House lawmakers on Wednesday impeached President Trump for his role in last week’s deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol, capping an extraordinary week of violence, apprehension and partisan brawling in Congress just as Washington cranks up security in preparation for Joe Biden’s inauguration, just a week away.
The vote was historic: It made Trump the first president in the country’s history to be impeached twice.
And unlike the first debate, this time the president’s Democratic critics had support across the aisle. At least 10 Republicans joined every voting Democrat to approve the single impeachment article, which accuses Trump of inciting violence against the same federal government he leads.
The vote was still taking place when this story was posted, but the vote total had cleared the 217 voted needed to impeach the president. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who oversaw both impeachment efforts, said Trump’s refusal to concede his election defeat — and his subsequent efforts to rally supporters to the Capitol to overturn the election results — amounted to sedition. The president, she said, gave Congress no choice. “We know we experienced the insurrection that violated the sanctity of the people’s Capitol,” Pelosi said in a floor speech before the vote. “And we know that the president of the United States incited this insurrection, this armed rebellion, against our common country.
The day before a pro-Trump mob stormed the U.S. Capitol, an arm of the Republican Attorneys General Association sent out robocalls urging supporters to come to D.C. to “fight” Congress over President Donald Trump’s baseless election fraud claims.
“At 1 p.m. we will march to the Capitol building and call on Congress to stop the steal,” said the message first reported by the watchdog group Documented. “We’re hoping patriots like you will join us to continue to fight to protect the integrity of our elections.”
After the attempted insurrection on Wednesday left a police officer and four others dead, several GOP attorneys general have now distanced themselves from the robocalls, insisting they didn’t know about the campaign. Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall, the chairman of the Rule of Law Defense Fund, the nonprofit that sent out the calls, blamed the group’s staffers.