President Donald Trump is on the verge of becoming the first president to be impeached twice, as lawmakers move quickly to punish him over last week’s deadly Capitol attack. Trump’s fiery speech at a rally just before the Jan. 6 riot is at the center of the impeachment charge against him, even as the falsehoods he spread for months about election fraud are still being championed by some Republicans. The Democratic-controlled House will move to impeach Trump Wednesday for the second time in 13 months — this time with just days left in the defeated president’s term.
Scroll below for the latest developments:
Rep. Jordan Says Democrats Are Trying to ‘Cancel the President’
Republican Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio bemoaned the impeachment of President Donald Trump, accusing Democrats of trying to “cancel the President.”
“It’s always been about getting the President no matter what. It’s an obsession, an obsession that is now broadened,” said Jordan, one of Trump’s most vocal defenders. “Stop and think about it. Do you have a functioning First Amendment when the cancel culture only allows one side to talk? When you can’t even have a debate in this country?”
He warned that the cancel culture will eventually “come for us all.”
Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., later responded: “The cancel culture of violent white supremacy tried to cancel out all of our lives last Wednesday.”
Raskin has been appointed the leader of the nine House Democrats who would prosecute Trump during his expected Senate impeachment trial.
Pelosi Opens House Debate on Impeachment of Trump: ‘He Must Go’
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., addresses the floor of the House of Representatives during a debate on the impeachment of President Donald Trump.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says President Donald Trump represents a “clear and present danger” to the nation and must be impeached.
Pelosi says in a House speech that members of Congress and the country as a whole “experienced the insurrection that violated the sanctity of the people’s Capitol and attempted to overturn the duly recorded will of the American people″ in the presidential election.
She says “we know that the president of the United States incited this insurrection this armed rebellion against our common country. He must go. He is a clear and present danger to the nation that we all love.″
Pelosi says Trump has “repeatedly lied” about the outcome of the election that he lost to Democrat Joe Biden and Trump has “sowed self-serving doubt about democracy and unconstitutionally sought to influence state officials to repeat this armed rebellion against our country.″
Armed National Guard Troops Protect Congress During Trump Impeachment Debate at US Capitol
The District of Columbia National Guard says it has been authorized to arm troops assigned to security duty on the U.S. Capitol grounds.
The Guard said in a statement that the authority was requested by federal authorities and approved by Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy as of approximately 6 p.m. Tuesday.
Up to 15,000 Guard members are expected to be on duty in coming days in the district to support law enforcement in connection with the Jan. 20 inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden. Authorities are concerned about threats of violence, following the insurrection at the Capitol last week.
Video Wednesday showed members of the U.S. National Guard sleeping on the floors of the U.S. Capitol. The National Guard was called in during the Capitol riots on Jan. 6 and remain on the grounds to protect against possible attacks leading up to the inauguration of Joe Biden.
Rep. Jim McGovern Says Debate is Taking Place in ‘Actual Crime Scene’
Democratic lawmakers opened the impeachment effort by saying that every moment Donald Trump is in the White House the nation is in danger.
Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., said the debate is taking place at an “actual crime scene and we wouldn’t be here if it were not for the president of the United States.”
McGovern said it was Trump and his allies who were stoking the anger of the violent mob. He said Trump told the crowd to march to the Capitol and “the signal was unmistakable.”
Republican Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma said Jan. 6th would live in his memory as the darkest day of his service in the House. But Cole pushed back on the impeachment effort, saying the Senate could not even begin to consider impeachment until after President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in.
He said he could think of no action the House could take that would further divide the American people, saying “it’s unfortunate that a path to support healing is not the path the majority has chosen today.”
Hoyer Says House Plans to Send Impeachment to Senate Immediately
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., told NBC News that he plans to send over the article of impeachment to the Senate immediately once it is passed.
He did not specify if immediately meant later Wednesday or another day. The House is set to vote on the article late Wednesday and it is expected to pass.
There had been some debate among Democratic leadership about when the article would be sent to the Senate, with some suggesting waiting until after Biden’s first 100 days to ease his transition. Hoyer told NBC News that is no longer being discussed.
House Moves to Impeach Trump for 2nd Time: What to Watch
President Donald Trump faces a single charge — “incitement of insurrection” — after the deadly Capitol riot in an impeachment resolution that the House will begin debating Wednesday. It’s a stunning end for Trump’s presidency as Democrats and a growing number of Republicans declare he is unfit for office and could do more damage after inciting a mob that ransacked the Capitol.
In normal order, there would be an impeachment investigation and the evidence would be sent to the House Judiciary Committee, which would hold hearings, draft articles and send them to the full House. That’s what happened in 2019, when the House impeached Trump over his dealings with the president of Ukraine. It took three months.
This time, with so few days to act — and a feeling among Democrats that there is little need to investigate what happened, since most members of Congress heard Trump speak to his supporters and were in the Capitol when the mob broke in — impeachment is going straight to the House floor for a vote, which would come as soon as Wednesday.
Once the House passes the articles, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi can decide when she sends them to the Senate. Under the current schedule, the Senate is not set to resume full sessions until Jan. 19, which is the day before Biden’s inauguration.
Some Democrats suggested Pelosi might wait to send the articles and allow Biden to begin his term without impeachment hanging over him. But many other Democrats have urged Pelosi to move immediately.
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, who will be in charge once Biden is sworn in, suggested in a letter to colleagues Tuesday the chamber might divide its time between confirming Biden’s nominees, approving COVID relief and conducting the trial.
If the trial isn’t held until Trump is already out of office, it could still have the effect of preventing him from running for president again.
Republican Impeachment Support Grows
Unlike the last time Trump was impeached, when no House Republicans supported charges against Trump over a call he made to Ukraine’s new president, the current impeachment effort has drawn support from some Republicans.
Republican Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the No. 3 Republican in the House and the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, said she would vote to impeach Trump because “there has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.”
Cheney said Trump “summoned” the mob that attacked the Capitol last week, “assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack.”
New York Rep. John Katko was the first Republican to say he’d vote to impeach. A former federal prosecutor, he said he did not make the decision lightly.
“To allow the president of the United States to incite this attack without consequence is a direct threat to the future of our democracy,” Katko said. “I cannot sit by without taking action.”
Also saying they would vote for impeachment were Reps. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, Fred Upton of Michigan and Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington. Other Republicans seem likely to follow.
Acting AG Rosen Addresses Capitol Riot Response, Future Security Threats
Acting U.S. Attorney General Jefferey Rosen discusses the coordination of efforts on Jan. 6 when rioters invaded the U.S. Capitol and discusses the future threats for which the country is preparing.
NJ Rep. Sherrill: Lawmakers Held ‘Reconnaissance’ Tours Day Before Pro-Trump Rioters Attacked
Ahead of New Jersey Rep. Mikie Sherrill’s vote on Tuesday calling on Vice President Mike Pence to activate the 25th Amendment, the Democratic claimed she witnessed lawmakers giving “reconnaissance” tours just a day before last week’s attack on Capitol Hill that left five people dead, NBC New York reports.
Vowing to not only impeach the president and making sure he never runs for office again or receives access to classified materials, Sherrill said in a Facebook Live video she also intends to take action against members of congress who she saw taking groups through the Capitol on Jan. 5. She described it as “a reconnaissance for the next day.”
The congresswoman didn’t name any colleagues who were allegedly involved.
“Those members of congress who incited this violent crowd, those members of congress that attempted to help our president undermine our democracy. I am going to see that they are held accountable and if necessary ensure they don’t serve in congress,” she said.
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Fifth GOP House Member Backs Impeachment
Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Wa., tweeted late Tuesday that she believes President Trump acted against his oath of office and that she will vote Wednesday to impeach him — making her the fifth Republican to sign on to the Democratic effort to remove the president from office before his term ends.