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How a swift impeachment was born under siege

January 14, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 22.5%. 2 min read.

Rioters were still ransacking the halls of the US Capitol when two Democrats stuck in lockdown together in the House office buildings across the street started drafting the impeachment resolution that led to the unprecedented second impeachment of President Donald Trump almost exactly one week later.

(CNN)Rioters were still ransacking the halls of the US Capitol when two Democrats stuck in lockdown together in the House office buildings across the street started drafting the impeachment resolution that led to the unprecedented second impeachment of President Donald Trump almost exactly one week later.

"First it said, 'I pray everyone is safe. ' And second, I said, 'The House Judiciary Committee should start drafting articles of impeachment now, regardless of what leadership says,'" Lieu said in an interview.

Several lawmakers, locked down elsewhere in the Capitol, quickly texted their agreement, and Lieu and Cicilline got to work with input from Raskin drafting the text that would serve as the basis of the House's 232-197 vote Wednesday to impeach Trump for "incitement of insurrection. " Ten Republicans joined with the Democrats to support Trump's impeachment, in a stark break from the first impeachment of Trump in 2019.

The co-authors, Cicilline, Lieu and Raskin, are three of the nine House impeachment managers who will argue their case against Trump in the upcoming Senate trial.

As the hours and days progressed, the new information that was revealed -- the rioters' desire to kill Vice President Mike Pence and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the violent attacks on Capitol Police leading to the death of an officer and the sinister aims of taking hostages -- only strengthened their resolve to make Trump the first president in United States history to be impeached twice.

"This is right in your face, easier for everyone to understand, including members of his own party, who also had to hide behind barricades and be evacuated," said Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon, a Pennsylvania Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee.

Pelosi spent much of 2019 at odds with the wing of House Democrats pushing for impeachment, before Trump's attempts to pressure Ukraine to investigate his political opponent -- and now President-elect -- Joe Biden pushed Pelosi and nearly the entire Democratic caucus toward impeachment.

Pelosi was still deliberate in her actions ahead of the impeachment vote, saying she wanted Pence to use the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from power.

Rep. Liz Cheney, the No. 3 Republican, voted to impeach Trump, charging there had "never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution. " Nine Republicans joined her to vote to impeach Trump, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is leaving open the possibility he could support conviction.

One of the members they were in touch with was Raskin, a constitutional law professor who was a leader for Democrats in the House debate to certify the Electoral College votes that the insurrectionists were trying to stop.

Unlike the 2019 impeachment push, there was almost no deviation within the House Democratic caucus on the need to impeach Trump.

Still, Democrats became more resolute about the need to impeach Trump as details continued to emerge about the events of January 6.

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