History is made – Trump is the first US President to be impeached twice

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Just a few minutes ago, I watched as Nancy Pelosi brought down her gavel on the US House resolution to impeach Trump a record second time.

That means, the President is referred to the US Senate for a trial chaired by the Chief Justice, where a two-thirds majority is needed to convict President Trump of “inciting an insurrection”. The timetable appears to suggest that a Democratic-controlled Senate will consider the matter after President-elect Biden is sworn in.

Extraordinarily, ten Republicans voted for impeachment in the US House. This included Rep Liz Cheney – which is very significant. This was the most bipartisan impeachment in the history of the United States.

As Jake Tapper remarked on CNN, it is surprising that the resolution was not unanimous.

I watched the debate speeches and I was flabbergasted at the many Republicans who stood up and, effectively, swore black was white.

Everyday, more horrific details emerge from the 6th January storming of the US Capitol. But for some acts of courage by police and others, more people would have died, including elected representatives, some or all of whom could have been held hostage. Just consider the images of mob leaders in protective clothing carrying zip-tie handcuffs.

So what will happen in the Senate? Opinions vary as to whether the Senate can even hold a trial of Trump after he leaves office. Lower office holders have been convicted after leaving office. Why do it to Trump? Well, at least he could be stopped from holding federal office ever again (which would be attractive to some Republican competitors) – and it would act as a deterrent for others, and establish a principle for history.

Bear in mind, Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader of the Senate (currently) is “undecided” on the matter – which in itself is extraordinary. He spoke passionately in favour of approving Biden’s election last week.

I suspect that the Democrats will take their time – sort out immediate issues when they take charge of the Senate and the Presidency – and then go about a trial in a thorough and considered way.

In the meantime, Trump still can’t tweet about all this – which is also very significant.

* Paul Walter is a Liberal Democrat activist. He is currently taking a break from his role as one of the Liberal Democrat Voice team. He blogs at Liberal Burblings.

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This entry was posted in Op-eds.


  • John Marriott 14th Jan '21 - 8:17am

    McConnell is trying to cover his back. If he and a few of his Republican Party buddies in the Senate do support Impeachment, they’ll need 24/7 protection, just like former NI Secretaries used to have, for the rest of their lives.

    As long as #45 doesn’t still have exclusive use of the nuclear keys, let him see out his term and then find somewhere to live permanently (possibly Brazil, but hopefully not Scotland, as I believe his neighbours in Florida don’t want him there full time). Then the new Senate can debate his case and, if they do convict him, that’s his chances of getting elected again scuppered and his opponents can get on with those civil actions against him.

    And, after that, the Hollywood blockbuster (COVID permitting, although, in his case, he’s apparently invincible)?

  • The rapid response could be seen as a way of restraining the President during the final week. But John Marriott is right in seeing the other stuff (which could send him to jail) which ultimately matters.

  • I listened toRepublican after Republican demanding that he ‘be allowed to leave office peacefully..
    Anyone who believes that an un-convicted Trump will quietly disappear after Jan 20th is living in a ‘make-believe’ world; he will be touring the country preaching to his faithful for years to come..
    I watched three of his ‘faithful’ being interviewed on Ch4 news (far better in-depth coverage than the BBC) and their adherence to alternative ‘facts’ just proved how, even well educated people, will believe complete nonsense when it fits their narrative..

    The Trump genie is out of the bottle and, convicted or not, I see no sign of the divisions healing..

  • Nonconformistradical 14th Jan '21 - 9:51am

    I agree with expats

  • Paul Barker 14th Jan '21 - 2:15pm

    Lets not get too excited about those 10 Republicans who voted for Impeachment, thats about 5% of the total.
    Its still Trumps Party & the Republican Leadership have no idea how to “get their Party back.”

  • Charles Smith 14th Jan '21 - 8:15pm

    The Democratic-led U.S. House of Representatives passed a series of procedural votes midday Wednesday to advance legislation paving the way for the impeachment of President Donald Trump.
    Trump, who could become the only U.S. president twice impeached, faces a single charge of “incitement of insurrection.” The House voted 221 to 203 to advance the resolution to be considered, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi calling him a “clear and present danger.”
    The stunning collapse of Trump’s final days in office, against alarming warnings of more violence ahead by his followers, leaves the nation at an uneasy and unfamiliar juncture before Democrat Joe Biden is inaugurated on Jan. 20.

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