Donald Trump impeached for second time, Republicans break ranks

Donald Trump has become the first US President to be impeached twice in a historic vote that saw ten Republicans break ranks and side with Democrats. 

After more than three hours of debate, House Representatives voted in favour of an impeachment article that charged Trump with the "incitement of insurrection". 

Trump last week called on his extremist supporters to "fight" and march on Capitol Hill. They did exactly that - breaking into the heart of America's democracy, desecrating the historic monument, threatening to kill the vice-President and forcing the evacuation of Congress. At least five people died in the chaos, including a police officer.

It came as lawmakers met to certify the results of the November election, which Joe Biden won. Trump and his supporters have repeatedly made baseless comments claiming electoral fraud. 

On Wednesday, Trump said his comments prior to the riot were "totally appropriate". Instead of paying tribute to those killed, he focused his remarks on himself, complaining about the impeachment process and saying that freedom of speech was under attack.

With more demonstrations planned by armed groups, more than 15,000 National Guard troops have arrived in DC, with many stationed around the Capitol. Trump on Thursday called for "no violence, no lawbreaking and no vandalism" at any upcoming protests.

What you need to know:

  • Donald Trump has become the first US President to be impeached twice.

  • The US House of Representatives voted 232 by 197 in favour of impeaching Trump on the charge of "incitement of insurrection". Ten Republicans voted to impeach Trump. That compares to none at Trump's first impeachment.

  • On Wednesday, the House - mostly along party lines - voted to pass a resolution calling on vice-President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment, convene Cabinet and remove Trump from office. However, Pence has ruled out doing this, saying this isn't a situation the 25th Amendment was designed for.

  • Trump continues to express no regret for inciting violence at the Capitol last week, saying his remarks before the chaos were "totally appropriate". He has called for "no violence, no lawbreaking, and no vandalism" at future demonstrations.

  • Youtube has silenced Donald Trump's channel for at least a week from Wednesday for violating their policies. They follow numerous other social media platforms who have suspended or banned the President following the Capitol riots.

  • Republican House member Marjorie Taylor Greene announced she plans to file articles of impeachment against incoming President Joe Biden on January 21 - the day after his inauguration. "It's time to take a stand," she tweeted.

  • Following the announcement of Trump's impeachment, Biden called condemned the riots and called for Trump to be "held accountable".

These live updates have now ended.

6:30pm - That's it for Newshub's live updates - thanks for following along.

Visit our website in the morning to see the latest developments overnight.

6:20pm - Henry Giroux, a chaired professor at McMaster University in Canada, is arguing that the domestic terrorism Donald Trump inspired at the Capitol riots will not end anytime soon.

"This was Trumpism in full bloom, in all its ignorance and lawlessness, proving again that fascism begins with language and ends with violence," he writes.

"Trumpism is a new political formation, blending white supremacy, voter suppression, market fundamentalism and authoritarianism, and it will survive long after Trump leaves the White House."

Read Giroux's full opinion piece here.

John Eastman and Rudy Guiliani.
John Eastman and Rudy Guiliani. Photo credit: Getty

5:50pm - President Donald Trump may hire a law professor who spoke at his rally before the riot at the US Capitol to help defend him in an impeachment trial over a charge that he incited the violence, according to two people familiar with the matter.

John Eastman, who joined Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani on stage at the January 6 rally, is being considered for a role on Trump's defense team, the people said.

Giuliani, 76, who told the crowd they should engage in "trial by combat," may lead the impeachment defense, Reuters reported on Sunday, citing a source. Giuliani has not responded to requests for comment.

Eastman, 60, who made unsubstantiated claims of election fraud at the rally, would neither confirm nor deny whether he will represent Trump, citing attorney-client privilege.

Asked whether he would be willing, Eastman said: "If the President of the United States asked me to consider helping him, I would certainly give it consideration."

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Eastman and has declined to comment on Giuliani.

- Reuters

5:20pm - Republican Senator Tom Cotton has said he opposes holding an impeachment trial for Trump because the President would be out of office before it finishes.

President-elect Joe Biden will take office next Wednesday, January 20 (US time) after his inauguration ceremony.

"The House has passed an article of impeachment against the President, but the Senate under its rules and precedents cannot start and conclude a fair trial before the President leaves office next week," Cotton said in a statement.

"Under these circumstances, the Senate lacks constitutional authority to conduct impeachment proceedings against a former President."

He said he opposes impeachment proceedings against a former President.

"Congress and the executive branch should concentrate entirely for the next week on conducting a safe and orderly transfer of power. After January 20, Congress should get on with the people’s business: improving our vaccination efforts, getting kids back to school, and getting workers back on the job."

4:50pm - Donald Trump has reportedly told staff not to pay his lawyer Rudy Guiliani due to his irritation over the second impeachment.

A person familiar with the matter told CNN the President's aides weren't sure if he was being serious.

Trump has reportedly been blaming Guiliani amongst others for the controversy following the Capitol riots.

The source said Guiliani is still expected to play a part in the defence of Trump's impeachment, but is currently being left out of conversations.

4:15pm - The United States has reported its highest number of daily deaths from COVID-19.

CNN reported that 4327 people died in the past day from the virus, according to data from John Hopkins University.

Over the past week the US has averaged more than 3300 deaths per day - a rise of over 200 percent since mid-November - with experts putting it down to holiday gatherings.

CNN journalist Sara Sidner, who was on the front lines of the pandemic, broke down in tears while reporting on COVID-19 on Wednesday (NZ time).

"I apologise. I'm trying to get through this," she said. "This is the tenth hospital that I have been in, and to see the way that these families have to live after this, and the heartache that goes so far and so wide… It's really hard to take."

Read more here.

3:50pm - After riots at the US Capitol by President Donald Trump's supporters, the Republican Party is facing defections from two camps of voters it can't afford to lose: those saying Trump and his allies went too far in contesting the election of Democrat Joe Biden - and those saying they didn't go far enough, according to new polling and interviews with two dozen voters.

Paul Foster - a 65-year-old house painter in Ellsworth, Maine - is furious at party leaders for refusing to back the president's claims that the election was stolen with millions of fraudulent votes. The party is going to be totally broken if it abandons Trump, Foster says, predicting Trump loyalists will spin off into a new third party.

Marc Cupelo - a retired business consultant in Syracuse, New York - couldn't feel more differently. A lifelong Republican, he regretted voting for Trump as he watched the president's backers storm the Capitol last Wednesday, inspired by Trump's fiery rhetoric and false election-fraud claims. Now he wants the party to banish Trump and carve out a less-divisive future, free of the twisted values held by some of his supporters.

I just wish he would run away with his tail between his legs, Cupelo says.

- Reuters

3:25pm - American entrepreneur and former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang has announced he will run for New York mayor.

3:15pm - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has introduced a rule change to fine members of Congress who evade the metal detectors.

The extra level of security was introduced following the Capitol riots last week, however, several Republicans have protested them, the Guardian reported.

The House is expected to vote on the rule change when Congress returns after Biden's inauguration.

"On behalf of the House, I express my deepest gratitude to the US Capitol Police for the valour that they showed during the deadly insurrection on the Capitol, as they protected the lives of the staff and the Congress," Pelosi said. 

"Sadly, just days later, many House Republicans have disrespected our heroes by verbally abusing them and refusing to adhere to basic precautions keeping members of our congressional community, including the Capitol police, safe."

2:50pm - Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey said on Wednesday that banning President Donald Trump from its social media platform after last week's violence at the US Capitol was the "right decision".

"Having to take these actions fragment the public conversation," Dorsey said on Twitter. "They divide us. They limit the potential for clarification, redemption, and learning. And sets a precedent I feel is dangerous: the power an individual or corporation has over a part of the global public conversation."

In his Twitter thread, Dorsey said that while he took no pride in the ban, "Offline harm as a result of online speech is demonstrably real, and what drives our policy and enforcement above all."

Even so, he added, "While there are clear and obvious exceptions, I feel a ban is a failure of ours ultimately to promote healthy conversation."

- Reuters

Jack Dorsey.
Jack Dorsey. Photo credit: Getty

2:30pm - In the statement Biden also touched on the Capitol riots last week, again calling them "an unprecedented assault on our democracy".

"It was unlike anything we have witnessed in the 244-year history of our nation," he said.

"A violent attack on the United States Capitol itself. On the people's representatives. On police officers who every day risk their lives to protect them. And on fellow citizens who serve as public servants in that Citadel of Liberty."

He said that in the riots windows, doors and offices were destroyed and mentioned those who had died in the "mayhem".

"This criminal attack was planned and coordinated. It was carried out by political extremists and domestic terrorists, who were incited to this violence by President Trump.

"It was an armed insurrection against the United States of America. And those responsible must be held accountable."

Donald Trump impeached for second time, Republicans break ranks
Photo credit: Getty

2:15pm - Joe Biden has released a statement on Trump's impeachment.

"Today, the members of the House of Representatives exercised the power granted to them under our Constitution and voted to impeach and hold the President accountable. It was a bipartisan vote cast by members who followed the Constitution and their conscience. The process continues to the Senate.

"This nation also remains in the grip of a deadly virus and a reeling economy. I hope that the Senate leadership will find a way to deal with their Constitutional responsibilities on impeachment while also working on the other urgent business of this nation."

He said the US also needs to be getting the country's COVID-19 vaccination program on track and get the economy going again.

"Too many of our fellow Americans have suffered for too long over the past year to delay this urgent work," he wrote.

"I have often said that there is nothing we can't do, if we do it together. And it has never been more critical for us to stand together as a nation than right now. So we must remember who we are as Americans and what we stand for and believe.

"It's time for us to be what at our best we have always been. The United States of America."

Read the full statement here.

1:56pm - Republican House member Marjorie Taylor Greene has announced she plans to file articles of impeachment against incoming President Joe Biden on January 21 - the day after his inauguration.

"75 million Americans are fed up with inaction," she tweeted.

"It's time to take a stand. I'm proud to be the voice of Republican voters who have been ignored."

1:55pm - President-elect Joe Biden and vice President-elect Kamala Harris have remained silent on the news of Trump's impeachment so far.

Aides have told CNN that Biden is planning on releasing a statement on Thursday afternoon (NZ time) in regards to the impeachment, but it isn't a high priority.

They believe that Biden and his team are working behind the scenes with Democrats in the Senate to keep the impeachment trial as swift as possible.

1:40pm - Politicians in the United States and around the world have reacted in joy and horror to Donald Trump's second impeachment during his 2016-2020 term as President.

Read all of the reaction to the news here.

1:25pm - While multiple businesses and former associates have distanced themselves from Trump over the last few days, he remains a 'WWE Superstar'.

1:20pm - Politicians have urged the Senate to convict Donald Trump after he became the first US President to be impeached twice in a historic vote.

Here are reactions from the US and around the world.

1:15pm - Donald Trump has been banned from Snapchat, according to a report from Axios.

"Last week we announced an indefinite suspension of President Trump's Snapchat account, and have been assessing what long term action is in the best interest of our Snapchat community," a spokesperson emailed Axios.

"In the interest of public safety, and based on his attempts to spread misinformation, hate speech, and incite violence, which are clear violations of our guidelines, we have made the decision to permanently terminate his account."

1:05pm - Here are the 10 Republicans who voted to impeach Donald Trump:

Liz Cheney

The No. 3 House Republican, Cheney was the most senior member of her party to vote against efforts to challenge the Electoral College results confirming Trump's loss. The daughter of former Republican Vice President Dick Cheney is a rising star in the party.

Anthony Gonzalez

Gonzalez is an Ohio Republican. "When I consider the full scope of events leading up to January 6th including the President's lack of response as the United States Capitol was under attack, I am compelled to support impeachment," he wrote on Twitter.

Peter Meijer

Meijer, a new member of Congress from Grand Rapids, Michigan, said he was voting for impeachment with a "heavy heart."

"The President betrayed his oath of office by seeking to undermine our constitutional process, and he bears responsibility for inciting the violent acts of insurrection last week," he said in a statement.

Dan Newhouse 

Newhouse, from Washington state, announced his intention to vote to impeach on the House floor during Wednesday's debate, drawing applause from the roughly two dozen Democrats on the floor.

Adam Kinzinger

A frequent Trump critic, Kinzinger, from Illinois, said Trump broke his oath of office by inciting his supporters to insurrection and used his position to attack the legislative branch of government.

John Katko

Katko, from New York, was the first member of the House Republican caucus to say he would vote for impeachment, on Tuesday. "To allow the president of the United States to incite this attack without consequence is a direct threat to the future of our democracy," he said.

Fred Upton

Upton, from Michigan, in November said Trump had shown no proof of his claims that his election defeat was the result of widespread fraud.

Jaime Herrera Veutler

Herrera Beutler is a moderate from Washington state. "The president's offenses, in my reading of the Constitution, were impeachable based on the indisputable evidence we already have," she said in a statement.

Tom Rice

Rice is from a South Carolina district where Trump has heavy support. "I have backed this President through thick and thin for four years. I campaigned for him and voted for him twice. But, this utter failure is inexcusable," he wrote on Twitter.

David Valadao

Valadao in November reclaimed his former California seat from the Democrats. "Based on the facts before me, I have to go with my gut and vote my conscience," he said in a statement. "It's time to put country over politics."

12:55pm - CNN reports that the FBI has briefed law enforcement partners across the United States on upcoming planned protests. They are expected to be "peaceful, armed demonstrations", but the FBI is looking to identify any extremists who may pose a threat at the events. 

The FBI remains concerned about extremists conducting violence. Earlier this week, it warned of armed groups planning protests across all 50 states. 

12:50pm - There are some pro-Trump banners at a protest at the NZ Parliament.

Donald Trump impeached for second time, Republicans break ranks
Photo credit: Newshub.

12:45pm - According to CNN, one White House adviser says "everybody's angry at everyone" within the White House and Trump is upset because he doesn't think people are defending him enough.

"He’s been holed up in the residence, that’s never a good thing. He's by himself, not a lot of people to bounce ideas off of, whenever that happens he goes to his worst instincts. Now that Twitter isn’t available God only knows what the outlet will be," the source said.

Sources have also told CNN that Trump could announce more pardons soon to try and change the narrative.

12:30pm - Senator Bernie Sanders has tweeted: "The House of Representatives has done its job and impeached Donald Trump on a bipartisan basis. The Senate must now carry out its constitutional duty and convict Trump to ensure that neither he, nor any other president, can subvert our democracy again".

12:15pm - Nancy Pelosi quickly spoke to reporters, saying that "in a bi-partisan way the House demonstrated that no one is above the law not even the POTUS".

"Donald Trump is a clear and present danger to our country."

Donald Trump impeached for second time, Republicans break ranks
Photo credit: USA Today.

12:10pm - Donald Trump says the events at the US Capitol "angered and appalled millions of Americans". He condemns the violence on January 6 and says it has no place in the US or in his movement.

"Mob violence goes against everything I believe in and everything our movement stands for. No true supporter of mine could ever endorse political violence.

"No true supporter of mine could ever disrespect law enforcement or our great American flag. No true supporter of mine could ever threaten or harass their fellow Americans. If you do any of these things you are not supporting our movement, you are attacking it and you are attacking our country. We cannot tolerate it."

Trump says there is never a justification or excuse for violence. He says America is a nation of laws and those involved in last week's attack will be brought to justice. 

On the topic of additional demonstrations in Washington DC and across the country, Trump says he has been briefed on potential threats. Every American deserves to have their voice heard in a peaceful way, he says, but there must be no violence, lawbreaking or vandalism of any kind.

He has directed authorities to use all resources to maintain order.

Trump attacks attempts to "censor" citizens. He says it is time to listen to others, not silence them.

"Let us choose to move forward united for the good of our families, our communities and our country."

In the video, Trump doesn't mention his historic second impeachment.

12:05pm - Donald Trump has just released a video. Watch that here:

12pm - Nancy Pelosi is about to speak. You will be able to watch that below when her press conference begins.

11:55am - Tom Rice, who voted in favour of Trump's impeachment, has explained why he broke ranks with most Republicans. 

"The President has not addressed the nation to ask for calm. He has not visited the injured and grieving. He has not offered condolences. Yesterday in a press briefing at the border, he said his comments were 'perfectly appropriate.'

"I have backed this President through thick and thin for four years. I campaigned for him and voted for him twice. But, this utter failure is inexcusable."

11:50am - We are expecting Nancy Pelosi to make a statement soon. She's currently meeting with impeachment managers. According to CNN's Manu Raju, lead manager Jamie Raskin says it's not yet clear how many witnesses will be called or how long the trial will be. 

11:45am - Here are some photos from Thursday's impeachment.

Steny Hoyer.
Steny Hoyer. Photo credit: Getty.
Maxine Waters.
Maxine Waters. Photo credit: Getty.
Jim Jordan.
Jim Jordan. Photo credit: Getty.
Nancy Pelosi.
Nancy Pelosi. Photo credit: Getty.

11:30am - The BBC and CNN are reporting that the White House is still planning to release a video statement from Trump. However, it has been delayed as aides are not sure where to upload it. Trump has been banned from online networks like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

11:25am - Only three US Presidents have been impeached - Andrew Johnson in 1868, Bill Clinton in 1998 and Donald Trump, the first to be impeached twice (in 2019 and 2021). 

However, no President has ever been convicted in the Senate.

11:15am - While Mitch McConnell says the Senate trial won't occur before Biden's inauguration, Democrat Chuck Schumer says a trial will definitely happen eventually.

"There will be a vote on convicting the President for high crimes and misdemeanors; and if the President is convicted, there will be a vote on barring him from running again."

11:05am - US Federal Aviation Administration chief Steve Dickson signed an order on Wednesday directing the agency to take a "zero tolerance policy" after supporters of US President Donald Trump were disruptive on some recent flights.

Dickson told Reuters the FAA's special emphasis program would last through March 30 and warned disruptive passengers could face up to $35,000 fines and possible jail time. He emphasized the agency will not issue warning letters or negotiate penalties.

"We will no longer adjudicate certain of these unruly passenger cases with counseling or warnings. We're going to go straight to enforcement," Dickson said in an interview.

He said he briefed airlines on the new policy. "We've seen a disturbing increase in these incidents.... We'll take the strongest possible enforcement action against any passenger who engages in it."

Dickson said the FAA could refer cases for criminal prosecution to the Justice Department, which could seek sentences of up to 20 years for flight disturbances.

Numerous videos have been posted of unruly behavior on Washington flights, including one American Airlines flight to Phoenix in which the pilot threatened to divert "to the middle of Kansas and dump people off."

A flight attendants union had urged airlines to bar Trump supporters who stormed the Capitol from departing Washington on commercial flights after exhibiting "mob mentality behavior" on flights into the region.

On Friday, Alaska Airlines said it banned 14 passengers from future travel after "unacceptable" behavior on a flight from Washington to Seattle.

US airlines and law enforcement agencies have bolstered security at Washington-area airports with Capitol Police now assigned to DC airports to ensure lawmaker safety after videos emerged of lawmakers being harassed in airport terminals.

On Tuesday, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said Trump supporters who breached the US Capitol should be banned from flying and added to a government "no-fly" list.

- Reuters

11am - Current Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell has just released a statement saying that there is "simply no chance that a fair or serious trial could conclude before President-elect Biden is sworn in next week". He notes that the three previous trials lasted 83 days, 37 days and 21 days respectively. 

McConnell wants the focus now to be on transferring power to the Biden Administration 

Speaking after the vote, Republican and Trump ally Jim Jordan said he wasn't surprised by the number of Republicans who voted in supported. 

 "I was hoping it would be less," he said.

Jordan still considers Trump to be the Republican Party leader, despite the second impeachment.

"His support is strong because the American people appreciate that over the last four years he did more of what he said he would do than any President in my life."

10:55am - Social media platform Parler, which has gone dark after being cut off by major service providers that accused the app of failing to police violent content, may never get back online, said its CEO John Matze.

As a procession of business vendors severed ties with the two-year-old site following the storming of the US Capitol last week, Matze said in an interview with Reuters on Wednesday that he does not know when or if it will return.

"It could be never," he said. "We don't know yet."

The app said in a legal filing it has over 12 million users.

Matze said that Parler was talking to more than one cloud computing service but refused to disclose names, citing the likelihood of harassment for the companies involved. He said the best thing would be if Parler could get back on Amazon.

Parler on Monday filed a lawsuit against the company, which Amazon.com Inc said has no merit. Matze said the company was considering suing other vendors but declined to say more.

Amazon cut Parler, a platform favored by supporters of US President Donald Trump, off its servers this weekend for failing to effectively moderate violent content. Apple Inc and Alphabet Inc's Google also kicked Parler from their app stores.

"It's hard to keep track of how many people are telling us that we can no longer do business with them," said Matze.

Amazon on Tuesday filed exhibits that showed it had warned Parler late last year about vile and threatening language on its site before cutting off the platform after the attack on the US Capitol.

Matze said Parler had also been booted from online payments service Stripe and from American Express and had lost its Scylla Enterprise database. Parler could not send SMS messages after being banned by Twilio and could not use Slack to contact its "jury" of paid and volunteer users who make Parler content moderation decisions after being ditched by the workplace messaging app.

The vendors did not immediately respond to Reuters requests to comment.

Matze said that some Parler employees had requested to take a few weeks off work and also said he and staff had received threats and people showing up at their houses.

He said there had been no changes to investors in Parler, which gets funding from hedge fund investor Robert Mercer and his daughter Rebekah Mercer.

- Reuters

10:50am - We are now waiting to see if Donald Trump will put out a statement in response to his historic impeachment. It has been reported he may release a video.

CNN reports an anonymous adviser of Trump as saying that his presidency came crashing down because Trump couldn't tell the truth. 

10:40am - With the results announced by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Donald Trump has been impeached with 10 Republicans in favour.

The article of impeachment will go to the Senate next. However, when a trial will take place is not yet clear. It isn't likely until after Joe Biden's inauguration.

10:35am - There are still five votes to be heard. Until the results are announced, votes can still be changed. However, it's extremely unlikely the result will change as that would require multiple Democrats opposing impeachment.

Trump will reportedly release a video statement in response.

10:25am - The Guardian is reporting that Republican David Valadao is the 10th Republican to vote to impeach Donald Trump. 

10:20am - Donald Trump is the first US President to be impeached twice. While voting has not finished, the 'Yes' vote has hit the necessary threshold. 

10:15am - We are currently at 194 in favour and 179 against.  Of those in favour, eight are Republicans. There are 60 votes to go.

10:05am - Republican Anthony Gonzalez has announced he will vote to impeach Donald Trump.

He says Trump "helped organise and incite a mob that attacked the United States Congress in an attempt to prevent us from completing our solemn duties as prescribed by the Constitution".

The Guardian is also reporting that Republican Tom Rice has voted yes. That would make nine Republicans in favour.

10am - The vote tracker currently shows four Republicans as supporting impeachment. Prior to the vote, seven had come out in support. There are 110 Republicans still to vote. 

On the question of impeachment, 107 Representatives have so far voted Yes and 100 have voted No. There are 222 to go.

9:55am - Voting is now underway in the US House of Representatives. You can watch a tally of votes as they come in in the video above.

There are 57 members who will vote by proxy. That may mean the vote takes a while. 

9:45am - A seventh Republican has announced they will vote to impeach Donald Trump.

Peter Meijer says Trump "betrayed his oath of office by seeking to undermine our constitutional process, and he bears responsibility for inciting the insurrection we suffered last week".

9:40am - According to NBC reporter Tom Winter, the Houston Police Department says an officer - an 18-year veteran of the department - has been identified as one of the individuals who stormed the Capitol. There is a "high probability" the officer will face federal charges and have resigned.

9:35am - Democrat Seth Moulton says there are more troops currently in Washington DC than in Afghanistan and they are there to "defend us against the Commander-in-Chief, the President of the United States and his mob". He calls on Republicans to find "an ounce of their courage" to support impeachment "for the future of our democracy".

Both Republicans and Democrats are now closing their arguments.

9:30am - Michigan Democrat Rashida Tlaib calls Donald Trump a "Racist-In-Chief" and says those who incited an attack on the "people's house do not get to talk about healing and unity".

They have "torn this country apart" and handed "gasoline" to Trump, she says.

9:25am - CNN reports that the fence line securing the US Capitol is being expanded after a "small but vocal group of anti-fascist demonstrators" approached the barricades.

A group of more than a dozen protesters reportedly yelled at police with bullhorns. After being told they were assembled without a permit and needed to leave, the protesters folded their banners and left. 

9:20am - Republican Young Kim says she won't support impeachment, believing a censure is a better option to condemn him. 

"This would be a strong rebuke of his actions and rhetoric and unite our country and chamber, rather than divide it."

9:15am - Speaking to CNN, Chad Wolf, who on Tuesday resigned as the acting Secretary for Homeland Security, says Trump bears some responsibility for the January 6 attack.

"He's the President. What he says matters... People listen to him, particularly supporters of his, I would say, really listen to him, so there is responsibility there."

9:10am - CNN reports that Mitch McConnell has written to his Senate Republican colleagues saying that while the "press has been full of speculation, I have not made a final decision on how I will vote".

"I intend to listen to the legal arguments when they are presented to the Senate."

It was reported on Wednesday that McConnell was pleased Democrats were pushing ahead with impeachment and believed that Trump has committed impeachable offences.

9:05am - Timing update: Republicans have 10 minutes and Democrats have a little over nine. 

8:55am - Florida Republican Brian Mast put forward a question then stood in silence, staring forward. 

"Has any one of those individuals, that brought violence on this Capitol, been brought here to answer whether they did that because of our President?

He then said: "It appears I will receive no answer" and yielded his time back. He was applauded by some Republicans.

8:50am - Republican Chip Roy says Trump "deserves universal condemnation for what was clearly, in my opinion, impeachable conduct pressuring the vice-President to violate his oath to the Constitution to count the electors". He said Pence "courageously rejected", but Trump's actions put a false belief in his supporters that there was a legal path for the President to retain power.

However, he won't vote for impeachment because he believes the article is "flawed".

8:40am - Jodey Arrington, a Republican from Texas, calls the impeachment effort "baseless". He says Trump "didn't incite a riot" and"didn't lead an insurrection". However, he says he is not saying the President didn't show poor judgement. 

He says those that stormed the Capitol acted on their own volition.

8:35am - How long has the debate got to go? The Republicans have 20 minutes left for their use and Democrats have just under 22 minutes. A vote will then take place on whether to impeach Trump.

Democrat Mike Levin wants members to look back on this day with "honour, not disgrace" by voting to impeach the President.

8:30am - Democrat Andy Levin tells the House that last week's events were a "grotesque orgy of deadly white supremacism, anti-Semitism and strong-man rule". He wants to see Trump banished from public service.

8:25am - Republican Madison Cawthorn says if Democrats vote against impeachment, he will foresake partisanship and work with them. 

Democrat Mondaire Jones says there must be consequences for last week's "treason and sedition". He wants to send a mesage that no one is above the law.

Republican Glenn Grothman says Trump's comment last week that supporters should "fight like hell" is "standard hyperbole and was not meant to aim at physical fights".

8:20am - Sundar Pichai, chief executive of Google parent Alphabet Inc, said on Wednesday that YouTube has removed hundreds of political videos since the United States certified the results of its election.

Speaking during the Reuters Next conference, Pichai also said regulations over content moderation makes sense if clear policies are laid out and users have the right to appeal decisions.

- Reuters

8:10am - Democrat Anna Eshoo says that while future generations won't know the names of every person in the House on Thursday, they will know their actions. She goes on to call Trump a "traitor" to the United States.

She's followed by Democrat Adriano Espaillat, who says Trump summoned his mob last week to hurt and kidnap congresspeople, to "assassinate vice-President Pence, to assassinate Speaker Pelosi". He says Trump is unfit to hold office.

8:05am - Below are the six Republicans who have confirmed they will vote for impeachment:

LIZ CHENEY

The No. 3 House Republican, Cheney was the most senior member of her party to vote against efforts to challenge the January 6 Electoral College results confirming Trump's loss. The daughter of former Republican Vice President Dick Cheney is a rising star in the party.

DAN NEWHOUSE

Newhouse announced his intention to vote to impeach on the House floor during Wednesday's debate, drawing applause from the roughly two dozen Democrats on the floor.

ADAM KINZINGER

A frequent Trump critic, Kinzinger said Trump broke his oath of office by inciting his supporters to insurrection and used his position to attack the legislative branch of government.

JOHN KATKO

Katko was the first member of the House Republican caucus to say he would vote for impeachment.

FRED UPTON

Upton in November said Trump had shown no proof of his claims that his election defeat was the result of widespread fraud.

JAIME HERRERA BEUTLER

Herrera Beutler is a moderate from Washington state. "The president's offenses, in my reading of the Constitution, were impeachable based on the indisputable evidence we already have," she said in a statement. 

8am - Republican Jim Jordan is now reading Donald Trump's new statement in the House.

7:50am - The US President has released a statement, urging there be "no violence, no lawbreaking and no vandalism of any kind" at any future demonstrations. 

"That is not what I stand for and it is not what America stands for. I call on ALL Americans to help ease tensions and calm tempers. Thank You."

He wants the help of 'Big Tech' in getting this message out to Americans, hoping it can be posted on his social media accounts.

"President Trump is asking all Americans to join with him in ensuring that there is an orderly and peaceful transition next week," a senior Trump adviser told Fox News.

"President Trump is also asking that Big Tech companies join with him in this effort."

7:45am - A sixth Republican has announced they will vote to impeach Donald Trump. Representative Dan Newhouse says last week's "mob was inflamed by the language and misinformation of the President of the United States".

He says "turning a blind eye to this brutal assault on our Republic is not an option" and that a "vote against this impeachment is a vote to validate the unacceptable violence we witnessed in our nation's Capitol".

"It is also a vote to condone President Trump's inaction. He did not strongly condemn the attack nor did he call in reinforcements when our officers were overwhelmed. Our country needed a leader and President Trump failed to fulfill his oath of office," he says in a statement.

Newhouse has also just spoken in the House. When he announced he will vote to impeach, many Democrats applauded.

These comments come as Republican Liz Cheney continues to come under attack from her own party for announcing she will vote to impeach Trump. Those like Jim Jordan want her gone from her role as the Republican Conference head. 

But she's just told Politico's Melanie Zanona she's "not going anywhere". 

"This is a vote of conscience. It's one where there are different views in our conference.

"But our nation is facing an unprecedented, since the civil war, constitutional crisis. That's what we need to be focused on. That's where our efforts and attention need to be."

It's been reported that Republicans weren't being formally directed by leadership over how they should vote on Thursday.

7:40am - In his speech, McCarthy is clear that Joe Biden will be the next President.

"The United States remains exceptional, we remain extraordinary". 

He calls for people from across political lines to work together.

7:35am - Republican House Minority leader Kevin McCarthy starts his speech by saying last week's attack was "undemocratic, unamerican and criminal". He says violence is never a legitimate form of protest and that freedom of speech is rooted in non-violence. Last week's mob was neither peaceful nor democratic, McCarthy tells members.

There is no evidence the riots were caused by ANTIFA, McCarthy says.

He won't support impeachment because of the "short timeframe" it has been pushed through in and because he believes it will cause further division. 

But, McCarthy says, "that doesn't mean the President is free from fault". 

"The President bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters. He should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding."

He supports a "fact-finding commission" and a censure of Trump. 

January 6 was the worst day he has seen in Congress.

7:30am - Democrat Eric Swalwell says Trump has "inspired future plots" and "America is still under attack". He mentions reports that many Republicans are scared of voting for impeachment, but calls on them to summon their courage.

Joaquin Castro, a Democrat, says: "Donald Trump is the most dangerous man to ever occupy the Oval Office".

7:25am - Matt Gaetz, a Republican from Florida, says Trump has been right in rallying against the "Biden crime family". He says, for the Democrats, "impeachment is an itch that won't go away". Gaetz then makes baseless claims about electoral fraud at November 2020.

Trump has faced "unprecedented hatred and resistance from big media, big tech and big egoes".

7:20am - Cedric Richmond, a Democrat who is leaving the House to join Joe Biden's Administration, says that Trump summoned the insurrectionists and then directed them to march on the Capitol before sitting back and watching. 

Not punishing Trump in order to unify the country is the "climax of foolishness", Richmond says. He wants them to stand up and defend the Constitution.

7:10am - Democrat Adam Schiff, a key figure behind the first impeachment of Donald Trump, says January 6 was "the most dangerous moment for our democracy in a century". 

"Today, we invoke the remedy the founders provided for just such a lawless president: impeachment."

He believes the US democracy endures and that patriotic Americans are saying "enough".

7:05am - Before heading into the House chamber to debate the impeachment article, Nancy Pelosi met with members of the National Guard. 

"Even during this dark time in the history of America, we find reasons for hope. It was my privilege today to personally thank members of the National Guard who are working protect our nation’s Capitol. Thank you for your commitment to our American democracy," she says.

7am - Reuters is reporting that Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority leader, will not consent to reconvening Senate to immediately consider impeachment.

A source has told CNN that McConnell will not weigh in publicly until the House has impeached Trump. 

6:55am - The Republican currently opposing impeachment, Tom McClintock, says that "every movement has a lunatic". He suggests that if Black Lives Matters protests had been more forcefully prosecuted, then the events of January 6 may not have unfolded. 

"I cannot think of a more petty, vindictive and gratuitous act than to impeach an already defeated President a week before he is to leave office."

Joe Biden's promise to heal the nation "becomes a hollow mockery and a harsh reality of this unconstitutional act". 

6:50am - Visa Inc said on Tuesday its political action committee had temporarily suspended all donations last week as it reviews its candidate contribution guidelines.

A host of businesses have said they would cut off campaign contributions to those who voted last week to challenge US President-elect Joe Biden's victory.

Separately, Visa also said it does not tolerate the use of its network and products for illegal activity after mobile app stores took action against the Parler social networking service because of posts inciting violence.

"We are vigilant in our efforts to deter illegal activity on our network, and we require our affiliate banks to review their merchants' compliance with our standards," Visa said in an email. 

- Reuters

6:45am - Jordan says the first Amendment is under attack and that cancel culture only allows one side of the partisan line to speak. He wants Americans to realise how accomplished their country is and to come together.

"I hope we can begin to come together and realise the greatness of the American people".

Jordan has now finished. The debate will go back and forth between Republicans and Democrats, with each party having an hour each to spread among members.

You can watch the debate above and we will bring you key updates as they happen.

6:40am - Pelosi wants members to be "worthy of our power and responsibility". She says "we cannot escape history" and must fulfil our duty.

Jim Jordan, a Trump ally in the Congress, is now speaking. He says Democrats have always been trying to impeach and convict President Trump. Doing this doesn't unite the country or help Americans deal with last week's events, he says. Republicans have consistently opposed violence, Jordan tells members.

"[Democrats] want to cancel him," Jordan says before listing achievements of Trump's. "It's about politics. This is about getting the President of the United States".

6:35am - The debate on the impeachment of Donald Trump - for the second time - has begun. It will last for two hours. 

Nancy Pelosi begins by quoting Abraham Lincoln and the Bible. She says Representatives hold power and bear responsibility. Part of this includes defending the Constitution against foreign and domestic enemies.

She says Donald Trump incited an insurrection on January 6, which Pelosi describes as a "day of fire". The insurrectionists were not "patriots", but "domestic terrorists" that didn't appear "out of a vacuum" but sent by the President, Pelosi tells members.

He is a "clear and present danger to the nation we all love".

Trump's goal is to cling to power and to thwart the will of the people, she says. 

"This is not theoretical and this is not motivated by partisanship. I stand before you today as an officer of the Constitution as the Speaker of the House of Representatives. I stand before you as a wife, a mother, a grandmother, a daughter. A daughter whose father proudly served in this Congress."

6:30am - On Thursday, Trump is likely to become the first US President to be impeached twice. So where is he? It's reported that he doesn't have anything on his public schedule and is instead simply watching events unfold. CNN also reports the President has no comprehensive legal strategy for should he face trial in the Senate.

When he was facing impeachment back in 2019, Trump held a rally in Battle Creek, Michigan.

6:25am - New York City will sever three contracts with the Trump Organization, Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Wednesday (local time), accusing President Donald Trump of inciting the crowds that stormed the US Capitol last week.

"The president incited a rebellion against the United States government that killed five people and threatened to derail the constitutional transfer of power," de Blasio said in a statement. 

"The city of New York will not be associated with those unforgivable acts in any shape, way or form."

The New York-based Trump Organization's contracts to operate a carousel in Manhattan's Central Park, skating rinks and a golf course in the Bronx are worth about $17 million a year, de Blasio said on MSNBC.

Cancelling the golf course contracts could take "a number of months", while the others could be severed in 25-30 days, the mayor's office said in a statement.

Following the Capitol riot, the PGA of America and the R&A both announced they would shun two golf courses owned by the president.

In addition, the New York Times reported on Tuesday that Deutsche Bank DBKGn.DE will not do business in the future with Trump or his companies.

- Reuters

6:20am - We are moments away from the debate on the impeachment article. Currently, House Representatives are voting on the rules that will govern that debate. A vote on impeachment is expected sometime between 8am and 9am (NZT) if all goes to plan.

6:15am - Across the pond in the UK, a new poll has found that 62 percent of Brits "strongly support" removing Donald Trump from office before January 20.  A further 12 percent "somewhat support", while 6 percent "somewhat oppose" and 7 percent "strongly oppose". The remainder don't know.

6:10am - While no Republicans voted to impeach the US President during Trump's first impeachment, it's thought that about a dozen could support Democrats' efforts this time around. Already, five have confirmed they will vote to impeach.

6am - Home-sharing giant Airbnb and HotelTonight, which it bought in 2019, are blocking and cancelling all hotel reservations in the Washington DC Metro area during the week of President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration, it said on Wednesday (local time).

"This decision was informed by inputs from our host community as well as local, state and federal officials," Airbnb said in a brief statement.

Airbnb said it had banned from its platform some individuals who were found to have ties with hate groups or were involved in last week's deadly storming of the US Capitol.

"We are aware of reports emerging yesterday afternoon regarding armed militias and known hate groups that are attempting to travel and disrupt the Inauguration," Airbnb said.

The company did not immediately specify if its decision to block reservations was a result of a request from law enforcement agencies. 

- Reuters

5:55am - US Republican Senator Lindsey Graham says supporting impeachment "will do great damage to the institutions of government and could invite further violence at a time the President is calling for calm".

Just last week after the Capitol riot Graham said he was done with Trump, but on Wednesday was seen flying with the President to Texas. 

"The process being used in the House to impeach President Trump is an affront to any concept of due process and will further divide the country," Graham has tweeted.

"The House impeachment process seeks to legitimise a snap impeachment totally void of due process. No hearings. No witnesses. It is a rushed process that, over time, will become a threat to future presidents."

He has also made a dig at Senate leadership - likely Mitch McConnell - saying they are "making the problem worse, not better". 

"The last thing the country needs is an impeachment trial of a president who is leaving office in one week."

5:50am - What's happening in the House now? Members are still voting on the rules governing the impeachment article debate. Once that's finished, a debate on the actual article will commence for roughly two hours before a final vote.

We are expecting to hear from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at about 6:15am (NZT). She will open the proper debate on the impeachment article.

5:45am - Jaime Herrera-Beutler, a Republican Representative who will vote to impeach Donald Trump, has told CNN's Manu Raju that she isn't "in fear at all" over whether her vote may cost her support within her party.

She says the vote is the most consequential in her time as a member and it isn't about "choosing sides" but about "choosing truth".

5:40am - Sources have told CNN that Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell is signalling he is in favour of impeachment. It was reported by the New York Times on Wednesday that the hugely influential Republican was pleased by Democrats' efforts to move forward with impeachment.

The White House is said to be putting massive pressure on members to vote against impeachment, with some saying "they want to vote to impeach but they legitimately fear for their lives and their families' lives." 

5:35am - Jim Jordan, a key Republican Trump ally in Congress, wants Liz Cheney, the number three Republican in the House, to be removed from her role after she announced she would vote to impeach Trump. 

A petition is also circulating calling on Cheney's leadership of the Republican Conference to be resolved. 

5:30am - These incredible photos show the large number of national guard troops who have descended upon Washington DC in anticipation of unrest. The FBI has warned of an armed group planning to surround Capitol Hill ahead of Joe Biden's inauguration next week.

It's been reported this is the first time federal troops have slept inside the Capitol to protect it from potential violence since the US Civil War.

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 13: U.S. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) walks past members of the National Guard sleeping in the halls of Capitol Hill as the House of Representativs convene to impeach President Donald Trump, nearly a week after a pro-Trump insurrectionist mob breached the security of the nations capitol while Congress voted to certify the 2020 Election Results on Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021 in Washington, DC.  (Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
Photo credit: Getty.
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 13: Weapons are distributed to members of the National Guard outside the U.S. Capitol on January 13, 2021 in Washington, DC. Security has been increased throughout Washington following the breach of the U.S. Capitol last Wednesday, and leading up to the Presidential inauguration. (Photo by Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images)
Photo credit: Getty.
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 13: Members of the National Guard rest in the Visitor Center of the U.S. Capitol on January 13, 2021 in Washington, DC. Security has been increased throughout Washington following the breach of the U.S. Capitol last Wednesday, and leading up to the Presidential inauguration. (Photo by Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images)
Photo credit: Getty.
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 13: Members of the National Guard move through the Visitor Center of the U.S. Capitol on January 13, 2021 in Washington, DC. Security has been increased throughout Washington following the breach of the U.S. Capitol last Wednesday, and leading up to the Presidential inauguration. (Photo by Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images)
Photo credit: Getty.
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 13: Members of the National Guard rest in the U.S. Capitol on January 13, 2021 in Washington, DC. Security has been increased throughout Washington following the breach of the U.S. Capitol last Wednesday, and leading up to the Presidential inauguration. (Photo by Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images)
Photo credit: Getty.

5:25am - Facebook Inc has seen an increase in signals indicating potential future acts of violence associated with efforts to contest the result of the US presidential election since the Capitol siege last week, a company spokeswoman told Reuters.

The spokeswoman, who asked not to be named for security reasons, said late Tuesday the storming of the US Capitol by armed pro-Trump demonstrators appeared to be a galvanizing event, spawning efforts to organize gatherings across the country for multiple dates around President-elect Joe Biden's January 20 inauguration.

Signals Facebook tracked included digital flyers promoting the events, some of them featuring calls to arms or the insignia of militias or hate groups, she said.

The FBI has warned of armed protests being planned for Washington and all 50 U.S. state capitals in the run-up to the inauguration. The Facebook spokeswoman said the pace of the company's exchange of information with law enforcement officials had likewise increased since the Capitol protests.

- Reuters

5:20am - The man photographed during the Capitol riot wearing a Camp Auschwitz hoodie has been arrested. Auschwitz was the Nazi extermination camp where more than a million people, mostly jews, were murdered during World War II. 

5:15am - CNN reports that Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner stopped officials from trying to get the US President to become active on more fringe social media sites after being banned from the likes of Twitter and Facebook.

Those same officials are reportedly behind attempts to use other Trump Twitter accounts to send out his messages. Tweets from other accounts, like the official POTUS account, were quickly removed by Twitter.

5:10am - In terms of timing, it's being reported that once the rules of the debate are voted on (which is happening now), Representatives will debate the impeachment article for roughly two hours. A final vote will take place sometime between 3pm and 4pm EST, which is about 8am in New Zealand.

5:05am - A week after President Donald Trump's supporters stormed the US Capitol, the House of Representatives began an emotional debate on Wednesday (local time) on impeaching him for his role in an assault on American democracy that stunned the world and left five dead.

At least five Republicans have said they would join Democrats in voting for an article of impeachment - a formal charge - of inciting an insurrection, although just seven days remain for a Senate trial to expel Trump from office. If the Democratic-led House approves it, Trump would become the first president impeached twice.

"The president of the United States instigated an attempted coup in this country," Democratic Representative Jim McGovern said on the House floor before a procedural vote on moving forward with impeachment. "People died. Everybody should be outraged. If this is not an impeachable offense, I don't know what the hell is."

Some Republicans made speeches urging the House not to impeach Trump in the interest in promoting national healing. Democratic President-elect Joe Biden is due to take office on January 20.

"Instead of moving forward as a unifying force, the majority in the House is choosing to divide us further," Oklahoma Republican Tom Cole said on the House floor. "... Let us look forward, not backward. Let us come together, not apart. Let us celebrate the peaceful transition of power to a new president rather than impeaching an old president," Cole added.

Cole was one of 139 House Republicans who voted against certifying the November 3 presidential election results on January 6, hours after the violence, after the Republican president repeated his false claims of widespread voting fraud.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, the No. 2 Democrat, said Democrats intended to send the impeachment charge, once approved, to the Senate "as soon as possible," and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi named nine impeachment managers who would present the House's case during a Senate trial.

The extraordinary swiftness with which Democrats were moving reflects the ongoing danger that Trump poses to national security, according to top Democrats. It also increases pressure on Mitch McConnell, the Republican Senate leader, to consider holding an immediate trial.

McConnell has said no trial could begin until the chamber returns from its recess on January 19, one day before Trump's term ends and Biden is sworn in.

But Democratic Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who is set to become the majority leader after two newly elected Democratic senators from Georgia are seated and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris is sworn in later this month, told reporters the Senate could be recalled to handle the matter if McConnell agrees.

If Trump is impeached, a two-thirds majority of the Republican-led Senate is needed to convict him, meaning at least 17 Republicans in the 100-member chamber would have to find him guilty.

Hoyer told reporters he expected between 10 and 20 House Republicans to vote for impeachment.

Washington is on high alert after the January 6 riot, with a week to go in Trump's term. Thousands of National Guard troops were to be on hand and some service members wearing fatigues, with weapons at hand, could be seen sleeping inside the Capitol building on Wednesday ahead of the session.

The House convened in the same chamber where lawmakers hid under chairs last Wednesday as rioters clashed with police in the halls of the Capitol, after an incendiary speech in which Trump urged supporters to march on the building.

House Republicans who opposed the impeachment drive argued Democrats were going too far, as Trump was on the verge of leaving office, and argued for the creation of a commission to study the events surrounding the siege.

Republican Representative Jason Smith accused Democrats of acting recklessly and urged the House not to impeach Trump in order to help "heal the nation."

- Reuters

5am - Kia Ora, good morning. Welcome to Newshub's live updates of what will surely be a historic day in the United States.

Currently, House Representatives are voting on the rules surrounding the impeachment article debate. Then the debate is expected to start and will go on for several hours before a full vote later in the day.