Trump Becomes the First President to Be Impeached Twice


As the United States turns its eyes to the House of Representatives for impeachment results for the current President Donald Trump, some are experiencing a feeling of deja-vu. With the new articles of impeachment raised after the January 6, 2021 “Stop the Steal” protest turned insurrection, Trump stands on a precipice of American history– being the first president to be impeached twice. 

In 2019, Donald Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, by a vote heavily based on party lines. The Senate, also voting by party, did not elect to impeach Trump. Trump became the third President in American history to be impeached by the House of Representatives, preceded by Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton. This impeachment did not tamper with his Presidential powers or opportunities, it served as an acknowledgment of wrongdoing by the House. However climactic this 2019 trial was, 2021 has proved to be more so. 

After a highly contested election cycle, ending with Biden surpassing Trump to accumulate 306 electoral college votes, many American politicians and citizens refused to accept the results. A myriad of lawsuits by the Trump administration in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Nevada, and Georgia sought to stop voting counts, but all suits failed to achieve their goal. Following the continued encouragement of ideas that the election was fraudulent, tensions were rising to a breaking point between groups endorsing the results of the election versus those who did not. After a speech by Donald Trump outside of the White House, a group of around 1,000 Trump supporters began a protest outside of the Capitol building, which is home to the United States Congress. The group began chants encouraging Donald Trump and discouraging the validation of the electoral college votes. All the while, the Senate was debating electoral votes cast in certain states before confirming the election. 

The group then began to storm the Capitol, taking over the Senate and House floors and forcing Congressmen to be taken to a secure location. The insurrection continued as the group entered offices, stole official mail, paraded confederate flags, and removed an American flag to fly Trump’s in its place. The nation watched in shock as the home of democracy and lawmaking was tainted by individuals filled with divisive, hateful speech. 

This act of insurrection was performed in hopes that the election results would not be confirmed. Trump himself was called the main contributor to these ideals, with statements such as “if you don’t fight like hell you’re not going to have a country anymore.” His charge for impeachment is incitement of insurrection. After Pence declined to invoke the 25th Amendment, which would allow him with a majority of Congress to remove Trump from office, the House of Representatives proceeded with the impeachment process. Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House, brought the vote to the House floor on January 6, 2021. This vote was more bi-partisan than Trump’s initial impeachment in 2019, with all Democrats voting Yay along with 10 republicans, making the 232 to 197 decision cross the aisle. 

The House Republicans voting for impeachment were led by Liz Cheney, the third-ranking member of the party. Cheney stated, “there has never been a greater betrayal by a president of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.” 

Some voting against impeachment, like congressman Kevin McCarthy, believe, “The President bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters,” but still do not advocate for his impeachment because it can incite further violence and division for the nation. They also cite the upcoming change of executive power with Joe Biden’s inauguration occurring on January 20th. 

With the overall impeachment vote in the House of Representatives, President Trump can be put to trial in the Senate to bar him from running once again. Due to delays by Mitch McConnell, the current majority leader, it is speculated that the trial will begin on January 19, a day before Biden’s inauguration. Current minority leader Chuck Schumer makes it clear that “there will be an impeachment trial in the United States Senate.”