With only one week left in his divisive presidency, Donald Trump became the first president in the history of the United States to be impeached–twice.
When vice president Mike Pence declined to invoke the 25th Amendment and remove Trump from office, a step he said was not “in the best interest of our Nation or consistent with our Constitution,” House Democrats switched to plan b and brought impeachment to a vote on the House floor Wednesday afternoon (Jan. 13).
Unlike the first time Trump was impeached in December 2019 for soliciting foreign help in the 2020 U.S. presidential election, the Democrats received support from House Republicans who decided to hold the President accountable for inciting an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol last week.
“The President of the United States summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack,” Republican Liz Cheney said in a statement Tuesday (Jan. 12). “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.
The impeachment of Trump passed 232-197. In all, 10 Republicans joined 222 Democrats to vote him out of office.
“Donald Trump is a living, breathing, impeachable offense,” Democratic Rep. Hakeem Jeffries said during the impeachment debate Wednesday. “Violence will not win. Insurrection will not win. Sedition will not win. Terror will not win. Lawlessness will not win. Mob rule will not win. Not today, not tomorrow, not ever. Democracy will prevail.”
Now, the impeachment will go to trial in the Senate where Trump will either be convicted or acquitted of the charge of inciting an insurrection. On Tuesday, The New York Times reported that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell believes the President committed impeachable offenses.
On Wednesday, McConnell told Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s staff that he would not agree to have the impeachment trial with Trump still in office. This means the trial will likely take place after President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated Jan. 20 as the 46th President of the United States. If convicted, the Senate could also vote to ban Trump from holding federal office in the future.