Donald Trump was impeached twice in a row, on different occasions and both impeachments have been dismissed.
45th President of the United States speaking after a tour of the border section in Texas on January 12, 2021 (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/ via by Getty Images)
By Emily CHamale and Tamara Salmeron
Former President Donald Trump, who left office this January, was impeached twice in a row becoming the first president to be charged twice; analysts say the Senate has the power to prevent him from running for office again.
On December 18, 2019 Donald Trump was impeached for the first time. After a highly mediatic case, the president at the time was found “not guilty” on his first impeachment as the commander-in-chief of the United States.
Trump got charged for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, among other things. These arguments came after the accusation that he had solicited foreign interference in the upcoming 2020 U.S presidential election to help him to be re-elected.
Trump’s defense team argued that the allegations represented were not considered a felony since he had the right as a president to make foreign policies. They also declared that the impeachment was unconstitutional.
After this high-profile legal process, it was expected for many voters to reconsider and vote against him. These predictions ended up becoming true and on November 3rd of 2020, some states that were Republican in the past, such as Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, turned blue and Joe Biden became the 56th president of the United States.
Donald Trump at his rally in Las Vegas, Nevada, 2020. (Photo by Jim Watson/AFP VIA Getty Images)
Trump’s second impeachment took place on January 13, 2021, one week before his term ended, as a consequence of his unsuccessful attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election, which he had lost. On his social media, Trump had spread the false declarations that the 2020 election was a fraud and instigated his supporters to go to a rally that took place on the National Mall in Washington D.C, on the same day the congress was going to count the electoral votes, and declare Joe Biden officially the winner of the election.
This situation led to Trump supporters taking over the Capitol after the rally where President Trump repeated his false claims, alleging that the election was “stolen.”
After the events of January 6, that resulted in 5 deaths, the House of Representatives took one article of impeachment against Trump alleging that Trump incited the January 6 storming of the U.S Capitol. At this point the purpose of his impeachment was not to remove him from his position in the White House anymore, since there was only a week left on his term, but to prevent him from running for a second term in the future.
Trump’s second impeachment did not take place until February 13th 2021, almost a month after his term as president of the United States finished. The impeachment resulted in 57 votes to 43, only 10 votes short from declaring Donald Trump guilty of “incitement of insurrection.”
Trump was not found guilty, but it target Trump and his Republican allies in a negative way more than in his first impeachment. The impeachment has also increased the tensions within the Republican party.
Trump’s representatives argued that Trump did not incite the insurrection, constantly emphasizing that Trump told his followers to “peacefully and patriotically make [their] voices heard.” They also protected Trump’s speech, claiming that Trump was exercising his First Amendment rights when speaking to his followers. Trump’s lawyers also argue that the trial was unconstitutional since Trump was no longer in office.
Mr.Hinojosa, US History teacher at APB community, said that he is disappointed by the results. Hinojosa wonders what kind of actions a president has to do in order to see further action. He states that “It also serves as a reminder to what extent people will choose to side with a person only because of their political party.”
According to A Gallup poll it claims that 52% of Americans agreed that Trump should be impeached. Another Ipsos poll conducted by Reuters says that 71% of Americans think Trump is responsible for the attack made at the U.S Capitol.
As a result of Trump been found not guilty, many Americans believed that Trump should have been convicted, causing disappointment and discouragement. But Trump’s acquittal wasn’t surprising.
Trump has been impeached twice and acquitted twice, been meaningful because it has never happened before. Both allegations happened under different conditions but same results, it makes people wonder just like Mr.Hinojosa said, “what a president will have to do to see further action taken?” For those in support of convicting Trump, they feel that it is clear that American democracy faces a threat.