Donald Trump’s Second Impeachment Trial Commences for ‘Insurrection’


Ted Eytan

President Donald Trump has been impeached for the second time for inciting the attack on the capitol. Photo courtesy of Ted Eytan.

Following the Capitol Riots on Wednesday, Jan. 6, the United States government has finished the process of impeaching former President Donald Trump (R) on counts of insurrection. Regardless of Mr. Trump’s recent condemnations of the riots, which were incited by a “Save America Rally” he held, he made it clear that he encouraged and supported the rioters in their violent actions. Many officials state that condemnation is not enough. Multiple members from both parties have denounced the actions and words of Mr. Trump, declaring him an insurrectionist under the 14th amendment.

“Donald Trump is a clear and present danger to our country,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said. “Once again, we must honor that oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution. He must be impeached and removed from office.” 

With the impeachment finalized in the House, officials are waiting to get it onto the Senate floor for new Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) so they may go ahead with conviction or acquittal of Mr. Trump. Although Mr. Trump has been impeached for a second time, it occurred only days away from the ending of his term. While impeachment may seem futile now that he is no longer president, a conviction could disqualify him from serving in any government office in the future. 

“The Senate must now carry out its constitutional duty and convict Trump,” Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT) said. “We have to ensure that neither he, nor any other president, can subvert our democracy again.” 

So far, the second impeachment has been symbolic, as there has never been a president impeached twice. Mr. Trump was not removed before the inauguration, due to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) refusing to reconvene the Senate before Mr. Trump left office. 

“Even if the Senate process were to begin this week and move promptly, no final verdict would be reached until after President Trump had left the office,” Mr. McConnell said. “I believe it will best serve our nation if Congress and the executive branch spend the next seven days completely focused on facilitating a safe inauguration.” 

However, following the trial, the Senate could hold another vote. This vote would be to permanently ban Mr. Trump from ever running for a federal office again. As it has been mentioned by Mr. Trump, there is a possibility he will run in 2024, but officials from both parties are working to remove that possibility.

“If Trump is too dangerous to send out a tweet or a Facebook post, he’s too dangerous to be commander-in-chief,” Mr. Sanders said. “He must be held accountable for his horrific acts of sedition, violence, and chaos.” 

These officials have cited statements Mr. Trump gave to his followers at the “Save America Rally” on Wednesday, Jan. 6. Statements from the rally, moments before the riots, convinced some officials that he urged his followers to go beyond protesting. They most likely are going to be used in court as evidence of him inciting insurrection, since Mr. Pence has chosen to not invoke the 25th amendment. 

“If you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.” Mr. Trump said. “We won this election, and we won it by a landslide. We will stop the steal. We will never give up. We will never concede. It doesn’t happen.”

These words have been found as an encouragement to go beyond peaceful protesting, to ‘take back’ their country by any means. This led many officials, such as Ms. Pelosi, to call upon Mr. Pence to remove Mr. Trump regardless of the pending impeachment. However, Mr. Pence has chosen to not take such measures.

“I do not believe that such a course of action is in the best interest of our nation or consistent with our Constitution,” Mr. Pence said. “The amendment is not a means of punishment or usurpation, invoking it would set a terrible precedent.”

This leaves the Senate to go through with the trial to possibly guarantee a permanent ban on Mr. Trump ever holding office again. Now that Mr. Trump has officially been impeached, the Senate will begin a trial. He won’t be removed by the trial, but a permanent ban from office might be the outcome of this impeachment.