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Why Donald Trump Got Impeached

What Did Lawmakers Say During The Debate

See moment Trump got impeached for second time

For two hours on Wednesday, members of the Democratic-controlled House made statements for and against the vote in the same chamber where they hid under chairs and donned gas masks as rioters tried to force their way inside last week.

National Guard troops kept watch inside and outside the Capitol. Ten of Mr Trump’s Republican party joined Democrats to impeach him by 232-197.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, said on the House floor: “The president of the United States incited this insurrection, this armed rebellion against our common country. He must go. He is a clear and present danger to the nation that we all love.”

Democratic congressman Julian Castro called Mr Trump “the most dangerous man to ever occupy the Oval Office”.

Most Republicans did not seek to defend Mr Trump’s rhetoric, instead arguing that the impeachment had bypassed the customary hearings and calling on Democrats to drop it for the sake of national unity.

“Impeaching the president in such a short time frame would be a mistake,” said Kevin McCarthy, the House’s top Republican. “That doesn’t mean the president’s free from fault. The president bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters.”

Jim Jordan, an Ohio Republican, accused Democrats of recklessly dividing the country to pursue a political vendetta. “This is about getting the president of the United States. It’s always been about getting the president, no matter what. It’s an obsession.”

Will Trump Be Found Guilty

On the face of it, it seems unlikely. An impeachment trial requires a two-thirds majority for a conviction. If every senator votes, then at least 17 Republicans would need to vote against their former president to reach the required 67-vote threshold.

At the beginning of the trial, 44 Republican senators voted that the process itself is unconstitutional and against holding it at all. It would be quite a leap for them in the space of a few days to go from saying the trial should not take place, to finding Trump guilty.

For many Republican senators the calculation is political. House Representatives who voted to impeach Trump, such as Republican Liz Cheney, have already faced protest and censure from their state Republican parties over their failure to back Trump, who still has strong grassroots support despite losing Novembers election.

Will Republicans Vote To Convict Trump

They could but we don’t know for sure if any actually will.

We know that 10 Republicans crossed party lines to impeach Mr Trump in the House of Representatives.

Mr McConnell said he hasn’t decided how he’ll vote, putting out a statement earlier this week saying he’ll “listen to the legal arguments” put to the Senate.

Mr McConnell has been quiet in public, but he’s reportedly told associates he’s done with Mr Trump.

An anonymous senior Republican aide told NBC News:“If McConnell supports conviction in the Senate, then the votes will be there to convict the President”.

Alternatively, if he doesn’t, it’s likely other Republican senators will follow his lead there too.

Mr McConnell has told senators their decision on whether to convict the outgoing president will be a vote of conscience and “theirs alone”.

We haven’t heard how all of the Republican senators are planning to vote, but The New York Times reported that “a dozen Republican senators and possibly more” were considering convicting Mr Trump.

Republican senator Lisa Murkowski, for example, said in a statement that “such unlawful actions cannot go without consequence” and she will consider the trial arguments in casting her vote.

Another senator, Pat Toomey, also said Mr Trump’s role in encouraging the riot was an “impeachable offence” and called on him to resign.

But fellow Republican Tom Cotton issued a statement saying he opposes impeachment against a president who has left office.

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What Is Impeachment Anyway

To impeach, in this context, means to bring charges in Congress that will form the basis for a trial.

The US constitution states a president “shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes or misdemeanours”.

It’s important to note this is a political process, rather than a criminal one.

Efforts To Impeach Donald Trump

Impeachment Is Coming For Trump. : ThyBlackMan
This article is part of a series about

Various people and groups assert that U.S. presidentDonald Trump engaged in impeachable activity both before and during his presidency, and talk of impeachment began before he took office. Grounds asserted for impeachment have included possible violations of the Foreign Emoluments Clause of the Constitution by accepting payments from foreign dignitaries alleged collusion with Russia during the campaign for the 2016 United States presidential election alleged obstruction of justice with respect to investigation of the collusion claim and accusations of “Associating the Presidency with White Nationalism, Neo-Nazism and Hatred”, which formed the basis of a resolution for impeachment brought on December 6, 2017.

On September 24, 2019, Speaker of the House of RepresentativesNancy Pelosi announced that six committees would undertake formal impeachment inquiries after reports about controversial interactions between Trump and the country of Ukraine. This inquiry resulted in Trump’s first impeachment on December 18, 2019.

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What Would A Senate Trial Look Like

House members act as the prosecutors the senators as jurors the chief justice of the United States presides.

Historically, the president has been allowed to have defense lawyers call witnesses and request documents.

Beyond that, parameters of the trial are uncertain at this point. Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer is pressing for four Trump aides to testify, including Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, and John Bolton, Trumps former national security adviser.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has thrown cold water on that idea, saying House Democrats should have secured the testimony of Bolton and Mulvaney during their investigation.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has delayed sending over the impeachment articles to the Senate in a bid to pressure McConnell. The two sides appear to have made little progress toward an agreement.

Trump Impeached On Jan 13

A week after a group of pro-Trump rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol building, U.S. President Donald Trump was impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives.


Protesters gather at the base of the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 12 in Washington, D.C. The group called on Congress to impeach and remove Trump.

Whats the point?

Trump will no longer be the U.S. president as of Jan. 20, so whats the point of impeaching him now?

Wednesdays impeachment documents said that Trump would remain a threat to national security, democracy and the constitution if allowed to remain in office.

Those in favour of impeachment said Trump did a terrible thing and that he needed to face consequences for it so that future U.S. presidents dont use Trumps bad behaviour to justify their own.

Others said that Trumps threat to national security and democracy could continue into the future, and that a second impeachment could be a step along the way to barring Trump from running again.

Still, some disagreed.

They said that impeachment this close to the end of Trumps term as president was unnecessary and would only increase tension and division in the country.

What happens next?

First, lets review how the U.S. Congress is structured.

The majority of the House of Representatives voted to impeach Trump on Wednesday.

That group included 10 Republicans, who belong to the same political party as Trump.

But the process doesn’t end there.

Could takes weeks or months

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The Not Thoroughly Vetted President

The presidential primaries are an audition process to see who can best serve the ruling class while conning the public. If the presidential debates demonstrate anything, it is that all the contestants are aspiring reality TV stars. Trump was different only in that he had previous experience.

Whenever one of the contestants shows vacillation on empire, they get slapped on the side of the head. Gabbard got summarily dismissed from the debates for her failure of faith in wars of imperial aggression as the highest expression of humanitarianism. Sanders had to grovel, calling the democratically elected president of Venezuela a vicious tyrant.

And to qualify for the debates, a contestant must first prove that they are a serious candidate. In a democracy where bribing politicians is considered free speech and where corporations are afforded the constitutional rights of persons, the single overriding measure of seriousness is raising bundles of money from the rich. Of course, the rich did not become rich without expecting a return on their investments. Warrens surge, as it was dutifully reported in the press, came when some of the big money began to shift from Biden to her.

Trump on the other hand had his own billionaires booty to back him, plus a little help from his wealthy cohorts. As billionaire Ross Perot proved in 1992, if you are filthy rich, you can independently run for president. And, in his case, throw the election from Bush the Elder to Bill Clinton.

Potential Conflicts Of Interest

Donald Trump impeached: Why Senate trial could go either way?

Trump’s presidency has been marked by significant public concern about conflict of interest stemming from his diverse business ventures. In the lead up to his inauguration, Trump promised to remove himself from the day-to-day operations of his businesses. Trump placed his sons Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr. at the head of his businesses claiming they would not communicate with him regarding his interests. However, critics noted that this would not prevent him from having input into his businesses and knowing how to benefit himself, and Trump continued to receive quarterly updates on his businesses. As his presidency progressed, he failed to take steps or show interest in further distancing himself from his business interests resulting in numerous potential conflicts. Ethics experts found Trump’s plan to address conflicts of interest between his position as president and his private business interests to be entirely inadequate. Unlike every other president in the last 40 years, Trump did not put his business interests in a blind trust or equivalent arrangement “to cleanly sever himself from his business interests”. In January 2018, a year into his presidency, Trump owned stakes in hundreds of businesses.

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Constitutionality Of Senate Trial Of Former President

The question of whether the Senate can hold a trial for and convict a former president is unsettled. Article II, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution provides:

The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.
Article II, Section 4, of the U.S. Constitution

Article I, Section 3, of the Constitution, also states the following:

Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.
Article I, Section 3, Clause 7, of the U.S. Constitution

J. Michael Luttig, who served on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit for 25 years, said that such a trial would be unconstitutional. He interpreted the language of Section 4 to refer to an official in office.

Luttig said, “The very concept of constitutional impeachment presupposes the impeachment, conviction and removal of a president who is, at the time of his impeachment, an incumbent in the office from which he is removed. Indeed, that was the purpose of the impeachment power, to remove from office a president or other ‘civil official’ before he could further harm the nation from the office he then occupies.”

What Is He Accused Of Doing Wrong

President Trump is accused of pressuring Ukraine to dig up damaging information on one of his main Democratic challengers for the presidency in 2020, Joe Biden, and his son Hunter.

Hunter worked for a Ukrainian company when Joe Biden was US vice-president.

The president is accused of dangling two things as bargaining chips to Ukraine – withholding $400m of military aid to Ukraine that had already been allocated by Congress, and a White House meeting for Ukraine’s president.

This, Democrats say, amounts to an abuse of presidential power, using the office for personal political gain and to the detriment of national security. Ukraine was using that money in its ongoing conflict with Russia.

Mr Trump is also accused of obstructing Congress by refusing to co-operate with the congressional inquiry.

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Opinionhow Trump Is Still Working To Create A Presidency That Exists Outside Of The Law

Ultimately, Anti-Riot Act prosecutions have been too few and too fraught for us to anticipate how a judge might weigh rioters statements. Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jacksons largely unanswered questions in 1951 pointing to the difficulties of prosecuting alleged inciters still ring true today: When is a speech so provocative, insulting or inciting as to be outside of constitutional immunity? As for that judgment, Is it determined by the actual reaction of the hearers? Or is it a judicial appraisal of the inherent quality of the language used? Or both?

The answer to Jacksons questions will be crucial as the congressional hearings on the Jan. 6 riot continue and prosecutors observing the testimony scrutinize Trumps involvement in organizing, participating in or carrying on the riot. Revelations that rioters acted not just in Trumps name but at his direction could strengthen a criminal case against him and help the government to heed Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunns emotional entreaty at last weeks opening hearing that we get to the bottom of who was really behind the hateful events of Jan. 6.

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Donald Trumps status as the only U.S. president to be impeached twice may be his most lasting legacy one that is far different than how he might have been remembered prior to the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol January 6 by his supporters.

Presidential historian Barbara Perry says that despite Trumps reputation for norm-breaking, racism and online bullying, the former president fulfilled many of the main promises he made on the campaign trail in 2016.

Maybe more than most presidents, he made good on his promises, says Perry, director of presidential studies at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center.

He lowered taxes on the wealthy. He limited and reduced federal regulations. He put conservatives to the tune of over 200 federal judges on the lower federal courts and three conservative members of the U.S. Supreme Court. He engaged in strong-arm tactics against China. He built part of his wall on the southern border and attempted to reduce, and succeeded in reducing, illegal immigration.

Forecasting how historians will perceive and treat the 45th president decades from now is a risky endeavor. Perspectives change over time. Yet Perry and other students of politics agree that Trumps trial for inciting insurrection, which begins this week, will likely obscure or taint the most notable accomplishments achieved during his presidency.

Historic proceeding


Serious disruption


Road to healing

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