House impeaches Trump for second time

By Tony Bertuca / January 13, 2021 at 4:51 PM

The House voted 232-197 today to impeach President Trump on the grounds he incited the violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol last week that left five people dead.

The historic vote makes Trump the only president in U.S. history to be impeached twice.

"President Trump gravely endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of government," according to the impeachment bill. "He will remain a threat to national security, democracy, and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office."

Ten House Republicans joined Democrats in voting to impeach Trump.

It is unclear how the matter will proceed in the Senate, but reports indicate that Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) will not allow a speedy impeachment trial, meaning Trump would likely be tried after he is no longer president. He will officially be out of office Jan. 20 when President-elect Biden is inaugurated.

McConnell says in a letter to his fellow Republicans he has "not made a final decision" on how he will vote on impeachment.

Meanwhile, an additional 5,000 members of the National Guard are scheduled to arrive in Washington to provide security at Biden's inauguration, increasing the total to at least 20,000.

Last week's rampage at the Capitol unfolded during and after a Trump rally dedicated to his months-long effort to overturn his loss in the presidential election.

“We know we experienced the insurrection that violated the sanctity of the people's Capitol and attempted to overturn the duly recorded will of the American people," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). "And 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."

Trump was defended on the House floor by some Republicans, like Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), who bemoaned "cancel culture" and Democrats' continued efforts to impeach the president.

"They want to cancel the president," Jordan said.

Trump has been impeached once already for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress amid allegations he improperly pressured the Ukrainian government to investigate Biden. He was not convicted in the Senate.

While opposing impeachment, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said today Trump "bears responsibility for Wednesday's attack on Congress by mob rioters. He should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding."

But No. 3 House Republican Liz Cheney (R-WY) voted to impeach Trump, releasing a statement yesterday saying, "there has never been a greater betrayal by a president of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution."

Before the vote, Trump released a statement urging his supporters to refrain from acts of violence.

"In light of reports of more demonstrations, I urge there must be NO violence, NO lawbreaking and NO vandalism of any kind," he said. "I call on ALL Americans to help ease tensions and calm tempers."

The message was disseminated via a White House press release as Facebook and Twitter have banned the president from their platforms, citing further risk of violence.

During the violent attack on the Capitol last week, Trump tweeted a video asking the rioters to return home, telling them he loved them and that they were "very special."