House votes to impeach Trump for second time


Washington — The House of Representatives voted Wednesday to impeach President Trump on one count of incitement of insurrection, making him the first president in U.S. history to be impeached twice. The vote came exactly one week after a mob of the president’s supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol building in an effort to block Congress from counting the Electoral College votes and confirming President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.

The vote was 232 in favor, 197 opposed. Ten Republicans joined 222 Democrats in voting to impeach.

The article of impeachment, introduced Monday by House Democrats, accuses Mr. Trump of “willfully inciting violence against the government of the United States” in violation of his constitutional oath and duty. 

“President Trump gravely endangered the security of the United State and its institutions of government,” the article states. “He threatened the integrity of the democratic system, interfered with the peaceful transition of power, and imperiled a coordinate branch of government. He thereby betrayed his trust as president to the manifest injury of the people of the United States.”

The vote is the culmination of swift efforts by the Democrat-led House to punish Mr. Trump for his role in inciting the violence at the Capitol, which led to the deaths of four protesters and one U.S. Capitol Police officer who was fatally injured the melee. 

The House late Tuesday passed a resolution calling on Vice President Mike Pence to convene the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment and remove Mr. Trump from office, but Pence told House Speaker Nancy Pelosi he would not do so.

In a speech on the House floor in support of impeachment, Pelosi said that Mr. Trump “must go.”

“The President must be impeached, and, I believe, the President must be convicted by the Senate, a constitutional remedy that will ensure that the republic will be safe from this man who is so resolutely determined to tear down the things that we hold dear and that hold us together,” she said. “Those insurrectionists were not patriots.  They were not part of a political base to be catered to and managed.  They were domestic terrorists, and justice must prevail.”

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy suggested that the House pass a censure resolution instead and create a commission to investigate the events of last week. He said Mr. Trump was partially responsible for the violence, but argued that impeachment was not the right way to move forward.

“A vote to impeach would further divide this nation. A vote to impeach would further fan the flames of partisan division,” said McCarthy, who voted to object to the Electoral College results 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.”

Unlike the first impeachment effort in the House a year ago, which was divided along party lines, this time a number of Republicans broke with Mr. Trump and vote to impeach him Wednesday.

At least six GOP lawmakers — including Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the House’s No. 3 Republican — announced prior to today’s session that said they would vote to impeach the president.

In anticipation of the House vote and forthcoming Senate trial, Pelosi on Tuesday named the nine House Democrats who will be impeachment managers, effectively serving as the prosecutors who will make the House’s case against Mr. Trump during proceedings in the upper chamber.

It is unclear how soon Senate proceedings would begin, or whether a Senate vote could take place before Mr. Trump’s term in office ends on Wednesday, January 20. A two-thirds vote in the Senate would be required to convict Mr. Trump on the impeachment charges.

The president, who has made few remarks after Twitter banned his account Friday, derided the impeachment efforts, saying Tuesday it is causing “tremendous danger” to the nation and “tremendous anger.”

“The impeachment hoax is a continuation of the greatest and most vicious witch hunt in the history of our country, and it is causing tremendous anger and division and pain, far greater than most people will ever understand, which is very dangerous for the USA, especially at this very tender time,” Mr. Trump said during a speech in Texas, where he was surveying the wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The president also declined to take responsibility for his role his rhetoric played in spurring the violent attack on the Capitol.

“They’ve analyzed my speech and words and my final paragraph, my final sentence, and everybody, to the T, thought it was totally appropriate,” he told reporters before leaving for Texas.

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