Gohmert at a separate meeting of the House Judiciary Committee in July. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images.

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) gave a House floor speech following the first major vote on impeachment Thursday, calling the measure a "coup" against President Trump and warning of a potential "civil war."

The big picture: The House voted 232-196 on Thursday to formally introduce the impeachment inquiry against President Trump after Republicans said the inquiry is not legitimate because a full House vote had not been held.

  • Republicans have been protesting an alleged lack of transparency in the impeachment process. Gohmert complained that "armed guards" were outside a secure room where depositions were recently held.

What he's saying: "Never in the history of this country have we had such gross unfairness that one party would put armed guards with guns to prevent the duly authorized people from being able to hear the witnesses and see them for themselves," Gohmert stated.

  • “It’s about to push this country to a civil war if they were to get their wishes. And if there’s one thing I don’t want to see in my lifetime, I don’t want to ever have participation in, it’s a civil war. Some historian, I don’t remember who, said, guns are only involved in the last phase of a civil war.”

Reality check: Only members of certain committees are permitted to hear depositions, but those committee are made up of both Republicans and Democrats.

Go deeper: How Democrats and Republicans see impeachment

Go deeper

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Why it matters: The debut speech on Wednesday underscored the dual roles that Harris will take on for the rest of the campaign — humanizing Biden during a moment of national crisis and "prosecuting" the case against Trump as a failed president.

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Why it matters: America's two-sided response serves as an X-ray of the country itself — still capable of world-beating feats at the high end, but increasingly struggling with what should be the simple business of governing itself.

Joe Biden introduces Kamala Harris in first joint appearance

Joe Biden formally introduced Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate on Wednesday, telling a socially distanced audience in a Wilmington, Del., gymnasium: "I have no doubt that I picked the right person to join me as the next vice president of the United States of America."

Why it matters: Harris is a historic pick for vice president, becoming the first Black woman and first South Asian woman to be named to a major-party U.S. presidential ticket. "Kamala knows how to govern," Biden said. "She knows how to make the hard calls. She is ready to do this job on day one."