WASHINGTON – The chamber on Wednesday is ready to impeach President Donald Trump for the second time, making it the first president to ever face the punishment twice.
MPs are expected to vote on an impeachment article around 3pm ET, accusing Trump of “inciting an uprising” following a pro-Trump mob that stormed the US Capitol building last Wednesday.
The vote comes just one week before inauguration, when Trump leaves office and Joe Biden is sworn in as president of the Capitol.
On Tuesday night, Democrats, joined by a handful of Republicans, passed a resolution calling on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office. But before the vote, Pence made it clear that he would not do so, saying he did not believe “that such a course of action is in the best interests of our nation or in accordance with our constitution.”
Democrats have voiced strong support for Trump’s impeachment, and as of Tuesday night, a handful of Republicans have said they plan to join their colleagues and impeach them during Wednesday’s vote. These include House Republican Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., The top, and Reps. Fred Upton, R-Mich., Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Wash., Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill. and John Catko, RN.Y.
The article on impeachment for “inciting an uprising” was introduced on Monday by representatives Jaime Raskin, D-Md., Ted Lieu, D-Calif. It says Trump “has demonstrated that there will be a threat to national security, democracy and the Constitution if he is allowed to remain in office, and has acted in a way that is completely incompatible with self-government and the rule of law.”
“He threatened the integrity of the democratic system, interfered in the peaceful transition of power and threatened an equal branch of government,” the five-page impeachment article said. “In this way, he betrayed his credibility as president to the apparent harm to the people of the United States.”
The article also cites Trump’s January 2 phone call calling on Georgian Secretary of State Brad Rafensperger to “find” enough votes to overturn the country’s election results as part of his efforts to “undermine and hinder the certification of the presidential election results 2020. “
Trump, for his part, has no public events on his schedule on Wednesday, and since Twitter banned his account last week, the president will not be able to tweet about the impeachment process, as he did when the chamber imputed him in December 2019.
A former White House official told NBC News that Trump was partly “challenging … partly gloomy,” while another source said the president was hardening his challenge. The source said the president’s comments Tuesday that he had done nothing wrong undermined his allies’ efforts to try to dissuade him from things that would make it difficult to limit the number of Republicans who support impeachment.
“No one told him to say anything,” the source added. “This is him.”
Biden, meanwhile, has no public events on Wednesday. President-elect Kamala Harris will take part in a virtual financial event for the committee organizing the opening next week.
After the chamber impeach Trump, the next step is for the Senate to hold a trial to determine whether to convict him and potentially ban him from running for office. Although it is not yet clear when the trial will take place, parliamentary majority leader Stenny Hoyer, D-Md., Said earlier this week that he wanted to send the article on impeachment to the upper house as soon as it was approved.
California Speaker Nancy Pelosi has nominated nine Democratic impeachment managers for Tuesday’s trial, with Ruskin leading the team that will seek to prosecute Trump.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Said last week that the earliest Senate can accept the articles would be Jan. 19, unless all 100 senators agree to return earlier.
Kristen Welker, Peter Alexander, Carol E. Lee, Monica Alba, Kelly O’Donnell and Halle Jackson contributed.