Trump Goes Through Impeachment Vote TwiceBy Sofía Hanna | Thu, 01/14/2021 - 14:10
On Wednesday, the US House of Representatives voted to impeach President Donald Trump, ending with 232 votes in favor against 197. This makes Donald Trump the first president in American history to go through impeachment twice. This decision was taken after Trump incited violence and insurrection, which led to the rally and the mob that attacked the Capitol building last week.
How Does Impeachment Work?
If a president commits a high crime or misdemeanor, the House of Representatives votes to press charges against the president and then there is a trial led by the Senate. "The House of Representatives shall choose their Speaker and other Officers and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment, (Article 1, Section 2)," reads the US Constitution. "When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside and no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two-thirds of the Members present. (Article 1, Section 3)," as mentioned in a CNN article.
Before turning to impeachment, there were other alternatives. Mike Pence, Vice President of the US, could have invoked the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office or the president himself could have resigned. Both options were turned down, however.
House of Representative members voted on Wednesday and the results point to an incoming trial. Given the time left of Trumps' presidency, which ends on Jan. 20, the trial could take place once Trump is not in office anymore. "I believe impeaching the president in such a short timeframe would be a mistake," stated House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. However, as reported by The Washington Post, impeaching the president, even if it is after he is gone, could serve in the interest of the nation, given Trump’s conduct and his public interest in running again for president in 2024.
CNN stated that after the vote results were released, two events stood out. First, President Donald Trump released a video asking people to stay calm and not to riot again. He did not mention the impeachment and gave no sign of regret for the actions taken during the attack on the Capitol. Second, the vote results showed that the 221 Democrats voted in favor of impeachment, along with 10 Republicans, which contrasts the united front Republicans formed during Trump’s first impeachment. "Back then, House Republicans formed a unified front to protect their president, marking a stark contrast from the straight party-line vote of Trump's first impeachment," said Greg Walters to Vice.
The next step is the trial led by the Senate, which will be responsible for deciding if the process is completed or if there will be no impeachment. Should the Senate rule against Trump, even if it is after Joe Biden is inaugurated as president, there could be a sanction to exclude Trump from the political scene in the US forever, according to Vice.