Donald Trump Becomes First President To Be Impeached Twice; House Charges Him With Inciting Capitol Hill Siege
UPDATED, 1:36 PM PT: Donald Trump became the first president to be impeached twice, as the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday passed an article citing him for inciting the insurrection on the U.S. Capitol last week.
The 232-197 vote came after just two hours of debate, reflecting the urgency of House Democrats to impeach the president before his term ends. Ten Republicans joined with Democrats to impeach the president.
After House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the vote as final, members paused for a moment, then went about chatting among themselves.
All of the news networks covered the vote, and broadcast networks broke in with special reports.
Trump was charged with one article for impeachment, inciting an insurrection stemming from the riot at the Capitol.
It will be up to the Senate to hold a trial. If two-thirds vote to convict, Trump will be removed from office.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement that it would be impossible for the Senate to hold a trial and decide whether Trump should be removed before Biden’s inauguration next week. He said in a statement that “there is simply no chance that a fair or serious trial could conclude” before January 20. McConnell has resisted calls to return the Senate to an emergency session before January 19.
“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,” McConnell said.
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), soon to succeed McConnell as majority leader, said that “there will be an impeachment trial in the U.S. Senate,” along with a vote that would prohibit Trump from running again.
Trump was awarding the National Medal of Arts to Ricky Skaggs and Toby Keith as the vote was taking place, according to NBC News.
The impeachment proceedings were far different than those in December 2019. This time, hundreds of National Guard troops were fanned out across the Capitol following the siege that left five people dead and dozens injured. During the debate, members of Congress described fleeing and fearful for their lives as rioters stormed through the hallways and tried to break down doors leading to the chamber.
“There are more troops right now in Washington, D.C., than in Afghanistan, and they are here to defend us against the commander in chief, the president of the United States and his mob.”
The vote took place a week to the day since the Capitol siege. Trump’s previous impeachment came after months of investigation and hearings.
The House has impeached a president three other times: Trump in 2019, Bill Clinton in 1998 and Andrew Jackson in 1868.
One surprise vote for impeachment among Republicans was Rep. Tom Rice (R-SC). He was among the 139 GOP House members to oppose, even after the siege, the certification of the electoral vote for Biden.
UPDATE, 12:53 PM PT: The House is now voting on whether to impeach Donald Trump, something that would make him the first president to be impeached twice.
So far, seven Republicans have said they would vote yes.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) was the final speaker after two hours of debate, and he implored Republicans to follow Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) and vote for impeachment.
“In my view Donald Trump demands absolute loyalty, and gives none in return,” he said.
UPDATE, 12:23 PM PT: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that he has not yet decided how he will vote on impeachment if it makes it to the Senate.
Per CNN and other news outlets, McConnell sent a letter to colleagues in which he said that “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.”
There were reports that McConnell believes Trump committed impeachable offenses. McConnell also has said that the Senate will not return until January 19, meaning that a trial would likely start after Trump leaves office.
UPDATE, 11:41 AM PT: Kathy Griffin responded to Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO), who used his time during the impeachment debate to pin blame on “Hollywood socialists” for an environment of incendiary rhetoric. Buck cited anti-Trump comments made by Madonna and Robert De Niro, and the incident when Griffin posted an image of her holding a mock severed head of the president.
“My only take away… ‘Kathy Griffin AND MADONNA,'” Griffin wrote.
My only take away…“Kathy Griffin AND MADONNA”