Politics

Donald Trump Impeached For A Second Time Over “Incitement Of Insurrection”

President Trump was impeached for a second time in a bipartisan 232-197 vote, as hundreds of lawmakers slammed him for inciting deadly violence at the Capitol on January 6. One lawmaker said, "Donald Trump is a living, breathing impeachable offense."

President Donald Trump has been impeached twice by the House of Representatives, with ten Republicans crossing party lines to vote in favor on January 13. | House.gov
President Donald Trump has been impeached twice by the House of Representatives, with ten Republicans crossing party lines to vote in favor on January 13. | House.gov

The House of Representatives has voted to impeach President Donald Trump for a second time, in a historic 232-197 vote held Wednesday afternoon. It is the most bipartisan impeachment in history.

After hours of debate, ten Republicans ultimately crossed party lines to impeach a president from their own party for “incitement of insurrection.”

It was also the first time in American history that a party was unanimous in voting to impeach a president. All 222 Democrats seated in the House voted in favor of impeachment Wednesday; in 2019, during Trump's first impeachment, three Democrats either voted against it or abstained.

The article of impeachment was introduced Monday by Reps. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), David Cicilline (D-RI), and Ted Lieu (D-CA), with at least 213 Democratic co-sponsors, days after the U.S. Capitol riot left five people dead including a Capitol police officer. Lieu said he began drafting the article while sheltering from the attack on the Capitol; Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) was among one of the first to say on January 6 that she was also drafting articles of impeachment for Trump’s role in inciting his supporters to attack.

Trump is now the only president in 240-plus years of American history to be impeached twice. His first impeachment was for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress in December 2019, and the Senate acquitted him in February 2020.

In a speech midday Wednesday at the beginning of floor debate on the resolution, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said of Trump, "We know that the president of the United States incited this insurrection. … He must go. He is a clear and present danger to the nation that we all love."

Members of Congress gathered to vote in the remarkable, historic second impeachment proceeding while thousands of members of the National Guard stood watch in and around the Capitol. Photos showed some troops camping out and sleeping overnight, marking the first time troops have done so in the U.S. Capitol since the Civil War in the 1860s.

"He is toxic to our Republic and toxic to our democracy," said Rep. Mark Takano (D-CA) in his remarks supporting impeachment.

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), an impeachment manager for Trump's first Senate trial, said, "Donald Trump is a living, breathing impeachable offense. It is what it is."

Journalist Daniel Nichanian noted on Twitter that there were “more lawmakers from the president’s party that will vote to impeach him than there’ve been in any prior impeachment vote in U.S. history.” Previously, the record was five Democrats who voted in favor of impeaching President Bill Clinton in 1998.

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), the third-highest-ranking Republican in the House, announced Tuesday night that she would vote to impeach. Joining her were Republican Reps. Adam Kinzinger (IL), John Katko (NY), Fred Upton (MI), and Jaime Herrera Beutler (WA).

Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA) announced during the floor debate that he would become the sixth Republican to vote in favor of impeaching Trump, earning a spontaneous round of applause. Rep. Peter Meijer (R-MI) announced at the end of the debate that he would also vote to impeach Trump "with a heavy heart."

When it came time for the final vote, Republican Reps. Tom Rice (SC), Anthony Gonzalez (OH), and David Valadao (CA) voted to impeach Trump as well.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), the highest ranking Republican in the House, said in his speech that he believed Trump was responsible for inciting the insurrection at the Capitol. He also contradicted members of his own party who have linked the pro-Trump mobs to Antifa, saying, “There’s absolutely no evidence of that, and conservatives should be the first to say so.” He then declined to impeach the man he called responsible for deadly violence.

After the riot at the Capitol on January 6, 139 Republicans in the House still voted to overturn the election results in which Joe Biden was legitimately elected president. Eight senators did as well. 

Pelosi announces impeachment managers for Senate trial

The next phase would be for the Senate to hold a trial, which could lead to Trump being permanently barred from holding federal office. In order for that to happen, two-thirds of the Senate must vote to convict Trump, and then a simple majority vote can be taken on barring him from holding federal office in the future.

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who soon will cease to be majority leader, has declined to call the Senate in for a special session. The earliest the body could take up the matter would be January 19, one day before Trump leaves office and President-elect Biden is inaugurated.

Pelosi named the impeachment managers for the Senate trial on Tuesday evening:

Rep. Raskin, a constitutional law professor who has been leading the charge for impeachment and helped co-write the article, was named lead impeachment manager by the Speaker. Raskin has also been mourning the recent death of his son, burying him just days before being forced to hide from violent rioters at the Capitol on January 6.

Correction: A previous version of this article identified Rep. Ted Lieu as a Republican from California. It has been updated to reflect that Lieu is a Democrat.

Natalie Daher and Allan Piper contributed to this report.