Trump Impeached for Inciting Insurrection
A week of trauma and deliberation left lawmakers sparring not just over impeachment, but also over facial coverings mandated because of the coronavirus and newly installed metal detectors outside the House chamber meant to stop lawmakers from bringing guns onto the floor. Some Republicans darted past the machines without stopping, setting the alarms wailing. Several Democrats said they had concerns — so far unsubstantiated — that far-right colleagues might have played a role in facilitating the attack, and they requested an investigation.
Dozens of others stayed away from the Capitol on the momentous day, fearful of exposing colleagues or themselves to the virus and of lingering security threats, instead casting their votes remotely by proxy.
The House’s action set the stage for the second Senate trial of the president in a year. The precise timing of that proceeding remained in doubt, though, as senators appeared unlikely to convene to sit in judgment before Jan. 20, when Mr. Biden will take the oath of office and Mr. Trump will become a former president.
The last proceeding was a partisan affair. But this time, Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority leader, was said to support the effort as a means of purging his party of Mr. Trump, setting up a political and constitutional showdown that could shape the course of American politics.
If a Senate trial resulted in Mr. Trump’s conviction, it held out the prospect, tantalizing for Democrats and many Republicans alike, of barring him from ever holding office again.
In a measured statement after the vote, Mr. Biden called for the nation to come together after an “unprecedented assault on our democracy.” He was staring down the likelihood that the trial would complicate his first days in office, and said he hoped Senate leadership would “find a way to deal with their constitutional responsibilities on impeachment while also working on the other urgent business of this nation.” That work included cabinet nominations and confronting the coronavirus crisis.
In the House, Democrats and Republicans who supported his ouster made no attempt to hide their fury at Mr. Trump, who was said to have enjoyed watching the attack play out on television as lawmakers pleaded for help. Republicans harangued members of their own party for supporting his mendacious campaign to claim election victory.