The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives is moving to impeach outgoing US President Donald Trump for the second time in his tenure, within the span of 12 months. The House of Representatives convened at 9 AM (local time) and conducted the debate on the rules governing Trump's impeachment.
It is to be noted that Donald Trump is, however, likely to finish out the remaining few days in his term, since it takes a Senate conviction to remove a sitting President from office.
The big difference between Trump's last impeachment and this one is that the ground has opened underneath the Republican - after the attack on the US Capitol, after Senate control evaporated but not necessarily in that order.
Unlike the last time Trump was impeached, when no House Republicans supported charges against him, the Republican support for impeaching Trump this time is growing, by the hour.
CNN reported, citing a Republican source, that around 10-20 GOP members are expected to vote in favour of impeachment in the House. The report added, however, that White House officials are allegedly putting pressure on the Republicans over the impeachment issue.
After four long years of enabling Trump, Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell is said to be "pleased" about impeachment because it will be easier to distance the party from Trump. No matter what happens there, everything that is going on signals a stunning end for the Trump era in the White House.
The impeachment resolution that the House will vote on today contains a single article titled "incitement of insurrection", tied to the US Capitol Hill riots. Following that, the House will vote on the rule, CNN reported.
If the momentum holds and Trump does end up getting impeached, it will be for the first time in the country's 244-year history that a sitting US President gets impeached for a second time.
It is already the fourth time a President is facing impeachment proceedings, and Trump accounts for 50 per cent of that total. The other two US presidents on that list: Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton.
The final House impeachment vote is likely to be held in late afternoon, which might take less than an hour.
House Democrats are confident they have the votes to impeach even as more Republicans abandon Trump.
This excerpt from the impeachment article against Trump perhaps sums it all:
"President Trump gravely endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of Government. He threatened the integrity of the democratic system, interfered with the peaceful transition of power, and imperiled a coequal branch of Government. He thereby betrayed his trust as President, to the manifest injury of the people of the United States."
Trump's fiery speech at a rally just before the Jan. 6 riot is at the center of the impeachment charge against him, even as the falsehoods he spread for months about election fraud are still being championed by some Republicans.
A Capitol police officer died from injuries suffered in the riot, and police shot and killed a woman during the siege. Three other people died in what authorities said were medical emergencies.
(With inputs from agencies)