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|January 18, 2021|
House impeaches Trump for second time, Senate must now weigh conviction
WASHINGTON - The House impeached President Donald Trump Wednesday for a second time, charging the president with "incitement of insurrection" for his role in the violent riot by a pro-Trump mob of the U.S. Capitol that left five people dead and terrorized lawmakers as they sought to affirm President-elect Joe Biden's victory.
The vote to impeach passed the Democratic-controlled House 232 to 197, with 10 Republicans voting against the president.
The House is expected to immediately send the article of impeachment to the Senate for them to begin the process of holding a trial to determine whether to convict Trump and potentially bar him from ever running for any office again.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said that the trail would begin after the Senate reconvenes on Jan. 19th, just one day before Biden is sworn into office.
Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, a member of the GOP leadership, was the highest ranking Republican to vote to impeach Trump. She was joined by John Katko of New York, Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, Fred Upton of Michigan, Peter Meijer of Michigan, Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio, Tom Rice of South Carolina, David Valadao of California, and Jaime Herrera Beutler and Dan Newhouse of Washington.
No House Republican voted to impeach Trump during the inquiry earlier in his term that resulted in a Senate acquittal.
"Those insurrectionists were not patriots. They were not part of a political base to be catered to or managed. They were domestic terrorists and justice must prevail," Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on the House floor, kicking off two hours of debate before the final vote was held.
"But they did not appear out of a vacuum. They were sent here, sent here by the president, with words such as a cry to 'fight like hell,'" Pelosi, D-Calif., continued. "The president saw the insurrectionists not as the foes of freedom, as they are, but as the means to a terrible goal: the goal of him personally clinging to power."
McConnell told his Republican colleagues Wednesday afternoon that he remains undecided on whether he will vote to convict the president.
“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,” McConnell wrote in a letter to his colleagues.
The New York Times reported Tuesday that McConnell had privately voiced support for the Democrats' move to impeach Trump.
The Senate trial will run into the first days of Biden's administration. Some Democrats have raised concerns that the trial could tie up the Senate's time, hindering Biden's ability to quickly confirm his Cabinet nominees and get his administration up and running.
The impeachment vote follows a House vote late Tuesday night to formally call on Vice President Mike Pence to use the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office. The act, which was largely symbolic, passed the House 223 to 205 along partisan lines with Kinzinger as the sole Republican to vote in favor of the measure.
Lawmakers arrived at the Capitol on Wednesday morning to debate the article just one week after the attack, entering a now heavily guarded building swarming with thousands of National Guard officers.
Hundreds of the armed officers slept at the Capitol Tuesday night. The Senate Historian Office said they were aware of only two other occasions during which troops stayed overnight in the Capitol: During World War II and amid the riots in D.C. in 1968. (Source: NBC News)
Story Date: January 14, 2021