impeachment round 2
January 14, 2021

As all eyes turn to how Senate Republicans will vote in a second impeachment trial for President Trump, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) says the president's "unlawful actions cannot go without consequence."

Murkowski released a statement Thursday after the House passed an article of impeachment charging Trump with inciting an insurrection at the Capitol building. While the Alaska senator didn't announce how she'll vote, she made clear she feels the House was right to make Trump the only president in American history to be impeached twice.

"On the day of the riots, President Trump's words incited violence, which led to the injury and deaths of Americans — including a Capitol Police officer — the desecration of the Capitol, and briefly interfered with the government's ability to ensure a peaceful transfer of power," she said. "Such unlawful actions cannot go without consequence and the House has responded swiftly, and I believe, appropriately, with impeachment."

Murkowski, who voted to acquit Trump in his previous impeachment trial, went on to describe the Senate's power of trying impeachments as a "weighty and important responsibility," vowing to "listen carefully and consider the arguments of both sides" before announcing how she'll vote. Pundits have listed her as among the Republican senators to watch ahead of Trump's second impeachment trial, and she previously called on the president to resign following the Capitol riot.

"He only wants to stay there for his ego," Murkowski told the Anchorage Daily News last week. "He needs to get out. He needs to do the good thing, but I don't think he's capable of doing a good thing."

A Senate impeachment trial of Trump could potentially begin on the same day President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated. The president was acquitted in his first impeachment trial in 2020 with only one Republican, Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), voting to convict him. Brendan Morrow

January 13, 2021

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) signed the article of impeachment against President Trump on Wednesday evening, saying she was "heartbroken" over the president inciting "an insurrection."

The House voted 232-197 to impeach Trump on Wednesday afternoon, and Pelosi called that a "responsibility we did not think one week ago we would have."

The bipartisan impeachment was a way for the House to demonstrate that "no one is above the law, not even the president of the United States; that Donald Trump is a clear and present danger to our country; and that once again we honored our oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, so help us God," Pelosi said. Trump is now the first president ever to be impeached twice. Catherine Garcia

January 13, 2021

On Wednesday, the House voted to impeach outgoing President Trump a second time after his supporters attacked the Capitol building last week. Trump will now face a second impeachment trial before the Senate — but that won't happen until the body reconvenes just a day before President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Wednesday.

"Given the rules, procedures, and Senate precedents that govern presidential impeachment trials, there is simply no chance that a fair or serious trial could conclude" before Biden is sworn in, McConnell said in a statement. "Even if the Senate process were to begin this week and move promptly, no decision would be reached until after President Trump had left office. That is not a decision I am making. That is a fact," McConnell continued, citing how previous Senate impeachment trials lasted weeks. Therefore, McConnell said, he would like Congress and the executive branch to remain "completely focused on facilitating a safe and orderly transfer of power."

McConnell indicated earlier Wednesday that he wouldn't reconvene the Senate before Jan. 19 to proceed with Trump's impeachment. He also told his GOP colleagues he was still undecided on his own vote on whether to convict the president. Kathryn Krawczyk

January 13, 2021

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Tuesday imposed a set of fines for congressmembers who don't wear masks on the House floor. The threat seemed to convince everyone to mask up for Wednesday's impeachment debate — though a few House members needed some reminders.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) seemingly took to the House floor without his mask at the beginning of Wednesday's proceedings, earning a pointed reminder from the House officer. But that didn't stop Jordan from reportedly removing his mask later in the debates to cough.

Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) was meanwhile spotted removing his mask for a second to seemingly sneeze into his hand, even though that's the exact situation when it's most important to wear a mask.

And other representatives kept letting their masks slip below their noses as they gave their opinions on the second impeachment of President Trump.

Freshman Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) meanwhile didn't have a problem covering her nose and mouth. Still, the QAnon backer and coronavirus skeptic ironically did so with a mask that read "Censored," even as she spoke directly to tens of thousands of viewers watching around the country and the world.

And Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Calif.) let his mask share his criticism of California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) — though his and everyone else's masks are actually effective at and necessary for stopping the spread of coronavirus. Kathryn Krawczyk

January 13, 2021

On Wednesday, 10 House Republicans voted in favor of President Trump's impeachment, with several, including Reps. Dan Newhouse (R-Wash.), Anthony Gonzalez (R-Ohio), and Pete Meijer (R-Mich.), announcing their decisions during the floor debate.

Meijer released a fairly lengthy statement saying he "wrestled" with his choice before reaching the conclusion that Trump's actions during and after the deadly Capitol riot last week warranted impeachment. "The one man who could have restored order, prevented the deaths of five Americans including a Capitol Police officer, and avoided the desecration of our Capitol shrank from leadership when our country needed it most," he said in the statement.

But it appears that Meijer became convinced to cast his vote for the resolution because of how Trump handled the aftermath. Meijer noted that he holds the seat that once belonged to former President Gerald Ford, who pardoned former President Richard Nixon after Watergate. However, Meijer said, that pardon came after Nixon resigned and accepted responsibility for the crime, something he argues Trump has not done.

After Meijer, a freshman, publicly announced his intentions, his predecessor, former Rep. Justin Amash (I-Mich.), thanked him over Twitter. Amash, a former Republican who left the party in 2019, was the only non-Democrat to vote in favor of the House's previous Trump impeachment resolution, so Meijer's vote naturally prompted some questions about whether there was anything specific about their Michigan district that led to its representatives breaking from Trump. Some analysts think it has to do with demographics. Tim O'Donnell

January 13, 2021

President Trump has officially become the first president in American history to be impeached two times.

The House of Representatives on Wednesday passed an article of impeachment charging Trump with "incitement of insurrection," one week after a mob of his supporters stormed the Capitol building in a deadly riot. The resolution was passed with ten Republicans voting in favor, including Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), the third highest-ranking member of the party in the House.

The vote came following several hours of debate, which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) opened by arguing Trump is a "clear and present danger" to the United States after he "incited this insurrection, this armed rebellion, against our common country." House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) argued impeaching Trump "in such a short time frame would be a mistake," but he agreed that the president "bears responsibility" for the attack on the Capitol.

Trump spoke to his supporters prior to the riot last week and urged them to "walk down to the Capitol" where Congress was meeting to certify President-elect Joe Biden's election win, telling the crowd, "you will never take back our country with weakness." The subsequent riot at the Capitol left five people dead, but Trump has denied responsibility and claimed his remarks were "totally appropriate" despite facing a bipartisan rebuke.

Trump was previously impeached in 2019 for pressuring the president of Ukraine to investigate the Bidens. That time, no Republicans voted in favor of impeaching him. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) doesn't plan to use his emergency powers to bring the Senate back for an immediate impeachment trial before Jan. 19, however. McConnell has said he has "not made a final decision" on whether he'll vote to convict Trump. Brendan Morrow

January 13, 2021

During Wednesday's impeachment debate on the House floor, Rep. Brian Mast (R-Fla.) asked his colleagues — many of whom have accused President Trump of inciting an insurrection — if any of the individuals who participated in the deadly riot at the United States Capitol building last week have been brought before Congress "to answer whether they did that because of our president."

Mast didn't receive an answer, which appeared to be his intent, and stood silently at the podium to prove his point. But while it's true that no one has actually spoken before Congress to say that they were inspired to storm the Capitol by or on behalf of Trump, observers quickly noted there is video evidence of at least some members of the mob who did claim to police that day that Trump "invited" them to the grounds, so it's unclear if Mast's point landed the way he intended. Tim O'Donnell

January 13, 2021

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is still on the fence when it comes to impeaching the leader of his party.

In a Wednesday message to his GOP colleagues, McConnell said that "while the press has been full of speculation," he doesn't know yet how he'll vote yet on President Trump's impeachment following a siege by his supporters on the Capitol. "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, per his office. Seung Min Kim of The Washington Post concluded that meant McConnell "is considering voting to convict Trump on inciting an insurrection."

The message comes hours after McConnell rejected calls to reconvene the Senate ahead of its planned Jan. 19 return. McConnell's Wednesday decision means it's unlikely the Senate will vote on Trump's impeachment before he leaves office Jan. 20.

The New York Times reported Tuesday that McConnell believes Trump committed impeachable offenses, and that he's happy Democrats have decided to pursue charges, as opposed to the last impeachment around. Kathryn Krawczyk

See More Speed Reads