On 13th January 2021, a week after the siege on the U.S. Capitol, the U.S. House of Representatives, for the second time, impeached President Donald Trump. This is the second charge of impeachment for the outgoing President. The article of impeachment charged the President with incitement of insurrection. The House voted 232-197 to impeach Trump, with ten Republicans shifting allegiances and joining Democrats in voting for the impeachment.
This second impeachment occurred in a country still reeling from the toxic environment that was created after the results of the 2020 Presidential Election. Many believe that Trump’s widespread claims of voter fraud, his refusal to concede the results of the election, and his unwillingness to commit to the tradition of a peaceful transition of power may have sowed the seeds for the insurrection on the U.S. Capitol.
To be convicted, two-thirds of the Senate will have to vote to convict and remove the President. Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell’s office confirmed that the soonest the trial could be held was the day before the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden, which is when the Senate reconvenes. McConnell joins other Trump allies like House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy and House GOP Leader Liz Cheney in supporting the vote for impeachment and condemning the attacks. Their statements have exposed the deep rift in the Republican party which leaves Trump’s position considerably weakened. At the second impeachment, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi implored members of Congress to uphold their oath to defend the Constitution from all enemies, foreign “and domestic.”
While President-elect Joe Biden has condemned the attacks, he has also urged Senators to divide time between confirming his nominees and working on key pieces of legislation in his Economic Recovery and COVID-19 Relief agenda and hearing the arguments of the trial.