“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 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.”
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.
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.
“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.”
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.