With just one week left in office,the United States President Donald Trump, has been impeached a second time by the House of Representatives for “incitement of insurrection” at last week’s Capitol riot.
Ten Republicans sided with Democrats to impeach the president by 232-197 votes.
By this votes President Trump, a Republican, is the first president in US history to be impeached twice.
Members of Congress made statements for and against the vote in the same chamber where they hid under chairs and donned gas masks as rioters tried to force their way inside last week.
The article of impeachment stated that Mr Trump “repeatedly issued false statements asserting that the presidential election results were fraudulent and should not be accepted”.
It says he then repeated these claims and “wilfully made statements to the crowd that encouraged and foreseeably resulted in lawless action at the Capitol”, leading to the violence and loss of life.
The impeachment article will head to the Senate, which will hold a trial to determine the president’s guilt.
A two-thirds majority is needed to convict Mr Trump, meaning at least 17 Republicans would have to vote with Democrats in the evenly split, 100-seat upper chamber.
But from all indications, Trump’s trial in the Senate will not happen until after Joe Biden, a Democrat, is inaugurated as the new US president next week.
Mitch McConnell said in a statement: “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 President-elect Biden is sworn in next week.”
He said it would best serve the interests of the nation if Congress focused on a safe and orderly transition of power for the incoming Biden administration.
Mr McConnell also said in a note to colleagues that he had not made a final decision on how he would vote.
As many as 20 Senate Republicans are open to convicting the president, the New York Times reported on Tuesday.
If Mr Trump is convicted by the Senate, lawmakers could hold another vote to block him from running for elected office again which he has indicated he planned to do in 2024.
In a video released after the vote in Congress, Mr Trump called on his followers to remain peaceful, without mentioning his impeachment. “Violence and vandalism have no place in our country… No true supporter of mine would ever endorse political violence,” he said, striking a sombre and conciliatory tone.