'High crimes and misdemeanors'
Impeachment is a remedy devised by America's 18th century founders to enable Congress to remove a president who has, according to the Constitution, committed "treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors." If Trump is removed, Vice President Mike Pence would become president and serve out his term.
The House impeached Trump after he ignored calls for his resignation and Pence rebuffed Democratic demands to invoke a constitutional provision to remove the president.
The House previously voted to impeach Trump in December 2019 on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress stemming from his request that Ukraine investigate Biden and his son Hunter ahead of the election, as Democrats accused him of soliciting foreign interference to smear a domestic political rival. The Senate in February 2020 voted to keep Trump in office.
Wednesday's article of impeachment accused Trump of "incitement of insurrection," saying he provoked violence against the U.S. government in his speech to supporters. The article also cited Trump's Jan. 2 phone call asking a Georgia official to "find" votes to overturn Biden's victory in the state.
During his Jan. 6 speech, Trump falsely claimed he had defeated Biden, repeated unfounded allegations of widespread fraud and irregularities in a "rigged" election, told his supporters to "stop the steal," "show strength," "fight much harder" and use "very different rules" and promised to go with them to the Capitol, though he did not.
"If you don't fight like hell, you're not going to have a country anymore," Trump told his supporters.
Democrats could also use a Senate impeachment trial to try to push through a vote blocking Trump from running for office again.
Lawmakers delivered speech after speech, wearing masks amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
"This is a moment of truth, my friends," Democratic congressman Gerry Connolly told his colleagues ahead of the vote. "Are you on the side of chaos and the mob or are on the side of constitutional democracy and our freedom?"