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.
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."
Hope Hicks leaves the White House
Today was Hope Hicks’ last day at the White House, an administration official confirms. Her departure is not related to the attack on the Capitol, per this official.
Last week, two sources familiar with the matter told NBC News Hicks was planning to leave ahead of the inauguration – which, they say, has been her plan since President Trump’s election defeat. Her decision, both sources say, was made before this week’s events.
Former Olympic swimmer Klete Keller charged in Capitol riot
Two-time Olympic gold medal swimmer Klete Keller was charged in a federal D.C. court Wednesday over his alleged participation in last week's insurrection a the U.S. Capitol.
Keller, 38, was charged with obstructing law enforcement, knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building or grounds without lawful authority and violent entry and disorderly conduct, according to a criminal complaint.
A video posted on Twitter by a Townhall Media reporter showed Keller inside the Capitol with a group of President Donald Trump's supporters. In the video, the crowd pushed against police officers who were trying to clear the Rotunda.
Keller was seen wearing a jacket with the letters "USA" on the back.
Facebook says it sees increase in calls to violence in the U.S.
Facebook has seen an increase in activity praising last week's violent occupation of the U.S. Capitol and growing signs of possible future violence, a spokesperson said Wednesday.
The news was first reported by Reuters.
The company has been repeatedly blocking new "flyers," or images with text, many of which call for Americans to bring weapons to several planned gatherings at state capitols and Washington, D.C. in the next week.
Facebook has also fielded an increased number of legal requests from the FBI for the data of users suspected of storming the Capitol, the spokesperson said.
Rep. Peter Meijer becomes 7th House Republican to back impeachment
Rep. Peter Meijer, R-Mich., announced Wednesday he will vote to impeach President Donald Trump, becoming the seventh House Republican to do so.
"We saw profiles in courage during the assault on the Capitol. Police officers, badly outnumbered, putting their lives on the line to save others," Meijer said. "Members of Congress barricading doors and caring for colleagues. A vice president who fearlessly remained in the Capitol and refused to bow to the mob. "
"There was no such courage from our president who betrayed and misled millions with claims of a 'stolen election' and encouraged loyalists that 'if you don’t fight like hell you’re not going to have a country any more,'" he continued. "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. "
Meijer joins Reps. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., Dan Newhouse, R-Wash., Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Wash., John Katko, R-N.Y., and Fred Upton, R-Mich.
Stun guns, 'stinger whips' and a crossbow: What police found on the Capitol protesters
Not long after security forces cleared the last of the pro-Trump mob from the Capitol, a police officer stationed nearby spotted a “suspicious male in a white passenger van with red spray paint on the side.” The Ford Econoline 150 had Georgia plates and a red MAGA hat on the dashboard.
“I’m one of these,” the man said to the officer as he pointed to the hat, according to a police report.
The man, Grant Moore of Buford, Ga., went on to say that he was supporting the Chinese who were “currently protesting around the city,” the report says. Whatever that meant, Moore, 65, was soon placed under arrest on weapons charges.
Inside his vehicle was a book bag containing a semi-automatic handgun with a fully-loaded 6-round magazine, the police report says. The officer also found three other magazines inside the bag and 12 loose rounds in one of the van’s front compartments.
The guns and ammunition were among an unusual collection of weapons the police seized from protesters who flooded into D.C. to support President Trump’s effort to overturn the 2020 election.
House vote to impeach Trump for a second time begins
The House is voting now to impeach President Donald Trump for high crimes and misdemeanors for the second time. This will make Trump the first president in history to be impeached twice. This time, the House is voting to impeach him on one article of impeachment for “incitement of insurrection” following the Jan. 6 attack at the Capitol.
This vote will take roughly 40 minutes or so because of Covid-19 precautions.
We know of at least 7 Republicans that plan to vote yes but there could be more.
Trump monitoring proceedings from the White House
President Trump has been monitoring the impeachment proceedings largely from the Oval Office, and in a few instances from the dining room, according to an administration official.
A few more officials have trickled in throughout the day, but for the most part the West Wing has been sparsely-staffed.
"As much as we can, we are focusing on the transition, highlighting success of the last four years, and continuing the work of government until the next administration takes over,” an administration official tells NBC News.
There has been outreach between the White House and Republican leadership on the Hill in recent days, the official said, but did not give specific details.
When pressed on why there is no clear legal or communications strategy, the official said the reason, in part, is that the impeachment proceedings came together so quickly. While the president and his allies are dismissing the impeachment as a politically motivated “witch hunt,” concerns are starting to set in given the growing number of GOP defections.
Houston officer relieved of duty after taking part it in riot
A member of the Houston Police Department traveled was in the Capitol during the violent riot, according to Chief Art Acevedo.
The HPD says the officer has been relieved of duty and has been given a 48-hour notice of a disciplinary hearing.
Acevedo said, “I can tell you there is a high probability this individual will be charged with federal charges, and rightfully so.”
“So far we believe the individual traveled alone”, Acevedo said and identifies him as an 18 year veteran of the HPD with no history of disciplinary issues with the department.