U.S House Speaker Nancy Pelosi signed an article of impeachment against President Donald Trump on Wednesday, which is a ceremonial step that precedes the article being sent to the Senate.
The engrossment ceremony to make the article official occurred shortly after it passed the House, with 10 Republican members of Congress joining the Democrats to impeach the president on a count of willful incitement of insurrection.
“Today, in a bipartisan way, the House demonstrated that no one is above the law, not even the president of the United States,” Pelosi said before signing the document. “That Donald Trump is a clear and present danger to our country and that once again we honour that oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, so help us, God.”
Pelosi spoke from the same lectern that a rioter had dragged through the halls of the Capitol during last week‘s insurrection. A staffer wheeled it back to the speaker‘s office on Wednesday for the signing event. The lectern had been moved to the Senate side of the building after photographs of the man parading with the lectern through the building went viral.
Trump’s impeachment by the House marked the first time that a president has been impeached twice in U.S. history.
The article of impeachment will now head to the Senate, although a trial is not expected to begin until after next Wednesday’s inauguration. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement earlier Wednesday that “there is simply no chance that a fair or serious trial could conclude before President-elect Biden is sworn in next week.”
“In light of this reality,” he said, “I believe it will best serve our nation if Congress and the executive branch spend the next seven days completely focused on facilitating a safe inauguration and an orderly transfer of power to the incoming Biden Administration.”