Amid second impeachment, moves to stop Trump from accessing nukes – Times of India

WASHINGTON: US lawmakers are preparing to impeach Donald Trump a second time amid belated recognition in the country’s mainstream political leadership that its President could be an unhinged man who poses a danger to America and the world and therefore should not be in charge of nuclear weapons.
In an extraordinary and unprecedented move in US history, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reportedly told her colleagues on Friday that she has spoken to Pentagon’s top general about keeping an “unstable president” from accessing nuclear codes
“This morning, I spoke to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley to discuss available precautions for preventing an unstable president from initiating military hostilities or accessing the launch codes and ordering a nuclear strike,” Pelosi is said to have told them, “The situation of this unhinged President could not be more dangerous, and we must do everything that we can to protect the American people from his unbalanced assault on our country and our democracy.”
The idea that Trump is a fruitcake with psychological disorders has long animated public discourse, but this is the first time a prominent leader has openly called him unstable and unhinged, skirting the so-called “Goldwater Rule,” which bars shrinks from diagnosing public figures for mental issues without proper examination. Trump began his Presidency with cavalier statements and inquiries about use of nuclear weapons but has since dialed down such talk.
Constraining the volatile US President smarting over electoral defeat came even as Democratic lawmakers readied a single impeachment article — charging him with “incitement of insurrection” — they plan to introduce on Monday.
While the Democrat-controlled House, where only a simple majority is required to impeach, is expected to rush through the process, it faces a tougher path in the Senate, where a two-thirds vote is required to convict the President in a chamber tied at 50-50, if the two new Democratic Senators from Georgia are sworn in before the matter reachers the chamber.
But indicative of the shifting dynamics in the GOP, several Republican Senators are expected to support the impeachment move, some simply to put Trump out of politics. Many establishment Republicans are enraged at Trump’s continued support for the extremist MAGA crowd, some of whom stormed the US Capitol looking for Mike Pence because the vice-president did not do the defeated President’s bidding to subvert the election results.
Some party stalwarts are also shocked by reports of authorities finding home made bombs and guns during the storming of the Capitol. Video clips of the mob chanting “Hang Mike Pence!” and photos of a noose outside the capitol, and of extremists in combat gear with zip ties ostensibly looking for hostages, has rattled the political leadership.
On Friday, Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski indicated she was considering leaving the party if it continued to back Trump, even as party’s majority leader Mitch Connell, whose wife Elaine Chao quit the Trump cabinet, greenlighted the impeachment process in the Senate.
McConnell reportedly told his Republican colleagues that the earliest a second impeachment trial of Trump would begin is January 20th, Biden’s inauguration day, after some constitutional experts said a President could be impeached even after he leaves office, with a conviction forestalling another run for the White House. Trump has indicated he plans to run again in 2024, and political pundits say some establishment Republicans may be ready to scupper that.
The Republican schism is now taking on a menacing tone for some lawmakers, including Trump minions who the MAGA base believes did not adequately defend the defeated President. Utah Republican SenatorsMitt Romney and South Carolina’s Lindsey Graham, a Trump surrogate, are among those who have been accosted at airports by angry and abusive Trump supporters.\

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