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Trump's turbulent and lawless presidency will end with historic second impeachment
(CNN)The fateful moment when the House of Representatives on Wednesday impeaches President Donald Trump for a second time will rank among the defining moments of America's story long after the citizens enduring these harrowing, tragic days are gone.

A cascade of bewildering episodes -- starting with Trump's refusal to accept his election defeat and encompassing his incitement of a mob assault on Congress -- has shattered long-held assumptions of the unassailability of government by the people, for the people. Save for the fracturing of the union before the Civil War, this country's system of political checks and balances has never before been under the kind of strain imposed by an autocratic President desperate to cling to power.

A sense of unfolding history is magnified by growing evidence that America is fighting for democracy itself in a struggle that will endure after Trump leaves office next week at the latest. New warnings of violence by pro-Trump extremists in 50 states and militias on the march toward Washington are instigating the most oppressive sense since 9/11 that the homeland is under threat. But this time the danger to US freedom comes not from a foreign terrorist group but radicalized Americans.

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