SPONSORED:

House impeaches Trump for second time — with some GOP support

House lawmakers on Wednesday impeached President TrumpDonald TrumpSchumer: Impeachment trial will be quick, doesn't need a lot of witnesses Nurse to be tapped by Biden as acting surgeon general: report Schumer calls for Biden to declare climate emergency MORE for his role in last week’s deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol, capping an extraordinary week of violence, apprehension and partisan brawling in Congress just as Washington cranks up security in preparation for Joe BidenJoe BidenBudowsky: A Biden-McConnell state of emergency summit DC might win US House vote if it tries Inaugural poet Amanda Gorman inks deal with IMG Models MORE’s inauguration, just a week away.

The 232-197 vote was historic: It made Trump the first president in the country’s history to be impeached twice.

And unlike the first debate, this time the president’s Democratic critics had support across the aisle. Ten Republicans joined every voting Democrat to approve the single impeachment article, which accuses Trump of inciting violence against the same federal government he leads.

ADVERTISEMENT

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOklahoma man who videotaped himself with his feet on desk in Pelosi's office during Capitol riot released on bond House formally sends impeachment to Senate, putting Trump on trial for Capitol riot With another caravan heading North, a closer look at our asylum law MORE (D-Calif.), who oversaw both impeachment efforts, said Trump’s refusal to concede his election defeat — and his subsequent efforts to rally supporters to the Capitol to overturn the election results — amounted to sedition. The president, she said, gave Congress no choice.

“We know we experienced the insurrection that violated the sanctity of the people's Capitol,” Pelosi said in a floor speech before the vote. “And we know that the president of the United States incited this insurrection, this armed rebellion, against our common country.

"He must go," she added. "He is a clear and present danger to the nation that we all love." 

The most prominent Republican to break with Trump was House Republican Conference Chairwoman Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyTrump, allies raise pressure on Senate GOP ahead of impeachment Trump establishes 'Office of the Former President' in Florida Cheney spokesperson on Gaetz: 'In Wyoming, the men don't wear make-up' MORE (Wyo.), the No. 3 Republican leader and highest-ranking GOP woman in Congress, who said Trump “summoned the mob,” “lit the flame” of the attack and — despite pleas from his Hill allies — refused to call it off.

“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 in a statement.

Her terse, fiery remarks threw fuel on the civil war that’s now raging through the Grand Old Party, pitting Trump’s MAGA supporters against the GOP establishment. A pair of conservative Trump foot soldiers, Reps. Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanPortman planned exit sets off Ohio free-for-all Portman retirement sparks calls for LeBron James Senate bid Biden's inauguration marked by conflict of hope and fear MORE (R-Ohio) and Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), immediately called on Cheney to resign from leadership and on Wednesday began organizing an effort to oust her from power.

ADVERTISEMENT

But Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, is remaining defiant. 

“I'm not going anywhere. This is a vote of conscience,” she said before the vote. “It's one where there are different views in our conference. But our nation is facing an unprecedented — since the Civil War — constitutional crisis.”

In addition to Cheney, the nine other Republicans who voted to impeach Trump were Rep. John KatkoJohn Michael KatkoCalls grow for 9/11-style panel to probe Capitol attack Hillicon Valley: Intelligence agency gathers US smartphone location data without warrants, memo says | Democrats seek answers on impact of Russian hack on DOJ, courts | Airbnb offers Biden administration help with vaccine distribution House lawmakers reintroduce bipartisan bill to weed out foreign disinformation on social media MORE (N.Y.), the top Republican on the Homeland Security Committee; Reps. Fred UptonFrederick (Fred) Stephen UptonUpton becomes first member of Congress to vote to impeach two presidents The Hill's Morning Report - Trump impeached again; now what? Kinzinger says he is 'in total peace' after impeachment vote MORE (Mich.) and Jamie Herrera Beutler (Wash.), co-chairs of the centrist Tuesday Group with Katko; Reps. Adam KinzingerAdam Daniel KinzingerCheney tests Trump grip on GOP post-presidency National Guard back inside Capitol after having been moved to parking garage Budowsky: Democracy won, Trump lost, President Biden inaugurated MORE (Ill.) and Peter Meijer (Mich.), both war veterans; and Reps. Anthony GonzalezAnthony GonzalezUpton becomes first member of Congress to vote to impeach two presidents The Hill's Morning Report - Trump impeached again; now what? Kinzinger says he is 'in total peace' after impeachment vote MORE (Ohio), David ValadaoDavid Goncalves ValadaoScars of Capitol attack permeate high-security inauguration Upton becomes first member of Congress to vote to impeach two presidents The Hill's Morning Report - Trump impeached again; now what? MORE (Calif.), Tom RiceHugh (Tom) Thompson RiceUpton becomes first member of Congress to vote to impeach two presidents The Hill's Morning Report - Trump impeached again; now what? Rice explains his surprise vote to impeach: 'This utter failure is inexcusable' MORE (S.C.), and Dan NewhouseDaniel (Dan) Milton NewhouseUpton becomes first member of Congress to vote to impeach two presidents The Hill's Morning Report - Trump impeached again; now what? Kinzinger says he is 'in total peace' after impeachment vote MORE (Wash.).

The events of Jan. 6 were unprecedented by any gauge. After months of false claims that he had won the election, only to have it stolen by rampant fraud, Trump addressed thousands of supporters near the White House last Wednesday, urging them to march on the Capitol just as Congress — joined by Vice President Pence — was voting to certify Biden’s victory.

“If you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore,” Trump said.

Shortly afterward, thousands of protesters arrived at the Capitol, where they quickly overwhelmed the Capitol Police, some of whom were maced and beaten with iron bars. The marauders marched through the sprawling building, smashing windows, ransacking member offices and attempting to storm onto the House and Senate floors while lawmakers, staff and reporters scrambled for cover.

Five people died during the riot, including Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who was struck by a fire extinguisher, and a California woman who was fatally shot by another officer as she tried to storm the Speaker’s lobby just off the House floor.

Trump, for his part, has denied any responsibility for the deadly violence, saying his speech was “totally appropriate.” He also has not expressed regret for his actions, though on Wednesday, as the impeachment debate continued, he issued a statement that called for their to be no violence or vandalism amid reports of new demonstrations planned for next week's inauguration of Biden. 

The impeachment vote will lead to a trial in the Senate, though the timing and outcome in the upper chamber are unclear.

In a remarkable statement, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSchumer: Impeachment trial will be quick, doesn't need a lot of witnesses McConnell: Power-sharing deal can proceed after Manchin, Sinema back filibuster Budowsky: A Biden-McConnell state of emergency summit MORE (R-Ky.) declared Wednesday that he had not determined how he would vote in the trial, saying he would listen to the legal arguments.

The first time Trump was impeached, there was clear opposition from Senate Republicans and only one GOP senator, Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyHouse formally sends impeachment to Senate, putting Trump on trial for Capitol riot Bernie Sanders has been most-followed member of Congress on social media for six years The Hill's Morning Report - Biden: Focus on vaccine, virus, travel MORE (Utah), voted in favor of one article of impeachment. 

It seems likely more Republicans would vote to impeach Trump this time, though it will be after he leaves office and it is unclear whether there will be the 67 votes necessary to convict him. 

ADVERTISEMENT

If all Democrats vote to impeach, which is not a certainty in the Senate, 17 Republican votes would be needed to convict.

The long-term implications of both the Capitol siege and Trump’s second impeachment remain unclear. 

Republicans opposing the impeachment effort in the House did not all defend Trump’s actions surrounding the Capitol assault; in fact, many condemned it. But they also warned that taking the drastic step of attempting to remove the president would only exacerbate the country’s already cavernous political divisions, inflaming the resentment of the president’s supporters — and perhaps leading to greater violence down the road.

Taking the floor just before the vote, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyCheney spokesperson on Gaetz: 'In Wyoming, the men don't wear make-up' Biden attends first church service as president in DC, stops at local bagel shop House GOP leader says he has 'concerns' over Cheney's impeachment vote MORE (R-Calif.), a staunch Trump loyalist, conceded that Trump “bears responsibility” for Wednesday’s assault. But he quickly cautioned that impeachment “would further divide this nation” and “would further fan the flames of partisan division.”

“As history shows, unity is not an option, it’s a necessity,” he said.

That argument fell flat with Democrats, however, who wasted no time pointing to the many instances when Trump had divided the country with attacks on his political opponents — Democrat and Republican — with the blessing of his allies in Congress.

ADVERTISEMENT

The Democrats’ impeachment article charged Trump with misleading the country by falsely claiming a “landslide” victory in an election he lost, then whipping up a volatile crowd with violence-laced pleas to fight back against the electoral process. As a result, the article charged, Trump had “threatened the integrity of the democratic system, interfered with the peaceful transition of power, and imperiled a coequal branch of Government.”

The resolution was sponsored by Rep. Jamie RaskinJamin (Jamie) Ben RaskinHouse formally sends impeachment to Senate, putting Trump on trial for Capitol riot Inauguration parties lose the glitz and glamour in 2021 This week: Tensions running high in Trump's final days MORE (D-Md.), a constitutional law expert whose personal story over the past two weeks has been every bit as hectic — and tragic — as the experience on Capitol Hill.

On New Year’s Eve, Raskin lost his 25-year-old son to suicide. A week later, he was among the lawmakers evacuated from the chamber as the mob invaded, whisked to a secure spot in the House office buildings even as members of his family, including one of his daughters, was stuck in the Capitol behind barricaded doors. And on Wednesday, the House approved his impeachment resolution, with plenty of room to spare.

As Pelosi brought the gavel down on the vote, several lawmakers approached Raskin to salute his victory.

As remarkable as it was to have the president impeached — again — just days before his departure, the process on the floor was all-but overshadowed by the extraordinary scene outside the House chamber, where thousands of National Guard troops had arrived in the Capitol ahead of Biden’s inauguration.

The astonishing show of force was just one element of the massive effort to boost security across the Capitol complex heading into the Jan. 20 transition of power.

ADVERTISEMENT

Federal law enforcers are already warning of a heightened risk of violence surrounding the event. And the Capitol, the Supreme Court and the surrounding office buildings have all been encircled in an imposing 8-foot-tall fence. Behind it, Guard troops are patrolling continuously. Unlike the scene on Jan. 6, many of them are carrying military-style semi-automatic rifles.

The startling landscape rattled some lawmakers, who are concerned about the prospects of uniting the country in the wake of Trump’s volatile tenure.

“How do we find any common ground with the 40 percent of people who still believe the president?” asked Rep Ro KhannaRohit (Ro) KhannaHouse Democrats introduce measures to oppose Trump's bomb sale to Saudis House impeaches Trump for second time — with some GOP support Stacey Abrams gets kudos for work in Georgia runoff election MORE (D-Calif.). “You can kick him off of Twitter. You can impeach him. You can hold him to account. But that's not going to break through a huge population … who believe the reality that Trump has created.

“We are at a time of divergent realities."

Updated at 5:31 p.m.