WASHINGTON (WCBS 880) — The majority of the U.S. House has voted to impeach President Donald Trump, for a second time, following last week's violence at the Capitol.
The House vote on an article of impeachment for "incitement of insurrection'' is still underway.
The Associated Press reports the four-page impeachment resolution relies on Trump’s own incendiary rhetoric and the falsehoods he spread about President-elect Joe Biden’s election victory, including at a White House rally on the day of the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, in building its case for high crimes and misdemeanors as demanded in the Constitution.
The impeachment debate got underway around 12:30 p.m. in the House chamber.
It began with the article of impeachment being read.
"He must go, he is a clear and present danger to the nation that we all love," said Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who was the first to address the House. "We know that the president of the United States incited this insurrection, this armed rebellion against our common country."
Ohio's Jim Jordan opened the debate for Republicans and said this is all about politics.
"Democrats are going to impeach the president for a second time one week before he leaves office. Why? Politics and the fact that they want to cancel the president," Jordan said.
This second impeachment will bring "yea" votes from a still-evolving number of Republicans. Among those on record is New York's John Katko, a Republican who used to be the assistant U.S. Attorney in the Syracuse area.
"To allow the president of the United States to incite this attack without consequences is a direct threat to the future of this democracy. For this reason, I will vote to impeach this president," he said.
Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the third-ranking House GOP leader, will join him. She said there "has never been a great betrayal" by a president."
Trump's first impeachment in 2019 brought no Republican votes.
The debate will last two hours and a vote is expected by the end of the day.
The article of impeachment is expect to be approved. Then it will go to the Senate.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has expressed a willingness for this impeachment hearing.
Axios had been reporting the chances of him voting to convict Trump are better than 50-50.
But in a note to his fellow Republican senators Wednesday, McConnell said he remains undecided on how he will vote.
"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.," McConnell said.
A Senate trial on whether to convict Trump of inciting insurrection seems all but certain to have to wait until Biden is inaugurated.
The AP reported Wednesday afternoon that a spokesman for McConnell said aides aides to the Kentucky Republican have told Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer's staff that McConnell won't agree to invoke powers calling senators into emergency session.
That means the Senate almost certainly won't meet again until Jan. 19 — the day before Biden's inauguration.
"It's not really a question of whether or not the Senate can come back and start a trial sooner than the 19th, the question is really whether there is the political will to do so," James Sample, a constitutional law professor at Hofstra University, told CBS2.
Seeing this momentum building against him, the president said it would be dangerous.
"It's causing tremendous anger and division and pain, far greater than most people will ever understand, which is very dangerous for the U.S.A., especially at this very tender time," Trump said.
Trump took no responsibility for the riot, suggesting it was the drive to oust him rather than his actions around the bloody riot that was dividing the country.
A Capitol police officer died from injuries suffered in the riot, and police shot and killed a woman during the siege. Three other people died in what authorities said were medical emergencies. Lawmakers had to scramble for safety and hide as rioters took control of the Capitol, delaying by hours the tally of Electoral College votes that was the last step in finalizing Biden's victory.
The outgoing president offered no condolences for those dead or injured, only saying, “I want no violence.”
Trump was impeached in 2019 over his dealings with Ukraine but acquitted by the Senate in 2020.
Trump would become the only U.S. president to be impeached twice.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.