House impeaches Trump for role in deadly Capitol riot

By Meg Wagner, Melissa Macaya, Mike Hayes, Melissa Mahtani, Fernando Alfonso III and Veronica Rocha, CNN

Updated 8:54 a.m. ET, January 14, 2021
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4:46 p.m. ET, January 13, 2021

Happening now: House votes on historic second Trump impeachment

From CNN's Jeremy Herb, Manu Raju, Lauren Fox and Phil Mattingly

House TV
House TV

The debate has ended, and the House is voting now on an impeachment resolution that would make Trump the first President in United States history to be impeached for a second time for his role in last week's Capitol attack.

Voting is expected to take between 60 to 90 minutes to complete. 

The impeachment resolution charges Trump with a a single article, "incitement of insurrection."

The resolution is expected to pass with a swift and bipartisan vote. So far, at least seven Republicans said they will vote for impeachment:

  1. Rep. Dan Newhouse of Washington
  2. Rep. John Katko of New York
  3. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington
  4. Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois
  5. Rep. Fred Upton of Michigan
  6. Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming
  7. Rep. Peter Meijer of Michigan
3:52 p.m. ET, January 13, 2021

7 Republicans say they'll vote for impeachment

From CNN's Daniella Diaz

GOP Rep. Peter Meijer tweeted that he plans to vote to impeach President Trump, becoming the seventh Republican to publicly support impeachment.

"President Trump betrayed his oath of office by seeking to undermine our constitutional process, and he bears responsibility for inciting the insurrection we suffered last week. With a heavy heart, I will vote to impeach President Donald J. Trump," Meijer tweeted.

See his full statement:

3:52 p.m. ET, January 13, 2021

House Democrat says Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer will determine Senate trial timing

From CNN's Kristin Wilson

When asked about when the House would send the article of impeachment over to Senate, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said:

“The Speaker is talking to Mr. Schumer and will determine that but I am personally urging them to send it over as soon as possible," he said.
3:27 p.m. ET, January 13, 2021

Trump's conduct impeachable but letters of impeachment are flawed, GOP lawmaker says

From CNN's Josiah Ryan

House TV
House TV

Texas Republican Rep. Chip Roy today condemned President Trump's conduct as impeachable, but urged lawmakers to reject the article of impeachment drafted by Democratic leadership saying they posed a danger to free speech for lawmakers and Americans. 

"The President of the United States deserves universal condemnation for what was clearly, in my opinion, impeachable conduct," said Roy, speaking from the House floor. "...It was foreseeable and reckless to serve a false belief leading to violence and rioting loyal supporters whipped into a frenzy."

But Roy then went on to urge his colleagues to reject the article of impeachment under consideration, saying they are "flawed and unsupportable" because impeaching Trump over his rhetoric could pose a danger to free speech for lawmakers.

"If the House approves the articles as written, the language will be used to target members of this body under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, it will used to suggest any statements we make will be subject to review by our colleagues and send us down the perilous path of cleansing political speech in the public square," said Roy. 

"We must end tearing apart our nation by social media and soundbites," he concluded. "Let us stop. Let us debate. Let us sit down and lead this nation together."

Watch the moment:

3:20 p.m. ET, January 13, 2021

McConnell says he has "not made a final decision" on how he will vote on impeachment

From CNN's Manu Raju

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell sent a note to his Republican colleagues this afternoon on impeachment, writing "while the press has been full of speculation, I have not made a final decision on how I will vote and I intend to listen to the legal arguments when they are presented to the Senate.”

Earlier, McConnell rejected calls by Democrats to bring the Senate back immediately to convict President Trump in his final days in office.

McConnell’s office made that clear to Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer’s aides on Wednesday, according to Republican officials.

3:19 p.m. ET, January 13, 2021

Trump bears some responsibility for Capitol riot, former acting Homeland Security chief says

From CNN's Geneva Sands

Chad Wolf, who resigned as Homeland Security acting secretary two days ago, said Wednesday that President Trump bears some responsibility for the events at the US Capitol last week.

"He's the President. What he says matters," Wolf told CNN. "People listen to him — particularly supporters of his, I would say, really listen to him — so there is responsibility there."

However, it is for Congress to determine if it was an impeachable offense, Wolf said. He told CNN there is also personal responsibility for the rioters who entered the Capitol. 

Some context: Wolf stepped down as acting secretary on Monday after a government watchdog and federal judges cast doubt on his legitimacy to lead the department, including in a court ruling last Friday blocking Trump administration asylum limits.

He served in an acting capacity for 14 months in the top role, a position that now will be filled by Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Pete Gaynor for the remaining days of the Trump administration.

The day after the attack on the Capitol, Wolf urged Trump and all other elected officials to condemn the violence in a sharply worded statement, while vowing to stay in his position until President-elect Joe Biden takes office.

"I was disappointed that the President didn't speak out sooner on that. I think he had a role to do that. I think, unfortunately, the administration lost a little bit of the moral high ground on this issue by not coming out sooner on it," he said Wednesday of condemning the violence.

Wolf told CNN he would like to see more from the President in terms of calling for nonviolent protests.

"[I]f you're going to protest, you do that in a very nonviolent way. I'd like to have him speak, have him say that and just that," Wolf said. "And have that be the message that carries the day."

 

3:18 p.m. ET, January 13, 2021

Security perimeter expands at US Capitol complex after small group of demonstrators shout at police

From CNN's Brian Todd and Greg Wallace

The fence line securing the US Capitol complex is currently expanding after a small but vocal group of anti-fascist demonstrators approached the barricades.  

New eight-foot metal fencing is currently going up on 3rd St. NW. It expands the security perimeter by about 250 yards.  

Earlier today, a group of over a dozen protestors marched with large banners to the fence line, chanting and yelling at police with bullhorns.  

Capitol police carrying a large number of flexible handcuffs moved quickly to push the demonstrators back to 3rd St.  An officer announced on a loudspeaker that the demonstrators were assembled without a permit and needed to leave.

The demonstrators eventually folded their banners and left.  

The street is now lined with dozens of officers. Lined behind them for reinforcement are National Guard troops carrying semiautomatic rifles.  

 After the protesters left, utility vehicles carrying the fencing arrived fencing arrived.  

3:24 p.m. ET, January 13, 2021

Here's how some states are preparing for potential unrest in the coming days

States across the country are increasing security measures at their capitol buildings ahead of what the FBI warned are "armed protests" being planned at all 50 state capitols.

Online chatter about more violent demonstrations "is off the charts right now," one official told CNN. Facebook has seen online signals indicating the potential for more violence following last week’s insurrection, a company spokesperson said.

Here's how some states are preparing for potential unrest:

  • Multiple state governors are activating the National Guard to secure their capitols – including in Minnesota, Ohio, Washington state, and Wisconsin.
  • A number of states are deploying heavy fencing and additional crowd control measures around their capitol buildings – including in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Virginia and Washington state.
  • Michigan: The mayor has asked the governor to call up the National Guard to protect the capitol. The AG said yesterday that the state's new ban on open-carry firearms there is not enough, tweeting: "The state capitol is not safe."
  • Florida: Lawmakers and staff are being told to work from home this weekend because it is "very likely" there will be protesters in Tallahassee on Sunday.
  • Virginia: A state of emergency has been declared in Richmond and Capitol Square will be closed ahead of anticipated protests at the state capitol building.
  • Wisconsin: Workers at the Capitol in Madison have boarded up their first-floor windows ahead of potential protests.
  • New York: State police say they have taken steps "to harden security in and around the State Capitol in Albany" ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration.

Multiple layers of security are also in place around the US Capitol as the House debates on impeaching President Trump. Heightened security is also planned for President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration on January 20.

Today, National Guard members are surrounding the entire grounds of the Capitol. They were just issued weapons, many of them carrying semi-automatic rifles.

3:11 p.m. ET, January 13, 2021

GOP Rep. Young Kim says she supports censure, but not impeachment

From CNN's Alex Rogers

California GOP Rep. Young Kim, who narrowly won her seat in November, said she supports censuring President Trump but opposes impeaching him.

"I believe censuring the president is a better option. This would be a strong rebuke of his actions and rhetoric and unite our country and chamber, rather than divide it," she said.

Read her full statement:

“The violence we saw last week was disgusting. Our law enforcement was attacked, lives were lost and more were put in danger. These rioters must be held accountable. Words have consequences and I believe the president should also be held accountable.
The election is over. I announced my intention to certify the electoral votes before these events with the hope that we can move forward, deescalate our rhetoric, and work together to heal our wounds. This violence and division must stop. However, I believe impeaching the president at this time will fail to hold him accountable or allow us to move forward once President-elect Biden is sworn in. This process will only create more fissures in our country as we emerge from some of our darkest days.
 I believe censuring the president is a better option. This would be a strong rebuke of his actions and rhetoric and unite our country and chamber, rather than divide it. That is why yesterday I joined several of my colleagues in introducing a strong resolution censuring the president for his actions on January 6.
Words matter. Both of our parties must set better examples for our constituents, the nation, and the world. We must condemn violence in all forms and be able to peacefully debate issues and have disagreements without being disagreeable or making personal attacks on one another. As Americans, we are better than this violence and must move forward. The first Koreans came to the United States on this day in 1903 in search of a better life, and now 118 years later I am one of the first Korean American women to serve in Congress. I know we are the land of opportunity that welcomed me and my family into its fabric and allowed me to realize my American dream by receiving an education, starting a business, raising a family and now giving back to the community I call home as a member of the House of Representatives. This is the America we all know and love. I will do my part and look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for the betterment of America and the people of California’s 39th Congressional District.”