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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."

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.  

Moving day approaching at the Trump White House

Stacks of empty boxes were delivered to the White House grounds Wednesday while the clock continues to tick down for the Trump administration.

The pallets of cardboard boxes were delivered to the Eisenhower Executive Office Building as the Biden administration is set to take office in a week, on Jan. 20. Most of the offices in the building are for White House staff members.

The Biden administration plans on a deep cleaning of the White House itself.

Read more about moving day.

Workers unload pallets of unfolded boxes at the Executive Office Building on the White House grounds on Jan. 13, 2021.Erin Scott / Reuters

Schumer presses for swift Senate trial

House Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., pressed for a Senate trial in a statement Wednesday after the House voted to impeach President Donald Trump for inciting the Capitol riot last week. 

"Donald Trump has deservedly become the first president in American history to bear the stain of impeachment twice over," he said. "The Senate is required to act and will proceed with his trial and hold a vote on his conviction."

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has said no trial would happen immediately. He said in a statement that the soonest the chamber could take up the issue would be after President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated next week. 

Schumer disagreed and signaled that a trial could happen in the Senate after Trump leaves office. 

"A Senate trial can begin immediately, with agreement from the current Senate Majority Leader to reconvene the Senate for an emergency session, or it will begin after January 19th," he said. "But make no mistake, there will be an impeachment trial in the United States Senate; there will be a vote on convicting the president for high crimes and misdemeanors; and if the president is convicted, there will be a vote on barring him from running again."