Since the shocking Capitol riot on Wednesday, January 6th, many lawmakers have blamed President Donald Trump for the destruction that was caused. Democrats have urgently pushed a second impeachment for the president, and on January 13th, the House voted to impeach him, and it was “the most bipartisan impeachment in history,” says Jake Tapper, lead Washington anchor for CNN. This looks to be true, as 10 republicans voted against Trump, compared to the unanimous vote against his impeachment in 2019. (Previously, the most bipartisan impeachment was Clinton when 5 Democrats sided with Republicans in the House).
He is being charged with “incitement of insurrection.” Incitement is the provocation of violent or unlawful behavior, and insurrection is a violent uprising against authority or government. In Trump’s speech before the Capitol riot he said, “and if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.” His supporters taking this literally, stormed the Capitol building. He also said, “I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.” “He said ‘Be there,’ Jennifer Ryan explained, “So I went and answered the call of my president.” In fact, people from all professions from all over the country were involved in the Capitol riot, such as people from Maryland, New Mexico, and California, who were doctors, lawyers, members of the military, and allegedly militia leaders and members. After the riot, Trump released 2 videos; the first was 5 minutes long and he was saying that he did not condemn the riot and failed to mention his involvement in it or the lives lost. In the second video, he was trying to “ease tensions and calm tempers” and urge “no violence” and calls for a peaceful transition.
House minority leader Kevin McCarthy said, “I believe impeaching the president in such a short timeframe would be a mistake. That doesn’t mean the president is free from fault. The president bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on congress by mob rioters.” House speaker Nancy Pelosi says, “The president must be impeached and I believe the president must be convicted by the senate.” Both major parties seem to have black and white opinions on Trump’s impeachment.
Can they impeach him so close to inauguration day? Yes, he was impeached on Wednesday, January 13th. They can’t convict him before he leaves office, but after inauguration day, they can have a trial with the senate. If he becomes convicted by the senate he will not be allowed to run for another term, he will not gain his pension, and he will lose secret service privileges.
How does impeachment work?
1.The congress investigates the allegations.
2. The house of representatives must pass articles of impeachment by a majority vote and when passed, the defendant has been “impeached”.
3. The defendant is on trial before the senate. Conviction requires a two-thirds majority vote in which the defendant will be removed from office and prevented from holding any future office placement in the future.
President Trump’s impeachment is currently in step 2 as of the 15th of January. His trial is not yet set. Joe Biden’s inauguration is on Wednesday, January 20th, with the Senate trial being held days after that.
Picture Credit: Corinne Reichert