The (Second) Presidential Impeachment

by Kylee McCue

On 13 January, 2021, President Donald Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives for the second time this term, being charged with incitement of insurrection. This makes him the first president in history to ever be impeached twice, though he was acquitted both times by the Senate.

In the process of voting to impeach, a total of ten Republicans in the House of Representatives sided with the Democrats and voted yes for a trial. The final outcome of this vote was 232:197 in favor of a trial (with four legislators not voting).

Impeachment is usually a lengthy process, but Congress worked to make this hasty. Despite the urgency, though, the Senate trial did not begin until February 9th, which was after Trump left office on January 20th.

After a quick trial in the Senate, Trump was ultimately acquitted on February 13th. While a majority of senators (57-43) voted to impeach, a supermajority of 67 votes was need to convict.

With Trump no longer in office, it might be hard to understand why Congress would still try to impeach him after the fact. The focus was not on removing him from office at this point, but instead on how impeachment would affect him after his term ended.

Impeachment after the fact could have prevented his ability to run for office in the future, or impacted his post-presidential salary.

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