The Second Impeachment and Prospects of the Senate Trial

Dylan Griffiths, Co-Managing Editor

On January 13th, 2021, former President Donald J. Trump made history as the first United States’ president to be impeached twice. The House of Representatives passed the sole Article of Impeachment, for incitement of insurrection after the Capital breach. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, along with House Democrats, had urged former Vice President Mike Pence and Trump’s Cabinet members to invoke the 25th Amendment. The 25th Amendment allows for a president’s removal from office if they are unfit to rule by their vice president and majority of their officials. After learning that Pence would not be invoking the Amendment, House Democrats proceeded with the impeachment process. The article passed 232 to 197 with a record-breaking ten Republicans voting for impeachment, making this impeachment the most bi-partisan in history (Chelsea Stahl of NBC). With some delay, the House passed the article to the Senate. The trial will take place on February 9th. While the House only needed a majority to impeach, the Senate will require 17 Republicans to achieve the ⅔ majority needed to convict Trump. Many GOP Senators oppose impeaching a president after they have left office but, a vote on January 19th by the Senate opposed Kentucky Senator Rand Paul’s objection. Paul objected to the impeachment claiming it was unconstitutional to impeach a no longer sitting president. However, it failed, voted against 55 to 45 (Daniel Bush of PBS).
Former President Trump has had multiple of his lawyer leave as his trial draws closer. Trump has not said much about his impeachment due to his mass bans across many social media apps. While Trump has lost three of his attorneys just before the pre-brief, his odds of being convicted are low. The vote on the legality of impeaching after office, reveals that the support from senators appears to be at most five Republicans, twelve less than required. Even if Trump is acquitted, it is expected that he will not play a role in politics unless he runs again. Not attending the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris set up a precedent that Trump does not desire a relationship with the new administration (Monica Alba, Hallie Jackson and Tim Stelloh of NBC).