President Donald Trump has become the first president in history ever to be impeached twice after the House of Representatives voted 232 to 197 to impeach him on Wednesday. The resolution had more bipartisan support compared to the previous impeachment, which Republicans had deemed to be politically motivated; this time, 10 Republicans voted in favor of impeachment, along with every Democrat.
Congressman Adam Kinzinger, one of the Republicans to vote in favor of impeachment, tweeted, “It was a sobering moment to vote in support of impeachment today; to walk over to the U.S. Capitol, our symbol of democracy, and recall the violent insurrection we witnessed here just one week ago. This is not a vote I took lightly, but a vote I took confidently. I’m at peace.”
The articles raised against Trump related to his role in inciting a shocking and controversial insurrection on the US Capitol which left five people dead. The impeachment resolution stated, “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.”
The House Judiciary committee further added, “President Trump’s continued presence in office is a clear and present danger to the United States. The facts establish that he is unfit to remain in office a single day longer, and warrant the immediate impeachment of President Trump.”
Trump, for his part, has not admitted any wrongdoing. Although he condemned the rioters who stormed the Capitol (after initially calling them “special people”), he said his speech prior to the siege was “totally appropriate.”
The Senate will now launch a trial against President Trump, although the precise timing of that is currently unclear. Some lawmakers worry that proceeding soon with the Senate trial could overshadow Biden’s inauguration and distract the Senate from enacting his policies.
In any case, Trump is unlikely to be convicted in the Senate, as that would require a two-thirds majority. While perhaps a few Republicans may vote to impeach him, it’s hard to imagine enough will betray a man who has such a firm hold on the Republican supporter base. If Trump is not convicted in the Senate, he will not be removed from office and will not be barred from ever holding office again.