Donald J. Trump became the first president in U.S. history to be impeached twice, as a bipartisan House majority today voted to charge him with inciting insurrection by his supporters, who stormed the Capitol to block ratification of Joe Biden’s electoral victory.
The House voted 232 to 197 to impeach Trump, with 10 Republicans joining with Democrats to charge him with incitement of insurrection.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will now send the article of impeachment to the Senate, though that timing is unclear. Any potential conviction that would remove Trump from office seems unlikely before the Jan. 20 inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden, as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he will not bring the Senate back before Jan. 19.
The president faces a charge of “incitement of insurrection” for imploring supporters to fight the election’s results before the deadly attack on the Capitol last week.
Trump speaks against ‘mob violence,’ does not mention second impeachment
President Trump attempted to distance himself from the attack on the Capitol last week shortly after being impeached by the House of Representatives on Wednesday.
“Mob violence goes against everything I believe in, and everything our movement stands for. No true supporter of mine could ever support political violence,” he said in a video recorded in the Oval Office.
He asked his supporters to be “thinking of ways to ease tensions, calm tempers and help to promote peace in our country.”
Trump made no mention of the impeachment vote in the video.
Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer promises there will be a trial
Read Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer’s full statement below:
“Donald Trump has deservedly become the first president in American history to bear the stain of impeachment twice over. The Senate is required to act and will proceed with his trial and hold a vote on his conviction.
“Despite the efforts of Donald Trump and violent insurrectionists, America is not a dictatorship. We have been and will forever remain a Democracy that respects and reveres the rule of law, including the bedrock principle that the voters choose our leaders – that just power can only derive from the consent of the governed.
“Now that the House of Representatives has acted, the Senate will hold a fair trial on the impeachment of Donald J. Trump for his role in inciting the violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6th and attempting to overturn a free and fair election.
“A Senate trial can begin immediately, with agreement from the current Senate Majority Leader to reconvene the Senate for an emergency session, or it will begin after January 19th. But make no mistake, there will be an impeachment trial in the United States Senate; there will be a vote on convicting the president for high crimes and misdemeanors; and if the president is convicted, there will be a vote on barring him from running again.
“The president of the United States incited a violent mob against the duly elected government of the United States in a vicious, depraved and desperate attempt to remain in power. For the sake of our democracy, it cannot and must not be tolerated, excused, or go unpunished.”
10 Republican House members vote to impeach Trump
Ten Republican House members voted Wednesday to impeach President Trump over last week’s deadly insurrection at the Capitol.
The GOP votes were in sharp contrast to the unanimous support for Trump among House Republicans the first time he was impeached by Democrats in 2019.
Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, the third-ranking House Republican, said in a statement before voting to impeach Trump, “There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.”
The nine other House Republicans who supported impeachment were: John Katko of New York; Adam Kinzinger of Illinois; Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio; Fred Upton and Peter Meijer of Michigan; Jaime Herrera Beutler and Dan Newhouse of Washington state; Tom Rice of South Carolina; and David Valadao of California.
All Democrats who voted supported impeachment, while 197 Republicans voted no.
Mitch McConnell explains why he’ll wait on beginning a Senate trial
Read Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s full statement below:
“The House of Representatives has voted to impeach the President. The Senate process will now begin at our first regular meeting following receipt of the article from the House.
“Given the rules, procedures, and Senate precedents that govern presidential impeachment trials, there is simply no chance that a fair or serious trial could conclude before President-elect Biden is sworn in next week. The Senate has held three presidential impeachment trials. They have lasted 83 days, 37 days, and 21 days respectively.
“Even if the Senate process were to begin this week and move promptly, no final verdict would be reached until after President Trump had left office. This is not a decision I am making; it is a fact. The President-elect himself stated last week that his inauguration on January 20 is the ‘quickest’ path for any change in the occupant of the presidency.
“In light of this reality, I believe it will best serve our nation if Congress and the executive branch spend the next seven days completely focused on facilitating a safe inauguration and an orderly transfer of power to the incoming Biden Administration. I am grateful to the offices and institutions within the Capitol that are working around the clock, alongside federal and local law enforcement, to prepare for a safe and successful inauguration at the Capitol next Wednesday.”
Trump is first president to be impeached twice
Donald J. Trump has been impeached for incitement of insurrection by the House of Representatives, becoming the first U.S. president to be impeached twice.
Ten Republicans joined Democrats in voting in favor of impeachment, accusing him of rallying a violent mob of supporters to attack the Capitol last week. A Senate trial on whether to convict him seems all but certain to have to wait until President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated.
The 10 House Republicans who voted for impeachment
Rep. Liz Cheney (Wyoming)
Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (Washington)
Rep. John Katko (New York)
Rep. Adam Kinzinger (Illinois)
Rep. Fred Upton (Michigan)
Rep. Dan Newhouse (Washington)
Rep. Peter Meijer (Michigan)
Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (Ohio)
Rep. Tom Rice (South Carolina)
Rep. David Valadao (California)
Indicting Trump, with choice words
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco opened the House impeachment debate by calling President Trump “a clear and present danger to the nation that we all love.”
One Democrat had a more colorful metaphor of condemnation for the first president to face impeachment twice. Trump, said Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York, “is a living, breathing impeachable offense.”
And House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland closed the two-hour debate by saying what Trump is not: “We know the president is not a patriot.”
Republican Rep. Anthony Gonzalez says he will vote to impeach
Republican Rep. Peter Meijer says he will vote to impeach
Trump allies deflect rather than defend during impeachment debate
Few Republicans sought to defend or absolve President Trump during House debate over impeaching him for inciting insurrection, but his loyalists did plenty of deflecting.
Some Republicans aired long-standing grievances, claiming Democrats have been hellbent on getting rid of Trump from Day One. They complained that rushing to impeach him now, with days left in his term, denied the president due process.
“It seems impeachment is an itch that just doesn’t get scratched,” said Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, one of Trump’s most slavish acolytes in Congress. He warned that Republicans will press for prosecuting what he called the “Biden crime family” — comments that provoked a commotion, a mix of Republican applause and Democratic catcalls.
Several Republicans sought to equate the deadly invasion of the Capitol to stop the constitutionally mandated presidential vote count with last summer’s protests around the country against police brutality and racial injustice, some of which turned violent.
Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio claimed Republicans denounce violence from all sides “consistently,” while Democrats have a “double standard.” And Rep. Tom McClintock of Elk Grove went so far to say that if Black Lives Matter demonstrators had been forcefully prosecuted, the Capitol riot by right-wing Trump supporters might never have happened.
Pro-impeachment Republican: ‘I’m not afraid of losing my job’
Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington state, one of the six House Republicans who have said they will support President Trump’s impeachment, explained her vote as one to overcome fear.
“I’m not afraid of losing my job, but I am afraid that my country will fail,” she said. “My vote to impeach our sitting president is not a fear-based decision. I am not choosing a side. I am choosing truth. It’s the only way to defeat fear.”
McConnell tells colleagues he is undecided on how he’ll vote on impeachment
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said in a note to his colleagues that he is undecided on whether President Trump should be convicted if the House votes to impeach him.
McConnell said in the letter today: “While the press has been full of speculation, I have not made a final decision on how I will vote and I intend to listen to the legal arguments when they are presented to the Senate.”
Sheltering in a Capitol office, a California congressman sent a frantic text that got impeachment rolling
WASHINGTON — Still taking refuge in a Capitol Hill office after violent Trump supporters besieged the halls outside the House and Senate, Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Torrance) fired off a text message to every Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee.
The committee “should start drafting articles of impeachment now, regardless of what leadership says,” he wrote in the 3:09 p.m. message. “We have seen the consequences of being weak against Trump and not holding him accountable these last couple months. If we don’t do anything besides send strongly worded press releases, then we are complicit in battering lady justice and our Constitution.”
His colleagues were scattered and panicked, most having fled just moments before angry extremists breached the doors of the U.S. Capitol and began ransacking the place in a deadly assault.
But for those who were now safe enough to answer Lieu’s missive, the response was unanimous: Impeach.
Historic GOP support for impeachment
At least six House Republicans have publicly said they will vote to impeach President Trump. While that’s a small share of the Republican caucus, it’s a record level of support for impeachment from a president’s own party.
The number of cases isn’t large. Before Trump, only two other presidents, Bill Clinton and Andrew Johnson, had been impeached.
Johnson was a Democrat whom President Lincoln, a Republican, chose as his running mate for his second term as a gesture of national unity during the Civil War. After Lincoln’s assassination, Johnson, a white supremacist, quickly ran into conflict with the pro-civil rights Republican majority in Congress. When the House voted to impeach him in 1868, no Democrat supported the move.
One-hundred-thirty years later, five Democrats joined with Republicans on three of the four counts against Clinton when he was impeached. No House Republicans voted in favor of Trump’s first impeachment in December 2019.
More than 100 people have now been arrested on criminal charges in riot
The number of people arrested on criminal charges related to last week’s riot at the U.S. Capitol has exceeded 100.
The count by the Associated Press resulted from a nationwide review of court records and announcements of arrests issued by law enforcement agencies. The charges range from misdemeanor curfew violations in the District of Columbia to federal felonies related to the assault of law enforcement officers, theft of government property and possessing firearms and explosives.
Federal prosecutors and the FBI said this week that they are pursuing dozens more suspects who have been identified through photos and videos from the Jan. 6 melee and tips from the public.
Those newly arrested Wednesday include 56-year-old Robert Keith Packer, of Newport News, Va. His mugshot appears to match the bearded man photographed at the Capitol wearing a hoodie emblazoned with “Camp Auschwitz” and the phrase “Work Brings Freedom,” a translation of the German phrase from the gates of the Nazi concentration camp where more than 1.1 million Jews and others were murdered during World War II.
Rep. Dan Newhouse of Washington is sixth Republican to support impeachment
Rep. Dan. Newhouse of Washington state has added his name to the short list of Republicans supporting the impeachment of President Trump.
He said Tuesday on the House floor that the article of impeachment is flawed but that he would not use process as an excuse to vote no.
He says, “There is no excuse for President Trump’s actions.”
Newhouse says the president took an oath to defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic. Yet he says that when there was a “domestic threat at the door of the Capitol,” the president “did nothing to stop it.”
He says he will vote for impeachment “with a heavy heart and clear resolve.”
Trump issues statement saying he wants ‘NO violence’
President Trump has said nothing about today’s impeachment proceedings, but he did release a statement calling for no violence after law enforcement officials warned of potential threats surrounding President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration next week.
“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. Thank You.”
The statement was first provided to Fox News before being distributed to the White House press corps. Shortly afterward, one of Trump’s closest allies in Congress, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), read it on the House floor during the impeachment debate.
McCarthy blames Trump for riot, but opposes impeachment
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said President Trump is responsible for the insurrection at the Capitol last week, but said he would oppose impeachment.
“The president bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters,” the Bakersfield Republican said during House debate on impeaching the president, the first time he has said publicly that Trump was to blame. “He should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding.”
McCarthy said a congressional censure of Trump would be appropriate, but Democrats have dismissed that idea as insufficient.
McCarthy also explicitly stated that antifa, the left-wing movement, was not to blame, undercutting a refrain commonly repeated by hard-line conservatives without evidence.
“Some say the riots were caused by antifa,” McCarthy said. “There is absolutely no evidence of that. And conservatives should be the first to say so.”
McConnell rejects emergency session for trial
If the House impeaches President Trump, a Senate trial on whether to convict him of inciting insurrection seems all but certain to have to wait until President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated.
That’s the word from a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. The spokesman says aides to the Kentucky Republican have told Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer’s staff that McConnell won’t agree to invoke powers calling senators into emergency session.
That means the Senate almost certainly won’t meet again until Jan. 19. That’s the day before Biden’s inauguration.
The House is set to vote later Wednesday on impeaching Trump, accusing him of rallying a violent mob of supporters to attack the Capitol last week.
Pelosi opens House debate: Trump is ‘clear and present danger to the nation that we all love’
Who are the House Republicans who say they’ll vote to impeach?
As of Wednesday morning, five House Republicans have said they’ll vote to impeach President Trump after a violent mob of his supporters stormed the Capitol one week ago. It’s a decided contrast with the president’s impeachment in 2019, when no House Republicans voted to impeach him.
Click here as we track which Republicans announce they’ll vote to impeach the president.
House tees up impeachment debate as final vote looms
House Democrats cleared the path to impeach President Trump Wednesday with a largely procedural vote that will lead to final judgment within hours.
Trump is expected to become the first president in history to be impeached twice. He is accused of inciting the deadly invasion of the U.S. Capitol a week ago.
“There are consequences to actions, and President Trump’s actions require urgent, clear” response, Rep. Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) said. He quoted Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, “the daughter of a vice president” and one of the handful of Republicans who have voiced support for impeachment. She called Trump’s incitement of the mob the “greatest betrayal” of a president’s duty.
“If these actions aren’t impeachable, what is?” Hoyer added.
Republican members attempted to stave off impeachment by offering to create a bipartisan committee to investigate domestic terrorism.
Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) urged his colleagues not to “rush to judgment” in impeaching Trump and to “look forward, not backward.”
“The majority should be taking steps to unite us,” Cole said. “Instead, they will only divide us further.”
But Democrats insisted on holding Trump accountable immediately.
“Do we want to condone by acquiescence, or condemn by impeachment?” said Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.).
Rep. Al Green (D-Texas), who saw his efforts to impeach Trump over the years fail, was emotional as he rose to endorse the measure.
“This is a very sad time,” Green said. “No one is celebrating.”
This first vote passed with 221 Democrats in favor and 205 Republicans opposed. Six Republicans and one Democrat did not vote. It allows the debate to advance rather than tabling the impeachment motion as Republicans had sought.
Many Congress members served as proxies submitting votes for their colleagues as part of COVID-19 measures aimed at reducing the number of people in the chamber. All wore face masks, as is required under House rules. Several wiped down the podium and microphone before or after they spoke.
The debate was taking place under extraordinary security amid reports that Trump supporters intended to attempt to storm the Capitol again. Metal detectors were placed at each entrance to the House floor. The building was ringed by fencing, and hundreds of police and law enforcement officers from several agencies. National Guard troops bivouacked overnight inside the Capitol, sleeping on the cold marble floors.
Heated debate as House opens impeachment proceedings
The debate is heated almost from the start as House sets up a vote to impeach President Trump.
Democrats and a few Republicans say Trump must be removed immediately after he egged on a violent mob of supporters a week ago who then stormed the Capitol. The insurrection happened as some of Trump’s GOP allies were challenging his election defeat, echoing the president’s false claims that there was widespread fraud in his loss to Democrat Joe Biden.
Most Republicans are saying impeachment is divisive. They’re not mentioning the president.
Republican Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio is one of Trump’s most vocal defenders. Jordan blames Democrats for objecting to previous election results and he’s repeating baseless claims that the 2020 election was rigged.
But Democratic Rep. Jim McGovern of Massachusetts says Democrats haven’t pushed conspiracy theories that a president won in a landslide when he actually lost — which is what happened to Trump.
McGovern is looking back at the deadly Capitol siege and saying “people died because of the big lies that were being told.” And he says that’s enough to merit impeachment.
White House goes silent as Trump faces second impeachment
President Trump is about to become the first president to be impeached for a second time, but the White House is making little effort to defend him.
Administration officials have not held any briefings or released any statements opposing the impeachment. Top advisors are absent from the television networks. And the president’s Twitter account remains silenced over the company’s concerns that he could use it to incite more violence.
Trump addressed impeachment only briefly during Tuesday’s remarks at the border wall in Alamo, Texas, calling it the “continuation of the greatest and most vicious witch hunt in the history of our country.”
The lack of any clear defense or counterattack is partially a reflection of the timeline. Because Trump’s term ends at noon next Wednesday, impeachment is unlikely to cut short his time in office — the Senate, still under Republican control, isn’t even in session to conduct a trial. But it’s also a sign of how isolated the president has become after the mob attack on the Capitol.
There’s no phalanx of lawyers stepping forward to defend Trump. Several House Republicans have already said they will vote for impeachment, a crack in the president’s once-solid control of his party.
It’s unclear how many Senate Republicans would vote to remove Trump from office — only one, Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah, voted to do so after Trump’s first impeachment. Yet reports indicate that some Republicans view this as an opportunity for a clean break with an unpopular and erratic president.
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Members of the National Guard sleep in the halls of the Capitol
Some members of the National Guard protecting the U.S. Capitol in the face of threats against lawmakers caught up on their sleep Wednesday morning. They napped on the marble floors, their weapons within reach.
Trump’s sway over GOP rapidly melting away as end of his term nears
Just a few weeks ago, President Trump, even in defeat after the November election, dominated the Republican Party — able to bend lawmakers to his will and assert a strong claim to the party’s nomination for another White House run four years from now.
Today, as the final days of his presidency hurtle toward their close and the House prepares to impeach him for a second time, Trump’s formidable control of the party has rapidly eroded.
Events have moved so fast, and Trump’s power has waned so quickly, that the prospect of a Senate conviction of the president — either removing him from office before the inauguration next week or voting afterward to bar him from running again — has gone in a matter of days from almost inconceivable to openly under discussion.
That does not guarantee that Trump will be abandoned by the GOP.
Capitol Hill ramps up security for inauguration
Capitol Hill’s top law enforcement officials vowed that the Capitol will be fortified with additional security measures ahead of the inauguration and warned of violent threats against the building on the day.
One thousand National Guardsmen are already on site at the Capitol, and an 8-foot security fence has been erected. Ahead of Inauguration Day, there will be an expanded outer perimeter, additional armed National Guardsmen and Secret Service officers, and razor wire will be installed on the fence surrounding the perimeter of the Capitol grounds, acting U.S. Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman said, according to an account of the meeting shared by the office of Rep. Rodney Davis, the top Republican on the Committee on House Administration.
House Sergeant at Arms Tim Blodgett and acting U.S. Capitol Police Assistant Chief Sean Gallagher also briefed House Republicans Tuesday.
Gallagher briefed members on several demonstrations planned leading up to and on Inauguration Day, including some that indicated violence. He said there were no credible foreign threats.
New York City to terminate Trump contracts after Capitol insurrection
NEW YORK — New York City will terminate business contracts with President Trump after last week’s insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Wednesday.
The Trump Organization is under city contract to operate the two ice rinks and a carousel in Central Park as well as a golf course in the Bronx.
The Trump Organization earns profits of about $17 million a year from those sites, De Blasio said.
“I’m here to announce that the city of New York is severing all contracts with the Trump Organization,” he said.
It is the latest example of how the Jan. 6 riot by violent Trump supporters is impacting the Republican president’s business interests.
The PGA of America voted Sunday to take the PGA Championship away from his New Jersey golf course next year, a move that came after social media platforms disabled Trump’s accounts and Shopify took down online stores affiliated with him.
Watch live: Trump faces article of impeachment
This could be an impeachment like no other. Here’s what to expect
WASHINGTON — In response to Wednesday’s rampage on the Capitol by a mob of Trump supporters, House Democrats led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) plan to move forward this week with a second impeachment of President Trump, even though his term of office expires Jan. 20.
If they proceed as planned, it will look like no other presidential impeachment in U.S. history. Here’s what we know about what the next few days and weeks could look like.
Can they really impeach and convict Trump after he has left office?
Yes, the Constitution says the House of Representatives “shall have the sole power of impeachment,” and this means that impeachment is more of a political process than a legal one. The House majority has broad authority to decide whether to lodge charges against the president or any high official.
However, the impeachment power has been generally understood as a means for removing an official from power, not punishing him for his conduct in office. So conducting a Senate trial after Trump is already gone — as is now expected given the time constraints — will be controversial.
The Constitution’s best known clause on impeachment — in Article 2, Section 4 — says, “The President, Vice President and all civil officers of the United States shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery and other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”
Read the House article of impeachment against President Trump
President Trump is facing the possibility of a second impeachment after he incited a mob of supporters to storm the Capitol last week. Trump would be the first president in history to be impeached for a second time.
Reps. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), Ted Lieu (D-Torrance) and Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) introduced their article of impeachment Monday morning. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of San Franciscop said this weekend that the House would vote on impeachment if Vice President Mike Pence did not invoke the 25th Amendment, which he did not.
Key House Republican Liz Cheney says she’ll vote to impeach Trump
Republican Rep. Liz Cheney says she will vote to impeach President Trump.
The Wyoming congresswoman, the No. 3 Republican in the House, said in a statement Tuesday that Trump “summoned” the mob that attacked the Capitol last week, “assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack.” She added: “Everything that followed was his doing.”
Reps. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), an Air Force veteran, and John Katko (R-N.Y.), a former federal prosecutor, became the first rank-and-file GOP lawmakers to say they would vote to impeach Trump. Later joining the GOP faction was Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.).