House impeaches Trump for role in deadly Capitol riot

By Meg Wagner, Melissa Macaya, Mike Hayes, Melissa Mahtani, Fernando Alfonso III and Veronica Rocha, CNN

Updated 8:54 a.m. ET, January 14, 2021
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8:20 a.m. ET, January 13, 2021

Key Republicans to watch during the impeachment battle 

From CNN's Lauren Fox

Republican Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming speaks during a news conference with fellow House Republicans outside the U.S. Capitol on December 10, 2020 in Washington, DC.
Republican Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming speaks during a news conference with fellow House Republicans outside the U.S. Capitol on December 10, 2020 in Washington, DC. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Multiple House Republicans announced Tuesday evening they would support the impeachment of President Trump for his role inciting last week's riot as congressional Republicans made their clearest break with Trump to date after he showed no remorse for the US Capitol mob.

While the vast majority of House Republicans are expected to oppose the article of impeachment today, there are predictions ranging anywhere from as many as 10 to even 20 or more Republicans who could vote to impeach, according to Republican sources, with some estimates trending upward after the first Republicans came out in favor of impeachment Tuesday.

The first impeachment backers included the House's No. 3 Republican, Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, in a remarkable rebuke with a President who has been unassailable in the House GOP conference throughout his four-year term. While House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is opposed to impeachment, House Republican leaders are not lobbying their members to oppose it, and Cheney told the conference Monday it was a "vote of conscience."

In another potentially significant blow to Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has indicated that he believes that impeaching Trump will make it easier to get rid of the President and Trumpism from the Republican Party, according to a source with knowledge of the matter.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell attends a joint session of Congress after the session resumed, following the insurrection at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on January 6.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell attends a joint session of Congress after the session resumed, following the insurrection at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on January 6. Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

The scurrying away from Trump in the hours before the House will vote to impeach him Wednesday is the fiercest pushback the President has faced from Republicans since he was a GOP primary candidate who party leaders believed would fade away.

The GOP strategy on impeachment is a marked departure from the approach in 2019 when Republican leaders pushed their members to fall in line and no GOP House lawmakers defected. It shows the splintering of the GOP and how the party is deeply divided over how to respond to Trump after he incited last week's deadly Capitol riot.

Rep. John Katko of New York was the first Republican to publicly state he would vote to impeach Trump, saying in a statement Tuesday he supported impeachment because the President needed to be held accountable for his actions.

Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger, another rare Trump critic in the House GOP conference, also announced Tuesday evening that he would support impeachment.

Trump's impeachment for the second time in 13 months — which would make him the first President in history to be impeached twice — appears to be a foregone conclusion. The only question is how many House members vote in favor of removing the President from office eight days before President-elect Joe Biden will be sworn in.

Republicans tried to offer an alternative to impeachment, such as a censure vote, arguing it could win more bipartisan support than an impeachment occurring just one week after the riots. But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told her caucus Monday that censure was a nonstarter, and Democrats are not considering any off ramps to avoid a second impeachment.

8:41 a.m. ET, January 13, 2021

The House will vote to impeach Trump today. Here's how we expect the day to go.

From CNN's Lauren Fox

A general view of the U.S. Capitol, in Washington, D.C. on January 13.
A general view of the U.S. Capitol, in Washington, D.C. on January 13. Joshua Roberts/Reuters

The House is meeting today to vote to impeach President Trump a second time. Lawmakers will convene at 9 a.m. ET.

Here's how we expect the day to play out:

  • The first debate: It will last begin after the House convenes and will about an hour and it will revolve around the rules governing the impeachment article. 
  • After that: The House votes on the rule. Remember: Voting in the House takes time because of coronavirus protocols (and now metal detectors, which was its own scene last night as Republicans lashed out at police and fellow members when they were asked to go through them to get to the House floor.)
  • Once the House passes the rule in the early afternoon: Representatives will proceed to a two-hour debate. 
  • The final vote: We expect it will begin between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. ET.

As with all important votes in times of coronavirus, these things are a bit fluid. But the bottom line is this: This will pass.

8:18 a.m. ET, January 13, 2021

After testing positive, House Democrat says some Republicans' refusal to wear masks “enrages” her 

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

Democratic Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Washington tested positive for Covid-19 after sheltering in place with members of Congress who did not wear masks during the violent attack on the US Capitol last week. 

“The callousness, the cruelty, the idiocy…is really beyond belief,” Jayapal said. 

“What really enrages me is the way in which we were in a secure location, locked down, over a hundred people in that room, and Republicans refused to wear a mask,” she said to CNN’s Alisyn Camerota.

She said she experienced some mild flu-like symptoms, including a fever, chills and a sore throat. 

She is confident that she was infected on Wednesday because she got a test on Tuesday before the Capitol riot and tested negative at the end of the day, she said.

She’ll be voting by proxy today on impeachment, she added. 

Jayapal said she “gives credit” to GOP Rep. Liz Cheney, the party's third-ranking House leader, for announcing that she will vote to impeach President Trump

“The GOP is cleaving before us as we see it. And, you know, hopefully, when people see her, that will give others some strength to also do the same thing,” she said. 

Watch the interview:

8:05 a.m. ET, January 13, 2021

House Majority Leader says impeachment article will be sent over to the Senate "within a very short time"

From CNN's Manu Raju

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer walks through the U.S. Capitol on January 12, in Washington, DC.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer walks through the U.S. Capitol on January 12, in Washington, DC. Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told reporters late last night that the article won’t be held back by the House and the “presumption is within a very short time” it will be transmitted to the Senate.

Asked if the House would hold back the articles, Hoyer said emphatically: “No.”

With the Senate out of session, that would very likely mean the trial would start in the first days of Biden’s term, unless Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell agrees to bring the chamber back.

His office has not commented on Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer’s proposal to bring the chamber back early, but the expectation is that the trial won’t begin before Trump leaves office.

7:54 a.m. ET, January 13, 2021

Here's why Democrats want to impeach President Trump after last week's deadly Capitol attack

From CNN's Jeremy Herb, Manu Raju, Lauren Fox and Phil Mattingly

President Trump speaks to supporters at the Save America Rally in Washington D.C., on January 6.
President Trump speaks to supporters at the Save America Rally in Washington D.C., on January 6. Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Democrats formally introduced their impeachment resolution Monday, charging President Trump with "incitement of insurrection" as they race toward making him the first president in US history to be impeached twice.

Today's vote underscores Democrats' fury toward Trump and his supporters after months of false rhetoric about the election being stolen whipped the President's most ardent followers into a deadly mob last Wednesday that ransacked the Capitol, forced lawmakers to evacuate both the House and Senate – and could have been worse.

The single impeachment article points to Trump's repeated false claims that he won the election and his speech to the crowd on Jan. 6 before the rioters breached the Capitol. It also cited Trump's call with the Georgia Republican secretary of state where the President urged him to "find" enough votes for Trump to win the state.

"In all this, President Trump gravely endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of Government," the resolution says. "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."

The resolution, which was introduced by Democrats David Cicilline of Rhode Island, Jamie Raskin of Maryland and Ted Lieu of California, also cited 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.

You can read the full article of impeachment against Trump here.