Donald Trump becomes first U.S. president to be impeached twice by the House of Representatives.
By Riley Mulcahy
President Donald Trump, who has faced widespread criticism for January 6th’s capitol riots, has been impeached by the House of Representatives with an insurrection article. The House first impeached Trump on December 18th, 2019. An impeachment trial in the Senate ensued; however, a Republican led Senate voted against removal and conviction of Trump. For a president to be impeached, both the House of Representatives and the Senate must hold a vote, and the Senate must hold an impeachment trial. Critics of the impeachment have argued that the move is a way to divide Americans; however, after Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s death, the Senate, led by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, confirmed Justice Amy Coney Barrett less than a month after Justice Ginsberg’s death.
The Democrats have control in the House and will soon have a very slim majority in the Senate. Although the impeachment process only needed a simple majority in the House, ⅔ of the Senate would need to vote to impeach, remove and convict Trump. According to The New York Times, Mcconnell is pleased with the House’s impeachment progress, seemingly breaking ties with Trump. However, if history is any indicator, the president’s party voting for his impeachment is very rare. In President Bill Clinton’s case, five Democrats voted for his impeachment in the House while zero Democratic Senators voted to convict him.
Although it is essential to recognize the tradition of the impeachment process in both the House and the Senate, Trump’s presidency has been far from traditional. On Wednesday, Representative Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) and nine other Republicans voted to impeach Trump. In a statement on Tuesday, Rep. Cheney, the third highest-ranking member in the House, announced she will be voting for impeachment, claiming “The President of the United States summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack. Everything that followed was his doing. None of this would have happened without the President. The President could have immediately and forcefully intervened to stop the violence. He did not. There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.”
After a two hour debate which included arguments ranging from Madonna, Black Lives Matter, Kathy Griffin, and Antifa, the House formally charged Trump with “incitement of insurrection.” Calls for Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment, which would effectively remove Trump from office, has gone unanswered. Trump and Pence’s relationship has been strained over the past weeks, as Pence refused to stop the certification of votes on January 6th. In response, rioters yelled “Where’s Mike Pence” and “Hang Mike Pence” due to Trump’s inflammatory rhetoric.
In one day, President-elect Biden will be sworn in as president. Trump, whose Twitter was deactivated due to his role in the Jan 6th riots, tweeted in one of the last tweets that he will not be in attendance tomorrow. Although Biden previously stated that Trump’s appearance would be a sign of unity, Biden recently agreed it is a better idea that Trump will not be at the inauguration.
Melanie Moyer '22,