WASHINGTON – The U.S. House voted to impeach President Donald Trump on Wednesday for his role in inciting the attack on the Capitol last week. Trump is the only president to be impeached twice.
The Democratic-led House took just two days to impeach Trump this time, garnering a handful of Republican votes in favor, including Michigan Congressmen Fred Upton and Peter Meijer, both from West Michigan. All of Michigan’s Democratic lawmakers voted in favor of impeachment.
A total of 10 Republicans voted to impeach Trump, the most bipartisan support any impeachment has received in U.S. history. The final vote was 232-197.
The fast-moving impeachment comes after Trump incited an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol last week, a violent riot led by Trump supporters that resulted in at least five deaths including one Capitol officer.
The next steps are unclear. The U.S. Senate is not in session until Jan. 19, Trump’s last full day in office. Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, who will be in charge once President-elect Biden is sworn in, suggested in a letter to colleagues Tuesday the chamber might divide its time between confirming Biden’s nominees, approving COVID relief and conducting the trial.
In a letter to GOP colleagues Wednesday, Mitch McConnell said he has not decided on how to vote on Trump’s impeachment trial. If the trial isn’t held until Trump is already out of office, it could still have the effect of preventing him from running for president again.
Biden has said it’s important to ensure that the “folks who engaged in sedition and threatening the lives, defacing public property, caused great damage — that they be held accountable.”
Ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, security has been stepped up at the U.S. Capitol and at Capitol buildings around the U.S. as threats of violence continue.
In a statement issued Wednesday, Trump said: “In light of reports of more demonstrations, I urge that there must be NO violence, NO lawbreaking and NO vandalism of any kind.” Trump adds: “That is not what I stand for, and it is not what America stands for. I call on ALL Americans to help ease tensions and calm tempers.”
Though Michigan officials have approved a ban on firearms inside the state’s Capitol, Attorney General Dana Nessel says the building is still “not safe.”
Following the deadly insurrection that shook the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Jan. 6, the Michigan Capitol Commission revisited an old proposition to ban the open carry of firearms inside the building. The commission unanimously voted to ban the open carry of guns from inside the Capitol, effective immediately, on Jan. 11.
However, AG Nessel and other Democratic lawmakers have been critical of the commission’s ban, arguing that it does not go far enough.