High Crimes and Misdemeanors (Reprise)

Nenita GapudTressler, Writer

Once again, impeachment of Donald Trump has been a political focus.

After the insurrectionists stormed the Capitol, claiming that the election had been “stolen,” former-President Trump’s response lost him a good deal of support. With only one article of impeachment: incitement of insurrection,, the proceedings in the House moved much quicker than the last time Trump was impeached.

Unlike during the previous impeachment proceedings, the White House was uncharacteristically quiet. This lack of communication, however, can likely be attributed to Trump’s recent ban from Twitter and most other forms of social media. The speed at which the proceedings occurred likely also contributed to the lack of response. The Capitol was stormed on January 6, 2021 and Donald Trump was impeached, for the second time, on January 13, in a vote of 232 – 197.

The Senate proceedings regarding Trump’s impeachment have yet to commence, regardless of the fact that a new president has been inaugurated. Senators of both parties have given reason as to why Trump’s impeachment trial will take place after Biden’s inauguration. Some reasons include: the calendar of the Senate cannot meet the speed of the House proceedings and a Senate trial so early in Biden’s term might impact his legislation. Regardless of the reason, the Senate trial is on hold and a date has not yet been determined.

The Senate trial does not determine impeachment; the House vote does. Donald Trump has been impeached two times. Like the other two presidents who have been impeached, Johnson and Clinton, Trump was acquitted by the Senate after his 2019/2020 impeachment.

Now, in 2021, the Senate trial is on hold and the Senate has a 50-50 split, with some influential Republicans stating their inclination to convict, in contrast to the Republican majority with support for Trump of 2020. It is possible that Donald Trump may not only be the first president to be impeached twice, but also the first to be impeached and convicted.

The Senate trial is to determine sentencing or acquittal of the impeached president. The Senate can remove an impeached president from office and/or can prevent them from holding future office. Details regarding Trump’s first impeachment, the impeachment process, and former presidents to have faced articles of impeachment can be found in an article written in December 2019: High Crimes and Misdemeanors – TJ Chronicle (wordpress.com).