Photo copyright The New York Times
In the days following the violent riot at the Capitol on Wednesday, January 6th, President Trump faces the consequences of impeachment once again. Trump was the third president to have been impeached, and is now the only sitting President to have been impeached twice. He has been charged with inciting insurrection following Wednesday’s event.
In December of 2019, President Donald Trump faced his first impeachment. Accused of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, the majority vote from the House of Representatives needed to impeach the President was met. Thus, the article was moved to the Senate for a final trial. The Republican-led majority quietly acquitted Trump of his crimes, and the matter was laid to rest in the winter of 2019, or so America thought.
Trump’s previous impeachment was divided along party lines, with Democrats voting aye to all accusations and not a single Republican voting against Trump’s interests, aside from Mitt Romney’s infamous rebuke. This latest vote sees the same overwhelming majority of Democrats voting against Trump, with an added ten Republican representatives voting for his impeachment. The final vote was 232-197.
As the process of impeachment can be a convoluted one, here’s a simple breakdown of what happens next:
- The article must be physically taken to the Senate, where it will be voted upon. For the article to be passed and Trump to be convicted of his charges, it needs a two-thirds majority vote.
- As the results cannot be passed before President-Elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on the 20th of January, Trump will not be removed from office if he is convicted.
- If convicted, Trump may still be able to run for office or hold another government position. There will be a Senate vote regarding his fitness to hold a federal position, which only needs a majority vote to pass rather than a two-thirds majority.
This historical event has left some students shocked, and others vindicated in their belief President Trump is unable and unfit to lead the country. Tatijanna Winn, an upperclassman at SOU, states her opinion on whether or not Trump should be able to hold office again clearly. “His actions one hundred percent warrant his barring from any future positions. A racist, homophobic, uneducated, trash of a human being does not deserve any government positions,” she explained, and she does not stand alone in her beliefs.
Mikayla Hocker, a senior at SOU, shares similar views on the President and his ability to hold office. When asked about her feelings on this second attempt to remove Trump from the presidency, she explains “it’s ridiculous that it has even been allowed to go this far, and the first attempt to remove him should have been enough. I think it shows the fundamentally flawed nature of our current democratic system. As the people, we should be able to trust in the system,” and goes on to say “there needs to be a reform in policies that makes it so things won’t even be allowed to go this far.”
Again, Hocker and Winn are not alone in their views. Ian Gregory, also a student at SOU, believes “Trump deserves the stain this will leave on his reputation and his name. I believe the truth prevails and Trump will never be in office again after our government does its due diligence,” putting some faith into representatives and their efforts at impeachment.
The Senate’s decision will most likely come later on in the week ahead. Whether Trump will be convicted this time around must be left to elected officials, and America can only watch as this historical sequence of events unfolds before the public and the world at large.