On January 13, 2021, President Trump became the first U.S. president to be impeached twice. The House of Representatives impeached the president – they formally accused him of wrongdoing – saying he incited the recent storming of the U.S. Capitol building.
In most cases of a public official being impeached, it began with an investigation. There was no investigation this time, and representatives voted to pass articles of impeachment against the president. All Democrat representatives voted to impeach, while most Republicans voted against it.
Just hours after the House of Representatives voted to impeach President Donald Trump for the second time, the president released a video message. “Mob violence goes against everything I believe in and everything our movement stands for,” he said. “No true supporter of mine could ever disrespect law enforcement or our great American flag.”
Despite the president saying that he will concede his power to President-elect Joe Biden on January 20, Democrats claim the impeachment is needed because Donald Trump or his followers could do damage if he stays in office for even a few more days.
Republicans, on the other hand, say Trump did not incite violence on the day of the protest and that those rioters acted on their own.
This impeachment is unusual since it was performed about a week before the president was scheduled to leave office, anyway. Since the main goal of impeachment is to remove an official from office, the purpose this time is symbolic. There is also another factor – Democrats may be trying to stop Trump running for office again in the future. A Senate trial is the second stage of the impeachment process, and the Trump’s opponents may be hoping that if he is convicted in the trial, he may be banned from running for office again in the future.
Will a Senate trial take place, though? Senate leader Mitch McConnell says one can’t start until January 19 – the day before Trump is supposed to leave the White House. The question now is whether the Senate has the authority to hold an impeachment trial for a president who has already left office.
Trump was previously impeached in January 2020, for allegedly making an improper phone call to Ukraine that would give him an advantage over his opponent Joe Biden. However, he was found not guilty in the Senate. He was the third president in history to be impeached.
Trump is the first president to be impeached twice, but without a Senate trial to remove him from office, he is still scheduled to leave the White House on January 20, when Joe Biden will take over as president.