The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday is voting on the unprecedented second impeachment of President Donald Trump, with the majority Democrats accusing him of inciting insurrection by encouraging what became a deadly assault on the U.S. Capitol.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called Trump a threat to “liberty, self-government and the rule of law.”
But a staunch Trump supporter, Congressman Jim Jordan of Ohio, said impeachment “doesn’t unite the country. This is about politics.” Democrats, he said, “want to cancel the president.”
The thin Democratic majority in the House has enough votes on its own to impeach Trump a week before his four-year term ends at noon January 20 and Democrat Joe Biden is inaugurated as the country’s new leader.
A small number of Republicans, however, also is expected to join in a vote that will brand Trump, a Republican, with a singular distinction in U.S. history—the first of the country’s 45 presidents to be impeached twice.
If he is impeached, Trump would be tried by the Senate, likely after his term ends, and a two-thirds vote in the politically divided chamber would be needed to convict him. The outcome there is uncertain, but if it convicts him, the Senate in a second vote requiring only a simple majority could ban him from ever again holding federal office.
The House, with no Republican votes, impeached Trump in late 2019 for trying to get Ukraine to dig up dirt on Biden ahead of the November election. Trump was acquitted in February after a 20-day Senate trial.
Biden won the presidency with a decisive majority in the Electoral College that is determinative in U.S. presidential elections. Congress early last Thursday certified the Electoral College outcome, but not before a pro-Trump mob stormed into the Capitol, occupying and ransacking some congressional offices and scuffling with police.