The United States House of Representatives opened a second impeachment to the president.Trump became the first president in U.S. history to be tried twice in Congress for having committed “high crimes” during his tenure, and having violated his oath to preserve, protect and defend the country’s constitution.
Trump had been acquitted in the Senate in his first impeachment, in early 2020, over the Ukrainegate scandal. The new impeachment seeks to remove him when there are barely seven days left until his term ends and the president-elect swears in, Joe Biden. But above all, it also aims to banish him forever from politics, by asking the Senate to disqualify him from holding public office in the future.
Unlike the first impeachment, the new impeachment received endorsement from Republican congressmen -10-, a notable turnaround that exposed as never before the internal fracture that Trump caused in the Republican Party. Never before has a political trial received so much support from legislators in the ruling party. The other leaders who were impeachment were Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton. Richard Nixon resigned before the process began.
The final vote was 232 votes in favour of impeaching Trump, and 197 votes against.
So…How does the process continue?
Now it will go to the Senate, which is where the trial supervised by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, John Roberts, will take place, in which representatives play the role of prosecutors, the president has defense attorneys and the senators serve on the jury. To find the president guilty, there must be at least two-thirds of the 100 senators who vote to have him removed.
The Senate is currently in recess and resumes just one day before Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 19. Therefore, with the vote on Wednesday, the submission to the Senate of the indictment against Trump could not be received until the last day of the Republican presidency.
The House of Representatives acts as the impeachment of the president. The day before, the president of the body, Nancy Pelosi, appointed the congressmen who will act as prosecutors in the eventual trial. Neither of them acted as accusers in Trump’s first trial.
The new impeachment marks the end of a chaotic, disruptive, divisive and tumultuous presidency like no other in American history that leaves a country broken and haunted by the coronavirus pandemic, which has already begun to cause more than 4,000 deaths per day amid a devastating second wave of infections that is still seeking its peak.