Donald J. Trump has become the first president in American history to be impeached twice.
He was impeached on Wednesday when the US House of Representatives voted to uphold the one article of impeachment, accusing Trump of inciting insurrection against the government of the United States.
It was a bipartisan admonishment of the President’s role inciting last week’s riot at the US Capitol.
Unlike the last House impeachment of Trump in December 2019 for soliciting foreign interference in the presidential election, ten Republicans, including Liz Cheney, joined the democrats to vote to impeach the president. This makes it the most bipartisan vote to impeach a president in the history of the United States.
A total of 232 voted in favour, while 197 voted no. Four representatives did not vote.
Isolated in the White House, Trump had yet to react to his fate, but he earlier issued a brief statement insisting that he opposed violence among his supporters.
He said, “In light of reports of more demonstrations, I urge that there must be no violence, no lawbreaking and no vandalism of any kind. That is not what I stand for.
“I call on all Americans to help ease tensions and calm tempers. Thank You.”
The Senate under Mitch McConnell will not hold a trial before January 20, when Democrat Joe Biden assumes the presidency.
It therefore means that Mr. Trump cannot be booted out of office before the end of his term.
However, he will leave with a stained legacy and waiting to face trial in the senate. It h never happened before that the senate will be holding trial for a president who is no longer in office.
Unlike his first impeachment trial, members of his Republican party will not be solidly behind him. In fact, sources close to McConnel told the American media that he was pleased with Trump’s second impeachment, as a way of getting rid of him from the party. Under his leadership, the conservatives lost the House, the White House and lastly the Senate.
The influential senate majority leader said Wednesday that he was open to the possibility of voting to convict Trump in a trial.
“I have not made a final decision on how I will vote and I intend to listen to the legal arguments when they are presented to the Senate,” McConnell said.
But New York Times reported Tuesday that McConnell is signaling privately that he believes Trump did commit impeachable offenses.
This leaves Trump on shaky grounds, because it could lead other Republican senators to join in convicting Trump.