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Today’s Headlines: Impeached, again

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Trump is the only president to be impeached twice, this time for inciting the Capitol riot. Now, the debate shifts to the Senate.

President Trump has been impeached a historic second time, but the Senate trial won’t come until after he leaves office.

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Impeached, Again

Donald Trump has become the first president in U.S. history to be impeached twice, as a bipartisan House majority voted to charge him with inciting insurrection by his supporters, who stormed the Capitol in a deadly siege to block ratification of Joe Biden’s electoral victory.

It was a defining moment that will probably eclipse any policy accomplishments of Trump’s presidency and illustrated how far he has fallen in the year since his last impeachment and trial, when all but one Republican in Congress stood by him.

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The 232-197 House vote Wednesday came exactly one week after the Capitol suffered its most violent assault since the British burned it in the War of 1812.

Trump’s iron grip on the Republican Party is slipping. In the final vote, 10 Republicans, including No. 3 GOP leader Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, joined 222 Democrats in approving one article of impeachment. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy voted against impeachment but for the first time publicly blamed Trump for the insurrection.

The charge against Trump now goes to the Senate, where a trial will not be held until after Trump leaves office on Jan. 20, said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who pointedly did not rule out that he might eventually vote to convict Trump. A post-presidency conviction would be too late to cut short Trump’s term in office, but it could be followed by a vote on a measure to bar Trump from running again for president.

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Fortress D.C.

Thousands of police and military troops continued pouring into the nation’s capital Wednesday, transforming the city into an armed fortress in an extraordinary show of force aimed at heading off more mob violence ahead of next week’s inauguration ceremony.

Officials involved in the security preparations said they had never been so concerned about violence in Washington, including in the days after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

At the U.S. Capitol, hundreds of armed National Guard troops joined police behind new eight-foot fencing and checkpoints walling off the grounds. So many Guard members were dispatched to Washington, and so quickly, they were left to sleep on the domed building’s marble floors, a scene reminiscent of the Civil War.

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Washington was not the only capital that was augmenting security in coming days. State capitol buildings across the nation — including in Austin, Texas, where lawmakers carried weapons — called in the National Guard and erected barricades over fears that far-right groups and Trump’s supporters were plotting a second wave of uprisings after last week’s storming of Congress.

Members of the National Guard
Members of the National Guard rest in the Capitol Visitors Center on Capitol Hill as the House of Representatives convenes to impeach President Trump, nearly a week after a pro-Trump insurrectionist mob breached the security of the nation’s Capitol.
(Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

More From Washington

— How the article of impeachment began: While sheltering in place, Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Torrance) fired off a text message to every Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee.

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— Trump’s impeachment gave Republicans a chance to choose principle over party, writes Mark Z. Barabak in this news analysis. Most did not.

— Twitter Inc. Chief Executive Jack Dorsey said the decision to ban Trump was necessary but raises questions about the power of social media companies and Twitter’s failure to promote healthy conversation.

For more news and analysis, sign up for our Essential Politics newsletter, sent to your inbox three days a week.

Good Vaccine News, but ...

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Gov. Gavin Newson said that people 65 and older are now eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations, but the sudden addition of roughly 6 million people to an already strained distribution network could still leave many waiting weeks for inoculations.

The major expansion of vaccination guidelines, which broadens the priority list beyond healthcare workers and nursing home residents and staffers, has been pushed by some health officials and experts as a way to boost access amid surging caseloads. Newsom and others said it was a positive step forward that will provide access as quickly as possible to people 65 and older, a group that has suffered disproportionately from the virus.

But the announcement was met with confusion and pleas for more details from some county health officials, raising questions whether state and local officials are prepared to meet growing demands and expectations for vaccinations.

Those seeking vaccines have also complained about a scarcity of information on how to make an appointment. Here’s what we know so far.

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Immunity to Boredom

Dungeons & Dragons made its debut more than four decades ago, but the tabletop game has made a comeback in online form.

Players and scholars attribute the game’s resurgent popularity to the pandemic, as well as its reemergence in pop culture — on the Netflix series “Stranger Things,” whose main characters play D&D in a basement; on the sitcom “The Big Bang Theory”; or via the host of celebrities who display their love for the game.

The game also has become more inclusive, as creatives who work on updating the game have considered current sensitivities about race and stereotypes.

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FROM THE ARCHIVES

On Jan. 16, 2020, the Senate began considering articles of impeachment against President Trump. It was the third time in history senators had weighed whether to remove the president from office.

He had been impeached by the House in December for asking Ukraine to investigate Biden as Trump withheld nearly $400 million in U.S. aid from the country.

The Senate trial began on Jan. 21. Two weeks later, lawmakers voted to acquit Trump largely along party lines.

Reps. Jerrold Nadler and Adam Schiff lead as Rep. Zoe Lofgren and Rep. Jason Crow follow in the Capitol rotunda
Impeachment managers, House Judiciary Committee Chairman, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., right, and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., center, lead as Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., and Rep. Jason Crow, D-Colo., follow in the rotunda on their way to the Senate on Capitol Hill on Jan. 16, 2020.
(Julio Cortez / Associated Press)
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CALIFORNIA

— The Los Angeles City Council wants to crack down on mask scofflaws after local demonstrations by anti-mask groups at shopping malls, grocery stores and homeless encampments.

Wildfire smoke now accounts for up to half of all fine-particle pollution in the Western U.S., according to a new study that blames climate change for worsening air quality and health risks in urban and rural communities.

— The brother of prominent L.A. attorney Tom Girardi has asked a judge to appoint him as a guardian over his sibling, asserting that the elderly lawyer “is incompetent and unable to act for himself.”

— A mother convicted of killing her kids in 1989 house fire in Bell was released after work by California Innocence Project identified faulty science that led to her conviction.

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NATION-WORLD

— Former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder was charged with willful neglect of duty stemming from an investigation of ruinous decisions that left Flint with lead-contaminated water and a regional outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease

— A COVID-19 resurgence in China has prompted a “wartime mode” response from authorities fearful of the virus spreading before the upcoming Spring Festival, when hundreds of millions of Chinese crisscross the country to go home each year.

— After surviving a poisoning intended to assassinate him, Russian activist Alexei Navalny says he’ll return to Russia despite threats.

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— What has happened to Kim Yo Jong, the influential sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un? It’s not clear why she’s been suddenly excluded from high-profile roles.

HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS

— With “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” and “The Trials of the Chicago 7,” Sacha Baron Cohen is moving the needle of history.

— It took 31 years, but Daniel Dae Kim finally landed his first lead role in TV series. He’ll star in the second season of National Geographic’s anthology thriller “The Hot Zone.”

— The 27th Screen Actors Guild Awards have been pushed back once again due to the pandemic and a mix-up with the Grammys.

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— An independent studio is developing a five-part limited-series TV adaptation of George Orwell’s “1984.” The series will draw from a British stage adaptation of the book.

BUSINESS

June Taylor is a preserves whisperer. But after 30 years, she’s closing her West Berkeley shop, and customers have made a run on its jams, butters, marmalades and syrups.

— If you’re in the business of selling body bags, 2020 was a good year, writes columnist Gustavo Arellano. But it’s not something manufacturers are proud of.

SPORTS

Klete Keller, a two-time Olympic gold medalist swimmer from USC, was charged in connection with the riot at the U.S. Capitol.

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LeBron James continued to lead the Lakers’ road dominance in a rout over Thunder.

Free online games

Get our free daily crossword puzzle, sudoku, word search and arcade games in our new game center at latimes.com/games.

OPINION

— California, stop sitting on your COVID vaccine doses and throw out the playbook if you have to, The Times’ editorial board recommends.

— Planned protests by armed extremists should make states rethink their gun laws, the editorial board writes.

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WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING

— The Trump administration is rushing to implement dozens of policy changes in its final days. Here are some of the biggest. (ProPublica)

— The magic trick of sawing a person in half is celebrating 100 years, and a London-based event will stream live this weekend. (The Guardian)

ONLY IN L.A.

In the 1950s, an era of wholesome sitcoms, Vampira emerged on Southern California TV screens with wild performance art, sex appeal and a lot of spookiness. A new biography from her niece explores the complicated life of Hollywood’s “original goth.”

Comments or ideas? Email us at headlines@latimes.com.


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