By LIBBY CATHEY, KENNEDEY BELL and LAUREN KING, ABC News
(WASHINGTON) — President Donald Trump is slated to hand over control of the White House to President-elect Joe Biden in one week.
House lawmakers are convening this morning to debate and later vote on an article of impeachment charging Trump with “incitement of insurrection” for his role in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
Here is how the scene is unfolding. All times Eastern:
Jan 13, 9:59 am
Debate on the ‘rule’ kicks off ahead of article debate
Democrats and Republicans are expected to debate for one hour — equally divided between Democrats and Republicans — before a procedural vote ahead of the chamber beginning debate on the impeachment article itself.
Democrat Rep. Jim McGovern, the chairman of the House Rules Committee, setting up that preliminary vote on the terms of the debate, called the Capitol a “crime scene” and the rioters “traitors” and “domestic terrorists” in an assault instigated by Trump, emphasizing, “We wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for the president of the United States.”
McGovern described the day as “a ceremonial role for the Congress — one that sends a message to the world that democracy persists — but at a rally a mile and-a-half down Pennsylvania Avenue, Donald Trump was stoking the anger of a violent mob,” he began. “He said Vice President Pence has to come through and told the mob to walk down to the Capitol.”
“The signal was unmistakable. These thugs should stage a coup so Donald Trump can hang on to power, the people’s will be damned. This beacon of democracy became the site of a vicious attack. Rioters chanted, ‘Hang Mike Pence,’ as a noose and gallows were built. Capitol Police officers were beaten and sprayed with pepper spray. Attackers hunted down lawmakers to hold them hostage or worse,” McGovern continued.
“I saw evil, Mr. Speaker. Our country came under attack, not from a foreign nation but from within,” he added. He also slammed Republicans for preaching unity from members who voted to overturn a free and fair election.
Republican Rep. Tom Cole — one of the lawmakers who object to Electoral College results after the violent seige — called Jan. 6 the “darkest day” of his long career in Washington, but said Democrats, instead of promoting unity, are looking to “divide us further” by pursuing Trump’s impeachment.
Cole did not directly defend Trump’s actions or rhetoric but argued in Congress, one week before Biden’s inauguration, sets up a “flawed process.”
Jan 13, 9:40 am
House begins considering impeachment amid extraordinary security
The U.S. House of Representatives has gaveled in to consider the second impeachment of President Trump.
Democrats formally introduced an impeachment resolution Monday, charging Trump with “incitement of insurrection” after he told his supporters at a “Save America Rally” to march on the Capitol during Congress’ joint session to count Electoral College votes on Jan. 6.
“He also willfully made statements that, in context, encouraged — and foreseeably resulted in — lawless action at the Capitol, such as: ‘if you don’t fight like hell you’re not going to have a country anymore,'” the resolution reads.
“Thus incited by President Trump, members of the crowd he had addressed, in an attempt to, among other objectives, interfere with the Joint Session’s solemn constitutional duty to certify the results of the 2020 Presidential election, unlawfully breached and vandalized the Capitol, injured and killed law enforcement personnel, menaced Members of Congress, the Vice President, and Congressional personnel, and engaged in other violent, deadly, destructive and seditious acts,” it continues.
“In all this, President Trump gravely endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of Government. He threatened the integrity of the democratic system, interfered with the peaceful transition of power, and imperiled a coequal branch of Government. He thereby betrayed his trust as President, to the manifest injury of the people of the United States,” it goes on.
The impeachment article also cited Trump’s call with the Georgia Republican secretary of state where he urged him to “find” enough votes for Trump to win the state — along with the Constitution’s 14th Amendment, noting that it “prohibits any person who has ‘engaged in insurrection or rebellion against’ the United States” from holding office.
As House lawmakers arrived on Capitol Hill Wednesday, they were greeted by the sight of National Guard members dispersed throughout the Capitol complex before debate kicked off — a stark sight from last week when Capitol Police were found outnumbered.
Jan 13, 9:03 am
Republicans break from Trump as he’s poised for second impeachment, leaders tell members to ‘vote their conscience’
The House of Representatives is poised to impeach President Trump for a second time on Wednesday for “incitement of insurrection,” exactly one week after a violent siege on the U.S. Capitol left five people dead.
House Democrats have the votes to impeach Trump, who will become the first and only president in U.S. history to be impeached twice.
And in a turn of events, at least five House Republicans — including No. 3 Rep. Liz Cheney — have announced they, too, will vote to impeach Trump, even though no Republicans supported the effort during Trump’s first impeachment proceedings related to the Ukraine matter in 2019. The other House lawmakers who say they’ll vote to remove Trump include GOP Reps. John Katko, R-N.Y., Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., Fred Upton, Mich., and Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Wash.
House GOP leadership said they would not encourage members to vote for or against Democrats’ impeachment push, according to House leadership aides, but to “vote their conscience.”
In the Senate, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has not said if he would vote to convict or whether he’d hold a trial in the Senate, ABC News has learned, but he has privately indicated he believes impeaching Trump could make it easier to rid the Republican Party of Trumpism.
Jan 13, 8:58 am
Overview: Trump on track to become 1st president impeached twice
President Trump, one week ago, encouraged thousands of his supporters to march on Capitol Hill, firing them up with baseless claims of election fraud and instructing them to “fight like hell” in order to “stop the steal,” while Congress affirmed Biden’s electoral vote victory. That day ended in a violent attack on one of the most revered buildings in America.
One week later, Trump finds himself on track to become the first president in American history to be impeached twice as the House of Representatives is scheduled to convene at 9 a.m. Wednesday to debate a rule, then debate on one article of impeachment charging the president with “incitement of insurrection.” A final vote is expected later in the day.
Republicans are expected to argue Trump’s rhetoric ahead of the mob Wednesday doesn’t arise to an impeachable offense, and Democrats are expected to blast those 139 House Republicans who still objected to election results after the roughly six-hour siege.
With at least 218 House Democrats and five House Republicans announcing they’ll vote to impeach the president, a trial in the Senate is imminent. Half of the country’s presidential impeachment trials will then belong to Trump.
While House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has not publicly indicated when the House would send the article of impeachment to the Senate after its expected passage, she plans to send it to the Senate next week, according to a source involved in the Democratic leadership deliberations on the matter.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said already he won’t bring back the Senate from recess before Jan. 19 — a day before Biden’s inauguration. While McConnell has not said if he would vote to convict or whether he’d hold a trial in the Senate, ABC News has learned, he has privately indicated he believes impeaching Trump could make it easier to rid the Republican Party of Trumpism.
Branding his presidency as a “time to heal,” both Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris have deflected impeachment questions to Congress — but with confirmations for Cabinet picks and priorities to pass additional coronavirus relief potentially coinciding with Trump’s impeachment trial in the Senate, it’s unclear how Biden — or the U.S. Senate — will divide their agendas.
Jan 13, 12:38 am
Acting AG Jeffrey Rosen appears on camera for first time since Capitol siege
One week after the violent attack on the Capitol by a pro-President Trump mob, Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen has appeared on camera for the first time in a video statement condemning the actions of the rioters.
Rosen spends most of the video seeking to assure the public of the department’s efforts to bring those who committed acts of violence to justice, and makes no mention of Trump or his role in inciting the rioters against the lawmakers certifying the vote for President-elect Joe Biden.
He also uses the video to “send a message” to anyone seeking to commit acts of violence in the coming days leading up to the Inauguration, saying the department will have “no tolerance” for anyone seeking to disrupt, or occupy any government buildings around the country ahead of the transfer of power on Jan 20.
Jan 13, 12:14 am
YouTube suspends Trump channel over concerns about ‘potential for violence’
Following his bans from Twitter and Facebook, YouTube announced late Tuesday night that it was suspending Trump’s channel for at least seven days.
“After review, and in light of concerns about the ongoing potential for violence, we removed new content uploaded to Donald J. Trump’s channel for violating our policies. It now has its 1st strike & is temporarily prevented from uploading new content for a minimum of 7 days,” YouTube said in a statement Tuesday.
Trump’s social media presence has come under severe scrutiny for the language and rhetoric he used leading up to after the Capitol was sieged by a mob of pro-Trump supporters.
The storming of the Capitol left at least five dead and forced Congress to evacuate and seek shelter.
“Given the ongoing concerns about violence, we will also be indefinitely disabling comments on President Trump’s channel, as we’ve done to other channels where there are safety concerns found in the comments section,” YouTube said.
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