Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., opened the House debate on whether to impeach President Donald Trump for a second time by referencing his surroundings,
Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., opened the House debate on whether to impeach President Donald Trump for a second time by referencing his surroundings, which had been overrun by rioters last week.
“We are debating this historic measure at an actual crime scene,” McGovern said. “And we wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for the president of the United States.”
McGovern said Trump and his allies stoked the anger of a violent mob in an attempt to overturn the presidential election results.
A majority of House Republicans voted last week not to accept the state-certified results. While some Republicans will vote for the impeachment article, many others have called it a political move that will further divide the nation.
Addressing his GOP colleagues, McGovern said he is “not about to be lectured by people who just voted to overturn the results of a free and fair election.”
“America was attacked and we must respond, even when the cause of this violence resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue,” he said. “Every moment Trump is in the White House, our nation, our freedom, is in danger.”
– Maureen Groppe
House reconvenes to debate Trump impeachment
Hours after passing a nonbinding resolution calling on Vice President Mike Pence to take power away from President Donald Trump, the House reconvened Wednesday to debate whether to impeach Trump for the second time.
The impeachment article, which is expected to be backed by all Democrats and some Republicans, could be approved by late afternoon.
The House is moving with remarkable swiftness to hold Trump accountable for his part in the takeover of the Capitol last week by rioters trying to stop Congress from counting the presidential election results.
House members have one hour to debate the rules for considering the impeachment article. They’re expected to vote on the parliamentary procedures around 10: a.m. EST
If those are approved, there will be two hours of debate on the article of impeachment, which charges Trump with inciting the riot Jan. 6 at the Capitol. The vote on the article itself could come about 3 p.m. EST, according to House leaders.
If Trump is impeached, the House will send the article to the Senate for trial. But the timing of a trial isn’t certain because Democrats are wary of the trial distracting attention from confirming President-elect Joe Biden’s Cabinet nominees and legislative priorities when his term starts Jan. 20.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., told MSNBC Wednesday that the article will be transmitted as soon as possible.
“We think there’s an urgency here,” Hoyer said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
House Democrats previously impeached Trump in December 2019 for charges that he abused the power of his office and obstructed Congress in his dealings with Ukraine. The Republican-led Senate acquitted him in February 2020.
Pence has said he will not invoke the 25th Amendment, as Democrats want, to become acting president in the final days of the Trump administration.
– Bart Jansen, Maureen Groppe and Ledyard King
Rep. Liz Cheney: Trump ‘lit the flame’ of Capitol riot
Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., the third-ranking House Republican, is joining Democrats in backing impeachment of President Donald Trump as the House prepares for a vote on the issue in the aftermath of the Jan. 6 Capitol Hill riot.
If approved, Trump would become the first president in history to be impeached twice. House Democrats impeached Trump in December 2019 charging abuse of power and obstruction of Congress in his dealings with Ukraine.
An open question this time is how many Republicans will join Democrats in voting to impeach the president. Republicans remained united in opposing the first impeachment, but at least five GOP lawmakers may vote with Democrats to impeach Trump, with more possibly joining them.
The article of impeachment charges the president with “incitement of insurrection” for “spreading false statements” about the election and challenging the Electoral College results, which Congress was counting on Jan. 6 when the mob broke into the Capitol.
The resolution quotes Trump’s speech to the crowd prior to the riot, “If you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.” The rampage that interrupted the count left one police officer dead, a female rioter fatally shot and three others dead from medical emergencies.
Cheney said Trump played a pivotal role in instigating the Capitol Hill riot.
“The President of the United States summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack,” she said in a statement. “Everything that followed was his doing. None of this would have happened without the President.”
Republican Reps. John Katko of New York and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois also said they’ll l vote to impeach.
“To allow the President of the United States to incite this attack without consequence is a direct threat to the future of our democracy,” Katko said in a statement. “For that reason, I cannot sit by without taking action. I will vote to impeach this President.”
Kinzinger, a former Air Force veteran who served multiple tours overseas and in the Middle East, said there was “no doubt in my mind that the President of the United States broke his oath of office and incited this insurrection.”
Trump on Tuesday said the impeachment effort is stoking anger across the country. He also said his speech near the White House on Jan. 6, before rioters walked down Pennsylvania Avenue to storm the Capitol, was “totally appropriate.”
Most House Republicans have argued that impeachment with only a week left in Trump’s administration, which ends Jan. 20, will further divide the country.
But some Republicans have said Trump’s efforts to question the election results and then stoke a violent mob require a response.
Democrats said impeachment could also be a way to prevent Trump from serving in federal office again. A two-thirds vote in the Senate is required for conviction, but then senators could vote to bar him from office.
If the House approves the article, the timing of the Senate trial is unclear. Democrats are reluctant to begin a trial just as President-elect Joe Biden’s term begins. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has said she’s reviewing the timing, but hasn’t announced a decision.
Contributing: Christal Hayes