January 13, 2021: The day Donald Trump made history as the only federal office holder to ever be impeached on TWO separate occasions.
There is much partisan debate on whether or not the former president deserves to be impeached for a second time and convicted in the Senate for the first, especially considering he left office on January 20th. Well, I am here today to justify the articles of impeachment and, perhaps, convince a few people along with me (but let’s be realistic, probably not).
To start things off, I should probably explain the impeachment process to those who aren’t particularly keen on government affairs (you’re welcome to skip this part).
*Impeachable offenses are labeled as, “Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors” → “other high crimes and misdemeanors” are not further defined*
Step 1: *sometimes skipped* Congress investigates, most often in the House Judiciary Committee
Step 2: The House must pass, by majority vote, articles of impeachment which outline the allegations against the accused.
Step 3: The Senate tries the accused after the articles are passed in the house and must confirm the removal with a two-thirds supermajority vote
And that’s it! That’s impeachment in its simplest form. If the House impeaches and the Senate convicts then Bye, Bye Baby! you’re out of office.
The first time Donald Trump was impeached in The House the allegations concerned soliciting foreign interference in the 2020 Presidential election. Obviously, the Senate voted not to convict and Trump remained in office… but round two is a little bit different. This is the first time we are witnessing bipartisan support with the former president being accused of “inciting insurrection” regarding the storming of the Capitol building on Wednesday, January 6th.
The biggest example of his “incitement of insurrection” occurred during his speech to his supporters on January 6th where he encouraged protesters to march down Pennsylvania Ave. to the Capitol building. With language like, “…if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore” and “We will never give up, we will never concede,” Trump created a stir amongst his supporters and pushed the narrative of voter fraud across the masses. But that’s not even the worst of it, Trump directly said, “The Republicans have to get tougher. You’re not going to have a Republican Party if you don’t get tougher.” and “…we’re going to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue. I love Pennsylvania Avenue. And we’re going to the Capitol…” Although the former president never directly said “Go storm the Capitol building!”, his heavily manipulative diction undeniably encouraged the lawless actions of his supporters.
By spreading rumors of democracy-endangering voter fraud across the nation (which was proven to be false), Trump incited insurrection, participated in high crimes and misdemeanors, and, in my opinion, has earned the infamous honor of being convicted by the Senate. Although he is already out of office, being officially impeached will ensure that Trump cannot hold federal office in the future. Although it is doubtful the Senate can pull off a supermajority vote with majority Republican support, 2020 clearly showed us that anything is possible. The impeachment trial is this week, so let’s see what happens next!