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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."

House Democrat asks FBI to investigate 'reconnaissance' tours claims

Rep. Mikie Sherrill, D-N.J., said she has requested an FBI investigation into allegations she made Tuesday that some members of Congress led people through the Capitol on a "reconnaissance" tour of the building a day before the riot last week.

“We’re requesting an investigation right now,” Sherrill told reporters Wednesday.

In the Facebook video Sherrill posted Tuesday, she did not make clear which members she allegedly saw leading such groups on tour, or who was in the groups, but said, “There's members of Congress who incited this violent crowd."

Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, told reporters Wednesday that he was aware of the names of some of those congressmen, but wouldn’t reveal their identities.

"I’ve heard a couple, but I'm going to wait to make sure we get verification," Ryan said. "I don’t want to throw any member under the bus."

Ryan added that the allegations had “been passed on” to authorities “as early as Wednesday night, Thursday morning last week."

Pelosi calls Trump 'a clear and present danger' to the U.S. ahead of impeachment vote

Opening two hours of debate ahead of the impeachment vote Wednesday afternoon, Pelosi laid out her argument for why the president should be held accountable for the events leading to the riot in the Capitol last week.

"We know that the president of the United States incited this insurrection, this armed rebellion, against our country," she said in remarks on the House floor. "He must go. He is a clear and present danger to the nation that we all love."

Pelosi said the people who participated in the insurrection were "not patriots," but rather "domestic terrorists." 

She called on Republicans to "search your souls" as they approached the vote. 

"Is the president's war on democracy in keeping with the Constitution? Were his words and insurrectionary mob a high crime and misdemeanor?" she asked.

House moves to consideration of impeachment measure

The House voted 221 to 203 to adopt the rules for consideration of the impeachment measure, which they are debating this afternoon.

The rule, which no Republicans supported, allows two hours for the floor debate on one article of impeachment charging President Trump with “incitement of insurrection” for urging his supporters to march on the Capitol last week, resulting in a riot the left five people dead.

Group of prominent business leaders says Trump 'deserves the strongest possible condemnation'

A group representing CEOs from 200 major U.S. companies, including Walmart, Amazon, Apple, ExxonMobil and Boeing, called on elected officials Wednesday to “do their utmost to counteract false claims of a fraudulent election” and “promote a restoration of civility and decency in governance.”

The Business Roundtable said in a press statement that President Donald Trump’s behavior "encouraging an assault on the Capitol" and his calls to overturn the results of the election “deserves the strongest possible condemnation.”

“All our efforts depend on commitment to our country’s most fundamental democratic principles, including honoring the results of free and fair elections and the peaceful transition of power,” the group added. “We leave it to our elected leaders to judge the feasibility or wisdom of attempting to remove the President from office in the final days of his term.”

Pelosi thanks troops stationed outside the Capitol

Pelosi went outside the Capitol late Wednesday morning to thank the troops that are protecting the building and gave them her challenge coin. 

Troops receive arms outside the Capitol

As the House opens its impeachment hearing, the District of Columbia National Guard said it has been authorized to arm troops assigned to security duty on the Capitol grounds. Up to 15,000 Guard members are expected to be on duty in coming days in the district to support law enforcement in connection with the Jan. 20 inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden. Joshua Roberts / Reuters

Congressman gives National Guard troops a Capitol tour

Rep. Brian Mast, R-Fla., gave National Guard troops a tour of the Capitol on Wednesday, after coming upon service members who slept in the Capitol Visitor Center overnight ahead of Wednesday's impeachment vote.

“I went down to see the physician this morning, I didn’t realize there were guardsmen and women sleeping in the hallways,” he told reporters at the Capitol. “I told them if they wanted a tour, I’d take them on a tour.” 

Mast joked that his staff probably could have answered some of the troops' questions better, but he told them as much as he could.

Mast, a veteran who lost both legs to an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan, said the fact that Congress required a rotunda full of guardsmen made him “as sad as anything could make me,” but added that he was voting no on impeachment.

Guardsmen, who have ready-to-eat military provisions known as MREs, are also taking advantage of the Capitol market, where members and staff typically purchase salads, sandwiches and burgers.

CNN host clashes with GOP Rep. who faulted 'both sides' for Capitol riots

CNN's John Berman pushed back on Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo., Wednesday morning for faulting "both sides" for last week's riots at the Capitol.

Berman had spent several minutes pressing Buck to answer if President Donald Trump deserves to be impeached for encouraging his supporters to storm the Capitol. But Buck said after years of increasing animosity between Republicans and Democrats, blaming one Trump speech for the riots is inaccurate. 

Buck added, "what I'm trying to suggest to you is that both sides are at fault and that in America," before Berman interrupted him to ask, "What on earth did any other side do than the side that invaded the U.S. Capitol?"

Buck deflected the question, saying, "The people who came into the Capitol are the people responsible for that action. This animosity has been building for years. It wasn't as if the president gave one speech and all of a sudden people went from perfectly calm and thoughtful demeanor to this violent action that occurred."

The exchange happened just before the House prepared to vote on an article of impeachment.

Jim Jordan says he wants vote to expel Liz Cheney from GOP House leadership

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, one of President Trump’s fiercest defenders, suggested Wednesday he was open to trying to expel Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., from GOP House leadership over her support for impeachment.

"The conference ought to vote on that,” Jordan told reporters Wednesday.

Cheney, who as the House Republican Conference Chair is the No. 3 Republican in the House, said Tuesday that she supported Trump’s impeachment or removal from office, saying that when it came to his incitement of the mob that violently stormed the Capitol, "there has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution."