Donald Trump becomes the first U.S. President to be charged twice following a House vote today (Jan. 13).
The decision follows his alleged “incitement to rebellion” during the riot in Washington DC earlier this month.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, said: “The President of the United States instigated this insurrection, this armed insurrection against our common land.
“He has to go. He is a clear and present danger to the nation we all love.”
The vote was largely partisan – but some Republican Congressmen broke their ranks and voted to condemn the leader of their own party.
This makes Trump the first president to be charged twice.
He is now on trial in the Senate, and if convicted he could be prevented from ever running for office again.
The impeachment proceedings before the House today contained only one charge: “inciting insurrection”.
Democratic Congressman Julian Castro, a former presidential candidate, called Trump “the most dangerous man to ever occupy the Oval Office.”
Congressman Maxine Waters accused Trump of wanting civil war, and Democratic compatriot Jim McGovern said the president “instigated a coup attempt.”
Republicans argued that the impeachment drive was a rush for judgment and complained that it had bypassed the normal process of hearings.
They also urged the Democrats to abandon the push for “national unity” and “healing”.
“It would be a mistake to indict the president in such a short time,” said Kevin McCarthy, the House’s top Republican.
“That doesn’t mean the president is free of guilt. The president bears responsibility for the attack by rioters on Congress on Wednesday.”
Trump’s closest allies, like Ohio Republican Jim Jordan, went further and accused the Democrats of acting ruthlessly out of purely political interests.
“This is about getting the President of the United States,” said Jordan, who received the President’s Medal of Freedom from Trump in a private ceremony this week at the White House. “It was always about getting the president, no matter what. It’s an obsession.”
Following today’s vote, House Democrats intend to send the impeachment ruling to the Senate next week.
The Senate is expected to return next Tuesday – and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has ruled out calling the upper chamber early to hold an impeachment trial against the Senate before Joe Biden’s inauguration next Wednesday.