For the second time in his one-term Presidency, President Donald Trump has been impeached by the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives, the first President in American history ever to be impeached twice.
The single article of impeachment alleged that Trump had “willfully made statements that encouraged — and foreseeably resulted in — imminent lawless action at the Capitol. Incited by President Trump, a mob unlawfully breached the Capitol, injured law enforcement personnel, interfered with the Joint Session’s solemn constitutional duty to certify the election results, and engaged in violent, deadly, destructive, and seditious acts.”
“Today in a bipartisan way, the House demonstrated that no one is above the law, not even the president of the United States,” she said.
Ten Republicans, including House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney (R-Wyoming), broke party lines in the 232-197 vote to impeach.
“None of this would have happened without the President,” Cheney said in a statement Tuesday explaining her vote. “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.”
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-California) offered a balance between the two sides, believing Trump to be accountable for the violence but believed impeachment to be ineffective, preferring a formal censure of the President.
“The president bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters,” McCarthy said. “He should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding.”
A week after rioters stormed the Capitol Building following a rally in which President Trump spoke at and continued to promulgate the baseless accusations of voter fraud, Democrats hope impeachment will cleanse the nation of the chaos that seems to follow Trump wherever he goes.
On Tuesday, President Trump responded by comparing the second impeachment to the first, calling the latest impeachment efforts a “continuation of the greatest witch hunt in the history of politics” and is “causing tremendous anger.”
President Trump also uploaded a video to the White House’s official Twitter account Wednesday night condemning the violence that fell upon the Capitol. “No true supporter of mine could ever endorse political violence. No true supporter of mine could ever disrespect law enforcement or our great American flag. No true supporter of mine could ever threaten or harass their fellow Americans.”
Though reportedly supportive of impeachment in private to colleagues, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s spokesperson confirmed he refused to reconvene the Senate to host an emergency session and hold an impeachment trial. The Senate will reconvene on January 19th, however, with President Trump’s administration expiring on January 20th, removal from office is unlikely.
Regardless, a Senate trial is expected and, if convicted by the Senate, President Trump will be barred from holding any form of office again. McConnel has made no decision on how he will vote.
“While the press has been full of speculation, I have not made a final decision on how I will vote and I intend to listen to the legal arguments when they are presented to the Senate,” McConnell wrote.