Trump impeachment live updates: House debates ‘incitement of insurrection’ charge

narvikk/iStockBy LIBBY CATHEY, KENNEDEY BELL and LAUREN KING, ABC News

(WASHINGTON) — President Donald Trump is slated to hand over control of the White House to President-elect Joe Biden in one week.

House lawmakers are convening to debate and later vote on an article of impeachment charging Trump with “incitement of insurrection” for his role in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Here is how the scene is unfolding. All times Eastern:

Jan 13, 1:41 pm
Dems push ‘accountability’ in case for impeaching Trump

House Judiciary Chairman Rep. Jerry Nadler in his floor remarks said the rioters who stormed the Capitol will be brought to justice. Amid accusations from some members of Congress that other members may have abetted rioters, he said accomplices on the floor will also be held accountable.

“We will bring the rioters to justice. Their accomplices in this house will be held responsible,” Nadler said. “But today we must focus on the gravest threat first: President Trump.”

Rep Adam Schiff, D-Calif., who was the lead impeachment manager for Trump’s last impeachment proceedings said America has endured a Civil War, world wars, the Great Depression and now “a Trumpist and white nationalist insurrection,” but the nation will prevail because of those Americans patriotic enough restore it.

“This is one of those moments,” Schiff said. “Enough.”

Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., argued that while Republicans are calling for unity and healing, it was the president who refused to recognize Biden’s win, leading to a violent transition of power.

“This president’s refusal to participate in the peaceful transfer of power and his role in the incitement of last week’s violence poses an existential threat. This threat must be extinguished immediately,” Clyburn said.

Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., co-sponsor of the impeachment article, warned of future threats to lawmakers if the president isn’t held accountable, stressing, “Every one of us in this room right now could have died.”

Jan 13, 1:10 pm
Republicans accuse Dems of ‘cancel culture’ for impeaching Trump as he leaves office

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, one of the president’s staunchest supporters, began the House debate for Republicans by opposing impeaching Trump and railing against Democrats for what he called their attempt to “cancel the president.”

“We should be focused on bringing the nation together. Instead Democrats are going to impeach the president for a second time, one week, one week before he leaves office. Why? Why? Politics and the fact that they want to cancel the president,” he said.

“Impeachment round two. It’s always been about getting the president, no matter what. It’s an obsession. An obsession that’s now broadened. It’s not just about impeachment anymore. It’s about canceling,” he added.

Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Calif., told the chamber, “I cannot think of a more petty, vindictive and gratuitous act than to impeach an already defeated president a week before he is to leave office.”

“President-elect Biden’s promise to heal the nation becomes a hollow mockery in the harsh reality of this unconstitutional act,” he said.

Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris have deflected when asked questions about impeachment, saying the decision is with Congress.

Jan 13, 12:49 pm
Pelosi first to speak as House debates unprecedented 2nd Trump impeachment

After the House Reading Clerk concluded reading the full impeachment resolution against President Trump, the House has proceeded with the session by kicking off two hours of debate on the article on impeachment charging Trump with inciting an insurrection. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was the first to deliver remarks and called Trump “a clear and present danger” to the country.

“The president of the United States incited this insurrection, this armed rebellion, against our common country. He must go. He is a clear and present danger to the nation that we all love,” Pelosi said. “Since the presidential election in November, an election the president lost, he has repeatedly lied about the outcome, sowed self-serving doubt about democracy and unconstitutionally sought to influence state officials to repeal reality.”

“My fellow members, my fellow Americans, we cannot escape history. Let us embrace our duty, fulfill our oath, and honor the trust of our nation. And we pray that God will continue to bless America,” she added, calling on the House to vote to impeach Trump and for the Senate to vote to convict him.

A spokesperson for Pelosi confirmed to ABC News she is wearing same outfit Wednesday that she wore for Trump’s last impeachment vote on Dec. 18, 2019.

Jan 13, 12:35 pm
House clerk reads article of impeachment charging Trump with inciting on insurrection

House Reading Clerk Susan Cole, donning an American flag mask, recited the article of impeachment before two hours of debate on the resolution kicked off.

Democrats formally introduced an impeachment resolution Monday, charging Trump with “incitement of insurrection” after he told his supporters at a “Save America Rally” to march on the Capitol during Congress’ joint session to count Electoral College votes on Jan. 6.

“In all this, President Trump gravely endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of Government. He threatened the integrity of the democratic system, interfered with the peaceful transition of power, and imperiled a coequal branch of Government. He thereby betrayed his trust as President, to the manifest injury of the people of the United States,” Cole read aloud from the measure.

The impeachment article also cited Trump’s call with the Georgia Republican secretary of state where he urged him to “find” enough votes for Trump to win the state — along with the Constitution’s 14th Amendment, noting that it “prohibits any person who has ‘engaged in insurrection or rebellion against’ the United States” from holding office.

Jan 13, 12:22 pm
Pelosi thanks armed National Guard troops deployed to Capitol

As procedural votes are underway in the House, Speaker Nancy Pelosi went outside the Capitol to thank the National Guard troops deployed to the complex in the wake of last week’s riot and ahead of Biden’s inauguration in one week.

Some National Guard members inside the Capitol were spotted taking in the sights of the Rotunda Wednesday morning, gathering around and listening to Rep. Brian Mast, R-Fla., an Army veteran who lost both legs in Afghanistan.

The Capitol has been closed to tours for months due to the coronavirus pandemic. With the exception of last Wednesday’s attack, this is one of the few times visitors have snapped photos inside the building during the pandemic — finding themselves with unique access as they’ve been designated to protect the building and lawmakers.

As lawmakers arrived on the Hill ahead of the House gaveling in to consider Trump’s second impeachment, a heavy National Guard presence greeted them both outside and inside the building — with some resting, embracing their rifles, on the floor of the Capitol.

Jane Campbell, the president and CEO of the United States Capitol Historical Society, confirmed to ABC News that troops have not been quartered in the Capitol since the Civil War — when the Rotunda was still under construction, and the open-air space was used as a field hospital.

A Defense official said the National Guard members seen sleeping at the Capitol are on breaks and noted that it’s not uncommon on domestic or overseas deployments to see members taking breaks in between long shifts.

There are currently 6,600 members of the National Guard in Washington, D.C. with more continuing to flow in. A Defense official said Wednesday afternoon that the National Guard has now been authorized to have up to 20,000 Guardsmen in Washington for inauguration security and that most may be in town by this weekend.

Jan 13, 11:49 am
House votes to advance hearings, moves to adopt the ‘rule’

The first vote broke down along party lines 221-205, with Democrats voting to advance proceedings. Seven House members did not vote.

The House is now voting on the rule, which is expected to take roughly 45 minutes to one hour, the same amount of time. The chamber will then move to begin debate on the impeachment article.

Jan 13, 11:39 am
Republicans claim ‘rushed’ impeachment would ‘inflame’ the country

As part of rule debate leading up to debate on the article of impeachment, Republicans have largely focused on procedural concerns, criticizing Democrats for moving quickly to impeach Trump without a full investigation and suggesting the move would further divide Americans.

“I hold him accountable for the attack on the Capitol,” newly elected Rep. Nancy Mace, R-S.C., said, making her first speech on the House floor.

“If we’re serious about healing the divisions in this country, Republicans and Democrats need to recognize that last week wasn’t the first day of violence,” she continued. “There is violence on both sides of the aisle.”

“President Trump will leave office in seven days,” Rep. Jason Smith, R-Mo., said. “This is a reckless impeachment … have a conscience.”

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, attacked Democrat Rep. Jim McGovern, the chairman of the House Rules Committee, over his 2017 objection to the election results, and accused Democrats of hypocrisy.

McGovern quickly shot back that Democrats and Hillary Clinton recognized Trump’s victory — when Republicans refused to acknowledge Biden’s.

“The bottom line is this. This Capitol was stormed — people died because of the big lies that were being told by this president and by too many other people on this side of the aisle. Enough!” McGovern said. “Coming up on this floor and talking about whataboutism and trying to make these false equivalences — give me a break.”

“The president of the United States instigated an attempted coup in this country,” he added. “If this is not an impeachable offense I don’t know what the hell is.”

Jan 13, 11:16 am
Some GOP members rebel against Rep. Liz Cheney

Several conservative House Republicans have criticized Rep. Liz Cheney since she announced she would support impeachment Tuesday evening.

The Wyoming Republican is the chair of the House GOP conference — the No. 3 leadership position — and was reelected to by GOP members at the start of this Congress.

“We ought to have a second vote,” Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, told reporters Wednesday about the leadership position. “The conference ought to vote on that.”

“She should not be serving this conference,” Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., said Tuesday.

It’s unclear how widespread the effort to remove Cheney from GOP leadership is. But Trump’s top allies in the House are using impeachment as an opportunity to kneecap Cheney, a potential future speaker, after months of simmering tensions.

Jan 13, 11:01 am
House procedural votes on impeachment underway

The House has ended its first round of debate on impeachment and is taking the first procedural vote of the day.

This will likely take roughly 45 minutes to one hour, followed by a second procedural vote on the rule that could take the same amount of time.  

After those votes, the House will begin two hours of debate on the impeachment article charging Trump with “incitement of insurrection.”

Democrat Rep. James McGovern, the chairman of the House Rules Committee, when closing out the morning debate, said the impeachment vote will show who in Congress stands with the president “no matter what he does” and who stands up to him.

Jan 13, 10:55 am
Dems begin to lay out their case for impeaching Trump

With the first procedural debate wrapped and a second procedural vote on deck, the House of Representatives will soon debate the article of impeachment — charging the president with “Incitement of insurrection.”

At least once during the hearings, lawmakers were reminded by the presiding officer that masks are required on the House floor at all times.

Rep. Sheila Lee Jackson, D-.N.Y., appeared to summarize the heart of Democrats’ arguments when speaking ahead of the imminent impeachment vote.

“The president of the United States is an insurrectionist,” she said. “He led an insurrection against the United States of America.”

“The president provoked these domestic terrorists with words, with actions, with conduct, that portray and have contempt and hostility to the national value of equal justice under the law, telling domestic terrorists — nearly all of them white supremacists — many of them who support them politically — who stormed the Capitol to derail Congress for derailing its constitutional required duty of counting the vote,” she said. “He must be impeached because he is a threat.”

Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., a strong critic of Trump’s who called to impeach Trump last week while the siege was ongoing, said it’s about holding the president accountable, as their oath as lawmakers requires, she said.

“It was a violent attempt to interrupt our democratic process,” said Omar, who also called Trump a “tyrant.” “We cannot simply move past this or turn the page. For us to be able to survive as a functioning democracy, there has to be accountability.”

Jan 13, 9:59 am
Debate on the ‘rule’ kicks off ahead of article debate

Democrats and Republicans are expected to debate for one hour — equally divided between Democrats and Republicans — before a procedural vote ahead of the chamber beginning debate on the impeachment article itself.

Democrat Rep. Jim McGovern, the chairman of the House Rules Committee, setting up that preliminary vote on the terms of the debate, called the Capitol a “crime scene” and the rioters “traitors” and “domestic terrorists” in an assault instigated by Trump, emphasizing, “We wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for the president of the United States.”

McGovern described the day as “a ceremonial role for the Congress — one that sends a message to the world that democracy persists — but at a rally a mile and-a-half down Pennsylvania Avenue, Donald Trump was stoking the anger of a violent mob,” he began. “He said Vice President Pence has to come through and told the mob to walk down to the Capitol.”

“The signal was unmistakable. These thugs should stage a coup so Donald Trump can hang on to power, the people’s will be damned. This beacon of democracy became the site of a vicious attack. Rioters chanted, ‘Hang Mike Pence,’ as a noose and gallows were built. Capitol Police officers were beaten and sprayed with pepper spray. Attackers hunted down lawmakers to hold them hostage or worse,” McGovern continued.

“I saw evil, Mr. Speaker. Our country came under attack, not from a foreign nation but from within,” he added. He also slammed Republicans for preaching unity from members who voted to overturn a free and fair election.

Republican Rep. Tom Cole — one of the lawmakers who object to Electoral College results after the violent seige — called Jan. 6 the “darkest day” of his long career in Washington, but said Democrats, instead of promoting unity, are looking to “divide us further” by pursuing Trump’s impeachment.

Cole did not directly defend Trump’s actions or rhetoric but argued in Congress, one week before Biden’s inauguration, sets up a “flawed process.”

Jan 13, 9:40 am
House begins considering impeachment amid extraordinary security

The U.S. House of Representatives has gaveled in to consider the second impeachment of President Trump.

Democrats formally introduced an impeachment resolution Monday, charging Trump with “incitement of insurrection” after he told his supporters at a “Save America Rally” to march on the Capitol during Congress’ joint session to count Electoral College votes on Jan. 6.

“He also willfully made statements that, in context, encouraged — and foreseeably resulted in — lawless action at the Capitol, such as: ‘if you don’t fight like hell you’re not going to have a country anymore,'” the resolution reads.

“Thus incited by President Trump, members of the crowd he had addressed, in an attempt to, among other objectives, interfere with the Joint Session’s solemn constitutional duty to certify the results of the 2020 Presidential election, unlawfully breached and vandalized the Capitol, injured and killed law enforcement personnel, menaced Members of Congress, the Vice President, and Congressional personnel, and engaged in other violent, deadly, destructive and seditious acts,” it continues.

“In all this, President Trump gravely endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of Government. He threatened the integrity of the democratic system, interfered with the peaceful transition of power, and imperiled a coequal branch of Government. He thereby betrayed his trust as President, to the manifest injury of the people of the United States,” it goes on.

The impeachment article also cited Trump’s call with the Georgia Republican secretary of state where he urged him to “find” enough votes for Trump to win the state — along with the Constitution’s 14th Amendment, noting that it “prohibits any person who has ‘engaged in insurrection or rebellion against’ the United States” from holding office.

As House lawmakers arrived on Capitol Hill Wednesday, they were greeted by the sight of National Guard members dispersed throughout the Capitol complex before debate kicked off — a stark sight from last week when Capitol Police were found outnumbered.

Jan 13, 9:03 am
Republicans break from Trump as he’s poised for second impeachment, leaders tell members to ‘vote their conscience’

The House of Representatives is poised to impeach President Trump for a second time on Wednesday for “incitement of insurrection,” exactly one week after a violent siege on the U.S. Capitol left five people dead.

House Democrats have the votes to impeach Trump, who will become the first and only president in U.S. history to be impeached twice.

And in a turn of events, at least five House Republicans — including No. 3 Rep. Liz Cheney — have announced they, too, will vote to impeach Trump, even though no Republicans supported the effort during Trump’s first impeachment proceedings related to the Ukraine matter in 2019. The other House lawmakers who say they’ll vote to remove Trump include GOP Reps. John Katko, R-N.Y., Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., Fred Upton, Mich., and Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Wash.

House GOP leadership said they would not encourage members to vote for or against Democrats’ impeachment push, according to House leadership aides, but to “vote their conscience.”

In the Senate, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has not said if he would vote to convict or whether he’d hold a trial in the Senate, ABC News has learned, but he has privately indicated he believes impeaching Trump could make it easier to rid the Republican Party of Trumpism.

Jan 13, 8:58 am
Overview: Trump on track to become 1st president impeached twice

President Trump, one week ago, encouraged thousands of his supporters to march on Capitol Hill, firing them up with baseless claims of election fraud and instructing them to “fight like hell” in order to “stop the steal,” while Congress affirmed Biden’s electoral vote victory. That day ended in a violent attack on one of the most revered buildings in America.

One week later, Trump finds himself on track to become the first president in American history to be impeached twice as the House of Representatives is scheduled to convene at 9 a.m. Wednesday to debate a rule, then debate on one article of impeachment charging the president with “incitement of insurrection.” A final vote is expected later in the day.

Republicans are expected to argue Trump’s rhetoric ahead of the mob Wednesday doesn’t arise to an impeachable offense, and Democrats are expected to blast those 139 House Republicans who still objected to election results after the roughly six-hour siege.

With at least 218 House Democrats and five House Republicans announcing they’ll vote to impeach the president, a trial in the Senate is imminent. Half of the country’s presidential impeachment trials will then belong to Trump.

While House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has not publicly indicated when the House would send the article of impeachment to the Senate after its expected passage, she plans to send it to the Senate next week, according to a source involved in the Democratic leadership deliberations on the matter.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said already he won’t bring back the Senate from recess before Jan. 19 — a day before Biden’s inauguration. While McConnell has not said if he would vote to convict or whether he’d hold a trial in the Senate, ABC News has learned, he has privately indicated he believes impeaching Trump could make it easier to rid the Republican Party of Trumpism.

Branding his presidency as a “time to heal,” both Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris have deflected impeachment questions to Congress — but with confirmations for Cabinet picks and priorities to pass additional coronavirus relief potentially coinciding with Trump’s impeachment trial in the Senate, it’s unclear how Biden — or the U.S. Senate — will divide their agendas.

Jan 13, 12:38 am
Acting AG Jeffrey Rosen appears on camera for first time since Capitol siege

One week after the violent attack on the Capitol by a pro-President Trump mob, Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen has appeared on camera for the first time in a video statement condemning the actions of the rioters.

Rosen spends most of the video seeking to assure the public of the department’s efforts to bring those who committed acts of violence to justice, and makes no mention of Trump or his role in inciting the rioters against the lawmakers certifying the vote for President-elect Joe Biden.

He also uses the video to “send a message” to anyone seeking to commit acts of violence in the coming days leading up to the Inauguration, saying the department will have “no tolerance” for anyone seeking to disrupt, or occupy any government buildings around the country ahead of the transfer of power on Jan 20.

Jan 13, 12:14 am
YouTube suspends Trump channel over concerns about ‘potential for violence’

Following his bans from Twitter and Facebook, YouTube announced late Tuesday night that it was suspending Trump’s channel for at least seven days.

“After review, and in light of concerns about the ongoing potential for violence, we removed new content uploaded to Donald J. Trump’s channel for violating our policies. It now has its 1st strike & is temporarily prevented from uploading new content for a minimum of 7 days,” YouTube said in a statement Tuesday.

Trump’s social media presence has come under severe scrutiny for the language and rhetoric he used leading up to after the Capitol was sieged by a mob of pro-Trump supporters.

The storming of the Capitol left at least five dead and forced Congress to evacuate and seek shelter.

“Given the ongoing concerns about violence, we will also be indefinitely disabling comments on President Trump’s channel, as we’ve done to other channels where there are safety concerns found in the comments section,” YouTube said.

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