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A television in the White House briefing room shows the near-final impeachment vote against President Trump. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

President Trump didn't earn his historic second impeachment just by inciting a riot on a single day. He laid its foundation event by event during the two months preceding it.

Why it matters: Uneasiness built to rage among some Republicans as the president challenged the election results, blocked important legislative accomplishments and cost the party its hold on the Senate.

  • Trump turned on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell — who loyally defended him for four years — for recognizing Joe Biden as president-elect. The Senate majority leader did it only after the Electoral College ratified his win.
  • The president threatened to shut down the government over the holidays by demanding $2,000 stimulus checks, setting McConnell’s caucus upon itself.
  • Those same senators also had to override Trump’s veto of a massive annual defense spending bill after he demanded they eliminate a social media regulation unrelated to national security.
  • Along the way, the president spent more time attacking GOP officials in Georgia than Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, the two Democrats whose wins cost the Republicans their Senate majority.
  • The pot-stirring culminated in Trump’s mafioso-style phone call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, during which the president asked him to "find" a winning margin of votes.
  • The last straw was the insurrection at the Capitol, which followed the president's inflammatory speech to a pro-Trump rally.

The end result was another impeachment. Ten House Republicans, many of whom relied on Trump to get elected, voted with the Democrats.

  • Given the swelling support for impeachment among Republicans, including McConnell, Trump could make history again by becoming the first president to be convicted by the Senate after leaving office.

Go deeper

Conservatives warn culture, political wars will worsen

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The verdict is clear: The vast majority of Republicans will stand firm with former President Trump. The next phase is clear, too: Republicans are rallying around a common grievance that big government, big media and big business are trying to shut them up, shut them out and shut them down. 

Why it matters: The post-Trump GOP, especially its most powerful media platforms, paint the new reality as an existential threat. This means political attacks are seen — or characterized — as assaults on their very being. 

45 million Americans under winter storm watches near New England

Computer model projection showing the winds moving around the powerful East Coast storm on Saturday Jan. 29, 2022. Image: https://earth.nullschool.net

Nearly 45 million Americans are under winter weather alerts and warnings from North Carolina to northeastern Maine, as a major winter storm threatens the region.

Why it matters: It is predicted to be the biggest blizzard since 2018 to strike the Northeast with more than 2 feet of snow possible in parts of eastern Massachusetts, according to the National Weather Service.

3 hours ago - World

Australian PM pledges $700M for climate change-threatened Great Barrier reef

A green sea turtle is flourishing among the corals at Lady Elliot island in Australia's Great Barrier Reef. Photo: Jonas Gratzer/LightRocket via Getty Images

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced Friday a AU$1 billion ($703 million) investment plan for the Great Barrier Reef.

Why it matters: The nine-year plan for projects including water quality improvement, reef conservation and supporting some 64,000 tourism jobs comes months ahead of this year's federal election. It has been criticized by scientists and environmental groups for failing to tackle climate change.