UNITED STATES. Washington, DC: For the first time in American history, the House impeached the same president for the second time. In one focused Article of Impeachment, the House charged President Trump with "inciting violence against the government of the United States". This charge is the result of his role in the events of Jan 6 when thousands of Trump supporters overtook the Capitol Building. Five people died, including two Capitol Police officers. The FBI opened criminal investigations in nearly 200 individual cases.
Ten Republicans joined every Democrat to forward the Article of Impeachment to the majority Republican Senate where the President's case will meet with likely resistance. Liz Cheney was among the Republicans who voted for the impeachment. "There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution. I will vote to impeach the President" (Politico). Cheney's vote is significant as she is the third ranking member of the Republican caucus and she is the daughter of the former Vice President, Dick Cheney, who served under George W. Bush.
With 53% of the American population in support of Trump being removed from office , Senate House Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will face increasing pressure to convict Trump on the incitement to insurrection charge.
McConnell seems to be slow-rolling the Senate hearing, content to wait until the Senate reconvenes on Jan 19, one day before President-elect Joe Biden is sworn into office on the 20th. Minority House Leader Chuck Schumer pressed McConnell to reconvene the Senate immediately, using a 2004 rule enacted post 9/11 that allows the Majority and Minority Leaders to call an emergency session when they agree to do so.
McConnell is showing no urgency to impeach a president for whom he has been an enthusiastic apologist. After the House approved the Article of Impeachment, McConnell said, "Given the rules, procedures, and Senate precedents that govern presidential impeachment trials, there is simply no chance that a fair or serious trial could conclude before President-elect Biden is sworn in next week." However, there is some indication that McConnell is warming to the idea of convicting Trump when the Senate does reconvene (CNN).
In addition to sending a strong message to Trump and any future presidents who may see themselves as above the law, the Democrats pushed impeachment to the Senate in the hopes that the President's conviction would bar him from holding future office. The Article of Impeachment carries the prohibition for the President to ever hold federal office again.
Among several crises facing the United States at this vulnerable time of transition, the second impeachment trial of Donald J. Trump will be awaiting the new administration on day one.