By: Tanvi Mittal — Editor-in-Chief
On January 13, 2021, the House of Representatives voted to impeach President Donald Trump for the second time. This is the first time in history that a United States President has been impeached twice.
Many were also surprised by Republican Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming voting for Trump’s impeachment. As the GOP’s third leader in the House, this was a big move for the impeachment.
However, Rep. Cheney was not the only Republican to vote for his impeachment as she was joined by nine other representatives. These representatives included Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington, John Katko of New York, Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, Fred Upton of Michigan, Dan Newhouse of Washington, Peter Meijer of Michigan, Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio, David Valadao of California, and Tom Rice of South Carolina. Compared to the zero Republican representatives that voted for Trump’s impeachment the first time, this was quite the change, making it the most bipartisan impeachment in history.
Due to threats of violence, thousands of National Guard troops protected the U.S. Capitol while the House voted on the article of impeachment. The article charged President Trump with “inciting violence against the government of the United States” and requested his immediate removal from office. The vote came to 232 for and 197 against.
“He must go. He is a clear and present danger to the nation that we all love,” said Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House of Representatives. She encouraged colleagues to vote for the impeachment by saying that “a constitutional remedy that will ensure that the Republic will be safe from this man who is so resolutely determined to tear down the things that we hold dear and that hold us together.”
However, several stood against President Trump’s impeachment, primarily led by House Republican Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California.
McCarthy says that it would “further fan the flames of partisan division.” However, he also blamed President Trump for the attack on the Capitol saying that “he should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding.”
While the vote went through, it is unlikely that the Senate will hold a trial prior to President-elect Biden’s inauguration. Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Senate Majority Leader, refused to call an emergency Senate meeting and stated that the trial could begin once Biden had taken office. While this means Trump will remain in office until January 20, 2021, if he is convicted in the Senate, he would be unable to run for any public office in the future.
“Given the rules, procedures, and Senate precedents that govern presidential impeachment trials, there is simply no chance that a fair or serious trial could conclude before President-elect Biden is sworn in next week,” McConnell said in a statement.
“In light of this reality, I believe it will best serve our nation if Congress and the executive branch spend the next seven days completely focused on facilitating a safe inauguration and an orderly transfer of power to the incoming Biden administration,” he added.
Prior to the impeachment vote, several representatives also attempted different avenues to remove Trump from office to no avail. Some tried to have President Trump voluntarily resign and others wanted Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th amendment. Since both refused, representatives continued fighting to get President Trump impeached and while they succeeded, President Trump will likely finish his term in office.
image from irishtimes.com