Transcript for House considers impeaching President Trump for 2nd time
This is an ABC news special report the impeachment of president Donald Trump. Now reporting chief anchor George Stephanopoulos. Good morning we are coming and they are right now are they major moment in American history let's take a look right now at the house floor just been gaveled in for the American turned record. A president trump will be offered by just seven days left in his term president trump about to be impeached for the second time that has never happened before in American history. And of course is just seven days since those events in the capital. Lincoln never seen before the siege of the United States capitol. By a mob of supporters of president trump. Who are encouraged by the president himself at a rally before they move down constitution avenue. Towards the capital breach to barricades. And rampaged through the capital for hours last Wednesday. Horrifying members of congress five dead. In the wake of that insurrection in that is why president trump is being impeached today a resolution. Citing him for incitement. Of insurrection. He's engaged in high crimes and misdemeanors and this resolution reaches a powerful conclusion don't read the conclusion for you losses in the actions of president trunk. He greatly endanger the security United States and its institutions of government he threatened the integrity of the democratic system interfere with the peaceful transition of power. And imperiled a co equal branch of government. He thereby betrayed his trust as president the manifest injury of the people of the United States. Where for Donald John 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 is second in a manner grossly in com incompatible with self governance and the rule of law. Donald John trump thus warrants impeachment and trial removal from office. And disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor trust or profit under the United States. That resolution has united all Democrats they came out with stunning force to call for his impeachment joined by Republicans now. As well including the number three Republican House Liz Cheney controllers are here she couldn't imagine a greater betrayal. Of the presidential office. Let's listen or. Actually take a recess we thought they're going to be reading the pledge of allegiance right there. It David Mary as I say just one week just one week since those offenses happened such stunning speed trick stunning force. And we sat here within the last year with this first impeachment in the history that we've made to date this impeachment the second time only in history. First time the president would be impeached twice and you mentioned Liz Cheney moment ago I don't think you can overstate the significance of that develop and overnight that she's that I will vote to impeach the president you mentioned that he line she said there's never been of greater betrayal by a president of the united states of his office. Of his both to the constitution. She said the president summoned this mob assembled the mob lit the flame of the attack. Everything that followed was his doing none of this would have happened without. The president. And another big difference George as you know is that Republicans are breaking ranks we know at least five potentially six. What could vote to impeach today they have already declared that they will. That is a big difference from what we saw in this first impeachment when we had no Republican votes in the house. The other key difference here is that this played out in front of the American public this is an about a hidden phone call behind the scenes with. A leader of another country applying pressure that we're talking about the last go around. This is about what members of congress witness themselves the fear inside that capital. And their interpretation about whether or not he incited this insurrection and Lindsey Davis one of the reasons that his move with this kind of speed is it every single day that has gone or by we've learned more. About what was going on inside the capitol. Which is why the pressure is building a person tried. For anything about it like this less than 24 hours ago the president was calling the impeachment proceedings against him a hoax and as it's been stayed now some members of his own party are saying that they will vote. To impeach him in while a lot is being made about the historical context an aspect of this with regard to. The president potentially being the first ever in American history to impeach twice we really have to think about. This historical behavior. That lead in contributed. To this when you talk about the idea of these angry white mobs who have tried or successfully overthrowing governments and burned buildings and murdered people in seize state houses. This happened in 1876. In New Orleans it happened two months later an Alabama. It happened in 1898 and willing to North Carolina and again in 1906. In Atlanta. So while many lawmakers today air just citing if impeachment is the right remedy for this up huge situation that played out last week at the capitol. You know many Americans are wondering when are we finally going to tackle and confront the chronic illness. That ails this country which is the original sin of this country of racism and shy of that. History will continue to repeat itself. It is being confronted today there's no question about their Lindsey thanks very much let's go to Capitol Hill right now our Mary Bruce. Our chief congressional correspondent is there merrier on the steps of those capitals where we saw the protesters last week. What a different scene today. George it is just remarkable night and day just to give you a sense there are no army National Guard. Everywhere here in fact right in front man watching yet another busload of them unloading that the president here. Is just tremendous almost overwhelming I mean he you see this massive new barrier fence it has been erected all around. The capitol complex much of that security of course that so many were asking just a week ago. Where was it. We did not see this president's anything even close to this presents a week ago here and yet today. It is I mean do they could become a rental watch the mark march passed again effective in your around the clock we've seen. Members of the National Guard sleeping on the floor in the capitol basement trying to get some rest as they work these round the clock shifts. And it it is just a remarkable change in the course of a week just as has been the teacher politically. Of course I mean Republicans today. Are grappling with the question that a week ago would have seemed unimaginable whether they should abandon president trump are or continue to enable him. Politically it is a huge political calculus for Republicans in addition to of course being just a question of morality what is right and what is wrong. And we have seen his support from top Republicans crumbling in just the last 24 hours I mean just about that I can stand here today George as it Mitch McConnell the Republican leader in the senate. Thinks that the president committed an impeachable offense and is pleased. The Democrats are taking steps to try to remove him that is stunning. In an of itself and it was the first time yesterday that the floodgates may be beginning to open then of course you saw Liz Cheney come out the number three house Republican. In a statement and that wasn't just damning but also unequivocal. And just stunning in saying that this would not have happened had the president not behaved in the way that he did it now we know today that at least five Republicans. In the house are going to join Democrats I'm told that number could rise to between fifteen. To 25 and right now especially given the language coming from Mitch McConnell. On down it is possible. That you could see if this heads to a trial in the senate. That seventeen Republicans could side with Democrats to convict they're still a lot of unknowns here but certainly the tide is turning Taiwan president dropped. Thank you marijuana bring that to John college on the present increasingly isolated. Inside the white S number is number of advisors are dwindling he surrounded by just a loyal few at this moment we're not quite. At the situation we saw in 1970 forward Hugh Scott and Barry Goldwater went to the president Republican leaders Nixon said. You have to resign but the pressure is growing. I'm the president to take that move. I think that we actually are to a degree Georgia at that point the problem is that unlike Richard Nixon. Donald Trump is not prepared to listen to those urgings and that advice. Kevin McCarthy who is as strong. An ally as he has had an Republican leadership over the past four years. While bluntly told the president's. Before his trip to Texas before in public appearance yesterday that he needed to get out there that he needed. To call Joseph Biden that he did come to terms with the fact that he lost the election the election is over and he lost. And McCarthy. Warned him that if he doesn't come out and take these steps and also plea for for com. Did he would face eight a choice of certain impeachment and quite probable conviction in the senate. Or resignation. That was the that was the advice he got from an ally in obviously the president did not do that yesterday came out. And he said the it's that he did nothing wrong did did did his speech before that capital riot was entirely appropriate that everybody knows that. And he certainly is not called Joseph Biden DS and come out and come to terms with his loss in the election. So I I just don't know me know it all the Republican leaders there are could go down with a capital. Good under the White House and tell him to resign him and no indication he would listen to that. Well that and that and that is the open question. Right now Cecilia Vega let me bring this TU. As well because we've seen resignations from the president's cabinet leasing resignations from top White House officials we even know that his White House counsel who is still. Talking to at this point is said he will not. Servers the president's council during impeachment trial. And the council that he does have is private lawyer Rudy Giuliani could be facing disbarment at least there's a move to. To see that effort underway in New York there's no question. Right now that Donald Trump is a man on an island by himself in addition to all of those. Resignations at the top level of his administration and in his circle that you just mentioned let's not forget he is been muzzled. His one vehicle that he uses to communicate. With his supporters as primary vehicle Twitter he is no longer allowed to use that and now today in addition to all of that we are seeing so much of corporate America. Start to back away from support out of president trump and his party. As John just said I guess perhaps one of the more astounding things that we're seeing right now it it in some ways is not yet surprising. Is that Donald Trump facing all of this superb righty and his party in many ways is showing zero contrition and not George that he's only showing zero contrition. He's now still blaming he is threatening Joseph Biden and the Democrats saying. This could come back to hot -- be careful what you wish for so if you're looking for any kind of contrition from president Trenton we certainly haven't seen it up to this point I don't think we're gonna see it going forward. OK Cecilia Vega thanks very much course become the backdrop of those events of last week were arrests are still being made. By the FBI and nationwide. Investigation want to bring in appear tell us or Chief Justice correspondent for more on that. Ever get it goes by in new arrest more horrifying details. But you're absolutely right George and we heard words from the US attorney for the District of Columbia yesterday sedition. And conspiracy. That that is part of the investigation they're looking at the very real prospect. That some of the people planned this well in advance they came with a communication devices they came with weapons the bombs how we learned yes they have timers a level of sophistication that we did not know. So this situation is incredibly dangerous in Georgia as I drove in this morning. Just before 6 o'clock. The barrier is extending from the White House. Layers upon layers of security now in place several blocks away from a white SU cannot drive near it. Law enforcement officials say they are going to create a scenario where people cannot move. Quickly in this city. And also you now have the National Guard some of them armed. George I got intelligence yesterday that was briefed to the house that the concern is that more than 101000. Top supporters could be coming toward the city many of them armed that is the concern and that's why there's so much for. Oration and pier there are also looking backwards at the fact that there were FBI reports warning of possible action last week. If they don't seem to be enacted on an anything close to an adequate manner. That information. Where there was discussion of war that people needed to dive to. Get their president that they want it into the job. Officials say yesterday that information was provided. Two local law enforcement officials here in Washington. And George Ali information now. According to my sources is pointing to what did the capital to police leadership. Leadership and I emphasize the word leadership what did they do with that information why did they not have adequate. Suit. Perimeter defense around that building to give support to their own people. Everyone I'm talking to they say that inside that building the capitol police fought valiantly. Overwhelmingly we did have some doing things like taking a softly but that was very much the minority the issue is did those rank and file police officers. Get the support they needed and the answer is a resounding no so far. Pierre Thomas thanks for my sister and her chief global affairs anchor Martha Raddatz. As well Martha course that means appropriations as pierce said for the inauguration next week for these impeachment proceedings right now. On the highest of alert at this point also united states military. Concerned about possible threats vulnerabilities to our national security. In these final days of president trumpet and as you reporting this morning on Good Morning America delivering an extraordinary warning to members of the military. Absolutely George the senior military leadership that Joint Chiefs of Staff including the chairman. Reminding all service members that they took an oath to the constitution. Saying the rights of freedom of speech do not give anyone. The right to resort to violence sedition. An insurrection really extraordinary that they had to remind them of that but there is a reason for that and that is because they saw. Several former military members. In that crowd during the siege some have already. B and arrested these are officers in listed personnel they want to send out a reminder to the military in the military in the past. And currently and it's something they been addressing has had a problem with white supremacy. The pet of the Pentagon will say there's no room for that they will investigate anyone who took part in that siege. But they are also preparing. For the coming days they know that there may be protests and violence. Already already starting people planning things this as Pierre said and those calls to. Waged war as you know the National Guard. Couple 10340. I believe was the number last Wednesday when I was standing there but they weren't at the capitol. I tell hours later until the National Guard all of them. Were called up I think people forget also that there are civilians. So they were called from their homes that was actually a pretty. Quick response once they were called bin. To tamp down this siege but before before that the mayor of DC had called for soft cap she didn't want them to be dressed in. Tactical gear she didn't want them. To look right the military. As they did during the riots. Over George Floyd last summer. But what happened is the guard was not there at the capitol the guard was doing traffic control. Instead of of the capital as others have suggested they be. Duquesne Martha thank you want to bring in Terry Moran as well as the terror we learn the members of the military may have been involved. In part individual members and military may have been involved individual police. May have been involved there are allegations of Republican members of congress may have been escorting some of the protesters. Riders through the capital and of course. The encouragement in complicity of the Prez himself. It is so hard to wrap your head around the idea that this happened here with this kind of participation. George I think you're exactly right and I think that's. One of the things we're seeing is gradually our political leaders and each of us as citizens coming to terms with something. We haven't seen since the civil war we've got the prosecutors. Talking about seditious conspiracy they wanted to overthrow the government. We're talking though we're hearing about that the generals the leaders of our military talking but insurrection because that's. What it was and as the evidence comes out and ours there are there's evidence that they work. Or there was much more organization that mobbed and it looked like there was there were commandos essentially who were trying to direct that they may have had. Skip Maddux of the capital there's a member of congress. Whose issue believe some of her colleagues were taking tours of some of these people when it opened the protesters. And I as a reconnaissance missions now there's no proof of that that's kinda where we are and then there's the president has used today who encouraged and incited. And the evidence is yet to come about what you nature of involvement he might have had he certainly did nothing did not lift a finger to stop it. Perhaps the thinking he could benefit from it and and that is where we are and.
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