PRINCETON, NJ - U.S. representatives voted to impeach President Donald Trump on a charge that he incited the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol last week. The House voted 232-197 in favor, making Trump the first president in U.S. history to be impeached twice.
Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, D-Mercer, voted by proxy in favor of impeachment.
In a statement, Watson Coleman said the Capitol riots was "an attack on the symbol of our government, the peoples’ Representatives, and our democracy itself."
"This attack was encouraged and inspired by the President. It was the culmination of years of divisive and dangerous rhetoric directed at those he saw as political enemies. His actions have proven, again and again, that he is a danger to our country, our democracy, and our way of life," she said.
"They cannot go unanswered. I will be casting my vote via proxy to impeach Donald J. Trump."
Watson Coleman is currently home after testing positive for COVID-19 post sheltering-in-place during the Capitol Hill riots, Jan.6.
The historic House vote took place a week after a mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol in a siege that resulted in five deaths — including the beating death of a Capitol Police officer, multiple arrests and a sprawling FBI investigation. The impeachment comes a week before President-elect Joe Biden is to be inaugurated in a city on high alert amid ongoing threats of violence.
Last week, Watson Coleman had called for President Trump's removal, saying "he's a threat to democracy."
Read More Here: NJ Lawmakers Call For President Trump's Removal
"At every step of the way he has sought to undermine our democracy and overrule the will of the people in a free and fair election," she said.
She co-sponsored a resolution to impeach Trump. The articles of impeachment were drafted by Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn.
What's Next: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky will not allow the Senate to vote to convict Trump while the Republicans control the majority. The Democrats are set to take control of the Senate by the end of the month.
If an impeachment trial is allowed in the Senate, it will be after Biden is inaugurated, McConnell said Wednesday. McConnell has reportedly said he believes Trump committed impeachable offenses, and that moving forward with a vote would make it easier for Republicans to purge Trumpism from their party.
Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, the third-ranking member of the House Republican leadership, is among more than two dozen Republicans who signaled they would break from their party and vote to impeach Trump.
"There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution," she said in a statement Tuesday.
Trial In The Senate: Two-thirds of the chamber would have to vote to convict Trump. The Senate exonerated Trump last year on charges of abuse of power and contempt of Congress after special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, but the charge against Trump this time is more clear-cut.
Under the Constitution, the Senate could prevent him from holding federal office again and strip him of other perks afforded to former presidents.
As lawmakers debated the need for and grave potential consequence of impeaching Trump for a second time, the FBI warned of armed protests in the days ahead of Biden’s inauguration. Statehouses in all 50 states have been targeted for protests. The agency is also monitoring chatter on an encrypted messaging platform about plans by Trump extremists to form perimeters around the Capitol, the White House and the Supreme Court building as Biden takes the oath of office.