United States President Donald Trump was impeached by the House for a historic second time on January 13 in the wake of the riot at Capitol Hill. The House voted 232 to 197 in its favour as the Democrats prevailed due to their majority in the lower chamber. Trump was charged with “incitement of insurrection” against the United States government.
Trump is the only president to be impeached twice.
According to the article of impeachment, Trump “repeatedly issued false statements asserting that the presidential election results were fraudulent and should not be accepted”.
Ten Republicans, including the House’s top senior Republican, Liz Cheney of Wyoming, joined all Democrats to impeach Trump.
Impeachment may not force Trump from office, but the vote was an instant response from lawmakers in both parties furious at Trump after a deadly pro-Trump mob ransacked the US Capitol and put the lives of Vice President Mike Pence and lawmakers in danger last week. Trump won’t face trial until after President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in next week.
After the House vote, Trump released a video statement calling for calm as the threat of a new riot cast an impending danger on Washington. But he did not mention the historic impeachment. Trump never showed repentance for his role in the Captiol Hill siege.
What will happen next?
The Senate which is the upper chamber of the legislature will have to hold a trial. If convicted, Donald Trump could be barred from running for office ever again. A two-third majority is required in the Senate for the conviction to take place.
The Senate is divided equally between the two parties. The Democrats will need at least 17 Republicans to vote in favour of the article of impeachment. New York Times reported that nearly 20 Republicans are open to voting against Donald Trump. If a conviction doesn’t happen then the president is considered impeached but not removed from office.
Donald Trump was first impeached just a year ago over allegations of improperly seeking help from Ukraine to boost his chances of re-election. He was accused of seeking damaging information from the foreign country about his political rival Joe Biden. However, he was cleared by a majority of senators at his trial.