Trump impeachment: House begins voting on charge of ‘incitement of insurrection’ – live

1 week ago

House votes on article of impeachment against Trump

The House has now concluded its two hours of debate on the article of impeachment against Donald Trump.

The chamber has moved on to a roll-call vote on the article, incitement of insurrection.

The measure is expected to pass with the support of all Democrats and at least seven Republicans.

Seventh House Republican says he will support impeachment

Peter Meijer, a Republican congressman from Michigan, has become the seventh Republican House member to say he will support the impeachment of Donald Trump.

“The President betrayed his oath of office by seeking to undermine our constitutional process, and he bears responsibility for inciting the insurrection last week,” Meijer said in a statement. “With a heavy heart, I will vote to impeach President Donald J. Trump.”

Rep. Peter Meijer (@RepMeijer)

President Trump betrayed his oath of office by seeking to undermine our constitutional process, and he bears responsibility for inciting the insurrection we suffered last week. With a heavy heart, I will vote to impeach President Donald J. Trump. pic.twitter.com/SREfFp0nd2

January 13, 2021

Meijer, a freshman congressman, previously said he was considering supporting impeachment, but this is the first time he has clearly said he will do so.

Seven Republicans have now said they will vote to impeach Trump, which means the president will be impeached in a bipartisan vote. When Trump was impeached the first time, only Democrats supported the measure.

The debate on the article of impeachment against Donald Trump is now wrapping up, and the House will soon move on to the final vote on impeachment.

Steve Scalise, the House minority whip, was the final Republican speaker, and he applauded the Capitol Police officers who work to protect lawmakers every day. Two Capitol Police officers have died since last week, when a violent, pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol.

House members in the chamber stood to applaud the fallen Capitol Police officers, marking a rare moment of bipartisanship during today’s contentious debate.

The House majority leader, Steny Hoyer, is the final Democratic speaker, and he has repeatedly cited the words of Republican Liz Cheney, who has said she will support impeachment.

“Will we stay silent, will we not stand up and say this is not acceptable?” Hoyer said. “Donald Trump has constructed a glass house of lies, fear-mongering and sedition.”

McConnell indicates he is open to convicting Trump

The Guardian’s Daniel Strauss reports:

Mitch McConnell, the top-ranking Republican in the Senate, indicated to colleagues that he is undecided on how he would vote on impeachment.

In a letter to his Senate colleagues sent out Wednesday afternoon, as members of the House moved forward with impeaching Donald Trump, the Kentucky Republican wrote, “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.”

The line in his note to Senate colleagues follows The New York Times reporting Tuesday night that McConnell is pleased with Democrats’ move to impeach the president again and has been sharing that sentiment with associates.

McConnell’s openness to impeaching the president, a fellow Republican, is the most significant sign so far that congressional Republican leaders are less resistant to Trump’s impeachment than the last time the president was impeached.

In the House, congresswoman Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the House Republican Conference chair, said she would vote to impeach Trump. Five other House Republicans have also come out in support of impeachment.

It’s unclear how Senate Republicans will vote. It’s also unclear if McConnell’s openness will offer cover for other Republicans who privately would like to see the president impeached. Two-thirds of senators would have to support conviction in order for him to be removed from office.

Congressman Seth Moulton, a Massachusetts Democrat and a Marine Corps veteran, noted that there are currently more troops in Washington than in Afghanistan.

Aaron Rupar (@atrupar)

Rep. Moulton: "There are more troops right now in Washington DC than in Afghanistan. And they are here to defend us against the commander in chief, the POTUS and his mob." pic.twitter.com/bpf9mdWhYi

January 13, 2021

“And they are here to defend us against the commander in chief, the president of the United States and his mob,” Moulton said.

Moulton encouraged his colleagues to look at the National Guard members protecting the Capitol and search for “an ounce of their courage.”

Young Kim, a freshman Republican congresswoman who flipped a California district that Donald Trump lost by 10 points, will vote against impeachment.

Young Kim (@RepYoungKim)

However, I believe impeaching the president now will fail to hold him accountable or allow us to move forward once President-elect Biden is sworn in. This process will only create more fissures in our country as we emerge from some of our darkest days. https://t.co/NK1EdO5xoN pic.twitter.com/IJIlb6oGva

January 13, 2021

“The violence we saw last week was disgusting. Our law enforcement was attacked, lives were lost and more were put in danger. These rioters must be held accountable. Words have consequences and I believe the president should also be held accountable,” Kim said in a statement.

“However, I believe impeaching the president at this time will fail to hold him accountable or allow us to move forward once President-elect Biden is sworn in. This process will only create more fissures in our country as we emerge from some of our darkest days.”

So far, only six House Republicans have signaled they intend to support the article of impeachment.

It is now past 3 pm in Washington, but the House has not yet moved on to the final vote on the article of impeachment.

The House majority leader, Steny Hoyer, said yesterday that the final vote would occur at roughly 3 pm, but there are about 20 minutes of debate left.

Once the debate has concluded, the chamber will move on to voting on the article, which is expected to be approved.

Chip Roy, a Republican of Texas who has criticized his colleagues’ efforts to cast baseless doubt upon the legitimacy of the presidential election, said he believed Donald Trump had committed “impeachable” offenses.

“The president of the United States deserves universal condemnation for what was clearly, in my opinion, impeachable conduct, pressuring the vice president to violate his oath to the constitution.” Roy said in his speech.

And yet Roy will not be supporting the article of impeachment. The congressman argued the article had been drafted in a manner that targeted political speech itself.

Here’s what the article says, in part: “Donald John Trump engaged in high Crimes and Misdemeanors by inciting violence against the Government of the United States ...

“Donald John Trump, by such conduct, has demonstrated that he will remain a threat to national security, democracy, and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office[.]”

Marjorie Taylor Greene, the freshman Georgia congresswoman who supports the QAnon conspiracy theory, delivered her speech while wearing a mask that said “censored”.

Greene did not seem to pick up on the irony that she was claiming to be “censored” while delivering a speech on the floor of the House of Representatives, which was broadcast on national television.

Jessie Opoien (@jessieopie)

Yes, Marjorie Taylor Greene is wearing a mask that says “CENSORED” as she speaks into a microphone on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. pic.twitter.com/i7401gseIU

January 13, 2021

Nancy Pelosi will speak today at the lectern that was taken by one of the rioters during the violence at the Capitol last week.

A House staffer was seen wheeling the lectern through Statuary Hall as the floor debate on the article of impeachment continued.

A staff member moves Nancy Pelosi’s lectern on Wednesday.
A staff member moves Nancy Pelosi’s lectern on Wednesday. Photograph: Leah Millis/Reuters

During the riot last week, a man was photographed carrying the speaker’s lectern through the Rotunda with a smile and a wave to the camera.

The man, identified as Adam Christian Johnson of Florida, was arrested on federal charges two days later.

A pro-Trump protester carries the lectern of Nancy Pelosi through the Rotunda.
A pro-Trump protester carries the lectern of Nancy Pelosi through the Rotunda. Photograph: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Joanna Walters

New York Democratic representative Adriano Espaillat just spoke in utter fury about a mob “summoned and dispatched” by Donald Trump to attack the US Capitol on January 6, including one rioter who waved a Confederate flag inside the complex.

He said he believed that those exhorted by the president to march on the Capitol as both chambers of Congress were in session to certify the election result in Joe Biden’s favor were intent on trying to kidnap lawmakers.

Espaillat said he believes thugs aimed “to assassinate Pence and Pelosi”, referring to the Republican vice president Mike Pence and the Democratic Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi.

Trump had urged his supporters at a rally before the riot to march on the Capitol and “fight” to overturn the election result, after his requests to Pence somehow to engineer such a thing (which is not in the vice president’s power) had failed.

Adriano Espaillat on Fifth Avenue in New York in an action of civil disobedience near Trump Tower on September 19, 2017 in New York, calling attention to Donald Trump’s anti-immigration policies, including the rollback of special provisions for young undocumented immigrants known as “Dreamers”.
Adriano Espaillat on Fifth Avenue in New York in an action of civil disobedience near Trump Tower on September 19, 2017 in New York, calling attention to Donald Trump’s anti-immigration policies, including the rollback of special provisions for young undocumented immigrants known as “Dreamers”. Photograph: Kevin Hagen/Getty Images

Moments ago, Cori Bush, the newly elected progressive congresswoman from St Louis, delivered an impassioned speech calling for the impeachment of Donald Trump.

CBS News (@CBSNews)

Rep. Cori Bush: "The 117th Congress must understand that we have a mandate to legislate in defense of Black lives. The first step in that process is to root out white supremacy, starting with impeaching the white supremacist-in-chief." https://t.co/AOSBKrUbre pic.twitter.com/XU0N3HHtRW

January 13, 2021

“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,” Bush said.

“The 117th Congress must understand that we have a mandate to legislate in defense of Black lives. The first step in that process is to root out white supremacy, starting with impeaching the white supremacist-in-chief.”

As she finished her speech, Bush’s denunciation of white supremacy was booed by some of her Republican colleagues.

The statement from the president, which calls for “no violence,” comes a week after Donald Trump incited a violent mob to storm the Capitol, resulting in five deaths.

The president has consistently denied responsibility for inciting the riot, despite telling a group of his supporters to march to the Capitol moments before the building was breached.

Trump claimed yesterday that his words were “totally appropriate,” even though they have been intensely criticized by members of both parties.

Statement from the president

Joanna Walters

Donald Trump has put out a statement from the White House.

Jim Acosta (@Acosta)

Trump statement pic.twitter.com/ufdgSCInVC

January 13, 2021

The statement includes: “In light of reports of more demonstrations, I urge that there must be NO violence, NO lawbreaking and NO violence of any kind.” He calls for folks to calm down.

Pro-Trump mob attacks the US Capitol on January 6.
Pro-Trump mob attacks the US Capitol on January 6. Photograph: Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

Updated at 3.28pm EST

Afternoon summary

The House of Representatives is on track to impeach Donald Trump this afternoon, so do stay tuned. It’s been a busy morning. Here are the main points so far:

Six Republican members of the House of Representatives have now indicated they will support the impeachment of Donald Trump. That will boost the overwhelming Democratic push for the action, with the official impeachment moment not long away. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell’s office has said there will be no impeachment trial before 19 January, when the chamber is currently set to return from recess. House speaker Nancy Pelosi quoted Abraham Lincoln, saying, “We cannot escape history. We... will be remembered in spite of ourselves.” She said Trump must be removed from office. “He must go...he is a clear and present danger to the nation we all love.” Steny Hoyer, the House majority leader, rejected Republicans’ arguments that a swift impeachment would only further divide the country. “There are consequences to actions, and the actions of president of the United States demand urgent, clear action by the Congress of the United States,” Hoyer said.

Sixth House Republican says he will support the impeachment of Trump

Joanna Walters

Washington state Republican Dan Newhouse just rose on the floor of the House and said he would support the historic impeachment today of Donald Trump.

Drew Mikkelsen (@drewmikkelsenk5)

Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-Washington) votes to impeach President Donald Trump. pic.twitter.com/4pzr0RnmEM

January 13, 2021

In a strongly worded statement last night, Liz Cheney, a representative from Wyoming, the No. 3 Republican in the House, and the daughter of the former vice-president Dick Cheney, said that Trump had “summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack” during the Capitol riot on January 6.

“Everything that followed was his doing,” she said. “None of this would have happened without the president. I will vote to impeach the president.”

After setting the ball rolling by House GOP members, Cheney was joined last night by the Washington representative Jaime Herrera Beutler, the New York representative John Katko, the Illinois representative Adam Kinzinger, and representative Fred Upton, of Michigan, the Republicans who all said they would vote for impeachment.

Newhouse said there was “no excuse” for the president’s actions, when he encouraged hyper-loyal supporters to march on the US Capitol a week ago, egged on to attempt to overturn the results of the election by force.

Daniel Dale (@ddale8)

Republican Rep. Dan Newhouse announces he is voting to impeach Trump even though he thinks the articles are "flawed." He says there is "no excuse" for Trump's actions; he says Trump "misinformed and inflamed a violent mob."
Newhouse says he and others should've spoken up sooner.

January 13, 2021

Updated at 2.03pm EST

Joanna Walters

House minority leader Kevin McCarthy is decrying the events of January 6 as “the worst day I’ve ever seen in Congress”.

McCarthy said:“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.”

Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins)

After arguing he shouldn't be impeached, Kevin McCarthy says, "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."

January 13, 2021

But the California Republican is not in favor of impeaching Donald Trump. He’s arguing for a creating a fact-finding commission and an official censure of the president to suffice.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), left, and Representative Jim Jordan (R-OH), right, talk during a joint session of Congress to certify the 2020 Electoral College results after supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol earlier in the day on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, 06 January 2021.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), left, and Representative Jim Jordan (R-OH), right, talk during a joint session of Congress to certify the 2020 Electoral College results after supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol earlier in the day on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, 06 January 2021. Photograph: Erin Schaff/EPA

He repeated something that he reportedly told Trump directly - that, unlike what he points out “some say”, the violent mob that invaded the US Capitol last week was not driven by far left anti-fascist activists collectively known as “antifa”.

“There is no evidence of that,” McCarthy said.

He talked of pledging a smooth transition to the presidency of Joe Biden a week from today. Smattering of applause for McCarthy.

House Democrats have consistently denounced Donald Trump for inciting the Capitol riot during the debate on the article of impeachment.

Hakeem Jeffries, who served as an impeachment manager during the president’s first Senate trial, referred to Trump as “a living, breathing impeachable offense”.

Aaron Rupar (@atrupar)

"Donald Trump is a living, breathing impeachable offense" -- Rep. Hakeem Jeffries pic.twitter.com/8P8I7Dgebi

January 13, 2021

Moments later, Jamie Raskin, the Democrat who will serve as the lead impeachment manager this time around, also criticized Republicans who have tried to blame Democrats for the violence seen last week.

“It is a bit much to be hearing that these people would not be trying to destroy our government and kill us if we just weren’t so mean to them,” Raskin said.

Aaron Rupar (@atrupar)

Rep. Raskin: "It is a bit much to be hearing that these people would not be trying to destroy our government and kill us if we just weren't so mean to them." pic.twitter.com/TEydYa2PSn

January 13, 2021
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