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House debates impeaching Trump for second time over claims he incited Capitol riot

With a declaration that “he must go,” House Democrats prepared to vote on an impeachment resolution Wednesday that would make Donald Trump the first President in United States history to be impeached for a second time with a swift and bipartisan vote to condemn his role inciting the riot at the US Capitol.

House Democrats and at least six Republicans — including the House’s No. 3 Republican — will vote in favor of the impeachment of Trump exactly one week after a deadly mob overran Capitol Police, ransacked the US Capitol and put the lives of Vice President Mike Pence and lawmakers in danger.

LIVE UPDATES: House moves to impeach Trump after deadly Capitol riot

“We know that the President of the United States incited this insurrection, this armed rebellion against our common country,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on the House floor. “He must go. He is a clear and present danger to the nation that we all love.”

The speed of the vote and the Republican support underscores the fury that lawmakers feel about Trump’s role inciting the rioters who overtook the Capitol with months of false rhetoric about the election being stolen from him. The impeachment resolution the House will vote on Wednesday charges Trump with a single article, “incitement of insurrection.”

The number of Republicans who will ultimately vote for impeachment remains unclear, with GOP sources predicting around a dozen defections. While House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Minority Whip Steve Scalise are opposed to impeachment — arguing that it’s a divisive response — they aren’t lobbying their conference against it, and the No. 3 House republican Liz Cheney of Wyoming announced Tuesday she would vote in favor, issuing a scathing statement that charged there had “never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.”

McCarthy said Wednesday that Trump “bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters,” urging the President to accept his share of responsibility and “quell the brewing unrest.” McCarthy, however, argued the House should create a bipartisan commission instead of impeachment.

“I believe impeaching the President in such a short timeframe would be a mistake,” McCarthy said. “No investigations have been completed. No hearings have been held.”

The division within the Republican Party starkly contrasts the House Democrats’ 2019 impeachment of Trump, when House Republicans were united in opposition. And Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has indicated he believes impeaching Trump will make it easier to get rid of the President and Trumpism from the Republican Party, The New York Times, CNN and other news outlets reported Tuesday, in another sign that Republicans are rapidly putting distance between the party and the President who ruled it the last four years.

Still, McConnell is not planning to bring the Senate back for a trial before January 19, meaning the trial won’t begin until Trump is out of office and President-elect Joe Biden has been sworn in, according to Republican sources, in a Senate led by incoming-Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.

Democrats have quickly coalesced around using impeachment in the final days of Trump’s presidency to serve as a proper response to the President’s conduct and as a way to push for his removal from office before the end of his term, although that scenario looks unlikely. The House approved a resolution urging Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from power late Tuesday evening, but Pence sent a letter ahead of the vote saying he would not do so.

Pelosi has brushed aside Republican efforts to take a different action, such as censure, in response to Trump’s role in the riot. She named impeachment managers on Tuesday evening, a team of nine Democrats who will be led by Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland, ahead of a likely trial in the days after President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said late Tuesday the House would send the articles to the Senate immediately.

Democrats have only grown more resolute in their push to impeach Trump over the riot as more information has come out about the attack on the Capitol, including violent images of Capitol police officers being attacked. Wednesday’s vote is happening as thousands of National Guard troops are guarding every nook of the Capitol complex ahead of next week’s inauguration, and they slept on the floors of the Capitol building the night before the impeachment vote.

Trump has showed no contrition for his role in last week’s Capitol riot, railing against impeachment on Tuesday in his first public remarks since the incident. A source close to the President said he’s not considering resigning.

“It’s been analyzed,” Trump said of his remarks last week to the crowd before the riots. “People thought what I said was totally appropriate.”

Trump, unable to post his thoughts on Twitter after his account was permanently suspended in the fallout from the riots, released a statement just before Wednesday’s vote saying, “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.”

Wednesday’s impeachment vote threatens to complicate the opening days of the Biden administration, both in his efforts to reach out to Republicans and because the Senate is likely to be tied up with a trial just as Biden is taking office.

Both Biden and Schumer have argued that the Senate will try to divide its days while conducting the trial, so the Senate can confirm Biden’s nominees and consider Covid-19 stimulus legislation while also carrying out the impeachment trial.

This story has been updated with additional developments Wednesday.

News

CNN

Comments

26 Comments

      1. Shall we call it the Beer Belly Putsch?

        Most of the arrestees (when they finally got around to making arrests) are 40 or older–hardly the demographic for so-called “antifa” supporters.

    1. Yeah. That’s why there are countless photos and videos of known trump supporters at the capitol riot. Those idiots didn’t even cover their faces! Trump knew exactly what he was doing and that’s why he didn’t authorize the national guard and Pence had to do it hours later. He is a danger to our country and would rather overthrow the government than admit he lost. What a child. People like you are actually believing this man and I have no idea why when the facts show there was no election fraud. This man has been lying and pumping up his moronic followers to try to overturn a fair and legal election. That’s why the riot happened. They actually smeared feces on the ground at the capitol. They’re all a bunch of filthy lawless animals.

    2. So if any violence occurs at any rally regardless of what is for, it is ANTIFA, but if it is peaceful and calm, it is those fun loving Trumpers (aka Proud Boys)? Man, that is an amazing coincidence.

  1. I wouldn’t classify all trump supporters as hooligans or terrorists because of the actions of those treacherous outliers who entered the Capitol. However, trump clearly orchestrated the insurrection under an umbrella of lies, and you are equal to the worst of them if you still support this failed, flawed, and dangerous president. I am not for impeachment as it might impede other priorities, but have no regard for those who sold their souls to the devil and even now remain in servitude to him.

  2. The Democrats are in a rush once again. There is no thought given to examining the charges, no second look at evidence, no analysis. They are a lynch mob rabble.

  3. Impeachment and conviction are entirely appropriate–even at this late date. Even hard right Bakersfield Representative Kevin McCarthy admits Trump “bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters.”

    If these egregious actions (including the attempt to coerce the GA Secretary of State into “finding votes”) don’t qualify as impeachable, then what really does?

    It is blinder removal time for many Trump supporters. Let’s give them the opportunity to redeem themselves by voicing their support for impeachment and conviction; we are a forgiving nation.

      1. Failed rebellion, or exposed corruption in the house and senate? Do you honestly think those parasites on capitol Hill give a rip about america? Nope just lining their pockets and power oh and legacies. They all seem scared of president Trump. Like they are afraid he will show some of their skeletons from the closet.

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