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Jan 27 · Last update 1 mo. ago.

What does a second impeachment mean for Trump?

Impeachment proceedings were filed against Donald Trump in 2021 following the infamous January 6th Capitol Riots incited by then-president Trump, in which his supporters vandalised and looted the US Capitol building, delayed the counting of electoral votes and caused the deaths of four rioters and one police office. The US House of Representatives quickly voted to impeach Trump for “incitement of insurrection” on the 13th of January, making history as the first time a sitting president has been impeached more than once, after being impeached in 2019 for abuse of power for his attempts to solicit foreign interference in the 2020 US elections. The issue of punishment for this impeachment now lies with a Senate trial, but with the fact that Trump has led office this second impeachment raises significant legal questions. While the US Constitution doesn't directly permit a Senate impeachment after a president has left office a similar scenario took place in 1876, when Secretary of War William W. Belknap was impeached after resigning. So, in the run up to the Senate trial, what does a second impeachment mean for Trump and the Republican Party?
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The Republican’s need to regain the electorate
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Possible ban from running for President
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Second impeachment another witch-hunt
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Waste of time
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The Republican’s need to regain the electorate

Republicans should be pushing for the harshest impeachment of Trump, to get him disqualified from taking office again so that his extreme base has nowhere else to go & ultimately goes back to support for the Republican Party and mainstream Republican candidates. Democrats should be appealing to Republican self-interest so that the party can distance itself from Trump and his dangerous legacy. Trump has famously proved he is willing to turn on Republican politicians, even whipping up his supporters to the point of them wanting to hang his vice president Mike Pence, they need to rid their party of these radical extremist tendencies that Trump has utilised to generate such frenzied supporters.

The US Senate ultimately voted to go ahead with the 2nd impeachment trial, and damning evidence was presented in the second hearing including new video from Capitol CCTV and audio taken from police radio. But this new evidence and clear incitement from Trump in person and on Twitter did not convince enough Republicans to cast Trump aside and punish him for his part in the Capitol riots. Shortly after voting to acquit Trump on February 14th U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell did denounce Trump's actions, saying he was “practically and morally responsible” for the attack. However the failure to convict Trump means the Republican Party have failed to put Trump and 'trumpism' behind them, and he has already spoken of his political comeback.

politico.com/news/2021/01/12/senate-voices-trump-impeachment-457730 gastongazette.com/story/opinion/columns/2021/01/08/letter-republicans-need-reject-trump/6600577002 baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll/opinion/cc-op-batavick-012221-20210122-3jslntespbg47dhsvxeufl4tfu-story.html msn.com/en-us/news/politics/video-pro-trump-mob-chants-hang-mike-pence/ar-BB1cCkqY reuters.com/article/uk-usa-trump-impeachment-republicans-idUKKBN2AD0P3 salon.com/2021/02/13/a-defiant-trump-teases-political-comeback-after-being-acquitted-for-impeachment_partner

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Feb 15
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DH edited this paragraph
The US Senate ultimately voted to go ahead with the 2nd impeachment trial, and damning evidence was presented in the second hearing including new video from Capitol CCTV and audio taken from police radio. But this new evidence and clear incitement from Trump in person and on Twitter did not convince enough Republicans to cast Trump aside and punish him for his part in the Capitol riots. Shortly after voting to acquit Trump on February 14th U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell did denounce Trump's actions, saying he was “practically and morally responsible” for the attack. However the failure to convict Trump means the Republican Party have failed to put Trump and 'trumpism' behind them, and he has already spoken of his political comeback.

Possible ban from running for President

This second impeachment of Donald Trump is a historic milestone for this controversial president, the first to be impeached twice, and this was enabled by a limited degree of bipartisan support for the issue, in striking contrast to the first impeachment. Impeachment passed the House with ten Republicans breaking ranks to vote for impeachment, 232-197, this could be an indication that Republicans in the Senate are willing to go the same way, with a current majority of Senators supporting the motion [1]. If the Senate change tact from the first impeachment and do not acquit Trump again, he faces being blocked from running for the presidency or holding public office ever again. Trump also faces unrelated criminal changes after leaving office for various issues of his possible illegal business dealings and obstruction of justice, a fitting end for this corrupting influence on American politics.

Trump is often compared to Richard Nixon, and if Trump had been more Nixonian in his conduct he could have resigned just before the end of his presidency in order for his vice-president to later pardon him, something Nixon pulled off in 1974 following the Watergate scandal. However this end to his presidency would have seen him blocked from office in the future, and many have speculated that if the Senate votes to support Trump's post-presidential impeachment they might hold a immediate follow-up vote to ban Trump from ever seeking office again. Otherwise this second impeachment is largely symbolic as the Senate cannot remove a president that no longer holds office, a ban from office would be the only real punishment the Senate could consider, as benefits such as pension and Secret Service protection cannot be revoked.

aljazeera.com/program/inside-story/2021/1/14/whats-the-impact-of-donald-trumps-second-impeachment foxnews.com/politics/second-trump-impeachment-draws-bipartisan-support thedailybeast.com/house-reads-trump-riot-act-with-second-impeachment [1] washingtonpost.com/politics/interactive/2021/senate-impeachment-whip-count-where-democrats-republicans-stand msn.com/en-au/news/world/what-does-a-second-impeachment-mean-for-us-president-donald-trump/ar-BB1cD5Fy wsj.com/articles/trump-second-impeachment-senate-trial-11610400832?tesla=y

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Feb 7
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DH edited this paragraph
Trump is often compared to Richard Nixon, and if Trump had been more Nixonian in his conduct he could have resigned just before the end of his presidency in order for his vice-president to later pardon him, something Nixon pulled off in 1974 following the Watergate scandal. However this end to his presidency would have seen him blocked from office in the future, and many have speculated that if the Senate votes to support Trump's post-presidential impeachment they might hold a immediate follow-up vote to ban Trump from ever seeking office again. Otherwise this second impeachment is largely symbolic as the Senate cannot remove a president that no longer holds office, a ban from office would be the only real punishment the Senate could consider, as benefits such as pension and Secret Service protection cannot be revoked.

Second impeachment another witch-hunt

Trump has called his second impeachment "the continuation of the greatest witch-hunt in the history of politics", and has denounced the effort to impeach him as political partisanship. Meanwhile most Republican Senators have rejected the constitutionality of the Trump impeachment and challenged the efforts ahead of the senate hearing, proving this is just another political abuse of the constitution by the democrats. The Republican Senator of Kentucky, Rand Paul, went so far as forcing a vote to dismiss the impeachment proceedings on the 26th of January, on the grounds that it is unconstitutional to try a past president in the Senate.

Indeed the majority of the republicans at this conference seemed to support Senator Paul's analysis and supported dismissing the trial, so it looks likely that this witch hunt will go the same way as the first and be dismissed by the Senate. Meanwhile, House Republicans such as Rep. Liz Cheney have been censured themselves for crossing party lines and supporting this attack on Trump demonstrating that the GOP is clearly behind Trump on this issue. So, while it looks like it may be a rehash of the first attempt and another colossal waste of time, Democrats are showing their willingness to use Congress to unconstitutionally punish a president that has been so outspoken and adversarial to the political establishment while in office.

wsj.com/articles/republicans-challenge-trump-impeachment-trial-11611683182 wionews.com/world/trump-calls-second-impeachment-attempt-greatest-witch-hunt-in-history-356318 bangordailynews.com/2021/01/27/news/trump-conviction-unlikely-after-most-republicans-vote-to-dismiss-impeachment-trial npr.org/2021/02/06/964933035/wyoming-gop-censures-liz-cheney-for-voting-to-impeach-trump

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Feb 7
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https://www.wsj.com/articles/republicans-challenge-trump-impeachment-trial-11611683182 https://www.wionews.com/world/trump-calls-second-impeachment-attempt-greatest-witch-hunt-in-history-356318 https://bangordailynews.com/2021/01/27/news/trump-conviction-unlikely-after-most-republicans-vote-to-dismiss-impeachment-trial/ https://www.npr.org/2021/02/06/964933035/wyoming-gop-censures-liz-cheney-for-voting-to-impeach-trump

Waste of time

The House have approved this article of impeachment, but now the Senate needs 60 votes to, in what the constitution refers to as, “remove him from office”, but the main issue of concern is whether this could be used to block Trump from taking office again. However, even with now vice president Harris in the Senate, the impeachment is being sped through a still republican Senate, and they need 16 Republican defectors to vote against Trump, something that looks extremely unlikely. The best-case scenario for pro-impeachment politicians is that the House has impeached and the Senate censures the ex-president, which is in essence just a strong worded email. But the Senate could also expunge the censure if the Republicans do well in the midterms, so it is a massive waste of time ultimately.

Even democratic Senator Joe Manchin called for Democrats to be rational in the impeachment of Trump, asking, “why go through the exercise again if it’s going to be futile?” [1]. Clearly something is needed to set the precedent that this kind of presidential behaviour is unacceptable, but ultimately censure is the only real option and it is more of a rhetorical slap on the wrist. In this way the impeachment process needs to be more about protecting against future evils than punishment past crimes, and for this reason it's more symbolic than anything else. The impeachment should be recognised as such as the Capitol riot probably speaks for itself as a smudge on Trump's legacy, without having to fuel further “witch-hunt” claims and attempt to block Trump from politics.

[1] washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/01/08/trump-second-impeachment youtu.be/zfRdEgu4mok?t=1257 thedailybeast.com/house-reads-trump-riot-act-with-second-impeachment?ref=scroll

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Jan 28
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DH edited this paragraph
The House have approved this article of impeachment, but now the Senate needs 60 votes to, in what the constitution refers to as, “remove him from office”, but the main issue of concern is whether this could be used to block Trump from taking office again. However, even with now vice president Harris in the Senate, the impeachment is being sped through a still republican Senate, and they need 16 Republican defectors to vote against Trump, something that looks extremely unlikely. The best-case scenario for pro-impeachment politicians is that the House has impeached and the Senate censures the ex-president, which is in essence just a strong worded email. But the Senate could also expunge the censure if the Republicans do well in the midterms, so it is a massive waste of time ultimately.
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