House votes to charge Trump for the second time after he incited Capitol riots

House Democrats and at least seven Republicans – inclusive House Republicans No. 3 – will vote for the indictment of Trump exactly one week after a deadly mob overran the Capitol Police, ransacked the US Capitol and put Vice President Mike Pence and lawmakers in danger.

“We know that the President of the United States encouraged this uprising, this armed uprising against our common country,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in the Chamber before the vote. “He must go. He is a clear and present danger to the nation that we all love.”

The speed of voting and Republican support underscore the rage felt by lawmakers for Trump’s role in encouraging the rebels who overtook the Capitol with months of false rhetoric that the election was stolen from him. The indictment that Parliament is voting on accusations Trump is using a single article, “incitement to rebellion.”

The number of Republicans who will eventually vote for the indictment remains unclear, with GOP sources predicting about a dozen dismissals. While House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and minority whip Steve Scalise are against persecution – arguing it is a divisive reaction – they are not lobbying their conference against it, and Republican No. 3 Liz Cheney of Wyoming announced Tuesday she would vote for and issue a scathing statement accusing that “there had never been a major betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.”

McCarthy said Wednesday that Trump “bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rebels” and called on the president to accept his share of responsibility and “quell the brewing unrest.” However, McCarthy argued that Parliament should set up a bipartisan commission instead of accusation.

“I think accusing the president in such a short time frame would be a mistake,” McCarthy said. “No investigation has been completed. No hearings have been held.”

The division within the Republican Party stands in stark contrast to the House Democrats’ 2019 accusation of Trump when the House Republicans were united in opposition. And Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has hinted that he believes the indictment against Trump will make it easier to get rid of the president and Trumpism from the Republican Party, New York Times, CNN and other news outlets reported Tuesday in another sign that Republicans are rapidly distancing themselves from the party and the president who has ruled it for the past four years.

In a note to his GOP colleagues on Wednesday afternoon, McConnell wrote: “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 still has no plans to bring the Senate back to trial before Jan. 19, which means the trial will not begin until Trump is out of office and President-elect Joe Biden has been sworn in, according to Republican sources in a Senate-led the next Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.

Democrats have quickly banded together, using accusations in the last days of the Trump presidency to act as a proper response to the president’s behavior and as a way to push for his removal from office before the end of his term, although this scenario looks unlikely. The House approved a resolution calling for Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from power late Tuesday night, but Pence sent a letter prior to the vote and said he would not do so.

Pelosi has removed Republican efforts to take another action, such as Distrust, in response to Trump’s role in the uprising. She appointed prosecutors on Tuesday night to a team of nine Democrats who will be led by the rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland, before a probable trial in the days after President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said late Tuesday that Parliament would send the articles to the Senate immediately.

Democrats have only grown more determined in their push to accuse Trump of the riots, as more information has emerged about the attack on the Capitol, including violent images of Capitol police officers being attacked. Wednesday’s vote takes place as thousands of National Guard troops protect every nook and cranny of the Capitol complex before next week’s inauguration, and they slept on the floors of the Capitol building the night before the prosecution.

Trump has shown no contradiction for his role in last week’s Capitol uprising, which was railed against persecution Tuesday in his first public remarks since the incident. A source close to the president said he was not considering resigning.

“It’s been analyzed,” Trump said of his remarks last week to the public before the riots. “People thought what I said was perfectly appropriate.”

Trump, unable to post his thoughts on Twitter after his account was permanently suspended in the fallout from the riots, released a statement just before Wednesday’s vote with the words “In light of reports of multiple demonstrations, I urge that “There must be NO violence, NO crime, and NO vandalism of any kind. That is not what I stand for, and that is not what America stands for. I urge ALL Americans to help ease tensions and soothe temper.”

Wednesday’s prosecution threatens to complicate opening days for the Biden administration, both in his efforts to reach out to Republicans and because the Senate is likely to be bound by a lawsuit, just as Biden joins.

Both Biden and Schumer have argued that the Senate will try to divide its days while conducting the trial so that the Senate can confirm Biden’s nominees and consider the Covid-19 stimulus legislation while also carrying out prosecution.

This story has been updated with further development on Wednesday.

CNN’s Daniella Diaz, Kristin Wilson, Donald Judd, Sarah Fortinsky, Pamela Brown and Jim Acosta contributed to this report.


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