Democrats in the US House of Representatives filed a formal resolution to impeach President Donald Trump on Monday.
The President has been charged with “incitement of insurrection” following the infamous invasion of Pro-Trump rioters at the US Capitol, which saw 5 people lose their lives. Nancy Pelosi has been reiterating her desire to impeach Trump for the second time for several days now, calling him “dangerous” and “unfit” to serve the final days of his presidency. “There’s strong support in the Congress for impeaching the President a second time,” she said, also stressing her desire to make sure he is disqualified from ever holding office again.
If the Democrats are successful in their bid, which seems likely given their majority in the House of Representatives, Trump will become the first President in US history to be impeached twice. However, getting Trump convicted in the US Senate (thus removing him from office and disqualifying him from ever holding public office again) will be a far more difficult task.
That would require a two-thirds majority of votes, and it is difficult to imagine that enough Republicans will so swiftly turn on Trump given his hold of the core Republican base of voters. Democrats also attempted to file a resolution urging Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th amendment and remove Trump from office, but the motion was blocked by Republicans. In any case, it is unlikely Pence would have turned so decisively against a man he has been so loyal to.
The impeachment article against Trump argues that his unverified claims of widespread election fraud and rigging stoked the passions of his already-inflamed supporters, and also points to an inflammatory speech he gave in Washington DC prior to the riot. In addition, the article references Trump’s controversial call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, where Trump urged Raffensperger to “find” votes and declare Trump the true winner of the state.
The impeachment article says, “In all this, President Trump gravely endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of Government. He threatened the integrity of the democratic system, interfered with the peaceful transition of power, and imperiled a coequal branch of Government. He thereby betrayed his trust as President, to the manifest injury of the people of the United States.”
There is disagreement among Democrats regarding the timing of the impeachment proceedings, with some worrying that pursuing impeachment may overshadow President-elect Biden’s inauguration and early days in office. The House’s vote on impeachment is set to occur on Wednesday, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (who will soon no longer be Majority Leader) has said the Senate will not reconvene until January 19. Starting the Senate trial in the first days of Biden’s term would also prevent the Senate from voting on any other matters until the trial is resolved.