The House has voted to impeach President Donald Trump for the second time – making him the only U.S. president to ever be impeached twice. The vote was 232-197, with 10 Republicans joining all the Democrats to impeach. Another 4 Republicans did not vote (read into that what you will).
All four of Arizona’s
Republican Sedition Party members voted against impeachment, violating their oath of office to defend the Constitution and the United States against all enemies including domestic enemies, i.e., the white nationalists, QAnon cult, and Trump MAGA red cap domestic terrorists who engaged in a violent insurrection against the United States government in an attempted coup, killing a Capitol Police officer and threatening all of their lives. These traitors should face expulsion from from Congress.
CNN reports, House impeaches Trump for role in deadly Capitol riot:
The House just voted to impeach President Trump for a second time for his role in last week’s deadly Capitol riot.
Ten Republicans joined their Democratic colleagues in voting in favor of the impeachment resolution.
- Rep. Dan Newhouse of Washington
- Rep. John Katko of New York
- Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington
- Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois
- Rep. Fred Upton of Michigan
- Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming
- Rep. Peter Meijer of Michigan
- Rep. Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio
- Rep. Tom Rice of South Carolina
- Rep. David Valadao of California
Historical Note: This is the first bipartisan impeachment vote in the House. Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) was the only bipartisan senate vote for impeachment in Trump’s first impeachment.
The most prominent Republican to break with Trump was GOP Conference Chair Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), the No. 3 Republican leader and highest-ranking GOP woman in Congress, who said Trump “summoned the mob,” “assembled the mob” and “lit the flame” of the attack and — despite pleas from his Hill allies — refused to call it off.
“There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution,” Cheney said in a statement.
Trump cult members Reps. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), immediately called on Cheney to resign from leadership and on Wednesday began organizing an effort to oust her from power.
That’s right. The guy accused of plotting Trump’s seditious insurrection last week wants Rep. Liz Cheney to step down. Freedom Caucus Chair Andy Biggs Helped Plan January 6 Event, Lead Organizer Says. This is Seditious Conspiracy, 18 U.S. Code § 2384, for which Biggs can be fined or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both. He should be expelled from Congress and prosecuted for this crime, and also 18 U.S. Code § 2383 – Rebellion or insurrection, for which Biggs can be fined or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States. And let’s not forget the disqualification clause of the 14th Amendment, Section 3 as well. It is Biggs who should resign.
What comes next: The next steps in the process are a little unclear. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell won’t agree to bring the Senate back early, according to Republican sources, and he communicated that to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer today.
That means a Senate trial won’t happen now until after Trump has left office and would most likely bleed into the early days of the Biden presidency, and when Democrats will control the Senate.
The new Democratic Senate should proceed with the impeachment trial even after Trump is no longer president. He needs to be convicted for incitement of insurrection and face criminal prosecution under the sedition statutes. He must also be disqualified from ever holding public office again.
Congress can also pass a resolution to disqualify Trump from ever holding federal office again in enforcing the 14th Amendment, Section 3. See, Impeachment Isn’t the Only Option Against Trump.
There must be zero tolerance for sedition and insurrection.
UPDATE: The latest right-wing talking point is that the Senate cannot impeach Trump after he leaves office, promoted by Trump enablers like Sen. “Tehran Tom” Cotton. Cotton: Senate lacks authority to hold impeachment trial once Trump leaves office. “Ha! Ha! We ran out the clock on your ability to impeach Trump!”
This dimwit is wrong, of course. Constitutional law professor Laurence Tribe who wrote the damn book on impeachment explains, The Senate can constitutionally hold an impeachment trial after Trump leaves office:
The Senate appears unlikely to take up the article of impeachment against President Trump before his term ends next Wednesday. That does not require the end of proceedings against him. The Senate retains the constitutional authority — indeed, the constitutional duty — to conduct an impeachment trial against the soon-to-be-former president.
The Constitution, Article II, Section 4, provides that the president and other civil officers “shall be removed from Office” following impeachment and conviction by the Senate. Some scholars, most prominently former federal appeals court judge J. Michael Luttig [a right-wing judge], have argued that because Trump’s term will have already ended and he, by definition, cannot be removed, the impeachment power no longer applies.
With all respect, I disagree. The Constitution references impeachment in six places but nowhere answers that precise question. Article I, Section 3 comes closest to delineating the contours of the Impeachment Power, instructing that “Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States.”
These “judgments” — removal and disqualification — are analytically distinct and linguistically divisible. Their divisibility was first established by the Senate during the 1862 trial of federal-turned-confederate Judge West Humphreys and reaffirmed by a parliamentary inquiry during the 1936 trial of impeached Judge Halsted Ritter. The only court to address the issue agreed with the Senate that an impeachment trial could proceed even after the individual was no longer in office.
To be sure, a former officer may no longer be “removed” even upon conviction by a two-thirds vote. But that has no bearing on whether such an ex-officer may be barred permanently from office upon being convicted. That separate judgment would require no more than a simple majority vote.
Concluding otherwise would all but erase the disqualification power from the Constitution’s text: If an impeachable officer became immune from trial and conviction upon leaving office, any official seeing conviction as imminent could easily remove the prospect of disqualification simply by resigning moments before the Senate’s anticipated verdict.
The clear weight of history, original understanding and congressional practice bolsters the case for concluding that the end of Donald Trump’s presidency would not end his Senate trial.
The impeachment power derives from the power of the British Parliament. One particular British impeachment featured prominently in the framers’ conception of the power: that of the former colonial governor of India, Warren Hastings. Led by Edmund Burke, the Hastings impeachment was repeatedly referenced during the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia and, critically, was conducted entirely after Hastings had left office. Given the prominence of the Hastings’s impeachment to the framers, the absence of debate on the question at the federal or state ratifying conventions — not to mention the silence of the Constitution’s text on the point — speaks volumes.
So it’s unsurprising that Congress has throughout the nation’s history considered the power to try and judge impeachments to extend past an officeholder’s term. The question was first raised during the attempted 1797 impeachment of Sen. William Blount. One of the lead House prosecutors, Rep. James Bayard and Blount’s lawyer agreed that a civil officer could not escape impeachment through resignation. President John Adams concurred, declaring that “I hold myself, so long as I have the breath of life in my body, amenable to impeachment by this House for everything I did during the time I held any public office.”
Likewise, in 1876, Secretary of War William Belknap resigned minutes before the House was set to impeach him; the House still transmitted five articles of impeachment to the Senate. At Belknap’s trial, the Senate voted 37 to 29 that he was “amenable to trial by impeachment …notwithstanding his resignation of said office.” And the House and Senate rules have both long permitted the impeachment and trial of former officers for abuses committed while holding office.
Note: The Senate ultimately acquitted Belknap.
Focusing on the purposes of the impeachment power yields the same conclusion. Its function is prospective rather than punitive: to prevent officers who have betrayed their oaths from committing further abuses and thereby inflicting future harm.
The need to protect the nation can sometimes be satisfied merely by removing a dangerous officer from power. Still, the inclusion of a separate power to disqualify is a clear recognition that removal might not always be sufficient. For such cases, the Constitution expressly provided the additional remedy of exclusion.
Disqualifying President Trump from ever again holding federal office is a particularly suitable remedy for fomenting and inciting insurrection. It is also fitting in stripping Trump of the very thing that motivated his impeachable offenses: the pursuit of future power.
To render this uniquely appropriate remedy unavailable simply because the gravest abuses of power were committed near the very end of a president’s term would be bizarre at best, self-sabotaging at worst. Nothing in the Constitution suggests that a president who has shown himself to be a deadly threat to our survival as a constitutional republic should be able to run out the clock on our ability to condemn his conduct and to ensure that it can never recur.