Where Does The Senate Come In
The Senate is tasked with handling the impeachment trial, which is presided over by the chief justice of the United States in the case of sitting presidents. However, in this unusual case, since Trump is not a sitting president, the largely ceremonial task has been left to the Senate pro tempore, Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., the chamber’s most senior member of the majority party.
“The president pro tempore has historically presided over Senate impeachment trials of non-presidents,” Leahy said in a statement in January. “When presiding over an impeachment trial, the president pro tempore takes an additional special oath to do impartial justice according to the Constitution and the laws. It is an oath that I take extraordinarily seriously.”
To remove a president from office, two-thirds of the members must vote in favor at present 67 if all 100 senators are present and voting.
If the Senate fails to convict, a president is considered impeached but is not removed, as was the case with both Clinton in 1998 and Andrew Johnson in 1868. In Johnsons case, the Senate fell one vote short of removing him from office on all three counts.
In this trial, since the president has already left office, the real punishment would come if the president were to be convicted, when the Senate would be expected to vote on a motion to ban the former president from ever holding federal office again.
Impeachment Came After 2 Months Of President’s False Election Claims And Last Week’s Capitol Riot
U.S. President Donald Trump was impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives for a historic second time Wednesday, charged with “incitement of insurrection” over the deadly mob siege of the Capitol in a swift and stunning collapse of his final days in office.
With the Capitol secured by armed National Guard troops inside and out, the House voted 232-197 to impeach Trump. The proceedings moved at lightning speed, with lawmakers voting just one week after violent pro-Trump loyalists stormed the U.S. Capitol, egged on by the president’s calls for them to “fight like hell” against the election results.
Ten Republicans fled Trump, joining Democrats who said he needed to be held accountable and warned ominously of a “clear and present danger” if Congress should leave him unchecked before Democrat Joe Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20.
It was the most bipartisan presidential impeachment in modern times, more so than Bill Clinton’s impeachment in 1998.
The Capitol insurrection stunned and angered lawmakers, who were sent scrambling for safety as the mob descended, and it revealed the fragility of the nation’s history of peaceful transfers of power.
WATCH | Trump impeached for 2nd time:
What Did Lawmakers Say During The Debate
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”.
How did Republicans defend Trump – and who voted to impeach?
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.”
Don’t Miss: Is Trump Doing A Good Job
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.
Majority Of Americans Say Trump Should Be Convicted Barred From Holding Federal Office In Impeachment Trial: Poll
The Senate is set to begin Trump’s second impeachment trial on Tuesday.
With his impeachment trial set to begin this week, a narrow majority of Americans say they support the Senate convicting former President Donald Trump and barring him from holding federal office again, according to a new ABC News/Ipsos poll released Sunday.
Compared to public attitudes in the early days of his first impeachment trial, support for the Senate convicting Trump is higher now. In an ABC News/Washington Post poll published in late January 2020, when the first trial was ongoing but before senators had voted, 47% of Americans said the Senate should vote to remove Trump from office and 49% said he should not be removed.
But in this latest poll, 56% of Americans say Trump should be convicted and barred from holding office again, and 43% say he should not be. The new poll was conducted by Ipsos in partnership with ABC News using Ipsos’ KnowledgePanel.
Meanwhile, the attention on Capitol Hill last week focused more on the fate of a new Republican member of Congress who has faced backlash for espousing extremist views and support for the QAnon conspiracy theory in her past. That focus, which followed the deadly insurrection on the U.S. Capitol that Trump is accused of inciting, seems to have taken a toll on the public’s perception of the party. By a 17-point margin, Americans say there are more radical extremists within the GOP than the Democratic Party.
You May Like: How Can I Vote For Donald Trump
How Does Impeachment Work In The House
The House majority can run the process however it likes, as the Constitution grants the House the sole Power of Impeachment. Evidentiary standards and even the charges themselves dont necessarily have to be grounded in law its all up to Congress to decide what matters.
In recent decades, the House has only tried to impeach presidents after lengthy investigations, including months of hearings, fact-gathering, and witness testimony. Nixons near-impeachment was the culmination of Justice Department and congressional investigations of the Watergate break-in, Clintons impeachment came after a lengthy independent counsel investigation of various topics, and Trumps first impeachment came after a three-month congressional inquiry.
However, there is one precedent for speedy action. In 1868, the House impeached President Andrew Johnson just three days after he violated the Tenure of Office Act . The House didnt even finalize impeachment articles until after they had already impeached the president.
So the House can move quite quickly on impeachment should its majority and leadership want to, and thats what did this week.
Republicans Break With Trump
While Trump’s first impeachment in 2019 brought no Republican votes in the House, at least eight House Republicans announced in advance that they would break with the party to join Democrats this time, saying Trump violated his oath to protect and defend U.S. democracy.
In the end, 10 Republicans voted to impeach.
As two Republican lawmakers Washington Reps. Dan Newhouse and Jaime Herrera Beutler announced on the floor they would vote to impeach, Trump issued a new statement urging “NO violence, NO lawbreaking and NO vandalism of any kind” to disrupt Biden’s ascension to the White House.
In the face of the accusations against him and with the FBI warning of more violence, Trump said, “That is not what I stand for, and it is not what America stands for. I call on ALL Americans to help ease tensions and calm tempers.”
But he has repeatedly declined to take any responsibility for last week’s riots.
Also Check: A Child’s First Book Of Trump
Why Is The House Impeaching Trump When Hell Be Out Of Office Soon Anyway
This impeachment is an unusual one because Trump has already lost reelection, and his term of office expires next week. But Democrats offer several justifications for an impeachment push anyway.
First, they are simply irate about what happened, and think there should be consequences for Trump. Demands that Trump resign or be stripped of his presidential powers via the 25th Amendment are now common in the caucus. But the reality is that Democrats cant make either of those things happen on their own, and neither appears likely at this point .
This leaves House Democrats with impeachment. They cant actually remove Trump from office through that means on their own, either but they can impeach him and at least try for his removal, even if odds are again long in the Senate.
Of course, cutting against the its an emergency and he cant stay even one more day in office narrative is the fact that the House did wait a full week after the insurrection to impeach him.
This has led others to argue that impeachment is necessary not just because of what Trump has done, but also for fear of what might happen in the next week.
Will Trump try to pull something else perhaps and ordering a new election, as his ally Michael Flynn has suggested? Yes, he tepidly promised after the Capitol insurrection to respect the transition of power, but will he actually stick with it? Some lawmakers argue that he cant be trusted to do so, making his immediate removal necessary.
Trump Et Al V Mazars Et Al
The House Oversight Committee issued a subpoena to the Mazars accounting firm for Trump’s financial information from before his election to the presidency. The President and his lawyers have tried to delay or prevent this information from getting to the committee by seeking a court injunction against both the committee’s leadership and Mazars.
On April 23, 2019 U.S. district judge Amit Mehta set a May 14 date for the preliminary hearing, although several weeks later he decided the entire suit would be heard on that date. May 20, Mehta ruled that accounting firm Mazars had to provide its records of Donald Trump‘s accounts from before his presidency to the House Oversight Committee in response to their subpoena. In a 41-page opinion, he asserted that Congress has the right to investigate potential illegal behavior by a president, including actions both before and after the president assumed office. The ruling was appealed by Trump’s personal legal team and briefs for such were due by no later than July 12, 2019, when oral arguments were scheduled.
Oral arguments took place on July 12, 2019, before a three-judge panel consisting of Neomi Rao, David Tatel, and Patricia Millett. On August 8, the Justice Department filed a brief supporting the president’s position. On October 11, 2019, the appeal panel affirmed the ruling 2â1 with Neomi Rao dissenting.
Also Check: Can I Sell Trump Shirts
Trump Impeachment: Here’s How The Process Works
Trump became the first president impeached twice.
Former President Donald Trump faces an unprecedented second impeachment trial this week. Adding to the historic nature of the proceeding is that he is no longer in office and the members of the Senate who will decide his fate are among the victims in the Capitol siege, which he is accused of instigating.
The House of Representatives voted 232-197 on Jan. 13 to impeach Trump for an unprecedented second time for his role in the of the Capitol, which occurred as a joint session of Congress was ratifying the election of President Biden.
The extraordinary step of a second impeachment, which charged Trump with incitement of insurrection, took place just days before Trump was set to leave office. Only two other presidents — Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton — have been impeached and none have been convicted.
Unlike Trumps first impeachment in 2019 , 10 members of the House GOP, including conference chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., voted for impeachment and denounced the presidents actions. Democratic House impeachment managers argued in a brief ahead of his trial, which starts in earnest Feb. 9, that Trump bore “unmistakable” responsibility for the siege and called it a “betrayal of historic proportions.”
“He summoned a mob to Washington, exhorted them into a frenzy, and aimed them like a loaded cannon down Pennsylvania Avenue,” the managers wrote.
Here’s how the impeachment process works:
What Is Trump Charged With
On 13 January, the US House of Representatives voted by 232 to 197 to impeach Trump over incitement of insurrection after his supporters stormed the Capitol in an attempt to overturn Novembers election result. 10 Republican representatives voted to impeach him, making it the most bipartisan presidential impeachment in US history.
Prosecutors place the blame for the violence squarely on the former president. Five died, hundreds were injured, members of Congress and staff were terrorized and the seat of US government building was left with bullet marks in the walls, looted art, smeared faeces in hallways all in a bid to prevent the certification of Joe Bidens election victory. President Trumps responsibility for the events of 6 January is unmistakable, the prosecutors charge in an 80-page memorandum submitted last week.
They opened their case with a chilling video of events on the day, and will argue that his actions in whipping up the crowd with unfounded accusations of election fraud endangered the life of every single member of Congress and jeopardized the peaceful transition of power and line of succession.
You May Like: Can Joe Biden Beat Trump In 2020
Casey: President Trump Should Be Impeached Members Of Congress Who Led Effort To Overthrow A Democratic Election Must Be Held Accountable
Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey called for the impeachment of President Trump and accountability for those members of Congress who led the effort to overthrow a democratic election.
There can be no justice without accountability for those involved in the insurrection against the federal government. As a Nation, we cannot advance our shared democratic values without consequences for those who have betrayed those values. Those who stormed the Capitol should face charges. President Trump should be impeached and removed from office because he betrayed his oath to the Constitution and incited a mob to violence. There should also be accountability for those members of Congress who led the effort to overthrow a democratic election. If they refuse to resign their office, then Congress should begin to explore censure or expulsion. Failing to hold those responsible for the insurrection accountable would be a profound injustice and give a green light to future authoritarians.
He Publicly Lied About His Business Dealings With Russia
While running for president in 2016, Trump repeatedly claimed to have no involvement with Russia, but he was, in fact, negotiating with the Russian government and Russian business interests about developing a Trump Tower in Moscow at that very time.
Lying to the voters is not strictly an impeachable offense, but Trump blatantly lied about his business ties to Russia because he knew it was an incredible conflict of interest for a potential US president to have major business dealings with a frequent competitor and potential adversary of the United States.
Robert Muellers report cites many examples of Trump obstructing justice.
You May Like: Is Trump Taking Away Food Stamps
If The Senate Holds A Trial When Will It Be And What Would It Look Like
This impeachment is coming at a time of transition for both the presidency and the Senate. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff won last weeks Georgia special elections, but since the results havent been certified yet, they have not yet been sworn in, and Mitch McConnell is still the chambers majority leader.
The deadline for Georgia to certify its results is on January 22, though Georgia Secretary of State Raffensperger has said he hopes to get it done a bit before that. But if Warnock and Ossoff are sworn in while Trump is still president, the Senate would be split 50-50 and Vice President Pence would still be around to break ties in Republicans favor. So only after Harris is sworn in as vice president and Warnock and Ossoff are sworn in as senators will control of the chamber flip to Democrats.
The upshot is that, at least until January 20 and potentially for a few days after that, McConnell and Republicans still call the shots in the Senate. And while Republicans are in control, they get to decide whether to start the trial.
But on Wednesday, McConnell announced that he would not agree to reconvene the Senate early. He said in a statement that there was no way a trial could wrap up before Biden is sworn in, and that he thought national leaders should focus on ensuring a safe inauguration over the next week, rather than on an impeachment trial.
The President Incited His Supporters To Invade The Capitol And Disrupt The Certification Of The 2020 Election That Is Too High A Crime To Ignore
President Donald Trumps supporters gather outside the Capitol building in Washington, D.C.
Subscribe to The Nation
Get The Nations Weekly Newsletter
Subscribe to The Nation
Support Progressive Journalism
Sign up for our Wine Club today.
When the violent chaos that has been unleashed on the United States Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump is brought under control, the House should immediately impeach Trump for inciting insurrection and the Senate should act just as quickly to remove the defeated president from office.
Trump has to be held to account, not merely because of what has happened but also because of what might happen in the final two weeks of his dangerous presidency. This is no longer an option for the Congress. This is a constitutional duty, as several members of the House recognized Wednesday afternoon.
The New York Times headline shouted: Pro-Trump Mob Storms Capitol, Incited by Trump Speech.
You May Like: Will Trump Be President Again