Trump Just Became the First President in US History to Be Impeached Twice

Follow our liveblog on today’s historic proceedings.

Trump salutes as he steps off Air Force One, Jan. 12, 2021.Miguel Roberts/AP

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Good morning, and welcome to the second impeachment of President Donald Trump. 

More Republicans are coming out in support of impeachment ahead of today’s House vote on the charge that the president incited the violent insurrection that stormed the Capitol exactly one week ago. In a statement explaining her decision, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), the most powerful Republican so far to publicly join Democrats in the push for Trump’s removal, excoriated the president’s conduct as the greatest “betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.” That comes hours after the New York Times reported that Mitch McConnell privately believes Trump has committed impeachable offenses and could also be on board.

Wednesday’s vote, which is widely expected to pass, would make Trump the first president in US history to be impeached twice. Follow along for the latest on the historic proceedings:

6:30 p.m. ET: Trump, who is permanently banned from Twitter, released a video statement through the White House account finally condemning last week’s violence on the Capitol—and admitting no fault of his own.

After stating, “I unequivocally condemn the violence that we saw last week,” Trump appeared to give credence to the unproven claim that people who stormed the Capitol were Antifa members in disguise. “No true supporter of mine could ever endorse political violence,” he said. “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.”

The president—who still receives constant media coverage, holds press conferences, accesses the White House Twitter account, and can utter just about whatever he wants as long as it doesn’t constitute hate speech, a threat, or a disturbance of the peace—concluded by implying that the banning of his Twitter account constituted an infringement of his First Amendment rights. “The efforts to censor, cancel, and blacklist our fellow citizens are wrong, and they are dangerous,” he said. “What is needed now is for us to listen to one another, not to silence one another.” These calls for unity come off a little hollow after Trump incited a mob because he couldn’t admit that he lost an election.

6:10 p.m. ET: Nancy Pelosi just signed the article of impeachment in a brief ceremony.

4:45 p.m. ET: It’s official: Trump has been impeached for the second time.

3:55 p.m. ET: The House is voting on the impeachment resolution. It should take a while, since dozens of representatives have requested proxy votes.

2:00 p.m. ET: Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.), whom my colleague Kara Voght profiled in July, called out Trump’s racism—only to be met with boos from House Republicans.

“If we fail to remove a white supremacist president who incited a white supremacist insurrection, it’s communities like Missouri’s 1st District that suffer the most,” she said. “The 117th Congress must understand that we have a mandate to legislate in defense of Black lives. The first step in that process is to root out white supremacy, starting with impeaching the white supremacist in chief.”

1:30 p.m. ET: Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), who helped draft the article of impeachment the day after his late son’s funeral, gave an impassioned speech about the danger of the mob that stormed the Capitol last week—and the futility of trying to appease them.

“Smashing windows and beating police officers over the head with fire extinguishers, a bloodthirsty mob attacked the Capitol and invaded this Congress last Wednesday,” he said. “It’s a bit much to be hearing that these people would not be trying to destroy our government and kill us if we just weren’t so mean to them.”

1:15 p.m. ET: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi kicked off the impeachment debate:

11:45 a.m. ET: Pelosi takes a moment to thank National Guard troops who have been deployed around the Capitol.

11:00 a.m. ET: Meanwhile, CNN is reporting that Trump is escalating his discussions for a preemptive pardon for himself and his children in the wake of last week’s pro-Trump riot.

9:30 a.m. ET: Rep. Jim McGovern kicked off the morning with a powerful speech.

8:40 a.m. ET: Law enforcement officials and National Guardsmen are on high alert in advance of today’s vote. Some scenes emerging from the Capitol this morning:

8:00 a.m. ET: As we wait for things to get underway, my colleague Mark Follman has a look at what national security experts are saying in the wake of last week’s violence and growing fears of law enforcement complicity. Here’s a key section:

Remarkably, some national security experts who have sounded the alarm about Trump’s many months of deliberately inciting violence are now talking about the end game of his presidency in the stark terms of counterterrorism. Trump must be seen as “the operational leader of this domestic terrorism effort,” said Juliette Kayyem, a former assistant secretary of Homeland Security, who was among the first experts to call out Trump’s use of terrorist tactics. “He tells them where to go. He tells them what to do. He tells them why they’re angry. So we need to start at the top, like with any counterterrorism effort, which is total isolation of the president of the United States. Impeachment, yes. Twenty-fifth amendment, yes. Deplatforming, yes. No money, no access to campaign funds…What we have to make sure [of] is that Donald Trump does not have a second act.”


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