House Speaker Nancy Pelosi addresses the House as Congress debates impeachment.
Pelosi made a final push before a vote on an article of impeachment for incitement of insurrection later in the afternoon.
"He must go. He is a clear and present danger to the nation that we all love," Pelosi said.
The speaker accused the president of sowing "self-serving doubt" about the results of November’s election and trying to "influence state officials to repeal reality" by decertifying Biden victories.
"And then came that day of fire we all experienced," Pelosi said, referring to the Capitol riot.
"The president must be impeached, and I believe the president must be convicted by the Senate," the speaker continued, claiming that Trump is "so resolutely determined to tear down the things that we hold dear and that hold us together."
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., returns to her leadership office after opening debate on the impeachment of President Trump, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Pelosi said that the "insurrectionists" who stormed the Capitol – including her own office – "were not patriots" and "were not part of a political base to be catered to and nourished." Rather, she said, those protesters "were domestic terrorists" and argued that "justice must prevail."
The speaker then asked Democrats and Republicans alike to ask themselves a series of questions.
"Is the president's war on democracy in keeping with the Constitution?" she asked. "Were his words and insurrectionary mob a high crime and misdemeanor? Do we not have the duty to our oath to do all we constitutionally can to protect our nation and our democracy from the appetites and ambitions of a man who has self-evidently demonstrated that he is a vital threat to liberty, to self-government, and to the rule of law?"
Pelosi closed with a quote from a speech President John F. Kennedy was set to deliver in Dallas but never did because he was assassinated.
"We in this country in this generation are by destiny rather than choice the watchmen on the walls of world freedom. We ask, therefore, that we may be worthy of our power and responsibility," Pelosi quoted.