Impeachment – January 14, 2021
By: Steve Johnson
(TrueNewsBlog) Under the Constitution, impeachment in the House triggers a trial in the Senate. A two-thirds majority would be needed to convict and remove Trump, meaning at least 17 Republicans in the 100-member chamber would have to join the Democrats.
Even if Trump is already out of the White House, conviction in the Senate could lead to a vote banning him from running again.
McConnell has said no trial could begin until the Senate was scheduled to be back in regular session on Tuesday, the day before Biden’s inauguration.
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, set to become majority leader this month, said that no matter the timing, “there will be an impeachment trial in the United States Senate; there will be a vote on convicting the president for high crimes and misdemeanors; and if the president is convicted, there will be a vote on barring him from running again.”
House leaders did not say when they would send the charge to the Senate for consideration.
Asked if it would be a good idea to hold a trial on Biden’s first day in office, Representative Madeleine Dean, one of the House members who will prosecute the trial, said: “I don’t want to preview it, but certainly not. We have a president and a vice president to swear in, we have to restore the peaceful transfer of power, which Donald Trump deliberately incited violence against.”
With the National Guard standing watch, the emotional impeachment debate unfolded in the same House chamber where lawmakers had ducked under chairs and donned gas masks on Jan. 6 as rioters clashed with police outside the doors.
“The president of the United States incited this insurrection, this armed rebellion against our common country,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, said on the House floor before the vote. “He must go. He is a clear and present danger to the nation that we all love.”
At a later ceremony, she signed the article of impeachment before, saying she did this “sadly, with a heart broken over what this means to our country.”
No U.S. president has ever been removed from office. Three – Trump in 2019, Bill Clinton in 1998 and Andrew Johnson in 1868 – were impeached by the House but acquitted by the Senate. Richard Nixon resigned in 1974 rather than face impeachment.