President Donald Trump was impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives Wednesday evening. The second time the Commander and Chief was formally charged under the Constitution’s ultimate remedy, this time for an “incitement of insurrection” upon the U.S. Capitol.
House debate is now underway on a single impeachment charge against President Trump related to the attack on the Capitol last week by Trump supporters.
— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) January 13, 2021
Unlike the charges last December for the President’s involvement in a quid pro quo with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, today’s vote was not split along party lines with ten Republicans joining the Democrats for a 232-197 majority.
No House Republicans voted to impeach last year, and Democrats had only a slight advantage of 230-197-1 on the first charge of obstruction of Congress, and 229-198-1 on the second for abuse of power.
In what is likely to be his last speech on the House floor, Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-LA) reminded fellow lawmakers they might as well be” co-conspirators” of President Trump for inciting the riots last week.
“President Trump put the domestic terrorists on notice by saying, stand back, and stand by. He then summoned them to D.C., directed them to march on the Capitol,” Richmond said.
Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) went further by saying,“Donald Trump is a living, breathing, impeachable offense. It is what it is.”
Rep. Cori Bush: "If we fail to remove a white supremacist president, who incited a white supremacist insurrection, it's communities like Missouri's 1st District that suffer the most." (Republicans boo) pic.twitter.com/fq2KcB7yPb
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) January 13, 2021
One of the Republicans standing in opposition of impeaching Trump for the second time in thirteen months was Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-N.J.), who said that impeaching Trump for a second time would “fracture” the country even further.
“We’ve been here before. We’ve done this before. This has failed before. We fractured our nation using the same process before. Congress must be the glue that starts unifying everyone,” Van Drew said.
House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) sided with Van Drew, but said Trump is responsible for the deadly Capitol attack last week.
“The President bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters. He should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding. These facts require immediate action of President Trump,” McCarthy said.
The article of impeachment now goes to the Senate for trial that will start under a new administration. Trump is likely to be convicted by the chamber after some Republicans, including Mitch McConnell (R-KY), have announced their support of ousting the President.
The current Senate Majority Leader told associates “he believes President Trump committed impeachable offenses and that he is pleased that Democrats are moving to impeach him, believing that it will make it easier to purge him from the party,” according to a report from the New York Times published Tuesday.
McConnell also said he won’t bring the Senate back early, according to Republican sources and news communicated to Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) today. That means a Senate trial won’t happen until the early days of the Biden presidency and was confirmed by McConnell spokesperson Doug Andres.
Trump is now the only President in U.S. history to be impeached twice. In December, he was the third President to face a trial in the U.S. Senate.
With just one week left in office, Trump and the White House have not made a comment on the impeachment proceedings. And it’s unclear if he will be heard from at all without access to social media accounts.
“On the impeachment, it’s really a continuation of the greatest witch hunt in the history of politics,” Trump told reporters in a rare appearance on Tuesday. “It’s ridiculous. It’s absolutely ridiculous. This impeachment is causing tremendous anger, and you’re doing it, and it’s really a terrible thing that they’re doing.”
The President made his first appearance since the assault on the Capitol Tuesday. A trip to visit the border wall in Texas where he showed no accountability or remorse for his actions. “People thought that what I said was totally appropriate,” Trump said.
The president did however release an official statement on Wednesday addressing reports of impending armed protests across the country this week. “In light of reports of more demonstrations, I urge that there must be NO violence, NO lawbreaking and NO vandalism of any kind,” Trump said. “That is not what I stand for, and it is not what America stands for.”