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A little over a year after Donald Trump was first impeached for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, he’s now been impeached again, making him the first president of the United States to be impeached twice.
Following the attack on the U.S. Capitol last week, carried out by a pro-Trump mob, House Democrats introduced an article of impeachment against Trump for “incitement of insurrection.” Then this Wednesday, House members voted to impeach, with 10 Republicans joining their Democratic colleagues in the “yes” vote. But because the Senate is not currently in session, the Senate trial that follows will take place only after Trump leaves office.
The article of impeachment states that Trump “engaged in high Crimes and Misdemeanors by inciting violence against the Government of the United States” when he continually denied the 2020 presidential election results and “made statements that, in context, encouraged—and foreseeably resulted in—lawless action at the Capitol.” It continues: “In all this, President Trump gravely endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of Government. He threatened the integrity of the democratic system, interfered with the peaceful transition of power, and imperiled a coequal branch of Government.”
Earlier this week, the House also voted to call on Vice President Mike Pence to use the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from power, though Pence has said he will not do so. He wrote in a letter to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, “I do not believe that such a course of action is in the best interest of our Nation or consistent with our Constitution.” Pence continued, “I urge you and every member of Congress to avoid actions that would further divide and inflame the passions the moment.”
During the attack on the Capitol, members of Congress were forced to shelter in place as rioters violently stormed the building. Rep. Susan Wild told ELLE.com that she began to panic and felt paralyzed as the “door [of the gallery] was still barricaded and it sounded like bullets were ricocheting in the chamber.” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recently said on her Instagram that she had “a very close encounter where I thought I was going to die.” Several members have since tested positive for COVID-19 after being contained in a secure location with their colleagues, some of whom refused to wear masks.
The same day as the attack, Trump posted a video to his Twitter telling the mob: “I know your pain, I know you’re hurt. We had an election that was stolen from us. It was a landslide election, and everyone knows it, especially the other side. But you have to go home now. We have to have peace. We have to have law and order.” He continued, “We have to have peace. So go home. We love you. You’re very special.”
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