The presidency of Donald Trump has arguably seen its fair share of interesting moments. From disputing crowd sizes at his Inauguration Day in 2017, to the more recent sidelining of some of his top allies and his own cabinet members over the riots in the US Capitol buildings last week, Donald Trump has had what some would view as an unorthodox presidency compared to that of his predecessors. According to the Washington Post, Donald Trump has made more than 20,000 false or misleading claims since the beginning of his presidency to July of 2020. It is often these false claims (usually in the form of Tweets, prior to his account suspension) about voter fraud from the presidential election and everything that ensued as a result of them (incitement of violence), that have led to record-setting second impeachment, not previously seen by any president.
The riots in Washington, DC last week saw pro-Trump supporters travel from a “Stop the Steal” protest where the president made an appearance to the crowd and then break into the US houses of government, defiling the very halls that the nation’s top lawmakers work from daily. This moment, which some say Trump encouraged through his social media platforms and rally appearances prior to the election, would ultimately led to a defining moment in his presidency. Joe Biden, the incoming president, described those involved in last week’s protests as “domestic terrorists.”
Trump and Social Media
Trump has also been banned from various social media websites. Although, his most notable ban came from Twitter, a platform that Trump has used as his main form of communication to the general public, since before he became president. All of Trump’s actions over the past number of weeks (and months since the November 4th election) have resulted in a second impeachment, the first time that it has happened to any sitting president in the history of the US. Bill Clinton and Andrew Johnson are the only two presidents before Trump that were formally impeached.
The articles of impeachment which were first lodged by House Democrats cite the “incitement of the capital insurrection” as the reason that the president should be removed from office. It had been hoped by the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, and other leading figures in the Democratic party that outgoing Vice-President Mike Pence would invoke the 25th Amendment of the Constitution. Pence declined to invoke the amendment.
Here’s how the House of Representatives voted on the articles of impeachment:
What is most notable about the impeachment vote of Donald Trump, compared to the last time in December of 2019, is that the vote on Wednesday of this week saw Republican members of the House of Representatives split with their party for the very first time. This split from their own party has resulted in infighting between House and Senate Republicans. The Democrats will hold the majority in the House, the Senate and the presidency, having complete control to advance the agenda of president-elect Joe Biden, for at least the next two years.
Now that the House has voted, the next stage of the process involves moving to a trial in the Senate. There must be a two-thirds majority vote in favour of impeachment in order to enforce the ruling from the House and ultimately remove the president from office and face further issues of running for office in future. It is likely that all Senate Democrats will vote in favour of impeachment but it remains unclear how many Senate Republicans will split from the party and also vote in favour.