At a rally just before the attack on the Capitol, Donald Trump’s fiery speech was at the forefront of the impeachment charge against him, even though the falsehoods he spread for months about election fraud are still being advocated by some Republicans.
The Capitol police officer died from injuries sustained during the riot, and during the siege, the police shot and killed a woman. In what officials said were medical emergencies, three other individuals died.
By 232 votes to 197, the House has already voted to impeach Trump. Ten Republicans joined Democrats in voting for impeachment, the first time that a president has been impeached twice in American history.
This is what is at stake and what’s the next line of action:
For impeachment, the Democratic case
In an impeachment resolution that the House debated on Wednesday, Trump faced a single allegation, “incitement of insurrection”. As Democrats and an increasing number of Republicans announce that he is unfit for office and may yet do more harm after triggering a mob that ransacked the Capitol, this is a shocking end to Trump’s presidency.
“President Trump gravely endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of government,” reads part of the four-page impeachment bill. “He will remain a threat to national security, democracy and the constitution if allowed to remain in office.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Democrat of California, said, considering the limited number of days left in Trump’s term, impeachment was required. “The threat posed by the president to America is urgent, and so will our action,” she said.
For Pelosi and several other lawmakers, Trump’s actions were personal. “During the Capitol riots, she was among those forced to huddle in a bunker, and armed rioters threatened staff with taunts of “Where’s Nancy? ”
At 9am ET (2pm GMT), before an initial debate and several procedural votes, the House of Representatives convened. The vote then started after a few hours of debate on the impeachment article, and ended with 232 votes for impeachment versus 197 against. The next step of the process is to submit the articles of impeachment to the Senate.
Donald Trump Impeached: How many Republicans were in favor of impeachment?
Here are the 10 Republicans from the House who voted to impeach Trump on the charge of rebellion incitement:
- John Katko of New York.
- Liz Cheney of Wyoming.
- Adam Kinzinger of Illinois.
- Fred Upton of Michigan.
- Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington state.
- Dan Newhouse of Washington state.
- Peter Meijer of Michigan.
- Tom Rice of South Carolina.
- Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio.
- David Valadao of California.
The votes of the Republicans made this the most bipartisan impeachment of the presidency in history. Five Democrats, in contrast, voted to impeach Bill Clinton in 1998.
When will the impeachment papers go to the Senate?
Republican majority leader Mitch McConnell, who remains in charge of the Senate until Democrats take over, maybe as early as 20 January, has said that 19 January, the day before Trump leaves office and Joe Biden is inaugurated, will be the earliest the Senate might consider impeachment. Democratic leaders have been discussing how to recall the Senate sooner, but McConnell’s support would still entail that. Accordingly, any vote to prosecute Trump is likely to take place after he has already left office, with a trial likely to take place on 20 or 21 January. However, there is a suggestion that the Democratic-controlled House will delay sending the articles to the Senate until after the Biden administration is formed and the Senate approves his cabinet choices, so as not to distract him from the beginning of his term in office. The Senate divided its time between impeachment and his agenda, Biden has suggested.
What does the trial in the Senate look like?
The arrival of the chief justice of the supreme court and the swearing-in of the Senate are part of the first day. The second day deals with the setting of the trial rules. After that, a typical trial would mean that claims on either side could stretch into the Biden administration’s first days. There are also options for a shorter trial with brief applications, or half a day at a time trial, enabling the Senate to perform its other work throughout the transition.
In order to impeach Trump, how many votes are required in the Senate?
Impeachment in the Senate, which requires 67 votes, has to be passed by a two-thirds majority. The new Senate will be delicately poised 50-50 between Democrats and Republicans after the Democrats’ two victories in the Georgia runoff elections, with Kamala Harris holding the casting vote. That means that to convict Trump, 17 Republican senators will need to vote. In his previous impeachment trial, the outgoing president was comfortably acquitted on both counts, with only one Republican in the Senate finding him guilty on one count.
Would any Senate Republicans vote this time to prosecute Trump?
In 2021, things may be different. For a start, the charge is much simpler and more straightforward-that Trump is guilty of the instigation of an insurgency, rather than the nuanced and murky dealings that were the focus of the first impeachment in Ukraine. So far, five Republican House members have come forward to say they’re going to vote for impeachment, but no senators have done so yet. Hardliners such as Ted Cruz or Josh Hawley, who voted against Joe Biden’s election victory, can hardly imagine swinging behind an effort to impeach Trump.
Reports from both the New York Times and Axios, however, indicate that those close to McConnell seem to believe that the majority leader believes that Trump has committed impeachable crimes and will be forced to vote in a Senate trial to convict. It would make it easier for other Republicans to do so, if that was the case.
Donald Trump Impeached: In the courtroom, who is representing Trump?
It is predicted that none of the initial lawyers who represented Trump in his first impeachment trial will return. According to Politico, that could leave just Rudy Giuliani, part of Trump’s personal legal team, and Alan Dershowitz, who supports Trump on the grounds of free speech.
Would that preclude him from running for president again if Trump is found guilty?
Not by automatic means. However, if convicted, with another vote to block him from running for office, the Senate could follow up, needing only a simple majority to pass. This vote would trigger the 14th amendment, which excludes anyone who engages in revolt or uprising from federal or state office. Adopted after the US civil war, the amendment states that if they have previously “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” against the US while becoming an elected official, nobody can hold office in the US.
And if Trump is acquitted, will the 14th amendment be used?
While it is likely to be challenged and open to legal challenge, some analysts suggest that even though he is acquitted, the 14th amendment might be used to bar Donald Trump from running for office again. Again, this would only take a simple Senate majority vote, which would be sure to pass under Democratic control.
How’s Trump going to respond?
So far, despite his statements urging supporters to march on the Capitol and praising them while they were still carrying out the attack, Trump has taken no responsibility for his role in facilitating the violent uprising. “People thought it was totally appropriate what I said,” he said on Tuesday.
One major change from the first impeachment by Trump: he no longer has a real-time Twitter feed to respond.
House members would be forced to go through a metal detector for the first time in an indication of the heightened tensions in the aftermath of the attack before being allowed to enter the room.
According to an order by Timothy Blodgett, acting House sergeant-at-arms, this latest security measure will remain in place every day that the House is in session for the near future. After widespread criticism of inadequate security preparation for the 6 January qualification vote, Blodgett replaced the long-time sergeant-at-arms, who resigned.
During the Covid-19 crisis, Blodgett also told lawmakers they must wear masks and that if they fail to do so, they risk expulsion from the house.
Has it ever occurred before?
In 1868, Andrew Johnson was impeached by a House committee within 10 days for infringing the Term of Office Act. But the Senate trial lasted much longer, and a single vote convicted Johnson.
Legislators also voted to censure Andrew Jackson in 1834 for withholding papers.
Will legislators on the floor reign in emotions?
Although the House debate is always impassioned, tensions have been unusually high as impeachment is debated by lawmakers. The debate comes exactly one week after a majority of House Republicans objected to the certification of Biden’s win, setting the stage for the hours-long attack that shook the Capitol and the country. Not only is it the second time they voted on such a measure.
Tensions have only escalated with a recent breakout of Covid-19 among lawmakers who were kept in lockdown with others who refused to wear masks.