- President Donald Trump released a statement on Wednesday condemning violence while the House debated impeaching him for provoking last week's deadly Capitol riots.
- "I urge that there must be NO violence, NO lawbreaking and NO vandalism of any kind," Trump said.
- The House plans to impeach Trump on Wednesday afternoon, charging him with incitement of insurrection.
- He is poised to be the first president in American history to be impeached twice.
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President Donald Trump on Wednesday urged calm and decried violence while the House debated impeaching him for provoking the deadly Capitol riots on January 6.
"In light of reports of more demonstrations, I urge that there must be NO violence, NO lawbreaking and NO vandalism of any kind," Trump said in a statement. "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."
The statement, which was issued by the White House, comes a week after Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building, forcing Congress to lockdown while they had convened to certify President-elect Joe Biden's 2020 win. The House is moving forward with a vote on impeachment on Wednesday afternoon, charging the president with incitement of insurrection. At least six Republican lawmakers have publicly supported the effort.
Trump's call to "ease tensions and calm tempers" came while Congress members were forcefully rebuking him on the House floor, blaming him for motivating the mob to breach the Capitol.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who opposes impeachment, plainly stated that the president "bears responsibility for Wednesday's attack on Congress by mob rioters." Freshman Democrat Rep. Cori Bush, who favors impeachment, described Trump as the "white supremacist in chief."
Trump's statement also comes a week ahead of Biden's inauguration on January 20, as threats have surfaced of additional violence in Washington, DC, and at state capitols nationwide. Federal officials are seeking to tighten security measures and deploy thousands of troops for the occasion. Trump has previously said he does not plan to attend the ceremony, which traditionally marks a peaceful transition of power.
Wednesday's emailed statement echoes remarks Trump made a day earlier, when he told reporters that he wants "no violence." But, at the time, the president also defended comments he made in a rally shortly before Wednesday's riots, calling them "totally appropriate."