Donald Trump says he 'doesn't stand' for violence as House votes to impeach

13 January 2021, 19:39 | Updated: 13 January 2021, 21:29

Donald Trump has said lawbreaking and vandalism "isn't what I stand for" after riots in Washington DC
Donald Trump has said lawbreaking and vandalism "isn't what I stand for" after riots in Washington DC. Picture: PA
Ewan Quayle

By Ewan Quayle

Donald Trump has said that lawbreaking and vandalism "isn't what I stand for" moments before the House of Representatives voted to impeach him over violence on Capitol Hill last week.

The outgoing US President called on campaigners to "help ease tensions" after a violent mob broke into the Capitol building, smashing windows and attacking police officers.

In a statement on Wednesday evening, he said: "In light of reports of more demonstrations, I urge that there must be NO violence, NO lawbreaking and NO vandalism of any kind.

"That is not what I stand for, and it is not what America stands for. I call on ALL Americans to help ease tensions and calm tempers."

Read more: What does impeachment mean for Donald Trump? What time is the vote?

It is Trump's first official statement since his social media accounts - including his beloved Twitter account - were deleted.

Trump has also faced repeated criticism that he did nothing to quell the tensions last week, after telling his supporters who had gathered for a rally to "fight harder" and continue to spread unsubstantiated allegations of election fraud.

The House voted on Wednesday evening (UK time) to impeach Mr Trump, accusing him of rallying a violent mob of supporters to attack the Capitol last week.

It makes him the first president in the country's history to be impeached twice.

The president is faced one count of insurrection, worded: "President Trump gravely endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of government.

Read more: Senior Republicans announce they will vote to impeach Donald Trump

He threatened the integrity of the democratic system, interfered with the peaceful transition of power, and imperilled a co-equal branch of government.

"He thereby betrayed his trust as president to the manifest injury of the people of the United States."

US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said the President represents a "clear and present danger" to the nation and must be removed from office.

Ms Pelosi told colleagues that members of Congress and the country as a whole "experienced the insurrection that violated the sanctity of the people's Capitol and attempted to overturn the duly recorded will of the American people" in the presidential election.

She said: "We know that the president of the United States incited this insurrection, this armed rebellion against our common country.

"He must go.

"He is a clear and present danger to the nation that we all love."

On Tuesday evening several House Republicans declared their intention to vote in favour of the impeachment, including Wyoming congresswoman Liz Cheney.

Citing the incident, she said there had "never been a greater betrayal" by a US President.

The third most-senior Republican in the House added that Trump “summoned” the mob and "lit the flame of this attack".