House Impeaches Trump for Second Time

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House Impeaches Trump for Second Time

With a week to go until Donald Trump is scheduled to leave office, the House of Representatives voted to impeach him for a second time.


The 232-197 vote was historic for being the first time that the House has ever voted two times to impeach a president. Impeachment has only been used against three presidents -- Andrew Johnson, Bill Clinton, and twice against Donald Trump. No president has been removed from office by the Senate.


The House approved a single article of impeachment, House Resolution 24, which stated, in part:


On January 6, 2021, pursuant to the 12th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, the Vice President of the United States, the House of Representatives, and the Senate met at the United States Capitol for a Joint Session of Congress to count the votes of the Electoral College. In the months preceding the Joint Session, President Trump repeatedly issued false statements asserting that the Presidential election results were the product of widespread fraud and should not be accepted by the American people or certified by State or Federal officials. Shortly before the Joint Session commenced, President Trump, addressed a crowd at the Ellipse in Washington, DC. There, he reiterated false claims that “we won this election, and we won it by a landslide”. He also willfully made statements that, in context, encouraged—and foreseeably resulted in—lawless action at the Capitol, such as: “if you don’t fight like hell you’re not going to have a country anymore”. Thus incited by President Trump, members of the crowd he had addressed, in an attempt to, among other objectives, interfere with the Joint Session’s solemn constitutional duty to certify the results of the 2020 Presidential election, unlawfully breached and vandalized the Capitol, injured and killed law enforcement personnel, menaced Members of Congress, the Vice President, and Congressional personnel, and engaged in other violent, deadly, destructive, and seditious acts.


The resolution concluded that Donald Trump "has demonstrated that he will remain a threat to national security, democracy, and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office, and has acted in a manner grossly incompatible with self-governance and the rule of law."


In a break with the previous impeachment of President Trump, this vote gained 10 Republicans to join the Democrats. These supporters of impeachment said that it was vital to remove President Trump from office immediately before he causes more harm. They also argued that impeachment and removal from office would deprive him of the ability to run for office in 2024. The majority of Republicans opposed impeachment. They said that although the president bears blame for the events of January 6, it was not an impeachable offense. They noted that he was leaving office in a week, so this vote was more about political theater than concern about the nation.


The Senate is not schedule to meet until next week. The trial that takes place will occur largely after Joe Biden is inaugurated as president. If the Senate votes to convict Trump, it will not have the effect of removing him from office, but it would bar another presidential run.


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