Earlier this week, Donald Trump became the first president in U.S. history to be impeached twice. The first time was on December 18, 2019; the articles of impeachment charged him with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress for pressuring Ukraine to smear Mr. Biden. I remember that day very clearly- I was at a concert and everybody was celebrating his impeachment behind the stage. However, most people knew that he wouldn’t actually be impeached due to the Republican Senate majority, who didn’t think it was enough to impeach. This time, it’s a single impeachment charge of “inciting violence against the government of the United States” following the Capitol storming that happened on January 6th. Many Republicans agree that Trump has definitely committed an impeachable offense, but many do not find it necessary to actually vote to impeach, since Trump’s term ends in just a few days. However, actually impeaching him is an actual necessity.
First, if Trump gets impeached, he will lose his chance of ever running for office again- including the 2024 election if he chooses to run. He also loses his security protection and his 200K pension a year after he leaves presidency. Most importantly, it will show that there are dire and serious consequences for a President to commit such offenses, setting a precedent and showing the world that there is punishment. Although impeaching him would not remove him from office (since he’d already be out of office) he loses many benefits and overall respect. So is it worth it to go through with an impeachment trial? Yes. We must show there are consequences for an action this damaging and destructive.
There was a question about whether or not the 25th amendment should be enacted, which states the Vice President takes over if the President is unfit to lead the country. However, Mike Pence did not find this necessary with so few dates in his term left, and he stated he just wanted a smooth transition to the Biden administration. The House quickly moved to impeach the President, voting 232 to 197 to charge Trump with “inciting violence against the government of the United States” and requesting his immediate removal from office and disqualification from ever holding one again. Ten Republicans joined Democrats in voting to impeach: Representatives Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the party’s №3 leader in the House; Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington; John Katko of New York; Adam Kinzinger of Illinois; Fred Upton of Michigan; Dan Newhouse of Washington; Peter Meijer of Michigan; Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio; David Valadao of California; and Tom Rice of South Carolina. This was a remarkable break from the head of the party by Republicans, who voted unanimously against impeaching Mr. Trump just over a year ago. There’s a trend: more and more GOP members are turning against Donald Trump, including his vice president and Mitch McConnell, who are tired of his flagrant lies.
Now that the House has voted to impeach, there must be a Senate trial held. However, Mitch McConnell has refused to reconvene the Senate before the inauguration of Joe Biden, so the impeachment trial will not be held until after the inauguration, which makes sense. The question now is, will more GOP Senators recognize the impeachable offenses Trump committed, or will they pardon him once more? We can’t say for sure. This week, Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock will be sworn into the Senate following their wins from last week, and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) will become Senate Majority leader. Now that the Senate is narrowly Democratic-leaning, there might be a possibility that Trump will be impeached. However, I doubt many Republicans will vote to impeach because they don’t think it’s worth it to impeach trump after his term ends. Mitch McConnell has said he is genuinely undecided and will have to decide. We’ll just have to wait and see. The impeachment is also controversial because the Senate wants to focus on what Joe Biden will bring to the presidency and hold meetings to discuss his agenda.
I hope that the Senate will see that Donald Trump did commit an impeachable offense and needs to be punished for it, even if he isn’t in office anymore. I hope for the smooth inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, although I fear for their safety after what happened only what two weeks ago. America and the whole world are closely watching everything that is happening in D.C., and no matter what the result is, it will indefinitely go down in history.