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House impeaches Trump for Capitol riot in historic bipartisan rebuke

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Trump impeached by House a 2nd time
Trump impeached by House a 2nd time 03:54

Washington — The House of Representatives voted to impeach President Trump for inciting an insurrection at the Capitol that left five people dead, cementing his place in history as the only president to be impeached twice in a bipartisan rebuke that was approved with unprecedented speed.

The final vote was 232 to 197, with 10 Republicans joining all 222 Democrats in supporting a single article of impeachment charging the president with "incitement of insurrection."

"We know that the president of the United State incited this insurrection, this armed rebellion, against our common country," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said ahead of the vote. "He must go. He is a clear and present danger to the nation that we all love."

Mr. Trump was first impeached in December 2019 for his efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate the Biden family. His second impeachment comes just one week before President-elect Joe Biden will be sworn into office as his successor. Only two other presidents have been impeached since the founding of the republic.

On January 6, the president addressed supporters near the White House, urging them to "fight like hell" as members of Congress prepared to formalize Mr. Biden's win. An angry mob subsequently marched on the Capitol and stormed the complex, shattering windows and breaking down doors to gain access to the halls of Congress. The mob managed to halt the counting of the electoral votes for several hours.

House Democrats brought the impeachment resolution to a vote with an unprecedented speed that reflected the severity of the assault on the Capitol and the limited time remaining in Mr. Trump's term. The resolution was first introduced on Monday, with Democrats forgoing the typical process of holding hearings and conducting an investigation.

The article of impeachment will soon head to the Senate, where lawmakers must hold a trial on whether to convict Mr. Trump and remove him from office. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Wednesday he has not made a decision on whether he will vote to convict the president at trial.

With just seven days left in Mr. Trump's term, the Senate trial could potentially stretch into the term of his successor. If that happens, the Senate could still choose to convict Mr. Trump and bar him from holding any federal office in the future. A vote to convict requires a vote of two-thirds of the Senate.

The president has refused to take responsibility for his role in inciting the mob that stormed the Capitol, insisting on Tuesday that his speech before the riot was "totally appropriate."

 

Lindsey Graham says post-presidential impeachments are "bad for the country"

Speaking on Fox News' "Hannity," Senator Lindsey Graham strongly opposed impeaching President Trump after the inauguration, warning it would be "bad for the country." 

"To the American people, what good comes from impeaching President Trump after he's out of office?" Graham said. "That's an unconstitutional attack on the president. It will divide the country and it will incite violence."   

"To my Republican colleagues, let's stand up for the idea that post-presidential impeachments are bad for the presidency, bad for the country, and if we go along with it as Republicans, we will destroy the Republican Party," he added. "If we do it as a Senate over time we will destroy the presidency."  

The article of impeachment, passed by the House earlier Wednesday, will soon be considered by the Senate. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Wednesday he has not yet decided if he will vote to convict the president at trial.

By Victoria Albert
 

Graham, Johnson call for independent investigation of Capitol riot

Republican Senators Lindsey Graham and Ron Johnson on Wednesday called on Congress to appoint an independent commission to investigate the assault on the U.S. Capitol. 

"While today's announcement that the Capitol Police Inspector General will investigate is welcome, we believe we need a truly independent commission with wide latitude and authority to examine the failures by the Capitol Police leadership, House and Senate Sergeants at Arms, and the officials that oversee them," the pair said in a statement. 

The senators said the commission should be made up of "nationally recognized non-partisan security experts" to avoid allegations of political bias. 

"The U.S. Capitol is the people's house and it belongs to the American people.  We owe it to them to get to the bottom of this security failure which was a national embarrassment," the senators said. "A commission is the best opportunity for us to get the answers the American people deserve."

By Victoria Albert
 

Twitter CEO says banning Trump was not a decision to "celebrate"

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey on Wednesday stood by last week's decision to ban President Trump from his company's platform. He said he did not "celebrate or feel pride in" the choice, but felt it was necessary "based on threats to physical safety both on and off Twitter." 

Twitter permanently banned Mr. Trump's account on Saturday because of "the risk of further incitement of violence" in the wake of the deadly siege on the U.S. Capitol.

Dorsey said it was "the right decision" in his post Wednesday, writing that "We faced an extraordinary and untenable circumstance, forcing us to focus all of our actions on public safety."

"Offline harm as a result of online speech is demonstrably real, and what drives our policy and enforcement above all," he added. 

But Dorsey acknowledged that banning accounts "has real and significant ramifications." 

"While there are clear and obvious exceptions, I feel a ban is a failure of ours ultimately to promote healthy conversation ... Having to take these actions fragment the public conversation. They divide us. They limit the potential for clarification, redemption, and learning. And sets a precedent I feel is dangerous: the power an individual or corporation has over a part of the global public conversation."

Read more here.

By Li Cohen
 

Pelosi announces plan to fine House members who flout new security procedures

Pelosi announced Wednesday that she plans to hold a vote on a rule to fine members who do not adhere to the new security procedures implemented in the wake of the assault on the U.S. Capitol. The announcement comes following reports that some lawmakers refused to be screened by metal detectors and pushed past police officers to enter the building on Tuesday night. 

"Many House Republicans have disrespected our heroes by verbally abusing them and refusing to adhere to basic precautions keeping members of our Congressional community, including the Capitol Police, safe," Pelosi said in a statement. "The House will soon move forward with a rule change imposing fines on those who refuse to abide by these protections."

Lawmakers will be fined $5,000 for the first offense and $10,000 for the second, and the fines will be deducted directly from members' salaries, Pelosi said.  

"It is tragic that this step is necessary, but the Chamber of the People's House must and will be safe," she added. 

By Victoria Albert
 

Rioters using military and small unit tactics among "highest priorities" for Sedition Task Force

The identification of individuals using military and small unit tactics during the riot at the Capitol is among the "highest priorities" for the DC US Attorney's Sedition Task Force, a law enforcement official confirmed to CBS News senior investigative correspondent Catherine Herridge. The apparent use of "small unit tactics," which are taught to military and law enforcement officials, drew immediate scrutiny from investigators. CBS News has learned these tactics were witnessed both outside and inside the Capitol building.

These tactics are commonly used in hostile, unknown environments to clear rooms and reach mission objectives. They can include hand signals or physical contact, and are used to unify the group and communicate directions.

By Catherine Herridge
 

Nearly half of Americans think some GOP lawmakers encouraged violence

For many Americans, the GOP lawmakers who objected to counting the Electoral College votes in Congress share some of the blame for the violence that occurred at the nation's Capitol. Nearly half — 47% — think some of these Republicans encouraged the violence that occurred, according to CBS News polling.

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Data from a CBS News poll. CBS News

Most of those who hold these lawmakers responsible think there should be political consequences for their actions. Sixty-five percent of Americans who think they encouraged violence at the Capitol think they should be removed from office, and another 22% think they should be punished in some other way, the polling showed. Just 13% think there should be no action taken against them.

Read more about the polling data here.

By Fred Backus
 

Hope Hicks leaves White House in expected departure

Hope Hicks, one of President Trump's most loyal aides, officially left the White House on Tuesday, two sources familiar with the situation tell CBS News. 

The sources say her departure was planned before last week's assault on the Capitol. 

Hicks returned to the White House as counselor to the president in 2020, after leaving the White House for a Fox News gig in 2018.

Hicks had been working for Mr. Trump since the early days of his 2016 presidential bid. 

Fin Gomez and Gabrielle Ake

 

Trump "unequivocally" condemns Capitol riots and urges no future violence

After he was impeached for a second time, President Trump released a new video speaking out more forcefully against the violence carried out by his supporters Wednesday, and saying that there should be no violence in the days ahead. The video was posted to the White House's Twitter account. 

"There has been reporting that additional demonstrations are being planned in the coming days, both here in Washington, and across the country," the president said in a five-minute video. "I have been briefed by the U.S. Secret Service on the potential threats. Every American deserves to have their voice heard in a respectful and peaceful way. That is your First Amendment right. But I cannot emphasize that there must be no violence, no law breaking and no vandalism of any kind. Everyone must follow our laws and obey the instructions of law enforcement."

The president also spoke out more forcefully against the violence perpetrated by his supporters at the Capitol, something many of his Republican colleagues wish he had done sooner. 

"Mob violence goes against everything I believe in, and everything our movement stands for," the president said in his video. "No true supporter of mine could ever endorse political violence. No true supporter of mine could ever disrespect law enforcement or our great American flag.  No true supporter of mine could ever threaten or harass their fellow Americans. If you do any of these things, you are not supporting our movement — you are attacking it. And you are attacking our country. We cannot tolerate it." 

The president said he is "calling on all Americans to overcome the passions of the moment, and join together as one American people." 

By Kathryn Watson
 

Pelosi signs article of impeachment after House vote

Appearing alongside the House Democrats who were selected as impeachment managers, presenting the House's case during the Senate trial, Pelosi signed the single article of impeachment charging Mr. Trump with incitement of insurrection during an engrossment ceremony after the House vote.

"Today, in a bipartisan way, the House demonstrated that no one is above the law, not even the president of the United States, that Donald Trump is a clear and present danger to our country and that once again, we honored our oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, so help us God," she said in brief remarks.  

By Melissa Quinn
 

GOP Congressman Tom Rice explains surprise vote to impeach

South Carolina Republican Congressman Tom Rice, one of 10 GOP members to vote to impeach, explained his surprise move in a statement after the vote. Rice hails from the heavily conservative 7th congressional district in South Carolina and easily won reelection in November.

"Once the violence began, when the Capitol was under siege, when the Capitol Police were being beaten and killed, and when the Vice President and the Congress were being locked down, the President was watching and tweeted about the Vice President's lack of courage," Rice said. "For hours while the riot continued, the President communicated only on Twitter and offered only weak requests for restraint."

The congressman said he was on the floor of the House chamber during the attack on the Capitol, and it "is only by the grace of God and the blood of the Capitol Police that the death toll was not much, much higher."

"It has been a week since so many were injured, the United States Capitol was ransacked, and six people were killed, including two police officers. Yet, the President has not addressed the nation to ask for calm. He has not visited the injured and grieving. He has not offered condolences. Yesterday in a press briefing at the border, he said his comments were 'perfectly appropriate,'" he continued.

"I have backed this President through thick and thin for four years. I campaigned for him and voted for him twice. But, this utter failure is inexcusable."

By Stefan Becket
 

Schumer: "There will be an impeachment trial in the United States Senate"

After McConnell shut the door on the Senate beginning an impeachment trial before the inauguration, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer stressed in a statement of his own that the chamber will hold a trial and vote on convicting Mr. Trump.

"A Senate trial can begin immediately, with agreement from the current Senate Majority Leader to reconvene the Senate for an emergency session, or it will begin after January 19th," Schumer said. "But make no mistake, there will be an impeachment trial in the United States Senate; there will be a vote on convicting the president for high crimes and misdemeanors; and if the president is convicted, there will be a vote on barring him from running again."

McConnell, however, will not agree to reconvening the Senate early under emergency authorities, his spokesman confirmed earlier Wednesday.

Following the House's historic vote, Schumer said Mr. Trump "has deservedly become the first president in American history to bear the stain of impeachment twice over."

"The president of the United States incited a violent mob against the duly elected government of the United States in a vicious, depraved and desperate attempt to remain in power," he said. "For the sake of our democracy, it cannot and must not be tolerated, excused, or go unpunished."

By Melissa Quinn
 

McConnell says Senate can't finish trial before Biden takes office

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement released shortly after the House voted to impeach Mr. Trump that the Senate could not finish an impeachment trial before Mr. Biden takes office. He said that the focus of the next week before the inauguration should be on ensuring a smooth transition.

"The Senate process will now begin at our first regular meeting following receipt of the article from the House," McConnell said. The Senate is set to reconvene on January 19.

"In light of this reality, I believe it will best serve our nation if Congress and the executive branch spend the next seven days completely focused on facilitating a safe inauguration and an orderly transfer of power to the incoming Biden Administration," McConnell said.

By Grace Segers
 

The 10 Republicans who voted to impeach

Ten GOP lawmakers crossed party lines and joined with Democrats in voting to impeach Mr. Trump. They are:

  • Liz Cheney of Wyoming

  • Tom Rice of South Carolina

  • John Katko of New York

  • Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio

  • Peter Meijer of Michigan 

  • Adam Kinzinger of Illinois

  • Dan Newhouse of Washington

  • Fred Upton of Michigan

  • Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington

  • David Valadao of California

Read more here.

By Melissa Quinn
 

House votes to impeach Trump 232-197

Special Report: House impeaches Trump again 23:35

The vote on the impeachment resolution passed on a bipartisan basis, with 10 Republicans joining all 222 Democrats in voting in favor.

Mr. Trump is now the first president to be impeached twice.

By Stefan Becket
 

Michigan Congressman Peter Meijer becomes 7th Republican to support impeachment

As the House prepared to begin voting on impeaching Mr. Trump, Congressman Peter Meijer, a freshman Republican from Michigan, became the latest GOP lawmaker to support impeaching Mr. Trump.

"With the facts at hand, I believe the article of impeachment to be accurate," Meijer said in a statement. "The president betrayed his oath of office by seeking to undermine our constitutional process, and he bears responsibility for inciting the violent acts of insurrection last week. With a heavy heart, I will vote to impeach President Donald J. Trump."

The Michigan Republican said that while there were "profiles in courage" during last week's assault from member of Congress, Capitol Police officers and the vice president, "there was no such courage from our president who betrayed and misled millions with claims of a 'stolen election' and encouraged loyalists that 'if you don't fight like hell you're not going to have a country anymore.'"

"The one man who could have restored order, prevented the deaths of five Americans including a Capitol Police office, and avoided the desecration of our Capitol shrank from leadership when our country needed it most," he said.

Meijer said he "wrestled with the division this vote will cause" and has concerns about the precedent it will set.

"This vote is not a victory. It isn't a victory for my party, and it isn't the victory the Democrats might think it is," he said. "I'm not sure it is a victory for our country. But it is a call to action for us to reflect on these events and seek ways to correct them."

Meijer also was among the six House Republicans who introduced a resolution Tuesday to censure Mr. Trump.

By Melissa Quinn
 

Trump taping video to be released after impeachment vote

Mr. Trump has been watching the impeachment proceedings on television in his private office off the Oval Office, and he's taping a video message after the vote that will likely be released at some point Wednesday, a senior administration official told CBS News.

The official said the president is in a "fine" mood, as he "expected to be impeached today." 

The White House is currently confident there are not enough votes to convict the president in the Senate, but they are closely monitoring the situation in light of McConnell's comments that he has not yet decided how he will vote at an impeachment trial. 

No final decisions have been made on the president's legal defense team. The White House counsel's office will not be involved. 

It has yet to be decided whether Mr. Trump will leave the White House on January 19 or January 20. 

By Ben Tracy
 

House begins voting on article of impeachment as debate concludes

The House began voting on the impeachment resolution just before 4 p.m., with some members casting votes on behalf of other members to reduce the number of lawmakers who are in the chamber at any given time due to the pandemic.

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, a Republican from Louisiana, was the final speaker for Republicans as the House concluded debate on the single article of impeachment. At the start of his remarks, Scalise led the chamber in a round of applause for U.S. Capitol Police officers who protected lawmakers as the pro-Trump mob stormed the building.

"In times like these, let us not reach out to our darkest demons, but like Lincoln, seek the higher ground," Scalise said.

The last speaker for Democrats, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, said that in his four years in office, Mr. Trump has "made no effort to hide his ambitions or his lacking of Republican principles," and "has constructed a glass palace of lies, fearmongering and sedition."

"The issue is what do we do — the 433 of us, I believe who are here — do on behalf of the American people to respond to what Representative Cheney described happened on the 6th of January? A mob assembled by, summoned by and then spoken to, to light the flame of the attack. To 'stop the steal,'" Hoyer said.

The congressman said lawmakers have a duty to demonstrate their commitment to preserving the republic.

"To make that possible, we must rise to this moment, not only affirm the virtue we cherish but reject the vices we abhor," Hoyer said. "That's what I'm asking my fellow representatives on both sides of the aisle to do today. We all stood and we abhorred the violence that occurred and the threat to the very democracy that we hold so dear and swore an oath to protect and uphold. Reject deceit. Reject fearmongering. Reject sedition, tyranny and insurrection, reject the demand for fealty to one man over fidelity to one's country."

Hoyer said the roll call vote to be taken on the article of impeachment will not be "ordinary," but instead about "principle and fidelity to our Constitution."

"These votes will be inscribed on the roll of history, a record of courage and of our commitment to country and Constitution," he said.

By Melissa Quinn
 

McConnell says he hasn't decided whether he'll vote to convict Trump

In a letter to colleagues, McConnell did not explicitly deny reports saying that he was leading towards voting to convict Mr. Trump, but said he remained undecided.

"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," McConnell said, according to an excerpt of the letter obtained by CBS News. This is a marked departure from his perspective on the previous impeachment trial, in which he voted to acquit Mr. Trump.

If McConnell does vote to convict Mr. Trump, other Republicans are likely to follow his lead. Several GOP senators have suggested they would consider convicting Mr. Trump.

By Grace Segers
 

Congresswoman calls for probe into groups who visited Capitol on January 5

Democratic Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill announced that she and more than 30 other members of Congress had sent a letter to the acting House sergeant at arms, acting Senate sergeant at arms, and U.S. Capitol Police seeking an investigation "into the suspicious behavior and access given to visitors to the Capitol Complex on Tuesday, January 5, 2021 — the day before the attacks on the Capitol."

"Many of the Members who signed this letter, including those of us who have served in the military and are trained to recognize suspicious activity, as well as various members of our staff, witnessed an extremely high number of outside groups in the complex on Tuesday, January 5," the letter said. "This is unusual for several reasons, including the fact that access to the Capitol Complex has been restricted since public tours ended in March of last year due to the pandemic."

The letter says that the tours "were a noticeable and concerning departure from the procedures in place as of March 2020," and "were so concerning that they were reported to the Sergeant at Arms on January 5."

Sherrill claimed on Tuesday that she had seen some members of Congress leading visitors in a "reconnaissance" tour on January 5.

By Grace Segers
 

RNC Chair McDaniel: "Anyone who has malicious intent" not welcome in D.C.

Ronna McDaniel, the chair of the Republican National Committee, sought to dissuade violent Trump supporters from returning to the nation's capital in the lead-up to the inauguration and called for the nation to unite.

"Those who partook in the assault on our nation's Capitol and those who continue to threaten violence should be found, held accountable, and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law," McDaniel said in a statement, "Let me be clear: Anyone who has malicious intent is not welcome in Washington, D.C. or in any other state capitol."

The FBI has warned of more unrest and violence in Washington, D.C., and other state capitals surrounding next week's inauguration.

McDaniel also denounced the riots that occurred at the U.S. Capitol last week perpetrated by a pro-Trump mob.

"Violence has no place in our politics. Period," she said. "I wholly condemned last week's senseless acts of violence, and I strongly reiterate the calls to remain peaceful in the weeks ahead."

By Melissa Quinn
 

Trump urges no violence in lead-up to inauguration

Amid warnings of expected violence and unrest in Washington, D.C., ahead of the inauguration, Mr. Trump called on Americans to "help ease tensions and calm tempers."

"In light of reports of more demonstrations, I urge that there must be NO violence, NO lawbreaking and NO vandalism of any kind," he said in a statement distributed by the White House. " That is not what I stand for, and it is not what America stands for. I call on ALL Americans to help ease tensions and calm tempers."

By Melissa Quinn
 

Another Republican says he'll vote to impeach the president

Congressman Dan Newhouse, a Republican from Washington, is the sixth Republican to publicly say he'll vote to impeach the president. 

"The mob was inflamed by the language and misinformation of the president of the United States," Newhouse said in a statement. 

"A vote against this impeachment is a vote to validate the unacceptable violence we witnessed in our nation's capital," he continued. "It is also a vote to condone President Trump's inaction. He did not strongly condemn the attack, nor did he call in reinforcements when our officers were overwhelmed. Our country needed a leader, and President Trump failed to fulfill his oath of office. I will vote yes on the articles of impeachment." 

On the House floor, Newhouse said others, "including myself, " are responsible for not speaking up against the president's language first, and announced his impeachment vote with a "heavy heart." 

By Kathryn Watson
 

McCarthy opposes impeachment, pushing "prudent" censure resolution

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy came out against the House's efforts to impeach Mr. Trump and instead said a "fact-finding commission" and resolution censuring the president would be "prudent."

"I believe impeaching the president in such a short time frame would be a mistake. No investigations have been completed, no hearings have been held," he said. "What's more, the Senate has confirmed that no trial will begin until after President-elect Biden is sworn in. But here is what a vote to impeach would do — a vote to impeach would further divide this nation. A vote to impeach would further fan the flames of partisan division."

McCarthy, a Republican from California, said Mr. Trump "bears responsibility" for Wednesday's attack, as he should have swiftly denounced the violent mob of his supporters. He called for Mr. Trump to accept responsibility for his role — which he has not done — quell brewing unrest and ensure Mr. Biden can successfully begin his term.

"What we saw last week was not the American way. Neither is the continued rhetoric that Joe Biden is not the legitimate president," he said. "Let's be clear: Joe Biden will be sworn in as president of the United States in one week because he won the election."

Calling the riots "undemocratic, un-American and criminal," McCarthy also denounced allegations that antifa, a loose-knit network of anti-fascist activists, was behind the January 6 assault. 

"Some say the riots were caused by antifa. There is absolutely no evidence of that, and conservatives should be the first to say so," he said.

McCarthy was among the Republicans who voted to toss out electoral votes for Mr. Biden from Arizona and Pennsylvania.

By Melissa Quinn
 

Cheney on calls to step down: "I'm not going anywhere"

GOP Representative Liz Cheney, the No. 3 in the Republican leadership in the House, said she won't comply with calls from some conservative members to relinquish her role over her support for impeachment.

"I'm not going anywhere. This is a vote of conscience," Cheney told reporters at the Capitol. "It's one where there are different views in our conference. But our nation is facing an unprecedented, since the civil war, constitutional crisis. That's what we need to be focused on. That's where our efforts and attention need to be."

By Stefan Becket
 

Thousands of National Guard troops stationed in Capitol due to high threat level

capitol-national-guard-troops.jpg
National Guard troops in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda on January 13, 2021. Grace Segers/CBS News

The Capitol Visitor Center, an airy complex that usually hosts tourists from across the country during the visits to the nation's Capitol, was filled instead with thousands of National Guard troops on Wednesday due to a "very high" threat level. The troops were lying on the hard marble floors, some cradling their guns as they napped after a long night of keeping watch over the Capitol complex.

A defense official told CBS News that the threat level at the Capitol is "very high" right now, even "higher than has been reported" in the press. This warning comes the week after insurgents overran the Capitol in a deadly attack, resulting in the deaths of five people.

There were approximately 2,000 troops at the Capitol as of Wednesday morning. They're authorized to carry arms, although not all of them are armed. Acting Defense Secretary Mark Miller has delegated authority to carry arms and use force to the Army secretary in order to avoid losing any time in securing approvals, should the need arise. A Defense Department official also confirmed that the National Guard is now planning to bring 20,000 troops to Washington – an increase of 5,000.

Read more here.

By Grace Segers
 

McConnell won't reconvene Senate immediately to begin impeachment trial

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell won't call the Senate back to Washington to begin an impeachment trial immediately once the House delivers the article of impeachment.

McConnell spokesman Doug Andres confirmed that the Republican leader will not consent to calling the upper chamber back early under emergency authorities that allow the majority and minority leader to agree to reconvene. The Senate is scheduled to next meet on January 19, and if senators don't return by then, a Senate impeachment trial would almost certainly stretch into Mr. Biden's term, which begins the next day.

If the trial concludes after Mr. Trump leaves office, the Senate could still choose to convict Mr. Trump and, additionally, bar him from holding federal office in the future. Conviction requires a vote of two-thirds of senators.

A person close to McConnell tells CBS News that he supports impeachment, but the Kentucky Republican has not taken a public position on whether he would vote to convict.

By Stefan Becket
 

Pelosi ahead of House impeachment vote: "He must go"

Pelosi: Trump poses "clear and present danger... 07:21

As the House began debate on the single article of impeachment against Mr. Trump, Pelosi delivered remarks on the House floor, recounting the "day of fire" experienced by all House members and calling the president a "clear and present danger" to the country.

"We know that the president of the United State incited this insurrection, this armed rebellion, against our common country," she said. "He must go. He is a clear and present danger to the nation that we all love."

Pelosi cited Mr. Trump's remarks at the rally at the Ellipse on January 6, in which he encouraged thousands of supporters to "fight like hell," and appealed to her colleagues to uphold the oaths they swore to uphold the Constitution.

"With my voice and my vote, with a plea to all of you, Democrats and Republicans, I ask you to search your souls and answer these questions," she said. "Is the president's war on democracy in keeping with the Constitution? Were his words and insurrectionary mob a high crime and misdemeanor? Do we not have a duty to our oath to do all we constitutionally can to protect our nation and our democracy from the appetites and ambitions of a man who has self-evidently demonstrated that he is a vital threat to liberty, to self-government and to the rule of law?"

Pelosi called the mob of Mr. Trump's supporters who stormed the Capitol "domestic terrorists" who are not part of a political base "to be catered to and managed."

"They did not appear out of a vacuum. They were sent here by the president with words such as a cry to 'fight like hell,'" she said. "Words matter. Truth matters. Accountability matters."

Lamenting the divisions in the nation, Pelosi chastised Mr. Trump for continuing to sow lies as he "feels his power slipping away."

"We in this House have a sacred obligation to stand for truth, to stand up for the Constitution, to stand as guardians of the republic," she said.

By Melissa Quinn
 

House begins debate on impeaching Trump for "incitement of insurrection"

CBSN 3 Live

The House voted 221-203 to approve the guidelines for debate to impeach the president. 

The House clerk read the single article of impeachment — "incitement of insurrection." 

Lawmakers will now debate the impeachment resolution for two hours, with time evenly split between Republicans and Democrats. 

By Kathryn Watson
 

Graham joins Republican senators saying they won't vote to convict Trump

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, a close ally of the president, joined other GOP senators in saying that he would not vote to convict the president if the House approves an article of impeachment against Mr. Trump. Graham criticized the rushed proceedings, condemning the lack of hearings.

"The House impeachment process seeks to legitimize a snap impeachment totally void of due process. No hearings. No witnesses. It is a rushed process that, over time, will become a threat to future presidents. As to Senate leadership, I fear they are making the problem worse, not better," Graham said.

He also argued that Mr. Trump "has committed to an orderly transfer of power, encouraging calm and rejecting violence." The president just one week ago urged a rally of his supporters to "fight like hell" to overturn the election, hours before a pro-Trump mob overran the Capitol. Mr. Trump also did not concede until last week.

"To my Republican colleagues who legitimize this process, you are doing great damage not only to the country, the future of the presidency, but also to the party. The millions who have supported President Trump and his agenda should not be demonized because of the despicable actions of a seditious mob," Graham said.

Nine other Republicans have said that they would not vote to convict the president: Senators Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Cindy Hyde-Smith, Roger Wicker, Roy Blunt, Steve Daines, Kevin Cramer, Tim Scott and Ted Cruz.

By Grace Segers
 

Cheney faces backlash from conservative wing for impeachment support

Congresswoman Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the House's third-ranking Republican, is facing calls to step down from her leadership position by the conservative wing of the GOP after announcing her intent to vote to impeach Mr. Trump.

Congressman Jim Jordan of Ohio, a staunch conservative and close ally of the president, told reporters on Capitol Hill that Cheney should resign her post in House Republican leadership and believes the conference should hold a second vote to replace her. Cheney is the chair of the House Republican Conference. 

It's unclear whether she can be forced from that role, and expelling her from the conference entirely requires a two-thirds majority vote of its membership, according to the conference rules

"I think she's totally wrong," Jordan, a founding member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, said of Cheney's support for impeachment.

Congressman Andy Biggs of Arizona, the chair of the Freedom Caucus, told Fox News in an interview Tuesday that Cheney should reign as conference chair.

"The reality is she's not representing the conference, she's not representing the Republican ideals and I think that that's a problem and she should not be our conference chair anymore," he said.

By Melissa Quinn
 

House voting on rule for debate over impeachment resolution

Lawmakers are currently voting on a rule setting the terms for the debate over final passage of the impeachment resolution. Some members are submitting votes on behalf of other lawmakers under pandemic-related rules that allow for remote voting.

Once the rule is passed, the House will move onto two hours of debate over the impeachment resolution itself, split equally between parties.  

By Stefan Becket
 

20,000 National Guard troops now coming to D.C. for inauguration

A defense official confirmed to CBS News that the National Guard is planning to bring 20,000 members to the nation's capital to assist law enforcement for the inauguration. The latest figure is an increase of 5,000 troops, who will support security and logistics surrounding next week's event.

By David Martin
 

McConnell supports impeaching Trump

A person close to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell tells CBS News that the leader supports impeaching Mr. Trump but will not publicly discuss his views until the House formally sends the article of impeachment to the Senate for a trial.

The New York Times first reported that McConnell privately backs the impeachment of the president.

By Ed O'Keefe
 

GOP congressmen distance themselves from conservative activist

GOP Representatives Andy Biggs and Mo Brooks distanced themselves from conservative activist Ali Alexander, amid reports that Biggs and Brooks helped organize the "Stop the Steal" rally on January 6. Congressman Paul Gosar, who was also reportedly involved, has not returned CBS News' request for comment. Alexander recorded a video on Periscope which has since been deleted claiming that Biggs, Brooks and Gosar were involved.

"There is no relationship between Mr. Alexander and Congressman Biggs, and the comments in the video pertaining to Congressman Biggs were not true," a spokesperson for Biggs said. "Congressman Biggs is not aware of hearing of or meeting Mr. Alexander at any point — let alone working with him to organize some part of a planned protest on January 6. He did not have any contact with protestors or rioters, nor did he ever encourage or foster the rally or protests on January 6."

A spokesperson for Brooks said in a statement that the congressman has "no recollection of ever communicating in any way with whoever Ali Alexander is."

"Congressman Brooks has not in any way, shape or form coordinated with Ali Alexander on the January 6th 'Save America' rally. Congressman Brooks spoke at the 'Save America' rally at the invitation of the White House (the invitation was extended the day before), not anyone else," the spokesperson said. "Congressman Brooks never incited violence, as has been egregiously and falsely claimed by his political opponents and the Fake News Media who distort Congressman Brooks' remarks, take them out of context, and thereby sully Congressman Brooks' reputation for political advantage."

Kimberly Brown and Grace Segers

 

Hoyer predicts up to 20 House Republicans could vote to impeach

The House majority leader told reporters on Capitol Hill he expects as many as 20 Republicans to split with Mr. Trump and vote to impeach him.

"I would be surprised if there weren't somewhere between 10 to 20" Republicans who defect and support the article, Hoyer said.

So far, five House Republicans have publicly announced their intent to join Democrats in impeaching the president.

Melissa Quinn and Kimberly Brown

 

Democrats expected to send article of impeachment to Senate immediately

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told pool reporters Wednesday that he expects Democrats will send the article of impeachment to the Senate "as soon as possible" after the House votes.

"My expectation is we will send it as quickly as it's ready to go," Hoyer said, noting that Speaker Nancy Pelosi will make the decision.

During the previous impeachment in 2019, Pelosi delayed sending the articles of impeachment to the Senate. 

Sending the single article of impeachment to the Senate will place the ball in Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's court, days before President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration. 

Senate rules dictate that impeachment trials begin the day after the House impeachment managers present the article to the upper chamber, although senators can schedule a specific time to receive House managers by unanimous consent.

John Nolen and Kathryn Watson

 

House begins proceedings ahead of impeachment vote

Just before 9:30 a.m., the House kicked off its proceedings that will lead to the vote later this afternoon to charge Mr. Trump with incitement of insurrection due to his role in the violent assault on the U.S. Capitol.

While Republicans and Democrats alike have condemned the attack and the president's rhetoric, some GOP lawmakers argue impeaching Mr. Trump will only fuel division in the country and harm.

"The majority of the House is choosing to divide us further," Republican Congressman Tom Cole of Oklahoma said in remarks on the House floor. "I can think of no action the House can take that is more likely to further divide the American people than the action we are contemplating today."

But Democrats believe the president must be held accountable for his conduct and repeated lies that the election was stolen, which led his supporters to descend on the Capitol with the goal of blocking Congress from affirming Mr. Biden's victory.

"We can't have unity without truth and without accountability," Congressman Jim McGovern of Massachusetts, chair of the House Rules Committee, said in his own remarks on the floor. "America was attacked and we must respond, even when the cause of this violence resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue."

By Melissa Quinn
 

Pentagon authorizes National Guard protecting Capitol to carry weapons

The Department of Defense is allowing members of the National Guard deployed to the U.S. Capitol ahead of the inauguration to be armed, a defense official confirmed.

Captain Chelsi Johnson, a spokeswoman for the D.C. National Guard, confirmed Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy approved the request for Guardsmen supporting law enforcement protecting the Capitol to carry weapons.

Hundreds armed troops were spotted resting throughout the Capitol Wednesday morning.

Up to 15,000 members of the National Guard are expected in D.C. ahead of next week's inauguration. 

By Melissa Quinn
 

Trump has no public events as House convenes to vote on impeachment

As the House prepares to gather for its historic vote on impeaching Mr. Trump for a second time, the president is not expected to be seen publicly.

Instead, the White House said Mr. Trump "will work from early in the morning until late in the evening. He will make many calls and have many meetings."

Since the violent mob of his supporters attacked the Capitol, Mr. Trump has seldom been seen in public. He made his first public appearance Tuesday during a trip to Alamo, Texas, to survey the wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. During remarks, Mr. Trump declined to take responsibility for his role in the events.

By Melissa Quinn
 

Jamie Herrera Beutler becomes fifth House GOP member to say she'll vote for impeachment

Washington Representative Jamie Herrera Beutler announced Tuesday night she will vote to impeach President Trump for inciting the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol on January 6. Herrera Beutler is the fifth House GOP member to voice support for impeachment. 

"The President of the United States incited a riot aiming to halt the peaceful transfer of power from one administration to the next," Herrera Beutler wrote in a statement. "That riot led to five deaths. People everywhere watched in disbelief as the center of American democracy was assaulted. The violent mob bludgeoned to death a Capitol officer as they defaced symbols of our freedom. These terrorists roamed the Capitol, hunting the Vice President and the Speaker of the House."

Herrera Beutler critcized Mr. Trump's actions while the Capitol was under siege, noting that he appeared more concerned with further delaying the counting of electoral votes than the safety of Congress or the vice president. She also called the video Mr. Trump sent addressing his supporters during the riot "pathetic."

"I believe President Trump acted against his oath of office, so I will vote to impeach him," Herrera Beutler concluded.

Herrera Beutler's statement came shortly after the House voted to urge Vice President Pence to remove Mr. Trump from office by invoking the 25th amendment. Herrera Beutler did not vote yes on that motion, and Pence informed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi before the vote was taken that he would not pursue using the 25th amendment.

By Jordan Freiman
 

House votes to approve 25th Amendment resolution

The House has voted to approve Congressman Jamie Raskin's resolution that encourages Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment and creates an independent panel to determine the fitness of the president for office. 

The vote was 223 to 205. Only one Republican, Representative Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, voted in favor of the resolution. 

Pence has already said he will not attempt to invoke the 25th Amendment. 

The House will take up the impeachment vote Wednesday.

By Kathryn Watson
 

Fred Upton becomes fourth GOP House member to say he'll vote for impeachment

Republican Representative Fred Upton became the fourth House Republican on Tuesday to say he'll vote for impeachment, following Representatives John Kakto, Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger. 

"Today the president characterized his inflammatory rhetoric at last Wednesday's rally as 'totally appropriate,' and he expressed no regrets for last week's violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol," Upton said in a statement. "This sends exactly the wrong signal to those of us who support the very core of our democratic principles and took a solemn oath to the Constitution.  I would have preferred a bipartisan, formal censure rather than a drawn-out impeachment process. I fear this will now interfere with important legislative business and a new Biden Administration. But it is time to say: Enough is enough."

"The Congress must hold President Trump to account and send a clear message that our country cannot and will not tolerate any effort by any president to impede the peaceful transfer of power from one President to the next. Thus, I will vote to impeach," Upton said. 

By Kathryn Watson
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