Impeachment and Presidential Transition: Live Updates


11:00 PM, January 13: Impeachment Update

Impeachment in the House:

The House of Representatives today voted to impeach President Donald J. Trump, with all 222 Democrats and 10 Republicans voting for impeachment. Out of the remaining Congressmen, 197 of them, all Republicans, voted against impeachment, while 4 Congressmen, all Republican, did not vote at all. This impeachment will now go to the Senate for conviction.

Impeachment in the Senate:

The Senate now has the opportunity to convict the impeached President, but the Senate is in recess until the two new Senators from Georgia are sworn in. Regardless of the recess, the Senate Majority and Minority Leader can break the recess and vote for conviction, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he will not assemble the Senate until after the new administration, when he will be the Minority Leader. Until the Senate votes on conviction, (before or after Joe Biden’s inauguration) the President loses his pardon power, which he was using abundantly weeks before, and this rules out his choice to pardon himself. After voting on conviction which requires a vote of 2/3rds of the Senate (67 votes), the Senate can vote with a simple majority to rule if President Trump will be able to run for public office in the future. Based on Mitch McConnell’s refusal to assemble the Senate until January 20th, this information will not be known until after Joe Biden will be sworn in. 

Update on the Capitol Riots and Post-riot security:

There was intensive security on Capitol Hill today when the House met for the impeachment hearings. There were pictures of the National Guard, Army, and Capitol Police sleeping on the floors as their shifts changed. Many are concerned for the safety of the President and Vice-President elect at their inaugurations on January 20th. James Clyburn, the House Majority Whip, said on CNN  he thinks that Biden should be sworn in inside, in a secure location or bunker. 

NBC have also said that there were three Congressmen supposedly involved in incitement of insurrection directly. These names include Paul Gosar (R, Arizona,) Mo Brooks (R, South Carolina) and Andy Biggs (R, Arizona.) They allegedly aided rioters, helping them locate offices, and find entrances. 

7:30 AM, January 13: Morning Update

Good Morning! Before today’s impeachment process, here is a little overview of what will happen. 

Last Night, a vote on the 25th Amendment was covered and because of this, it is now allowed to use that option. Despite this, Vice President Mike Pence said, in a letter to Nancy Pelosi, that he will not use the 25th Amendment –The New York Times

At 9:00 AM the House will begin the hearings on the case of impeachment. The Article of Impeachment was presented yesterday evening. “Incitement of Insurrection,” will be voted on after the hearings – The New York Times

According to MSNBC News, the vote will be at 3:00PM today, if everything goes according to schedule and the House is satisfied with the hearings.

10:40 PM, January 12: Impeachment Breakdown

Impeachment in the House:

The House of Representatives are having a vote on impeaching the President at 9:00AM. The Article of Impeachment, presented on Monday, blames the President for “Incitement of Insurrection,” Based on the riots that took place on Capitol Hill, now, almost a week ago. In addition, today, many Republican Representatives came out to say they will vote to impeach Trump. If President Trump is impeached tomorrow, he will be the first President to get impeached twice. 

25th Amendment:

The House of Representatives issued a resolution stating that the Vice President should call on the 25th Amendment to declare the President unfit for duty. VP Pence met with the President today and based on NBC News, Pence will not invoke the 25th Amendment and will work together with the President until the end of the term. 

Impeachment in the Senate:

It is likely that Trump will be impeached in the House tomorrow due to a Democratic Majority, but there is still the Senate which can decide if the President will be convicted. If all the Democrats vote to remove Trump, they would need 17 more Republicans to confirm that removal (permitting this happens before January 20th.) Lisa Murkowski, Pat Toomey, Ben Sasse, and likely Mitt Romney will vote as Republicans to remove the President. Even current Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, hinted at a vote against Trump. MSNBC NEWS said the following in their newscast: “Senator Mitch McConnell… has told associates he believes President Trump committed impeachable offenses… [He advocates to] impeach him, believing that it will make it easier to purge him from the party, according to people familiar with his thinking.”

Despite those rumors, Mitch McConnell’s office has just released a statement (10:33PM) denying that he will vote for impeachment based on CNN, though this does not decide his vote in the Senate. 

If the Majority Leader does vote for conviction/removal, this means that some other Senate Republicans may consider voting to do the same, possibly making President Trump the first President to be convicted in an impeachment.

12 PM, January 11

House Democrats introduced the resolution calling on VP Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment this morning at 11:00 this morning, says NBC NEWS. They also planned on presenting their Articles of Impeachment against President Trump’s incitement of insurrection. 

The resolution stated in the house called for Vice President of the United States Michael R. Pence “to convene and mobilize the principal officers of the executive departments of the cabinet to activate Section 4 of the 25th Amendment to declare Donald J. Trump incapable of exercising the duties of his office and to immediately exercise powers as acting president.” To summarize, the House is calling upon the Vice President to assemble the cabinet and decide to convert power to himself as the House Democrats and some Republicans have said that the President (Donald Trump) is not fit for duty. 

Alex Mooney (R, West Virginia) objected to the resolution; therefore the house will stand adjourned until tomorrow at 9:00 AM. There will be 24 hours for the VP to respond to the resolution but NBC NEWS Capitol Hill correspondent, Kasie Hunt, says she does not think the Democrats are too optimistic that the Vice President will follow the resolution. “Events could change and adjust things and cause additional alarm,” she said. She also reported that the Articles of Impeachment, planned to be presented tomorrow, were partly drafted during the siege of the capital. 

If impeachment does begin, Democratic majority in the house would most likely allow for a swift impeachment although removal from office requires two-thirds of the senate to vote for removal, meaning 17 Republicans if all the Democrats vote. So far, only three Republicans have stated they would most likely vote to convict the President in the Senate. Pat Toomey, Lisa Murkowski, Ben Sasse, and likely Mitt Romney. More information will be known later today, but the House plans to reconvene tomorrow morning at 9 AM. 

The NBC Special Coverage of this House session can be re-watched here

1:15 PM, January 10

Welcome to our live updates on the turmoil in Washington including the potential impeachment on President Trump, and the post-riot effects in Washington. 

This morning in Washington D.C., all government buildings with the exception of the White House flew the American flag half-staff for the officer killed in the riots on Wednesday. It is clear that the officer’s death could have been prevented, as well as the other 4 deaths from this insurrection. It is a day that must be remembered as an attack on our democracy. Congress has taken it into their hands to impeach Donald Trump for “Incitement of Insurrection.” The House of Representatives are set to present an Article of Impeachment tomorrow (Monday, 1/11/21,) just nine days before President-Elect Joe Biden’s inauguration. The Article centers on “Incitement of Insurrection” by the President.

Here are some places to note from the Article of Impeachment;

“He [The President] also willfully made statements [At his rallies and on social media] that encouraged–and forseably resulted in–imminent lawless action at the capitol.”

“President Trump’s conduct on January 6, 2021 was consistent with his prior efforts to subvert and obstruct the certification of the results of the 2020 presidential elections. Those prior efforts include, but are not limited to, a phone call on January 2, 2021, in which President Trump urged Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to ‘find’ enough votes to overturn the Georgia presidential election results and threatened Mr. Raffensperger if he failed to do so.”

“Wherefore President Trump, by such conduct, has demonstrated that he will remain a threat to national security, democracy, and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office, and has acted in a manner grossly incompatible with self-governance and the rule of law.”

The rest of the document can be viewed here on CNN. 

Since the Senate is in recess, it is unclear at this time the actions that will be taken in the Chamber.