By Ana Martinez-Ortiz
Earlier this week, President Donald Trump made history. After much debate, the U.S. House of Representatives made the decision to impeach Trump. This is Trump’s second impeachment and the first time in U.S. history for a president to be impeached twice.
So far, three presidents including Trump have been impeached but none were convicted. The first was Andrew Johnson in 1868 and the second was Bill Clinton in 1998. Trump’s first impeachment was in 2019.
The call for Trump’s impeachment came in the aftermath of the U.S. Capitol Riots, which took place last week on Wednesday, Jan. 6. Protestors entered the U.S. Capitol Building in an effort to prevent the Electoral College vote count, which would finalize the election of President-elect Joe Biden.
The riot ended with five dead. While it delayed the Electoral College vote count by several hours, once the area was deemed secure, the session resumed as planned. Many believe that the protestors were spurred on by Trump’s remarks made during a speech earlier that day.
“We know that the President of the United States incited this insurrection – this armed rebellion – against our American democracy. He must go,” Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi tweeted.
Trump was first impeached in December 2019 under the charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. A trial was held, which examined his dealings with Ukraine. In February 2020, Trump was acquitted of all charges.
This time, he was charged with “incitement of insurrection” according to PBS News Hour. The final vote was 232 to 197, in favor of impeachment. PBS News Hour reported that the impeachment trial could begin on Tuesday, Jan. 19.
Biden’s inauguration is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, Jan. 20, which means Trump will already be out of office. A final verdict will not be decided during Trump’s time in office.
If Trump is found guilty and convicted, the Senate could prevent him from running for a second term in 2024 and potentially disqualify him from the Post Presidents Act. Under this act, former presidents are given a pension and a yearly travel allowance.
Pelosi named the impeachment managers on Tuesday, Jan. 12. The managers who will present the case for Trump’s impeachment and removal are as follows: Congressman Jamie Raskin, Congresswoman Diane DeGette, Congressman David Cicilline, Congressman Joaquin Castro, Congressman Eric Swalwell, Congressman Ted Lieu, Congresswoman Stacey Plaskett, Congresswoman Madeleine Dean and Congressman Joe Neguse.
Raskin will be the lead manager.
According to CNN, Trump’s lawyers may argue that his remarks are protected under the First Amendment, which protects the freedom of speech.
According to ABC News, the Senate will be split 50-50 between the Democratic and Republican parties in 2021. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will be the potential tiebreaker if there is not a two-third majority.
No one is sure what will happen next, but with an inauguration and an impeachment scheduled in the days to come, all eyes are on the United States of America.