After Trump loyalists stormed the Capitol, President Donald Trump is being impeached for the second time. He was charged with “incitement of insurrection” by the House of Representatives, being the only president in U.S. history to be impeached twice.
The House of Representatives voted on the impeachment resolution with10 Republican members joining their Democratic colleagues in voting to impeach President Trump making the vote 232 to 197. The resolution states that, “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. He thereby betrayed his trust as President, to the manifest injury of the people of the United States.”
Many students disagree with the grounds of impeachment that the House claims. Senior James Byrd is one of them.
“It [the impeachment reason for impeachment] is not a legitimate argument, they [the Democrats] tried to do the same thing when Trump talked to the Ukranian President,” Byrd said.
Now the resolution will be moved to the Senate where President Trump will face a trial and possibly be charged. It is not clear when President Trump will be on trial because Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, declared that he will not reconvene the Senate last minute to start the trial and Speaker Pelosi has not yet announced when she will send the article to the Senate. Many speculate that this could mean that the Senate will be putting a former president on trial.
Convicting the President requires a two thirds Senate vote meaning that 17 members of the Republican Party will have to vote against President Trump (assuming that Senator-elects Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock of Georgia are seated by the time of the vote). The last time President Trump was on trial for impeachment, only Republican Senator Mitt Romney of Utah voted against President Trump in the Senate, but it may be different this time.
Many Republican senators expressed their support in impeaching President Trump this time. Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska said, “I want him to resign. I want him out. He has caused enough damage,” according to Anchorage Daily News.
Senator Susan Collins of Maine explained what happened in a recollection of the riots in a piece posted on Bangor Daily News. Collins proclaimed that, “…President Donald Trump completely undercut that message by repeating his grievances and telling the rioters that he knew how they felt. This was terrible, especially since he incited them in the first place.”
Many WJ students had much to say about the strong party polarization occurring, including senior Alina Kha.
“Essentially they’ve been hurting the country and now they’re trying to do the absolute bare minimum to save themselves either for re-election or because they think this will somehow help them politically,” Khan said.
Many members of the House pressured Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th amendment. The 25th amendment states that if the Vice President and the President’s cabinet believe that the President is unfit for their job, the Vice President will be permitted to become acting President. Vice President Pence refused to invoke the 25th amendment and wrote in a letter to Speaker Pelosi claiming that “with just eight days left in the President’s term, you and the Democratic caucus are demanding that the Cabinet and I invoke the 25th Amendment. I do not believe that such a course of action is in the best interest of our nation or consistent with our Constitution.”
Students at WJ have mixed opinions on whether or not Vice President Pence should have proceeded to invoke the 25th amendment, junior Jazmine Robinson being one of them.
“I think Pence is afraid of Trump now after the incident because he now sees what Trump and his supporters are capable of and may be fearful of what they will do to him or his family if he went through with invoking the 25th. Pence not invoking it was a bad decision but I don’t necessarily blame him for bowing down to Trump especially with everything going on,” Robinson said. “The incident at the Capitol was just the icing on the cake of every terrible action that he [President Trump] or his supporters have done.”
With just days until the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden and the possible Senate reconvening, it is not yet clear whether President Trump will be the first president in history to actually be convicted of a crime and removed from office.
Reprinted from The Pitch (Walter Johnson HS)