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How Today's House Impeachment Vote Will Go

House will vote on whether to impeach President Trump this afternoon
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 13, 2021 10:20 AM CST

(Newser) – President Trump is on the verge of being impeached for a second time in an unprecedented House vote Wednesday, a week after he encouraged a mob of loyalists to "fight like hell" against election results just before they stormed the US Capitol in a deadly siege. "We are debating this historic measure at a crime scene," said Massachusetts Rep. Jim McGovern. Trump, who would become the only US president twice impeached, faces a single charge of "incitement of insurrection," reports the AP. The four-page impeachment resolution relies on Trump's own incendiary rhetoric and the falsehoods he spread about Biden's election victory—including at a White House rally on the day of the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol—in building its case for high crimes and misdemeanors as demanded in the Constitution.

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While Trump's first impeachment in 2019 brought no Republican votes in the House, at least five Republicans are breaking with the party to join Democrats. Security was exceptionally tight, beefed up by armed National Guard troops, with secure perimeters set up around the Capitol complex and metal-detector screenings required for lawmakers entering the House chamber. NPR shares details of the day's schedule:

  • The House convened at 9am ET. Up first: debating the rule that will put in place the two-hour time limit on debating the impeachment resolution. They'll then vote on that rule.
  • Once the rule passes, debate on the resolution itself starts. Each party gets one hour, with one party member calling on colleagues to speak and setting their time limits. They'll then vote this afternoon.
  • The resolution will all but certainly pass. The Senate will then hold a trial that would continue after Trump has left office. The Senate will next be in session on Jan. 19, though Chuck Schumer is looking at whether emergency powers can be used to speed up that timeline; Mitch McConnell would have to be on board.
  • In order to convict, two-thirds of the 100 senators would need to find Trump guilty. If all Democrats landed there, 17 Republicans would need to join them, per the Guardian.
(Read more Trump impeachment stories.)

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