For the second time in the course of his presidency, Donald Trump is set to potentially be impeached. If the impeachment passes, this would make Trump the first President in American history to be impeached twice by the House of Representatives.
The House of Representatives convened today, Wednesday, at 9 a.m. to debate whether or not to issue a single article of impeachment. The article currently being considered directly references Trump’s role in inciting a crowd at a National Mall rally before the January 6th attack on the Capitol. The text of the article of impeachment specifically mentions Trump’s statement to the crowd that “If you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.”
Already, representatives from both sides of the aisles are making direct, evidence-based appeals for Trump’s impeachment. Rep. Judy Chu, a Democratic representative from California, said the need to impeach “could not be more urgent” and that Trump is “too dangerous to remain in office.”
“We were attacked by terrorists, but this time the terrorists were radicalized right here in the United States. Worse, they were radicalized by the President, who intentionally lied to his supporters that the election was stolen, and then told them when to come to D.C., where to protest and who to direct their anger at,” Chu said.
Unlike the previous impeachment in 2019, which no Republican House members supported, a handful of Republican lawmakers have now said they will vote to impeach, including John Katko (R-NY), Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) and Liz Cheney (R-WY). In a statement released yesterday, Cheney placed blame for the riot in the Capitol on President Trump, writing, “The President of the United States summoned this mob, assembled this mob, and lit the flame of this attack. Everything that followed was his doing.”
However, some Republicans are still attempting to slow or stop the impeachment process. Ranking member of the House Rules Committee, Republican Rep. Tom Cole, took to the floor claiming that impeachment would “divide us further” and that Democrats are pushing for it “erratically.”
“Our meeting today does not arise in a vacuum and comes in what I hope and pray is the end of a tumultuous period for our country,” Cole said. “Instead of moving forward as a unifying force, [the] majority in the House is choosing to divide us further,” he added.
If the measure passes in the House of Representatives, the Senate will hold a trial to determine whether Trump will also be kicked out of office. However, it remains unclear whether the Senate will have a chance to vote before Trump’s term ends on January 20th, as they’re technically on a break until then. McConnell has made it clear that he doesn’t think they’ll be able to start before them, but Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has urged McConnell to invoke emergency powers to call the Senate back sooner. If the Senate convicts after Trump steps down, however, it doesn’t mean nothing would happen; we could see him barred from ever holding political office in the United States again.