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Highlights and analysis: House impeaches Trump for 'incitement of insurrection'

Trump is the first president to be impeached twice.
Image: Red bubbles show the Capitol, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President Donald Trump with words about \"impeachment,\" \"election\" and \"insurrection.\"
Chelsea Stahl / NBC News

In a historic vote, the House of Representatives on Wednesday impeached President Donald Trump for urging his supporters to march on the U.S. Capitol last week, making him the first president to be impeached twice.

The article of impeachment, for "incitement of insurrection," was adopted by the Democratic-controlled House, 232 to 197, after several hours of debate. A group of 10 Republicans joined Democrats in voting to impeach Trump.

Democrats are prepared to send the resolution to the Senate immediately to allow a trial to determine whether to convict Trump and bar him from holding future office, although it is unclear when that trial will happen.

Trump has defended his speech at a march last week that helped incite a crowd of his supporters to violently storm the U.S. Capitol, calling it "totally appropriate" on Tuesday. That remark came just hours before the House approved a separate resolution calling on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove the president from office.

This live coverage has ended. Continue to read about the impeachment process from Monday and Tuesday and about the events leading up to the riot at the Capitol last week and its aftermath.

Read the highlights:

— Pence rejected House Democrats' demand to invoke the 25th Amendment as more Republicans back impeachment.

— "Mind-blowing" number of crimes committed during Capitol riot, 160 case files opened, say officials.

— "Chilling": Security tightens around the Capitol ahead of Biden inauguration amid "increased threat."

The GOP impeachment defectors by the numbers

WASHINGTON — Ten House Republicans voted to impeach President Trump on Wednesday. Here's what you need to know about them by the numbers: 

Less than one percentage point: The closest margin of victory in 2020 for any of those 10, for Rep. David Valadao, who won his California seat back from Democrat TJ Cox after being defeated by a narrow margin in 2018.

44 percentage points: The widest margin of victory in the 2020 general election for any of those 10, for Wyoming at-large Rep. Liz Cheney.

Eight out of 10: The number of House Republicans voting for impeachment who won their 2020 general election by more than 10 percentage points.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi shows the article of impeachment against President Donald Trump after signing it in an engrossment ceremony, at the U.S. Capitol, Jan. 13, 2021.Leah Millis / Reuters

Eight out of 10: The number of House Republicans voting for impeachment whose congressional districts were won by Donald Trump.

Three out of 10: The number of House Republicans voting for impeachment whose states (Washington and California) have a nonpartisan top-two primary process.

1: The number of people in American history to successfully impeach two presidents (Michigan Republican Rep. Fred Upton, who voted to impeach former President Bill Clinton, and then to impeach Trump on Wednesday. Upton did not support the first impeachment of Trump.)

1: The number of House Republicans voting for impeachment who also objected to certification of the electoral votes last week.

On a historical note, 46 members who voted Wednesday were also serving during the impeachment of former President Clinton. Of those, nine are Republicans who voted for impeaching Clinton but voted no on impeaching Trump (the other two Republicans who served during both impeachments are Upton, who voted to impeach both, and Texas Rep. Kay Granger, who did not vote on Wednesday and has Covid-19). And 35 are Democrats who opposed impeaching Clinton but voted to impeach Trump. 

Walkie-talkie app Zello, used by rioters at Capitol, deletes more than 2,000 channels

Social media "walkie-talkie" app, Zello, has deleted more than 2,000 channels "associated with militias and other militarized social movements" after it discovered it had been used by rioters who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6.

In a blog post Zello said it was “with deep sadness and anger” that it had discovered evidence of the app being “misused by some individuals while storming the United States Capitol building.”

Zello added it was concerned the app could be used to organize violent protests and disrupt President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration on Jan. 20.

"We take the issue of violence and other kinds of wrongdoing on our platform just as seriously as we cherish the ideals of free speech," said the company behind the app, which claims to have 120 million users worldwide.

Sen. Tom Cotton says he opposes an impeachment trial in the Senate

Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., said Wednesday that he opposes holding an impeachment trial for President Donald Trump because he will no longer be in office when it would conclude. 

"The House has passed an article of impeachment against the president, but the Senate under its rules and precedents cannot start and conclude a fair trial before the president leaves office next week," Cotton said. "Under these circumstances, the Senate lacks constitutional authority to conduct impeachment proceedings against a former president. 

"The Founders designed the impeachment process as a way to remove officeholders from public office — not an inquest against private citizens," Cotton said in a statement. "The Constitution presupposes an office from which an impeached officeholder can be removed."

He urged Congress to "concentrate entirely for the next week on conducting a safe and orderly transfer of power."

Impeachment 2.0: What happens next?

One week after a violent mob attacked the U.S. Capitol, the House voted to impeach President Donald Trump for “incitement of insurrection.” Trump is the first president to be impeached twice.

Host Steve Kornacki talks with Leigh Ann Caldwell, NBC News' Capitol Hill correspondent, who was in the Capitol on the day of the riots, about the House vote and what a Senate trial might look like after Joe Biden is sworn in as president next week.

Click here to download the full episode.

Biden wants Senate to take up impeachment, Covid-19 relief while dealing with impeachment

President-elect Joe Biden said the Senate should "find a way" to take up President Donald Trump's impeachment trial while also working on other issues, such as Covid-19 relief and confirming his Cabinet. 

"Last week, we saw an unprecedented assault on our democracy," Biden said. "It was carried out by political extremists and domestic terrorists, who were incited to this violence by President Trump. It was an armed insurrection against the United States of America. And those responsible must be held accountable." 

But, Biden said, as the country remains in the grip of a deadly virus and a reeling economy, he wants the Senate to work on impeachment and policy. However, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has signaled that the chamber might not meet until after Biden is inaugurated. 

"I hope that the Senate leadership will find a way to deal with their constitutional responsibilities on the impeachment trial while also working on the other urgent business of this nation, from confirmations to key posts ... to getting our vaccine program on track and to getting our economy going again," he said. 

Pelosi announces heavy fines for refusing to follow new House chamber screening protocols

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., announced that heavy fines will be imposed on House members who refuse to follow the new screening protocols.  

"Many House Republicans have disrespected our heroes by verbally abusing them and refusing to adhere to basic precautions keeping members of our Congressional community, including the Capitol Police, safe," she said in a statement.

"The House will soon move forward with a rule change imposing fines on those who refuse to abide by these protections. The fine for the first offense will be $5,000 and $10,000 for the second offense. The fines will be deducted directly from Members' salaries by the Chief Administrative Officer," she said.

"It is tragic that this step is necessary, but the Chamber of the People's House must and will be safe," Pelosi said.

Twitter's @Jack on Trump's ban

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey on Wednesday defended the company's decision last week to permanently ban President Donald Trump.

"After a clear warning we'd take this action, we made a decision with the best information we had based on threats to physical safety both on and off Twitter," Dorsey said in a thread on Twitter, talking about the ban for the first time.

He said the circumstances were "extraordinary and untenable," forcing Twitter staff members to put all of their focus on public safety.

Click here to read the full story.

Snapchat to ban Trump on Inauguration Day

Snapchat said Wednesday that it will permanently ban President Donald Trump's account after what it described as his repeated attempts to violate the company's policies prohibiting the spread of misinformation, hate speech and the glorification or incitement of violence.

The ban will go into effect Jan. 20, the day Joe Biden is to be inaugurated as president. The company had indefinitely suspended his account in the wake of last week's mob attack on Capitol Hill.

"In the interest of public safety, and based on his attempts to spread misinformation, hate speech, and incite violence, which are clear violations of our guidelines, we have made the decision to permanently terminate his account," a company spokesperson said.

The company says that Trump tried to violate the company's policies dozens of times and that in each instance the content was immediately removed.

Twitter has also permanently banned Trump's personal account, while Facebook has indefinitely suspended his account at least through Inauguration Day.

Trump impeachment faces uphill climb in Senate. It could all come down to McConnell.

WASHINGTON — Democrats will need at least 17 Republican senators to break ranks to convict President Donald Trump after he was impeached Wednesday, a high hurdle that would require changing the minds of lawmakers who have stood behind him.

That is more than the 10 House Republicans who broke with Trump — the most bipartisan impeachment vote in American history.

Even as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., publicly flirts with supporting convicting Trump for his role in the deadly attack on the Capitol that targeted him and his staff, getting a third of the GOP Senate caucus to vote to convict will be no easy task.

Read more here.

Pelosi signs article of impeachment, hails its bipartisan passage

Saying she was doing so "sadly and with a heart broken," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi officially signed the article of impeachment against President Donald Trump, paving the way for it to be sent to the Senate. 

Pelosi, D-Calif. — speaking at the lectern that one of the rioters made off with during the storming of the Capitol last week — noted that Trump was impeached with bipartisan support. Ten Republicans voted to impeach him.

"Today, in a bipartisan way, the House demonstrated that no one is above the law, not even the president of the United States," Pelosi said. 

She was flanked by the House managers — the lawmakers who will serve as Trump's prosecutors in the Senate — as she signed the document.

The trial process essentially begins when the managers take the article of impeachment over to the Senate. It's unclear when that will be. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., soon to be the Senate's majority leader, called for the trial to begin as soon as possible, but the current majority leader, Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said the trial would have to start after Joe Biden is inaugurated on Jan. 20.

Trump releases new video condemning Capitol riot — but does not mention impeachment

President Donald Trump released a video Wednesday to offer his most forceful condemnation yet of last week's riot at the U.S. Capitol.

Trump did not mention his impeachment in the taped message, which was released on the White House Twitter account after his personal account was suspended.

"I want to be very clear. I unequivocally condemn the violence that we saw last week. Violence and vandalism have absolutely no place in our country and no place in our movement," Trump said. 

"No true supporter of mine could ever endorse political violence. No true supporter of mine could ever disrespect law enforcement or our great American flag," he added. "No true supporter of mine could ever threaten or harass their fellow Americans — if you do any of these things, you are not supporting our movement, you're attacking it, and you are attacking our country."

His remarks come after 10 House Republicans voted with Democrats in favor of a single impeachment article, which passed on Wednesday.

In the video, Trump also discussed "unprecedented assault on free speech," referring to his ban from several social media sites.

He closed the remarks by calling on Americans to come together.