WASHINGTON – A majority of the U.S. House has voted to impeach President Donald Trump for a second time, just a week after he encouraged loyalists to “fight like hell” against election results and a mob of his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol.
The House vote on an article of impeachment for incitement of insurrection was still underway Wednesday, but the Democratic-led House had secured enough votes to impeach Trump. Some Republicans joined Democrats in voting to impeach the president.
During debate before the vote, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asked Republicans and Democrats to “search their souls.” Trump is the first American president to be impeached twice.
The impeachment proceedings came one week after a violent, pro-Trump mob breached the Capitol, sending lawmakers into hiding and revealing the fragility of the nation’s history of peaceful transfers of power. Five people died.
Trump has taken no responsibility for the riot.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said in a note to his fellow Republican senators that he is undecided on whether President Donald Trump should be convicted if the House votes to impeach him.
McConnell said in the letter Wednesday: “While the press has been full of speculation, 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.”
President Donald Trump says he opposes violence in a statement read on the House floor as members debate impeaching him for his role in fomenting the violent insurrection at the Capitol last week.
Trump’s message was read Wednesday by GOP Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio.
Trump says in a statement: “In light of reports of more demonstrations, I urge that there must be NO violence, NO lawbreaking and NO vandalism of any kind.” Trump adds: “That is not what I stand for, and it is not what America stands for. I call on ALL Americans to help ease tensions and calm tempers.”