also wanted to give an in-person defense but was talked out of it.
In Wednesday’s vote, Trump was impeached by 232-197 on a single charge of “incitement of insurrection” at last Wednesday’s riot at the US Capitol. Ten Republicans sided with Democrats in the vote.
Having been kicked off Twitter after the attack on the Capitol, Trump is without his favored platform to intervene and attempt to shape events.
The president in his last stretch in office is an isolated figure, abandoned by allies in politics and business, and turning on close aide Rudy Giuliani, his personal attorney, in a dispute over legal bills.
After the vote Trump released a video, in which he expressed no personal regret for the violence which left five people dead. He did, however, condemn it in stronger terms than before.
“Violence and vandalism have no place in our country… No true supporter of mine would ever endorse political violence,” Trump said.
According to reports, Trump has been warned by White House counsel Pat Cipollone that he faces legal consequences legal consequences for the riot, where supporters ransacked the Capitol after being told by Trump at a rally to “fight like hell” in their bid to overturn the results of the election.
Trump’s impeachment will now be referred to the Senate, where a trial will be held after it returns from recess on January 19, and is due to stretch into the start of President-elect Joe Biden’s term.