The unbreakable wall of Republican support that encouraged and enabled Donald Trump's norm-shattering presidency cracked on Wednesday.
Wednesday afternoon, Washington DC time, the US House of Representatives voted to impeach the President by 232 votes -197 votes.
Netizens sarcastically congratulated the president on his second impeachment, noting that he also failed to be re-elected or win the popular vote. Trump received the same ruling previous year after his 2019 impeachment. This means the Senate impeachment trial will stretch into the early days of Mr Biden's administration and take place after Mr Trump has already left office.
"Given the rules, procedures, and Senate precedents that govern presidential impeachment trials, there is simply no chance that a fair or serious trial could conclude before Biden is sworn in next week", McConnell said.
Armed National Guard troops guarded inside and outside the Capitol building following the riotous mob then invaded the hallowed halls of America's democracy, nearly precisely one week before the impeachment vote. The Congress was meeting to officially declare Joe Biden the victor of the 2020 presidential election.
The House vote requires only a simple majority of lawmakers to agree that the president has, in fact, committed high crimes and misdemeanours; the Senate vote requires a two-thirds majority.
The article, drafted by Representatives David Cicilline of Rhode Island, Ted Lieu of California, Jamie Raskin of Maryland and Jerrold Nadler of NY, charges Trump with "incitement of insurrection", saying he is guilty of "inciting violence against the government of the United States".
Republicans made speeches urging the House not to impeach Mr Trump in the interest in promoting national healing, with some accusing Democrats of recklessness.
United States President-elect Joe Biden is due to be sworn in as Commander-in-Chief on 20 January. "He must go, he is a clear and present danger to the nation that we all love".
Pelosi added that Trump has "repeatedly lied" about the results of the presidential election. Trump, she said, also raised "doubt about democracy and unconstitutionally sought to influence state officials to repeat this armed rebellion against our country". But because the Senate is not scheduled to hold a regular session until 19 January, even if the House immediately transmitted the charge to the other side of the Capitol, an agreement between Senate Republican and Democratic leaders would be needed to take it up before then.
Proponents say impeachment is worthwhile even though Trump has only days left in office.
House minority leader, Republican Kevin McCarthy said, "The President bears responsibility for Wednesday's attack", but he voted against impeachment. Notably, 10 Republicans crossed the floor to vote with the Democrats to support the impeachment vote.
Dan Newhouse of Washington state is one of the Republican lawmakers who voted for impeachment. He said, "Last week, there was a domestic threat at the door of the Capitol, and he did nothing to stop it". Newhouse said "I will vote yes..." to applause from some in the House.
Trump was impeached for the first time back in 2019 for two articles - abuse of power and obstruction of justice. However, the Senate acquitted Trump of these charges in February 2020.
President Trump will now face a formal trial in the US Senate. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, is said to hold the latter view.
McConnell was fiercely opposed to Trump's first impeachment. He has expressed no opposition to this one. Several other Republican senators have expressed similar openness.
Hai Do wrote this story for Learning English.