Written by Jillian Miller (Editor-In-Cheif)
On Wednesday, January 2021, President Donald Trump was impeached for the second time and faces possible conviction during his one-term presidency. Trump has made history as the only President to have been impeached twice, as well as this only being during his first term as President.
The second impeachment for high crimes and misdemeanors followed after Trump gave a speech to rile up his supporters on Wednesday, January 6th, the day that the American constitution had set for Congress to certify the electoral votes for the Presidential Election. He became directly responsible for the thousands of right-wing domestic terrorists that stormed the United States Capitol in Washington D.C. leaving five dead and many others injured. Now, after the impeachment in the House of Representatives, the articles will move to the Senate where there will be a tight vote on whether or not Trump will make history again as the first President to be convicted after impeachment.
At the attack on the U.S. Capitol the extremist group came under the concealment of a Pro-Trump rally, but soon showed the world the true nature of their gathering as they smashed, stole, and terrorized one of the most important buildings in the United States government. While members of Congress hid away or were evacuated, the frontline police were easily overcome by the intemperate group. In a speech made earlier that day by President Trump, he was quoted saying to his supporters regarding the loss of the Presidential election: “We’re gonna walk down to the Capitol… If you don’t fight like hell you’re not gonna have a country anymore… Because you’ll never take our country back with weakness” and to not give up on their loss of the election. This speech came after weeks and weeks of Trump denying the results of the election, causing an uproar among his supporters who believe that the election was rigged based solely on Trump’s words. Along with this, on the day of the attack, Trump refused to bring in the National Guard who ended up not having authorization to come in until Vice President Mike Pence cleared them to do so.
After the violent attack on the United States Capitol building caused by Trump’s sedition, Congress began to move quickly at attempts to hold him accountable, either through impeachment and removal or by inciting the 25th amendment under section four which states that “the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President” if the current President is found “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.” But because of Vice President Mike Pence’s dismissal of the possibility of even enacting the amendment, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi moved quickly towards the process of impeachment. Wednesday’s vote in the House consisted of 232 to 197 for Trump’s impeachment. Ten Republicans voted “yea” for impeachment, much more than the first time Trump was impeached. Along with this number four Republicans in the House abstained from voting at all. These numbers make Trump’s second impeachment the most bipartisan one in history.
As our Constitution lays out the next step in the impeachment process will be for the Senate to vote on whether or not they plan to convict Trump of the crimes he was impeached for. While Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he is not planning on bringing the Senate to trial before Biden is inaugurated on January 20th, the Senate will still convene after Biden is sworn in to carry out their duty. Even though Trump will be out of office at that time, the Senate conviction will still hold a lot of weight on the soon-to-be-former President. If Trump is convicted he will not be able to run for President again, along with making history yet again as the only President to ever be impeached and removed from office. In these upcoming weeks, we will begin to learn more about the nature of the trial and where the vote in the Senate might be leaning.