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How the House impeached Donald Trump for a historic second time

For the first time in American history, a president has been impeached twice by the House. Here’s a rundown of Wednesday’s events.

WASHINGTON — The Latest on the fallout from the attack of the U.S. Capitol by pro-Trump loyalists and today’s impeachment debate:

Related: How Florida members of Congress voted on impeaching Donald Trump The vote fell along party lines. Here’s the breakdown.
• • •

Pelosi wants fines for bypassing House security

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., speaks before signing the article of impeachment against President Donald Trump in an engrossment ceremony before transmission to the Senate for trial on Capitol Hill on Wednesday.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., speaks before signing the article of impeachment against President Donald Trump in an engrossment ceremony before transmission to the Senate for trial on Capitol Hill on Wednesday. [ ALEX BRANDON | AP ]

8:35 p.m.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is proposing fines of up to $10,000 will be imposed on members who fail to abide by the security protocols of the House.

Wednesday’s announcement comes after metal detectors were set up outside the House chamber following last week’s attack on the Capitol. Some Republican lawmakers have expressed their displeasure about the new protocol and have been bypassing the metal detector entirely or walking through and not stopping when they set it off.

Pelosi says, “It is tragic that this step is necessary, but the Chamber of the People’s House must and will be safe.” She says, “Many House Republicans have disrespected our heroes by verbally abusing them and refusing to adhere to basic precautions.”

The fine will be $5,000 for the first offense and $10,000 for the second offense. The Democratic-led House will vote on the rule change.

Earlier in the week, she imposed fines for those who fail to wear face masks during the COVID-19 crisis. Both fines will be deducted directly from members’ salaries.

• • •

Biden hopes Senate can balance trial, his agenda

President-elect Joe Biden speaks during an event at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Del., on Friday to announce key administration posts.
President-elect Joe Biden speaks during an event at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Del., on Friday to announce key administration posts. [ SUSAN WALSH | AP ]

8:15 p.m.

President-elect Joe Biden says he hopes the Senate can balance a second impeachment trial of President Donald Trump with “other urgent business” as the coronavirus pandemic rages.

In a statement Wednesday evening, Biden did not take a position on whether the Senate should convict Trump after a bipartisan House vote that charged the outgoing president with inciting the violent insurrection on the U.S. Capitol last week as Congress convened to certify Biden’s presidential election.

Biden blamed Trump for the “armed insurrection” by his supporters. The president-elect called it “an unprecedented assault on our democracy ... unlike anything we have witnessed in the 244-year history of our nation.”

Besides considering Trump’s fate, Biden noted that the Senate will be considering his nominations for key leadership posts and additional COVID-19 relief measures. Biden is scheduled to deliver a speech Thursday outlining his proposals to spur vaccine distribution and for additional economic aid.

• • •

Texas florist accused of threatening Pelosi

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., on Wednesday holds the article of impeachment against President Donald Trump after signing it, in an engrossment ceremony before transmission to the Senate for trial.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., on Wednesday holds the article of impeachment against President Donald Trump after signing it, in an engrossment ceremony before transmission to the Senate for trial. [ ALEX BRANDON | AP ]

8:10 p.m.

Federal officials say a Texas flower shop owner who posted a video on Facebook bragging about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office being broken into during the U.S. Capitol riot last week has been arrested.

A spokesperson for the U.S. attorney’s office in San Antonio says the FBI arrested Jenny Cudd and another Midland resident on Wednesday.

They appeared in court Wednesday, and each is charged with entering a restricted building and disorderly conduct, both misdemeanors.

Cudd has told The Associated Press that she didn’t personally go into Pelosi’s office and that she didn’t do anything violent or destroy any property.

• • •

In video, Trump condemns deadly riot he fomented

6:25 p.m.

President Donald Trump has released a video condemning the violent insurrection he fomented at the Capitol last week.

The video came out Wednesday after he was impeached by the House for a record second time, this time with Republican votes. Trump also called on his supporters to remain peaceful amid concerns about additional violence in the days before President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.

Trump says: “I want to be very clear: I unequivocally condemn the violence that we saw last week.” He says, “Like all of you I was shocked and deeply saddened by the calamity” and “no true supporter” of his “could ever endorse political violence.”

Trump also said that he had directed federal agencies “to use all necessary resources to maintain order in Washington, D.C.” over the next week.”

Trump made no reference to becoming the first president in the nation’s history to be impeached twice.

• • •

How Florida’s congressional delegation voted

• • •

South Carolina Republican explains why he voted to impeach

6:10 p.m.

U.S. Rep. Tom Rice of South Carolina was one of only 10 House Republican to join Democrats in voting to impeach President Donald Trump, a stunning reversal from his position just days earlier.

Rice said in a statement Wednesday that he had backed Trump “through thick and thin for four years” but called Trump’s handling of the Capitol violence an “utter failure” that “is inexcusable.” Rice was among the House Republicans who voted last week to throw out Arizona’s electoral votes, which went to President-elect Joe Biden.

The House voted to impeach Trump on a charge of incitement of an insurrection on a 232-197 vote.

Two days ago, Rice told local media that he didn’t support impeachment, saying Trump had acted recklessly but, with just days remaining in Trump’s term, “Let’s not stoke further division.”

Rice represents South Carolina’s 7th Congressional District, an area near Myrtle Beach that voted heavily for Trump. Rice was recently elected to his fifth term but is among the lesser-known member of South Carolina’s delegation. He had previously been a steadfast supporter of Trump’s.

• • •

Schumer says trial likely starts after Jan. 19; Biden sworn in on Jan. 20

Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer of N.Y., walks on Capitol Hill in Washington on Dec. 15.
Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer of N.Y., walks on Capitol Hill in Washington on Dec. 15. [ SUSAN WALSH | AP ]

5:40 p.m.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer vows there will be an impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, even if it’s after he leaves office and Democrat Joe Biden is inaugurated.

Schumer said Wednesday that the trial could begin immediately if Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell agreed to convene an emergency session.

He says if not, the trial will begin after Jan. 19. That’s the quickest the Senate can start under the existing calendar. Biden is set to be sworn in on Jan. 20.

McConnell said earlier Wednesday that there is “no chance” that the Senate will be able to hold a “fair or serious” impeachment trial before Biden is sworn in.

Trump was impeached Wednesday by the House on a charge of incitement of insurrection over the deadly siege of the Capitol.

Schumer said if Trump is convicted, there will be a vote on barring Trump from ever running again for office.

• • •

Olympic swimmer charged in attack on Capitol

In this Aug. 12, 2008 photo, United States' relay swimmer Klete Keller reacts after a men's 4x200-meter freestyle relay heat during the swimming competitions in the National Aquatics Center at the Beijing 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Keller, a five-time Olympic swimming medalist, was charged Wednesday with participating in a deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol after video emerged that appeared to show him among those storming the building last week.
In this Aug. 12, 2008 photo, United States' relay swimmer Klete Keller reacts after a men's 4x200-meter freestyle relay heat during the swimming competitions in the National Aquatics Center at the Beijing 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Keller, a five-time Olympic swimming medalist, was charged Wednesday with participating in a deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol after video emerged that appeared to show him among those storming the building last week. [ THOMAS KIENZLE | AP ]

5:20 p.m.

Five-time Olympic swimming medalist Klete Keller has been charged with participating in a deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol after video emerged that appeared to show him among those storming the building last week.

An FBI complaint, citing screenshots from the video, asked that a warrant be issued charging Keller with knowingly entering a restricted building without lawful authority and attempting to impede an official government function. Keller was charged Wednesday.

Thousands of supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol during a joint session of Congress on Jan. 6 while lawmakers met to formalize the victory of President-elect Joe Biden.

The 38-year-old Keller competed in the 2000, 2004 and 2008 Summer Olympics. He captured two golds and a silver as a member of the 4x200-meter freestyle relay, as well as a pair of individual bronzes in the 400 free.

Messages seeing comment left with Keller and his sister, former Olympic swimmer Kalyn Keller, were not immediately returned.

• • •

McConnell says no trial before Biden sworn in

Network monitors inside the White House briefing room display the impeachment proceedings at the U.S. Capitol against President Donald Trump on Wednesday.
Network monitors inside the White House briefing room display the impeachment proceedings at the U.S. Capitol against President Donald Trump on Wednesday. [ GERALD HERBERT | AP ]

5:15 p.m.

Outgoing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says there is “no chance” that the Senate will be able to hold a “fair or serious” trial on the impeachment of President Donald Trump before President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in next week.

The House voted Wednesday to impeach Trump for the second time, with 10 Republicans joining Democrats to support an article for incitement of insurrection after the president egged on a violent mob of his supporters who ransacked the Capitol last week.

McConnell told his GOP colleagues in a note earlier on Wednesday that he had not yet decided on whether he would vote to convict. After the vote, he said that a trial would last longer than the seven days Trump has in office. McConnell noted that three previous impeachments “have lasted 83 days, 37 days, and 21 days respectively.”

McConnell says he thinks the nation is best served 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.”

• • •

10 GOP House members voted to impeach Trump

In this Dec. 17, 2019 photo, Republican Conference chair Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., speaks with reporters at the Capitol in Washington. She was one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach President Donald Trump on Wednesday.
In this Dec. 17, 2019 photo, Republican Conference chair Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., speaks with reporters at the Capitol in Washington. She was one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach President Donald Trump on Wednesday. [ J. SCOTT APPLEWHITE | AP ]

5 p.m.

Ten Republican House members voted to impeach President Donald Trump over the deadly insurrection at the Capitol. The GOP votes were in sharp contrast to the unanimous support for Trump among House Republicans when he was first impeached by Democrats in 2019.

Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, the third-ranking House Republican, said in a statement, “There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.”

Nine other House Republicans also supported impeachment: Reps. John Katko of New York; Adam Kinzinger of Illinois; Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio; Fred Upton and Peter Meijer of Michigan; Jaime Herrera Beutler and Dan Newhouse of Washington state; Tom Rice of South Carolina; and David Valadao of California.

All Democrats who voted supported impeachment, while 197 Republicans voted no.

• • •

Trump was in Oval Office during impeachment vote

President Donald Trump signs the coronavirus stimulus relief package in the Oval Office at the White House on March 27. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., House Minority Leader Kevin McCarty, R-Calif., and Vice President Mike Pence watch from behind. Trump watched the House impeach him for a historic second time on Wednesday from the Oval Office.
President Donald Trump signs the coronavirus stimulus relief package in the Oval Office at the White House on March 27. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., House Minority Leader Kevin McCarty, R-Calif., and Vice President Mike Pence watch from behind. Trump watched the House impeach him for a historic second time on Wednesday from the Oval Office. [ EVAN VUCCI | AP ]

4:40 p.m.

President Donald Trump was in the Oval Office as the House of Representatives voted to impeach him.

Trump on Wednesday became the first president to be impeached twice. The vote came days after he fomented a violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol by telling his supporters to “fight like hell” against election results that he falsely told them were rigged.

Trump, who has been suspended from social media platforms, was expected to respond to the vote in a taped video to be released later Wednesday.

Ten Republicans joined Democrats in voting to impeach the president. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called Trump a “clear and present danger” to the country.

The White House was lightly staffed Wednesday as moving boxes crowded offices and hallways as aides prepare for their departure ahead of Inauguration Day, when President-elect Joe Biden takes office.

• • •

House impeaches Trump for a historic second time

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., gavels in the final vote of the impeachment of President Donald Trump, for his role in inciting an angry mob to storm the Capitol on Jan. 6.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., gavels in the final vote of the impeachment of President Donald Trump, for his role in inciting an angry mob to storm the Capitol on Jan. 6. [ J. SCOTT APPLEWHITE | AP ]

4:30 p.m.

President Donald Trump has become the first American president to be impeached twice, facing a strong bipartisan rebuke from the House exactly one week after a violent mob of his supporters invaded the U.S. Capitol.

The House voted 232-197 to impeach Trump, with 10 Republicans joining with Democrats to charge him with incitement of insurrection.

The extraordinary second impeachment, just days before Trump is to leave office, comes after the president encouraged his supporters to “fight like hell” against the election results in a speech near the White House.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will now send the article of impeachment to the Senate, though that timing is unclear. Actual removal seems unlikely before the Jan. 20 inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden, as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he will not bring the Senate back before Jan. 19.

Still, McConnell did not rule out voting to convict Trump. In a note to his fellow Republican senators just before the House was to begin voting, he said he is undecided.

• • •

House records enough votes to impeach Trump

Violent pro-Trump protesters lay siege to the Capitol on Jan. 6. They broke windows and breached the Capitol building in an attempt to overthrow the results of the 2020 election. The House voted Wednesday to impeach President Trump for a historic second time, this time for inciting the riot.
Violent pro-Trump protesters lay siege to the Capitol on Jan. 6. They broke windows and breached the Capitol building in an attempt to overthrow the results of the 2020 election. The House voted Wednesday to impeach President Trump for a historic second time, this time for inciting the riot. [ LEV RADIN | ZUMAPRESS.com ]

4:20 p.m.

A majority of the U.S. House has voted to impeach President Donald Trump for a second time, just a week after he encouraged loyalists to “fight like hell” against election results and a mob of his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol.

The House vote on an article of impeachment for incitement of insurrection was still underway Wednesday, but the Democratic-led House had secured enough votes to impeach Trump. Some Republicans joined Democrats in voting to impeach the president.

During debate before the vote, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asked Republicans and Democrats to “search their souls.” Trump is the first American president to be impeached twice.

The impeachment proceedings came one week after a violent, pro-Trump mob breached the Capitol, sending lawmakers into hiding and revealing the fragility of the nation’s history of peaceful transfers of power. Five people died.

Trump has taken no responsibility for the riot.

• • •

Biden gets security briefing before inauguration

In this Jan. 8 photo, President-elect Joe Biden speaks during an event at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Del., to announce key administration posts.
In this Jan. 8 photo, President-elect Joe Biden speaks during an event at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Del., to announce key administration posts. [ SUSAN WALSH | AP ]

4:15 p.m.

President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team says it’s taking the threat of violence across the U.S. in the runup to the inauguration “incredibly seriously.”

It says Biden received a briefing Wednesday on preparations for the event from top law enforcement officials.

In a statement, the Biden transition said senior officials at the FBI and the Secret Service and members of his national security team briefed the president-elect on the “threat picture, and on the preparations being put in place to deter and defend against violent disruptions or attacks.” Biden’s team will continue to receive daily briefings on the issue before the Jan. 20 inauguration.

Biden’s team is “focused on laying the groundwork for a smooth handoff in power that will ensure continuous command and control across the homeland security and law enforcement components.”

Security across Washington has increased in the wake of last week’s deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, and a number of protests are planned both in Washington and in state capitols and cities across the U.S. in the coming days.

• • •

Newly elected Republican votes for impeachment

4:10 p.m.

Newly elected Michigan Rep. Peter Meijer says that “with a heavy heart” he will join some other Republicans in supporting impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump.

Meijer announced he would vote to impeach Trump in a statement released Wednesday as the House was debating the proceedings. He said the vote “isn’t a victory for my party, and isn’t the victory Democrats might think it is.”

But after a violent mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol last week in an effort to overturn Democrat Joe Biden’s win, Meijer says it’s a step “for us to reflect on these events and seek ways to correct them.”

Meijer said impeaching Trump will likely exacerbate division and set precedent. But he ultimately concluded it is a “meaningful” way to hold Trump accountable for the “seriousness” of his actions.

• • •

House begins voting on 2nd Trump impeachment

U.S. Capitol Police with guns drawn stand near a barricaded door as pro-Trump loyalists try to break into the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
U.S. Capitol Police with guns drawn stand near a barricaded door as pro-Trump loyalists try to break into the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. [ ANDREW HARNIK | AP ]

3:50 p.m.

Voting is underway in the House on impeaching President Donald Trump over the violent siege at the U.S. Capitol last week by a mob of his supporters.

Lawmakers are voting Wednesday on impeaching Trump on a single charge, incitement of insurrection. If it passes, Trump would be the first president to be impeached twice.

The impeachment proceedings came one week after a violent, pro-Trump mob breached the Capitol, sending lawmakers into hiding and revealing the fragility of the nation’s history of peaceful transfers of power. Five people died.

The riot has forced a reckoning among some Republicans, who have stood by Trump throughout his presidency and largely allowed him to spread false attacks against the integrity of the 2020 election.

While Trump’s first impeachment in 2019 brought no Republican votes in the House, at least seven House Republicans were breaking with the party to join Democrats this time.

Trump has taken no responsibility for the riot, suggesting it was the drive to oust him rather than his actions around the bloody riot that was dividing the country.

• • •

Pressley says her husband tests positive for coronavirus

3:25 p.m.

Democratic Rep. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts says her husband has tested positive for COVID-19 following last week’s siege and subsequent lockdown at the Capitol.

Pressley said in a statement that Conan Harris received a positive test Tuesday evening. Pressley says she received a negative test result.

Harris had accompanied Pressley to her swearing-in ceremony last week and was with her in the Capitol complex throughout the Jan. 6 attack. Harris has shown mild symptoms and remains in isolation, along with Pressley and staff who were in close contact.

Pressley said Wednesday: “As my colleagues and I sought shelter from the white supremacist mob that violently attacked our seat of government, we were greeted by a different threat — one posed by my callous Republican colleagues who, in this crowded and confined space, repeatedly refused to wear masks when offered.”

• • •

McConnell is undecided on impeachment vote

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., walks from the Senate floor to his office on Capitol Hill on Jan. 6 after pro-Trump rioters stormed the Capitol building.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., walks from the Senate floor to his office on Capitol Hill on Jan. 6 after pro-Trump rioters stormed the Capitol building. [ MANUEL BALCE CENETA | AP ]

3:15 p.m.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said in a note to his fellow Republican senators that he is undecided on whether President Donald Trump should be convicted if the House votes to impeach him.

McConnell said in the letter Wednesday: “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.”

The House is poised to vote to impeach Trump on Wednesday for a second time after he egged on a violent mob of his supporters who invaded the Capitol last week.

• • •

Jordan reads statement from Trump on House floor

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, an ally of President Donald Trump, passes through a metal detector Tuesday as he enters the House chamber, new security measures put into place after a mob loyal to Trump stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6. Democrats are set to pass a resolution calling on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke constitutional authority under the 25th Amendment to oust Trump.
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, an ally of President Donald Trump, passes through a metal detector Tuesday as he enters the House chamber, new security measures put into place after a mob loyal to Trump stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6. Democrats are set to pass a resolution calling on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke constitutional authority under the 25th Amendment to oust Trump. [ J. SCOTT APPLEWHITE | AP ]

2:15 p.m.

President Donald Trump says he opposes violence in a statement read on the House floor as members debate impeaching him for his role in fomenting the violent insurrection at the Capitol last week.

Trump’s message was read Wednesday by GOP Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio.

Trump says in a statement: “In light of reports of more demonstrations, I urge that there must be NO violence, NO lawbreaking and NO vandalism of any kind.” Trump adds: “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.”

Trump is on the verge of being impeached for a second time in a fast-moving House vote, just a week after he encouraged loyalists to “fight like hell” against election results and then a mob of his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol. Five people died, including a U.S. Capitol Police officer.

The president falsely claimed widespread voter fraud cost him the election won by Democrat Joe Biden.

• • •

AP count finds 100-plus arrested in Capitol riot

In this Jan. 6 photo, a Trump supporters gestures to U.S. Capitol Police in the hallway outside of the Senate chamber after a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol in Washington on Jan. 6. Doug Jensen, a 41-year-old Iowa man at center, was jailed on Jan. 9 federal charges, including trespassing and disorderly conduct counts, for his alleged role in the Capitol riot. The Associated Press reports that more than 100 arrests have been made.
In this Jan. 6 photo, a Trump supporters gestures to U.S. Capitol Police in the hallway outside of the Senate chamber after a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol in Washington on Jan. 6. Doug Jensen, a 41-year-old Iowa man at center, was jailed on Jan. 9 federal charges, including trespassing and disorderly conduct counts, for his alleged role in the Capitol riot. The Associated Press reports that more than 100 arrests have been made. [ MANUEL BALCE CENETA | AP ]

2:05 p.m.

The number of people arrested on criminal charges related to last week’s riot at the U.S. Capitol has exceeded 100.

The count by The Associated Press resulted from a nationwide review of court records and announcements of arrests issued by law enforcement agencies. The charges range from misdemeanor curfew violations in the District of Columbia to federal felonies related to the assault of law enforcement officers, theft of government property and possessing firearms and explosives.

Related: ‘Camp Auschwitz’ shirt among anti-Semitic signs raising alarms in Capitol riot

Federal prosecutors and the FBI said this week they are pursing dozens more suspects who have been identified through photos and videos from the Jan. 6 melee and tips from the public.

Those newly arrested Wednesday include 56-year-old Robert Keith Packer, of Newport News, Virginia. His mugshot appears to match the bearded man photographed at the Capitol wearing a hoodie emblazoned with “Camp Auschwitz” and the phrase “Work Brings Freedom,” a translation of the German phrase from the gates of the Nazi concentration camp where more than 1.1 million Jews and others were murdered during World War II.

• • •

Another House GOP member joins impeachment effort

2 p.m.

Rep. Dan. Newhouse of Washington has added his name to the short list of Republicans supporting the impeachment of President Donald Trump.

He said Tuesday on the House floor that the article of impeachment is flawed, but he will not use process as an excuse to vote no.

He says, “There is no excuse for President Trump’s actions.”

Newhouse says the president took an oath to defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic. Yet he says when there was a “domestic threat at the door of the Capitol,” the president “did nothing to stop it.”

He says he will vote for impeachment “with a heavy heart and clear resolve.”

• • •

McCarthy says Trump bears riot responsibility

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., walks to the chamber at the Capitol in Washington on Wednesday as the House of Representatives pursues an article of impeachment against President Donald Trump for his role in inciting an angry mob to storm the Capitol last week.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., walks to the chamber at the Capitol in Washington on Wednesday as the House of Representatives pursues an article of impeachment against President Donald Trump for his role in inciting an angry mob to storm the Capitol last week. [ J. SCOTT APPLEWHITE | AP ]

1:45 p.m.

House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy says President Donald Trump “bears responsibility” for last week’s storming of the Capitol by his supporters.

McCarthy, a close Trump ally, says the president “should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding.”

But McCarthy also says he believes it would be a mistake to impeach Trump in such a short time frame. Trump leaves office on Jan. 20 when Joe Biden is inaugurated.

The House is set to vote later Wednesday on impeaching Trump, accusing him of rallying the violent mob.

McCarthy says “a vote to impeach would further divide this nation, a vote to impeach will further fan the flames, the partisan division.”

The California lawmaker is calling instead for a fact-finding commission and censure resolution.

• • •

Capitol Police launch investigation into riot preparations

1:40 p.m.

The Capitol Police’s inspector general is opening an investigation into the department to look into events surrounding last week’s riot at the Capitol that resulted in five deaths, including a Capitol Police officer.

That’s according to a House aide with knowledge of the investigation. The aide was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Michael A. Bolton is the inspector general and he will lead the review. It will focus on security preparations for the Jan. 6 congressional vote to certify the presidential election, as well as the department’s response.

Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund resigned in the wake of the riot, as did the top security officials in the House and Senate. Assistant Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman is now the acting chief.

The department is facing intense scrutiny after its lackluster response to the riot, poor planning and failure to anticipate the seriousness of the threat drew widespread condemnation.

— Associated Press Writer Matthew Daly

• • •

McConnell rejects emergency session for Senate trial

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., walks from the Senate floor to his office on Capitol Hill on Jan. 6, after pro-Trump rioters stormed the building.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., walks from the Senate floor to his office on Capitol Hill on Jan. 6, after pro-Trump rioters stormed the building. [ MANUEL BALCE CENETA | AP ]

1:20 p.m.

If the House impeaches President Donald Trump, a Senate trial on whether to convict him of inciting insurrection seems all but certain to have to wait until President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated.

That’s the word from a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. The spokesman says aides to the Kentucky Republican have told Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s staff that McConnell won’t agree to invoke powers calling senators into emergency session.

Related: McConnell racing away from Trump as impeachment vote nears

That means the Senate almost certainly won’t meet again until Jan. 19. That’s the day before Biden’s inauguration.

The House is set to vote later Wednesday on impeaching Trump, accusing him of rallying a violent mob of supporters to attack the Capitol last week.

• • •

Matt Gaetz’s false Antifa conspiracy theory gets shut down by House GOP Leader

• • •

Pompeo suggests Trump should get Nobel Prize

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks Tuesday at the National Press Club in Washington.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks Tuesday at the National Press Club in Washington. [ ANDREW HARNIK | AP ]

1:05 p.m.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is suggesting that President Donald Trump should be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for promoting Arab-Israeli peace.

Pompeo’s suggestion, made on his official Twitter account, comes as the House is set to vote later Wednesday on impeaching Trump, accusing him of rallying a violent mob of supporters to attack the Capitol last week.

Trump and many of his allies have made no secret of their desire to see him honored with the Nobel Peace Prize, which is one of the world’s most distinguished awards.

Their campaign on his behalf has raised eyebrows because self-promotion for the prize is considered unseemly.

Pompeo tweeted a photo of Trump waving from a White House balcony with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and senior officials from the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain and copied the Nobel committee.

The photo was taken in September last year when Israel normalized relations with the UAE and Bahrain under the so-called Abraham Accords, which were negotiated by Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner. Since then Morocco and Sudan have also agreed to recognize Israel.

• • •

McConnell quickly moving away from Trump

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., walks from the Senate floor to his office on Capitol Hill Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., walks from the Senate floor to his office on Capitol Hill Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta) [ MANUEL BALCE CENETA | AP ]

1 p.m.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is moving abruptly away from President Donald Trump, telling people that he thinks Trump perpetrated impeachable offenses.

The Kentucky Republican also sees House Democrats’ drive to impeach Trump as an opportune moment to distance the GOP from the tumultuous, divisive outgoing president.

Read the full story here.

• • •

Pelosi: Trump must be impeached

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi of Calif., returns to her leadership office from the House chamber at the Capitol in Washington on Wednesday as the House of Representatives pursues an article of impeachment against President Donald Trump for his role in inciting an angry mob to storm the Capitol last week.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi of Calif., returns to her leadership office from the House chamber at the Capitol in Washington on Wednesday as the House of Representatives pursues an article of impeachment against President Donald Trump for his role in inciting an angry mob to storm the Capitol last week. [ SUSAN WALSH | AP ]

12:45 p.m.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says President Donald Trump represents a “clear and present danger” to the nation and must be impeached.

Pelosi says in a House speech that members of Congress and the country as a whole “experienced the insurrection that violated the sanctity of the people’s Capitol and attempted to overturn the duly recorded will of the American people″ in the presidential election.

She says “we know that 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 says Trump has “repeatedly lied” about the outcome of the election that he lost to Democrat Joe Biden and Trump has “sowed self-serving doubt about democracy and unconstitutionally sought to influence state officials to repeat this armed rebellion against our country.”

The House is set to vote Wednesday afternoon on impeaching Trump, accusing him of rallying a violent mob of supporters to attack the Capitol last week.

• • •

Graham opposes impeachment, says ‘enough is enough’

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., speaks to reporters during a Jan. 7 news conference at the Capitol, the day after a pro-Trump mob stormed the building.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., speaks to reporters during a Jan. 7 news conference at the Capitol, the day after a pro-Trump mob stormed the building. [ MANUEL BALCE CENETA | AP ]

12 p.m.

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina says the impeachment effort being pushed by House Democrats could “do great damage to the institutions of government” and he’s warning his GOP colleagues not to support it.

Graham is a frequent ally of President Donald Trump. Last week, Graham condemned the violent mob of the president’s supporters who invaded the Capitol. After that siege and after Trump had pushed the unconstitutional argument that Vice President Mike Pence could overturn the election results, Graham said to count him out and that “enough is enough.”

Still, Graham has stayed in touch with the increasingly isolated president.

And Graham’s message to fellow Republicans on impeachment is that those “who legitimize this process, you are doing great damage not only to the country, the future of the presidency, but also to the party.”

He says the millions of people who have supported Trump and his agenda “should not be demonized because of the despicable actions of a seditious mob.”

At least five GOP House members have said they will support impeachment, and two Republican senators have called on Trump to resign. Another GOP senator has said he will take a look at the articles of impeachment when they are sent to the Senate.

10:40 a.m.

The debate is heated almost from the start as the House sets up a vote to impeach President Donald Trump.

Democrats and a few Republicans say Trump must be removed immediately after he egged on a violent mob of supporters a week ago who then stormed the Capitol. The insurrection happened as some of Trump’s GOP allies were challenging his election defeat, echoing the president’s false claims that there was widespread fraud in his loss to Democrat Joe Biden.

Most Republicans are saying impeachment is divisive. They’re not mentioning the president.

Republican Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio is one of Trump’s most vocal defenders. Jordan blames Democrats for objecting to previous election results and he’s repeating baseless claims that the 2020 election was rigged.

But Democratic Rep. Jim McGovern of Massachusetts says Democrats haven’t pushed conspiracy theories that a president won in a landslide when he actually lost — which is what happened to Trump.

McGovern is looking back at the deadly Capitol siege and saying “people died because of the big lies that were being told.” And he says that’s enough to merit impeachment.

• • •

Castor tells House that ‘accountability must come swiftly’

10:25 a.m.

U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Tampa, during impeachment debate called Trump’s actions “the single most depraved betrayal of the constitution ever committed by a president.”

“Accountability must come swiftly,” she added.

• • •

Democrats begin second impeachment proceedings

Rep. Charlie Crist walks on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday.
Rep. Charlie Crist walks on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday. [ SUSAN WALSH | AP ]

10:05 a.m.

Democratic lawmakers have opened the historic impeachment effort in the House by saying that every moment Donald Trump is in the White House the nation is in danger.

Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., says the debate is taking place at an “actual crime scene and we wouldn’t be here if it were not for the president of the United States.”

The House is considering impeaching Trump for the second time after last week’s riots at the Capitol as lawmakers met to certify the election results. McGovern says it was Trump and his allies who were stoking the anger of the violent mob.

He says Trump told the crowd to march to the Capitol and “the signal was unmistakable.”

Republican Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma said Jan. 6th would live in his memory as the darkest day of his service in the House. But Cole says the Senate could not even begin to consider impeachment until after President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in.

He says he can think of no action the House can take that would further divide the American people than the actions being taken Wednesday. He says “it’s unfortunate that a path to support healing is not the path the majority has chosen today.”

• • •

9:50 a.m.

As the House opens its impeachment hearing, the District of Columbia National Guard says it has been authorized to arm troops assigned to security duty on the U.S. Capitol grounds.

The Guard said in a statement that the authority was requested by federal authorities and approved by Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy as of approximately 6 p.m. Tuesday.

Up to 15,000 Guard members are expected to be on duty in coming days in the district to support law enforcement in connection with the Jan. 20 inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden. Authorities are concerned about threats of violence, following the insurrection at the Capitol last week.

• • •

9:25 a.m.

The House has opened its proceedings Wednesday, poised to impeach President Donald Trump for a second time exactly a week after his supporters stormed the Capitol to protest his election defeat.

At least five Republicans have said they will join Democrats in voting to remove Trump from office. The article of impeachment charges the president with “incitement of insurrection.”

The House chaplain opened the session with a prayer for “seizing the scales of justice from the jaws of mob-ocracy.”

A vote is expected by the end of the day.

• • •

8:15 a.m.

Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger is predicting more Republicans will join him in voting to impeach President Donald Trump.

The House is set to vote Wednesday afternoon on impeaching Trump for a second time, accusing him of rallying a violent mob of supporters to attack the U.S. Capitol last week. If that isn’t an impeachable offense, Kinzinger said, “I don’t know what is.”

Several other Republicans are backing impeachment, including No. 3 GOP leader Liz Cheney.

“This is one of these moments that transcends politics,” the Illinois lawmaker told “CBS This Morning” in an interview ahead of the vote.

Besides Kinzinger and Cheney, other Republicans backing impeachment are John Katko of New York, Fred Upton of Michigan and Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington.

Kinzinger wouldn’t say how many more GOP lawmakers might vote to impeach, but said, “there’ll be more than the five you’ve seen so far.”

• • •

Impeachment begins: More coverage below

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is on the verge of being impeached for a second time in an unprecedented House vote Wednesday, a week after he encouraged a mob of loyalists to “fight like hell” against election results just before they stormed the U.S. Capitol in a deadly siege.

The House chaplain opened the session with a prayer for “seizing the scales of justice from the jaws of mob-ocracy.”

While Trump’s first impeachment in 2019 brought no Republican votes in the House, a small but significant number of leaders and lawmakers are breaking with the party to join Democrats, saying Trump violated his oath to protect and defend U.S. democracy.

The stunning collapse of Trump’s final days in office, against alarming warnings of more violence ahead by his followers, leaves the nation at an uneasy and unfamiliar juncture before Democrat Joe Biden is inaugurated Jan. 20.

Trump, who would become the only U.S. president twice impeached, faces a single charge of “incitement of insurrection.”

The four-page impeachment resolution relies on Trump’s own incendiary rhetoric and the falsehoods he spread about Biden’s election victory, including at a White House rally on the day of the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, in building its case for high crimes and misdemeanors as demanded in the Constitution.

“If inviting a mob to insurrection against your own government is not an impeachable event, then what is?” said Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., a drafter of the article of impeachment.

Related: What to watch as House moves to impeach Trump for 2nd time

Trump took no responsibility for the riot, suggesting it was the drive to oust him rather than his actions around the bloody riot that was dividing the country.

“To continue on this path, I think it’s causing tremendous danger to our country, and it’s causing tremendous anger,” Trump said Tuesday, his first remarks to reporters since last week’s violence.

A Capitol police officer died from injuries suffered in the riot, and police shot and killed a woman during the siege. Three other people died in what authorities said were medical emergencies. Lawmakers had to scramble for safety and hide as rioters took control of the Capitol and delayed by hours the last step in finalizing Biden’s victory.

The outgoing president offered no condolences for those dead or injured, only saying, “I want no violence.”

At least five Republican lawmakers, including third-ranking House GOP leader Liz Cheney of Wyoming, were unswayed by the president’s logic. The Republicans announced they would vote to impeach Trump, cleaving the Republican leadership, and the party itself.

“The President of the United States summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack,” said Cheney in a statement. “There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.”

Related: ‘Safest place in Washington’ no more. A reporter’s disbelief

Unlike a year ago, Trump faces impeachment as a weakened leader, having lost his own reelection as well as the Senate Republican majority.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky is said to be angry at Trump, and it’s unclear how a Senate impeachment trial would play out. The New York Times reported that McConnell thinks Trump committed an impeachable offense and is glad Democrats are moving against him. Citing unidentified people familiar with McConnell’s thinking, the Times reported McConnell believes moving against Trump will help the GOP forge a future independent of the divisive, chaotic president.

In the House, Republican leader Kevin McCarthy of California, a top Trump ally, scrambled to suggest a lighter censure instead, but that option crumbled.

So far, Republican Reps. John Katko of New York, a former federal prosecutor; Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, an Air Force veteran; Fred Upton of Michigan; and Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington state announced they, too, would join Cheney to vote to impeach.

The House tried first to push Vice President Mike Pence and the Cabinet to intervene, passing a resolution Tuesday night calling on them to invoke the 25th Amendment to the Constitution to remove Trump from office. The resolution urged Pence to “declare what is obvious to a horrified Nation: That the President is unable to successfully discharge the duties and powers of his office.”

Pence made it clear he would not do so, saying in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, that it was “time to unite our country as we prepare to inaugurate President-elect Joe Biden.”

Debate over the resolution was intense after lawmakers returned the Capitol for the first time since the siege.

Rep. Sylvia Garcia, D-Texas, argued that Trump must go because, as she said in Spanish, he’s “loco” — crazy.

In opposition, Republican Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio said the “cancel culture” was just trying to cancel the president with his ouster.

While House Republican leaders are allowing rank and file lawmakers to vote their conscience on impeachment, it’s far from clear there would then be the two-thirds vote in the evenly divided Senate needed to convict and remove Trump. Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania joined Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska over the weekend in calling for Trump to “go away as soon as possible.”

With just over a week remaining in Trump’s term, the FBI warned ominously of potential armed protests by Trump loyalists ahead of Biden’s inauguration. Capitol Police urged lawmakers to be on alert.

New security in place, lawmakers were required to pass through metal detectors to enter the House chamber, not far from where Capitol police, guns drawn, had barricaded the door against the rioters. Some Republican lawmakers complained about the screening.

Biden has said it’s important to ensure that the “folks who engaged in sedition and threatening the lives, defacing public property, caused great damage — that they be held accountable.”

Fending off concerns that an impeachment trial would bog down his first days in office, the president-elect is encouraging senators to divide their time between taking taking up his priorities of confirming his nominees and approving COVID-19 relief while also conducting the trial.

The impeachment bill draws from Trump’s own false statements about his election defeat to Biden. Judges across the country, including some nominated by Trump, have repeatedly dismissed cases challenging the election results, and former Attorney General William Barr, a Trump ally, has said there was no sign of widespread fraud.

Like the resolution to invoke the 25th Amendment, the impeachment bill also details Trump’s pressure on state officials in Georgia to “find” him more votes and his White House rally rant to “fight like hell” by heading to the Capitol.

While some have questioned impeaching the president so close to the end of his term, there is precedent. In 1876, during the Ulysses Grant administration, War Secretary William Belknap was impeached by the House the day he resigned, and the Senate convened a trial months later. He was acquitted.

Trump was impeached in 2019 over his dealings with Ukraine but acquitted by the Senate in 2020.

By Associated Press Writers Lisa Mascaro and Mary Clare Jalonick. AP writers Alan Fram and Zeke Miller contributed to this report.

• • •

Trump’s Republican wall eroding ahead of impeachment vote

Republicans offered only modest reproach when President Donald Trump said there were “very fine people” on both sides of a white supremacist rally. They stayed in line when Trump was caught pressuring a foreign leader and later defended his handling of a deadly pandemic.

But with a sudden force, the wall of Republican support that has enabled Trump to weather a seemingly endless series of crises is beginning to erode.

Trump’s weakened standing among his own party will come into sharper focus on Wednesday when the House is expected to impeach the president for inciting a riot at the U.S. Capitol last week. A handful of Republicans have already said they’ll join the effort, a number that could grow as the vote nears.

The choice facing Republicans isn’t just about the immediate fate of Trump, who has just seven days left in his presidency. It’s about whether the party’s elected leaders are ready to move on from Trump, who remains popular with many GOP voters but is now toxic in much of Washington.

How they proceed could determine whether the party remains viable in upcoming elections or splinters in a way that could limit their relevance.

“We’re at the moment now where we’re seeing a fracturing, a breaking, because of the unprecedented situation — the sedition, the violence, the death,” said Steve Schmidt, a longtime Republican strategist who left the party because of Trump.

The stunning nature of the deadly insurrection — and Trump’s role in fueling it — has shaken many lawmakers. Rep. Liz Cheney, the No. 3 Republican in the House, gave rank-and-file conservatives the green light to abandon Trump in a scathing statement Tuesday evening.

“There has never been a greater betrayal by a president of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution,” she charged.

More ominously for Trump, The New York Times reported that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell thinks Trump committed an impeachable offense and is glad Democrats are moving against him.

Citing unidentified people familiar with the influential Kentucky Republican’s thinking, the Times reported McConnell believes moving against Trump will help the GOP forge a future independent of the divisive, chaotic president.

While stunning, the fast-moving developments do not ensure Trump will be forced from office before Democrat Joe Biden’s Jan. 20 inauguration. The timing of a Senate trial is unclear and could spill into Biden’s presidency.

But for the first time, there are real signs that a significant faction of Republicans want to purge Trump from their party.

Already, three Trump Cabinet members have resigned in protest. Former Attorney General Bill Barr, who left the White House less than a month ago, accused his former boss of a “betrayal of his office.”

It took almost a week for Vice President Mike Pence, whose relationship with Trump has soured considerably since he and his family were forced into hiding during the Capitol siege, to publicly declare he would not to invoke the 25th Amendment of the Constitution to remove Trump from office.

Despite the defections, Trump remains popular with a significant portion of his political base. The president’s remaining allies warn that Republicans who cross him publicly risk a conservative backlash in their next elections.

“Public and private polling shows Republican grassroots voters strongly oppose impeachment,” said Jason Miller, a Trump senior adviser. “Any Republican senator or congressman voting for impeachment will be held accountable in their next primary election.”

Trump emerged from his White House fortress for the first time since the riots for a trip to the wall his administration built along the Texas border. As he left Washington, he was careful to insist “we want no violence,” but denied any responsibility for the insurrection.

Once he reached the border, his remarks to a small crowd were fairly muted. In the end, he spoke for just 21 minutes and spent less than 45 minutes on the ground in what was expected to be the final trip of his presidency.

Before leaving, he offered an ominous warning to Democrats leading the charge to remove him from office: “Be careful what you wish for.”

That veiled threat came as the nation — and members of Congress — braced for the potential of more violence ahead of Biden’s inauguration. The FBI warned this week of plans for armed protests at all 50 state capitals and in Washington.

Capitol security officials made the extraordinary decision to require members of Congress to pass through metal detectors to enter the House chamber beginning on Tuesday, although some Republicans resisted the new rule.

It’s unclear whether the chaos in Washington represents an existential threat to the party, but it almost certainly threatens to undermine the GOP’s short-term political goals.

Several major corporations, many of them reliably Republican donors, have promised to stop sending political donations to any of the 147 Republicans who perpetuated Trump’s false claims of election fraud by voting to reject Biden’s victory last week.

The fundraising challenge comes at a bad time for the GOP. History suggests that the Republican Party, as the minority party in Washington, should regain control of the House or Senate in 2022.

At the same time, a collection of ambitious Republicans are trying to position themselves to run for the White House in 2024. They are also contending with Trump’s legacy.

One of them, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, reminded reporters on Tuesday that he’s condemned the Trump presidency from the very beginning.

“I’ve been in the same place I’ve been for the whole four years. A lot of people have just changed their position,” Hogan said, while vowing not to leave the GOP. “I don’t want to leave the party and let these people who did a hostile takeover four years ago take over.”

Despite Hogan’s confidence, he is far less popular among Trump’s loyal base — a group likely to hold great sway in the selection of the party’s next presidential nominee — than the likes of Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Josh Hawley of Missouri, two other 2024 prospects who voted to reject Biden’s victory last week, even after the uprising.

“Republican leaders do not know how to move forward,” Republican pollster Frank Luntz said. “Everybody’s afraid that Donald Trump will tell people to come after them, but they also realize they’re losing the center of America. They’re trapped.”

By Associated Press National Political Writer Steve Peoples. AP writers Jill Colvin in Alamo, Texas, and Zeke Miller in Washington contributed to this report.

• • •

Tampa Bay Times U.S. Capitol coverage

REACTING TO RESPONSE : Did race play a role in police treatment of the U.S. Capitol mob?

CALL TO ACTION: Charlie Crist: Remove Donald Trump from office by invoking 25th Amendment

25TH AMENDMENT: When can it be used against a president?

EDITORIAL: The ugly spectacle perfectly captured the Trump-era GOP.

CLASSROOM TOPICS: Tampa Bay teachers, parents brace for tough conversations after U.S. Capitol siege

POLITIFACT FACT-CHECKS THE SIEGE: Here’s a look at the day’s short session, and the chaos that interrupted it.

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