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  • Shoshana Horn

Impeachment 2.0

On January 13, 2021, President Donald Trump became the first president in US history to be impeached twice. The House of Representatives accused President Trump of “incitement of insurrection” over last week’s storming of the Capitol in which Trump supporters stormed the Capitol following a rally in which President Trump claimed voter fraud. The riot at the Capitol was violent and destructive. It also delayed the certification of election results as members of Congress had to seek shelter. The certification of the election had to be held many hours later after the military eventually placed the building on lockdown and secured the area. Many in Congress were angry and traumatized, so it was unsurprising that the House voted 232-197 in favor of impeachment. There have only been three Presidents in US history that have been impeached- Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1998, both acquitted by the Senate. President Trump was previously impeached in 2019, but was acquitted by the Senate. Now, in 2021, President Trump has been impeached a second time and it is unknown whether the Senate will have time to hold a trial before the inauguration of President-elect Biden.

To have enough votes to convict (since impeachment requires a two-thirds majority), Republicans would have to vote with Democrats in this currently evenly-split Senate of Democrats and Republicans. If then convicted, the Senate can prevent President Trump from holding office ever again. Many legal experts are debating whether a former president can be convicted in a trial for impeachment if they are no longer the actual president. Congress will need to juggle an impeachment trial and Cabinet nominations, making President-elect Biden’s first days of presidency very interesting.

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