The US House of Representatives voted to impeach President Trump yesterday by a vote of 232-197 on a single charge of inciting an insurrection, an accusation linked to last week's storming of the US Capitol building. Ten Republicans supported the measure, including Rep. Liz Cheney (R, WY-At Large), the third-ranking member of House GOP leadership (see full list).
Republican leadership did not whip votes—meaning there was no overt effort to have members vote against the measure—telling members to vote their conscience. Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who favored formally censuring the president, said Trump bore responsibility for the assault on the Capitol, but stopped short of voting to impeach.
The outcome—the House impeaches, the Senate holds a trial—makes President Trump the first president to be impeached twice in US history. Only two others have been formally impeached, Presidents Andrew Johnson (1868) and Bill Clinton (1998); neither was convicted by the Senate (President Richard Nixon left office before a vote was held).
President Trump released a statement amid the proceedings, and followed up with a later video (from the official White House Twitter account), calling for supporters to refrain from violence and vandalism. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY)—reportedly open to voting to convict the president—reaffirmed a Senate trial will not get fully underway until at least Jan. 20, after President-elect Joe Biden's term begins. Conviction after departure from the White House would likely prohibit the president from running for office again. Conviction itself requires a two-thirds vote by the Senate.
National Guard presence in Washington, DC, has been ramped up to 20,000
members ahead of Inauguration Day, amid a number of threats reported by security officials. See photos of Guard members sleeping in the Capitol ahead of yesterday's proceedings.
'Ndrangheta Trial Begins
Italy's largest organized crime trial in more than three decades began yesterday, with prosecutors bringing charges against 355 members of the 'Ndrangheta crime network. The case—which spans murder, extortion, bribery, and other crimes—focuses on the Mancuso family, a key group within the broader network operating in the southern Calabria region. Among the defendants are politicians, police, and government employees.
The group (pronounced "N-drang-GHE-ta")
is independent of the more well-known Sicilian Mafia, but has outpaced other Italian syndicates, largely due to its ability to grow internationally. The network is estimated to bring in more than $64B annually worldwide. The trial also pits famed anti-Mafia prosecutor Nicola Gratteri—who has lived under federal protection for three decades—against family head Luigi Mancuso.
Elsewhere in Italy, the country
was plunged back into political crisis after the centrist Italia Viva party withdrew from the ruling coalition, leaving no party with a majority in parliament.
China Coronavirus Probe
Health officials from the World Health Organization are expected to arrive in China today, ostensibly to investigate the origins of the coronavirus. Their arrival comes more than a year after the first reported cases of the virus emerged in the city of Wuhan, and follows criticism by many, most notably the US, that China exerted its influence on the WHO to squelch early probes.
Scientists believe the virus originated in horseshoe bats, potentially traveling through an intermediary like pangolins, before jumping to humans. Many have criticized China for silencing early reports of local outbreaks, keeping the global community in the dark at a critical early juncture. See a timeline here.
In the US, officials have reported 384,764 total
deaths as of this morning, with 3,848 deaths reported yesterday; see rolling averages for cases and deaths. Roughly 29 million vaccine doses have been distributed in the country, with 10.2 million doses administered.
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'I Saw My Life Flash Before My Eyes'
The Hill | Staff. An oral history of the siege of the US Capitol building, based on interviews with lawmakers and their staff. (Read)
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Historybook: RIP astronomer Edmond Halley (1742); RIP “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” author Lewis Carroll (1898); HBD actress Faye Dunaway (1941); Franklin D. Roosevelt is first president to travel on official business by airplane in office (1943); NBC’s
“Today” debuts (1952).
"All that is really worth the doing is what we do for others."
- Lewis Carroll
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