History Podcasts

House Votes Articles of Impeachment - History

House Votes Articles of Impeachment - History

On December 18th the House of Representatives approved two articles of impeachment against President Trump the first Abuse of Power was passed 230 to 197 and the second Obstruction of Congress which passed 229 vs 198 against. The House transmitted the articles to the Senate and the Senate held a trial with not witnesses or documents. The Senate acquitted the President Trump along party lines with the exception of Senator Romney who voted to convict on the charge of Abuse of Power on February 5th, 2020

January 16-February 5, 2020- The trial of President Donal J Trump began on January 16, 2020. The House managers presented their case followed by a rebuttal by representatives for President Trump. The Democrats wished to call witnesses including former National Security Advisor John Bolton. The Republicans except for Senator Romney and Collins voted against any witnesses. On February 5th, 2020 the Senate by a vote of 52 to 48 voted to equip.

December 18th- The House of Representatives passed two articles of impeachment Abuse of Power and the second Obstruction of Congress. The vote was along party lines, with the 230 voting in favor of Abuse of Power and 197 against and 229 voting for the article of Obstruction of Congress and 198 against

December 13th, The House Judiciary Committee passed 2 articles fo impeachment. The First Abuse of Power and the second Obstruction of Congress.

December 6, 2019, The White House announces that it will not participate in the House Judiciiciary meetings.

December 4, 2019, The House Judiciary Committee held its first impeachment hearing. Four legal scholars analyzed the constitutional impact of the testimony had been held.

November 20, 2019 - Gordon Sondland the envoy to the European Union and a Trump political appointee stated that the President had directed a "quid pro quo" to push Ukraine to announce an investigation of Joe Biden and his son.

November 15, 2019- The former American ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovich, testified on the pressure applied to have her fired and the negative impact that had on US relations with Ukraine. During her testimony, President Trump tweeted attacking her. Many interpreted the tweet as witness intimidations.

November 13, 2019, Ambassador William Taylor and George Kent, senior State Department official in charge of Ukraine policy gave the first public testimony. Their testimony was considered powerful

October 31, 2019 - The US House of Representatives approved a resolution fo formalize the impeachment inquiry into President Trump

October 29, 2019- Army Lt Col Alexander Vindman director of European Affairs on the NSC gave strong testimony saying that there was a quid pro quo requested for aid. Vidman an Iraq War veteran found his patriotism questioned.

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October 22,2019- Bill Taylor acting Ambassador to Ukraine gave testimony stating that aid to the Ukraine was conditional on Ukraine investing the Bidens. His testimony if confirmed is devestating to the President's legal argument that there was no quid pro quo. Opening Statement by Bill Taylor

October 11, 2019- Former Ambassador to Ukraine Marie L Yovanovitich testified before House Committees. She stated testified that President Trump had pushed to remove her, she believed because her efforts to fight corruption were getting in the way of the interest of Trump's associates. She stated that private influence and personal gain have usurped diplomats’ judgment and could undermine the nation’s interests. Yovanovitch testified despite being ordered not to, after receiving a subpoena from the House.

October 10, 2019 Lev Paranas and Igor Fruman were arrested as they were trying to leave the US. Both have been charged with a series of crimes including illegal campaign donations. They funneled foreign money into Pro-Trump PAC's as well as campaigns of other Republican candidates. The two are associates of President Trump's lawyer Rudi Giuliani and were mentioned in the whistleblower complaint as being involved in the firing of the US Ambassador in Ukraine. Reports stated the Guiliani is also under investigation.

October 8th, 2019. President Trump issued a letter saying that he will not cooperate with the impeachment inquiry. He claimed the inquiry was unconstitutional. The letter which came from the Office of the White House Counsel was, in fact, a political statement that had very little legal logic. Letter

October 6th, 2019. Lawyers representing the whistleblower announce that they are now representing multiple clients who have become whistleblowers in this affair.

October 3 Trump publicly calls on China to investigate the Biden the same way that he called on Ukraine to investigate the Bidens.

September 30- the House subpoenas Rudy Giuliana for documents.

September 26th Interim Head of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire testifies and a declassified version of the whistleblower complaint is released

September 25th -The White House releases a summary of the call which the President called “perfect” The call itself is problematic for the White House with the President after saying after the President of Ukraine says they would like to buy some more missile that “ I would like you to do us a favor though” and then goes on and request help both a way out conspiracy theory that it was the Ukrainians and not the Russians who interfered in the 2016 election. He also requests that the Ukrainian aid his lawyer Rudi Guiliani in investigating the Biden family.

September 24 House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announces the opening of a formal impeachment inquiry based on the complaint.

September 19 Atkinson meets with the committee but does not disclose the complaint.

September 11- $400 million in aid to Ukraine is released after a bipartisan outcry.

September 9 -Atkins reported the House Intelligence Committee chairman the existence of the complaint ( that according to the law is supposed to go the committee) but that the Justice Department has barred him from transmitting it. Shiff announces he is opening an investigation.

September 3 the Justice Department who by law is not in the loop for whistleblowers deemed the complaint no urgent.

September 4, 2019, The ousted Ukrainian prosecutor claims that he was ousted because he was going to investigate Bidens, son. His claim is disputed by other prosecutors and those who were fighting corruption in Ukraine

August 12, 2019 - An unnamed intelligence officer files a whistleblower complaint to the Inspector General of the intelligence community Michael Atkinson. The IG determines that the complaint is credible and time-sensitive.

July 25, 2019, President Trump called the newly elected Ukrainian President Zelensky on the call ask that the government of Ukraine to do him a favor and resume investigating Joe Biden’s son Hunter who had been on the board of Ukrainian energy company.

July 2019 President Trump ordered a freeze on aid to Ukraine.

May 19, 2019, President Trump claims Joe Biden worked to push out Ukraine prosecutor to stop him from investigating his son

April 25th, 2019 Joe Biden Announces his Bid for the Democratic Nomination


Trump Impeachment Takes Record for Largest Number of House Votes in American History

On Wednesday, President Donald Trump became only the third president in U.S. history to be impeached by the House of Representatives, joining former presidents Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton on the ignominious list.

But Trump also made history with the number of votes cast against him, with the two impeachment articles receiving both the largest and second largest backing in the history of American presidential impeachments.

The House voted to approve the first article&mdashcharging Trump with abuse of power&mdashby 230 votes to 197, with one "present" vote. The second article&mdashcharging the president with obstruction of Congress&mdashwas approved by 229 votes to 198.

The voting went along party lines, with no Republican representatives joining their Democratic colleagues in censuring Trump. Only two Democrats&mdashNew Jersey's Jeff Van Drew and Minnesota's Collin Peterson&mdashvoted against the articles. Democratic Rep. Jared Golden voted yes to abuse of power but no to obstruction. Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard voted present on both.

The graphic below, provided by Statista, illustrates the House vote on Trump's impeachment.

Both votes were larger than for the impeachment articles brought against Clinton in 1998 and Johnson in 1868, though the House of Representatives was much smaller during the effort against Johnson.

The House approved two articles brought against Clinton. For the perjury charge, 228 representatives voted against the president, with 206 backing him. The second charge was obstruction of justice, which was approved by 221 lawmakers and opposed by 212.

In Johnson's case, the House voted to impeach the president for high crimes and misdemeanors by a 126 to 47 vote, with 17 members not voting.

He faced eleven articles of impeachment, including allegations that he was attempting "to bring into disgrace, ridicule, hatred, contempt and reproach" both Congress and the presidency. The Senate eventually voted on three of the articles.

Though the vote against Trump is the largest by total number, Johnson's impeachment remains the largest by the proportion of the House which voted for it.

Just over 66 percent of representatives voted against Johnson, compared to 52 percent for the articles against Trump.

Following Wednesday's House vote, Speaker Nancy Pelosi noted it was a "sad" occasion and silenced Democratic representatives who began applauding the result. "He gave us no choice," Pelosi said, adding it was "tragic" that Trump's actions necessitated such measures.

The vote took place while Trump was speaking at a re-election rally in Michigan, prompting the president to deliver a wide-ranging and at times rambling rebuke of his opponents.

Trump said the "do-nothing Democrats" were "declaring their deep hatred and disdain for the American voter." The impeachment process, he claimed, was a "political suicide march for the Democratic Party," adding, "I don't know about you, but I'm having a good time. I'm not worried."

Both Johnson and Clinton were acquitted in their Senate trials. The outcome for Trump is expected to be the same, and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has already admitted he will not be "an impartial juror."

Pelosi refused Wednesday to commit to sending the articles of impeachment to the Senate, raising concerns that the subsequent trial will be legitimate. "So far we haven't seen anything that looks fair to us," she told reporters immediately after the vote, according to Politico.

McConnell and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer are currently wrangling over the format of Trump's trial, with Democrats keen to bring additional witnesses but Republicans seeking to ensure a quick acquittal.


House begins impeachment of Nixon

On July 27, 1974, the House Judiciary Committee recommends that America’s 37th president, Richard M. Nixon, be impeached and removed from office. The impeachment proceedings resulted from a series of political scandals involving the Nixon administration that came to be collectively known as Watergate.

The Watergate scandal first came to light following a break-in on June 17, 1972, at the Democratic Party’s national headquarters in the Watergate apartment-hotel complex in Washington, D.C. A group of men linked to the White House were later arrested and charged with the crime. Nixon denied any involvement with the break-in, but several of his staff members were eventually implicated in an illegal cover-up and forced to resign. Subsequent government investigations revealed 𠇍irty tricks” political campaigning by the Committee to Re-Elect the President, along with a White House 𠇎nemies list.” 

In July 1973, one of Nixon’s former staff members revealed the existence of secretly taped conversations between the president and his aides. Nixon initially refused to release the tapes, on grounds of executive privilege and national security, but a judge later ordered the president to turn them over. The White House provided some but not all of the tapes, including one from which a portion of the conversation appeared to have been erased.

In May 1974, the House Judiciary Committee began formal impeachment hearings against Nixon. On July 27 of that year, the first article of impeachment against the president was passed. Two more articles, for abuse of power and contempt of Congress, were approved on July 29 and 30.


The History of American Impeachment

In April 1970, Congressman Gerald Ford provided a blunt answer to an old question: “What is an impeachable offense?”

Ford, then the House minority leader, declared, “An impeachable offense is whatever a majority of the House of Representatives considers it to be at a given moment in history.” At the time, he was leading the charge to impeach Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas, a staunch liberal he accused of financial impropriety.

Ford’s memorable definition may not be textbook, but it certainly sums up the spirit of American impeachments—judicial and otherwise. But what does the Constitution itself say about impeachment?

As the Constitution’s framers sweated and fretted through the Philadelphia summer 230 years ago, the question of impeachment worried Benjamin Franklin. America’s elder statesman feared that without a means to remove a corrupt or incompetent official, the only resort would be assassination. As Franklin put it, this result would leave the political official “not only deprived of his life but of the opportunity of vindicating his character.” Perhaps he had Julius Caesar and the Roman Senate in mind.

Ultimately, the framers agreed with Franklin. Drawn from British parliamentary precedent, impeachment under the Constitution would be the legislature’s ultimate check on executive and judicial authority. As the legislative branch, Congress was granted the power to remove the president, vice president, “and all civil officers of the United States” from office upon impeachment and conviction.

There was some debate about which crimes would be impeachable, but the framers left us with “Treason, Bribery or other High Crimes and Misdemeanors.” Though the first two are pretty clear-cut, the rest of the definition leaves considerably more wiggle room. But the Constitution offers much more clarity on the process itself.

There is, first, an important difference between impeachment and conviction. It is the basic distinction between an indictment—being formally charged with a crime—and being found guilty of that crime.

The process begins in the House of Representatives, which has the sole power to impeach. In modern times, impeachment proceedings begin in the House Judiciary Committee, which investigates and holds hearings on the charges. The committee may produce an impeachment resolution that usually contains articles of impeachment based on specific charges. The House then votes on the resolution and articles, and can impeach by a simple majority.

Then comes the trial. Under the Constitution, the Senate has the sole power to hear the case, with House members acting as prosecutors. Attorneys for the accused can present a defense and question witnesses. The accused may even testify. If the president or vice president has been impeached, the Chief Justice of the United States presides over the trial. In other cases, the vice president or the president pro tempore of the Senate is the presiding officer.

At the end of the hearing, the Senate debates the case in closed session, with each senator limited to 15 minutes of debate. Each article of impeachment is voted on separately and conviction requires a two-thirds majority󈠓 of the 100 senators.

To date, the Senate has conducted formal impeachment proceedings 19 times, resulting in seven acquittals, eight convictions, three dismissals, and one resignation with no further action.

Gerald Ford knew how high that bar was set. In 1970, he failed in his attempt to impeach Douglas. The FDR-appointed liberal justice had already survived an earlier impeachment attempt over his brief stay of execution for convicted spy Ethel Rosenberg. This time, the supposed offense was financial impropriety, but Ford and others also clearly balked at Douglas’s liberal views. The majority of the House disagreed, and Douglas stayed on the bench.

So far, only two American presidents have been impeached and tried in the Senate: Andrew Johnson—Lincoln’s successor—and Bill Clinton. Both were acquitted. Richard Nixon would certainly have been impeached had he not resigned his office in August 1974.

Of the other impeachment cases since 1789, one was of a senator—William Blount of Tennessee, case dismissed in 1799—and one a cabinet officer, Secretary of War William Belknap, who was acquitted in 1876. Most of the other impeachment cases have involved federal judges, eight of whom have been convicted.

Among those impeached judges was Supreme Court Justice Samuel Chase. In 1805, the Senate acquitted Chase after a trial notorious for its partisan politics. Vice President Aaron Burr, who presided over the Senate proceedings, was praised for his evenhanded conduct during the trial. Of course, Burr had recently killed former Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton in a duel. He returned to Washington to oversee the Chase trial while himself indicted for murder in New York and New Jersey. Never arrested or tried in Hamilton’s death, Burr escaped impeachment when his term expired.

After Nixon’s close encounter with impeachment in the summer of 1974, Gerald Ford secured another spot in the history books as the first man to become Commander in Chief without having been elected president or vice president. He set another precedent with the pardon of his disgraced predecessor. Ford’s bare-knuckles dictum about the politics of impeachment still reflects the reality of Washington.


Contents

In October 2010, prior to the elections in which Republicans won control of the House, Jonathan Chait published an article in The New Republic called "Scandal TBD" where he predicted that if Republicans were to win control of the House, and Barack Obama were to win re-election in 2012, the Republicans would try to impeach Obama and use any reason possible as pretext. [7]

Joe Sestak Edit

In May 2010, Republican Darrell Issa of California stated that the allegation that the White House had offered Pennsylvania Representative Joe Sestak a job to persuade Sestak to drop out of the Pennsylvania Senate primary election against Arlen Specter "is one that everyone from Arlen Spector [sic] to Dick Morris has said is in fact a crime, and could be impeachable". [8] With the possibility of becoming chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in January 2011, Issa said in October 2010 that the committee would not seek to impeach Obama. [9]

Preventing Obama from "pushing his agenda" Edit

In August 2011, Republican Congressman Michael C. Burgess of Texas agreed with a rally audience member that the impeachment of Obama "needs to happen" in order to prevent Obama from "pushing his agenda". Burgess did not mention any grounds for impeachment. [10] [11]

Obama administration immigration policy Edit

In June 2012, Senator Jon Kyl mentioned impeachment when discussing the Obama Administration policy on immigration. He said on the Bill Bennett radio show, "if it’s bad enough and if shenanigans [are] involved in it, then of course impeachment is always a possibility. But I don’t think at this point anybody is talking about that". [12]

In August 2013, Republican Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma responded to a questioner in a town hall meeting, who had asserted that Obama was failing to carry out his constitutional responsibilities, by saying that "you have to establish the criteria that would qualify for proceedings against the president. and that's called impeachment". [13] [14] Coburn added, "I don't have the legal background to know if that rises to 'high crimes and misdemeanors', but I think you're getting perilously close". [13] Coburn did not specify what grounds he felt would support impeachment, but NBC News noted that Coburn "mentioned that he believes Department of Homeland Security officials have told career USCIS employees to 'ignore' background checks for immigrants". Coburn mentioned no evidence that substantiated his belief. [13]

Use of drones Edit

In March 2012, Republican Representative Walter B. Jones introduced H. Con. Res. 107, calling for Congress to hold the sentiment that certain actions of Obama be considered as impeachable offenses, including the CIA's drone program in Afghanistan and Pakistan. [15] The resolution died in the House Judiciary Committee. [16]

Libya intervention Edit

In March 2011, Democratic House Representative Dennis Kucinich called for Obama's impeachment after Obama authorized air strikes against Libya during the Libyan Civil War. [17]

Benghazi attack Edit

In May 2013, Republican Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma stated that Obama could be impeached over what he alleged was a White House cover-up after the deadly attack against two United States government facilities in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012. [18] Inhofe said that "of all the great cover-ups in history—the Pentagon papers, Iran-Contra, Watergate, all the rest of them—this . is going to go down as most egregious cover-up in American history". [18] Republican Congressman Jason Chaffetz of Utah also stated in an interview that impeachment was "within the realm of possibilities" with regard to the September 11, 2012, attack in Benghazi, later clarifying that "it's not something I'm seeking" and that "I'm not willing to take that off the table. But that's certainly not what we're striving for." [19] Fox News host Jeanine Pirro called for Obama's impeachment over Benghazi. [20]

The Affordable Care Act Edit

In 2013, Senator Ted Cruz responded to the question "Why Don’t We Impeach [Obama]?" with "Good question. and I’ll tell you the simplest answer: To successfully impeach a president you need the votes in the U.S. Senate." That year, when asked if Obama had committed impeachable offenses on immigration and health care, Cruz said the implementation of the Affordable Care Act was "lawless", and said of impeachment, "That’s a question for the House ultimately. My responsibility would be to render judgment." [21] [22] [23]

Birtherism Edit

At a 2013 town hall meeting with constituents, two years after Obama had released his long-form birth certificate to the public, Congressman Blake Farenthold said that Obama should be impeached due to birther conspiracy theories about Obama. Farenthold said that he thinks that "the House is already out of the barn on this, on the whole birth certificate issue." [24]

IRS targeting controversy Edit

On August 19, 2013, Republican Congressman Kerry Bentivolio stated that if he could write articles of impeachment, "it would be a dream come true". To help in achieving that goal, he retained experts and historians. [25] [26] During the same interview, Bentivolio called the press "the most corrupt thing in Washington," and said that he was looking to tie the White House to the IRS targeting controversy "as evidence of impeachment [sic]".

Debt ceiling crisis Edit

During the debt ceiling crisis of 2013, which was the result of Republicans refusing to raise the debt ceiling unless Obama agreed to defund the Affordable Care Act, House Representative Louie Gohmert said it would be an "impeachable offense" of the United States as a result of the crisis. [21]

"President's Constitutional Duty to Faithfully Execute the Laws" Edit

On December 3, 2013, the House Judiciary committee held a hearing formally titled "The President's Constitutional Duty to Faithfully Execute the Laws", which some participants and observers viewed as an attempt to begin justifying impeachment proceedings. [27] Asked if the hearing was about impeachment, the committee chairman responded that it was not, adding, "I didn't mention impeachment nor did any of the witnesses in response to my questions at the Judiciary Committee hearing." [28] Contrary to his claims however, a witness did mention impeachment rather blatantly. Partisan Georgetown University law professor Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz said, “A check on executive lawlessness is impeachment” as he accused Obama of “claim[ing] the right of the king to essentially stand above the law.”

Prisoner swap Edit

The convention of the South Dakota Republican Party voted in a 196-176 resolution to call for the impeachment of Obama based on his action to release five detainees from Guantanamo Bay in order to free Bowe Bergdahl from his Taliban captors. [29] [30] Congressmember Allen West expressed the view that the prisoner exchange that brought the release of Bowe Bergdahl was grounds for impeachment. [31] [21] John Dean, former White House Counsel to Richard Nixon, criticized the movement to impeach Obama as "insanity," arguing that Republican demands for impeachment are grounded in political disagreements rather than actual impeachable offenses. "Partisans promoting and pushing impeachment as a political solution to being out of power seem to forget that what comes around goes around. These people are not conservatives, who by definition seek to protect the system rather they are radicals who are gaming our constitutional system," he wrote. [32]

Transgender bathroom directive Edit

In May 2016, the Oklahoma Legislature filed a measure asking the representatives from Oklahoma in the House of Representatives to impeach Obama, the U.S. attorney general, the U.S. secretary of education and any other administration officials involved in the decision to allow transgender students to use the bathrooms corresponding to their gender identity, alleging that these federal officials had exceeded their constitutional authority by issuing a directive to state schools. The same resolution also "condemns the actions of the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice and the Office for Civil Rights of the United States Department of Education . as contrary to the values of the citizens of Oklahoma". [33]

A number of prominent Republicans rejected calls for impeachment, including House Speaker John Boehner, and Sen. John McCain. McCain said impeachment would be a distraction from the 2014 election, and that if "we regain control of the United States Senate we can be far more effective than an effort to impeach the president, which has no chance of succeeding." Rep. Blake Farenthold said that impeachment would be "an exercise in futility." [34]

In terms of background, U.S. public opinion widely opposed efforts made to impeach previous Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. CNN Polling Director Keating Holland has stated that their organization found that 69% opposed impeaching President Bush in 2006. [6]

According to a July 2014 YouGov poll, 35% of Americans believed President Obama should be impeached, including 68% of Republicans. [35] Later that month, a CNN survey found that about two thirds of adult Americans disagreed with impeachment efforts. The data showed intense partisan divides, with 57% of Republicans supporting the efforts compared to only 35% of independents and 13% of Democrats. [6]

On July 8, 2014, the former Governor of Alaska and 2008 Republican Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin publicly called for Obama's impeachment for "purposeful dereliction of duty". [36] In a full statement, she said: "It’s time to impeach and on behalf of American workers and legal immigrants of all backgrounds, we should vehemently oppose any politician on the left or right who would hesitate in voting for articles of impeachment." [37] [38]

Andrew McCarthy of the National Review wrote the book Faithless Execution: Building the Political Case For Obama's Impeachment, which argued that threatening impeachment was a good way to limit executive action by Obama (McCarthy referred to Obama's actions as "the standard dictatorial self-image"). [21] [39]


Contents

Attempts to overturn the 2020 election Edit

For weeks prior to the impeachment, President Trump made numerous unsuccessful attempts to overturn the 2020 United States presidential election.

2021 storming of the Capitol Edit

Trump called on his supporters to come to Washington D.C. on January 6, on the day that Congress was counting the electoral votes, to the "March to Save America" rally on the National Mall. At the rally, Trump as well as other speakers repeated the false claims that the election was stolen, used the word "fight", [15] made an analogy to boxing, [15] and suggested that his supporters had the power to prevent President-elect Joe Biden from taking office. [16]

When the United States Congress convened to certify the electoral votes of the presidential election, supporters of Trump crossed the Mall and stormed the United States Capitol in an attempt to prevent the tabulation of votes and protest against Biden's win. Trump supporters unlawfully entered the Capitol and gathered on both its eastern and western sides, including on the inaugural platform constructed for Biden's inauguration. [17] Five people, including a Capitol Police officer, died as a result of the riots, while several improvised explosive devices were found on and near the Capitol grounds. [18] [19] Another Capitol police officer on duty during the riots died by suicide days later. [20] During the riots, Trump was "initially pleased" by the attack on the Capitol and took no action. [21] In a speech hours into the event, Trump told the rioters "We love you. You're very special," restated his false claims of electoral fraud, and then asked them to go home. [22] Hours later, Congress reconvened and ultimately certified the electoral votes in the early morning hours of January 7. Trump then released a statement asserting that there would be an "orderly transition" of power on Inauguration Day, even while continuing to falsely claim that the election was "stolen" from him and also stating that he would not attend Biden's inauguration. [23]

Four scenarios for the removal of Trump from office had been posited by members of Congress, members of Trump's cabinet, political commentators, or legal scholars: resignation, the invocation of the 14th Amendment, invocation of the 25th Amendment, or impeachment and conviction.

Resignation Edit

The President of the United States can resign from office, in which case the Vice President would automatically become president, instead of merely assuming the powers and duties of the presidency as acting president. While Article II of the Constitution states that the "Powers and Duties" of the president devolve to the vice president in the event of the president's death, resignation, incapacity, or removal, John Tyler interpreted that provision as allowing the Vice President to ascend to the presidency in such cases, without any qualifications. This practice was codified in 1967, with the passage of the 25th Amendment.

If Trump had resigned, Vice President Mike Pence would have become the 46th president of the United States Pence would have been the shortest-serving president ever, being in office for a matter of days before handing power to Joe Biden as the 47th president on January 20. This would have surpassed the record of William Henry Harrison, who died 31 days into his term. It would have been the second time in history that a president would be forced to resign the first was the 1974 resignation of Richard Nixon when it appeared inevitable that he would be impeached and removed from office for his role in the Watergate scandal.

Due to intense pressure on his administration, the threat of removal, and numerous resignations, Trump committed to an orderly transition of power in a televised speech on January 7. [24] In the White House on January 8, Trump mentioned that he was not considering resignation. [25] Trump made other similar comments the following week and did not indicate that he was worried about leaving early or a removal. Trump also predicted that it was, to him, a pointless endeavor since the soon-to-be Democratic-controlled Senate, then in Republican hands, would never convict him in another impeachment trial, and asked advisers if they agreed with him. [25] On January 9, The New York Times reported that Trump told White House aides that he regretted his statement committing to an orderly transition of power and that there was no chance he would resign from office. [26]

14th Amendment Edit

The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution is one of the Reconstruction Amendments. It addresses citizenship rights and equal protection under the law and was proposed in response to issues related to former slaves following the American Civil War. Section 3 states that a person who participated in insurrection after having taken an oath to support the Constitution is disqualified from holding future office unless permitted by Congress.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was one of the House Democrats that supported invoking the 14th Amendment against Trump. In a letter, Pelosi thanked her colleagues for their contributions to discussions on the 14th Amendment. [27] If successful, the former President would be ineligible for appointment to any federal office without a Senate supermajority vote in favor.

If Trump were to be removed from office under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, Pence would have become the 46th president of the United States, and he would still have been the shortest-serving president ever before handing power to Biden as the 47th president on January 20. It would also be the first time that Section 3 of the 14th Amendment was invoked since 1919 when it stopped Victor L. Berger, convicted of violating the Espionage Act for his anti-militarist views, from taking his seat in the House of Representatives. [28] It would also be the first time that it would be invoked on a sitting president and was seen as especially unlikely. [29]

25th Amendment Edit

The Twenty-fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution deals with presidential succession and disability. Though the amendment thus far has been used in medical situations, Section 4 provides that the vice president, together with a majority of Cabinet secretaries, may declare the president unable to carry out his duties, after which the vice president immediately assumes the duties of the president.

If Section 4 of the 25th Amendment action is carried out, it would have made Pence the acting president, assuming the "powers and duties of the office" of the president. Trump would have remained president for the rest of his term, albeit stripped of all authority. Section 4 of the 25th Amendment has not been invoked before. [30] [31] Pence, who would have been required to initiate removal, stated that he would not invoke the 25th Amendment against Trump. [32] The 25th Amendment, however, was initially created for the case where the President was incapacitated.

Impeachment and conviction Edit

Impeachment begins in the House of Representatives, where articles of impeachment are drawn up. These articles are then voted on by House members. Each article is voted on separately and requires a simple majority to pass. Once an article has been passed in the House, the president has been impeached. The articles are then sent to the Senate for adjudication with an impeachment trial. After views have been laid out in the trial, the Senate moves to vote on conviction. Each article requires a two-thirds majority of Senators present to pass. If an article passes in the Senate, the president has been convicted and is removed from office. Once the president is convicted, a further vote may then be held which determines whether the (now-former) president is barred from holding future office this vote passes with a simple majority in the Senate. [33] [34]

Because the Senate was not scheduled to reconvene until January 19, 2021, [35] members of Congress discussed holding the trial after Trump had left office. A former president had never been tried by the Senate however, Secretary of War William W. Belknap was impeached by the House and tried by the Senate after he had resigned. [36]

On the evening of January 6, CBS News reported that Cabinet members were discussing invoking the 25th Amendment. [37] The ten Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee, led by U.S. Representative David Cicilline, sent a letter to Pence to "emphatically urge" him to invoke the 25th Amendment and declare Trump "unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office", claiming that he incited and condoned the riots. [38] [39] For invocation, Pence and at least eight Cabinet members, forming a simple majority, would have to consent. Additionally, if challenged by Trump, the second invocation would maintain Pence as acting president, subject to a vote of approval in both houses of Congress, with a two-thirds supermajority necessary in each chamber to sustain. However, Congress would not have needed to act before January 20 for Pence to remain acting president until Biden was inaugurated, per the timeline described in Section 4.

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D–MA) accused Education Secretary Betsy DeVos in a tweet of quitting rather than supporting efforts to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump. [40] A Trump administration official disputed Warren's claim. [40] House majority whip Jim Clyburn on Friday accused DeVos and Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao of "running away from their responsibility" by resigning from President Trump's Cabinet before invoking the 25th Amendment to remove him from office. [41] Multiple news agencies reported that DeVos was in discussions to invoke the 25th Amendment prior to her resignation. [40] According to an advisor, DeVos decided to resign because she believed that it would not be possible to remove Trump from office under the 25th Amendment, after learning that Vice President Mike Pence opposed calls to invoke the 25th Amendment to oust Trump from office before January 20. [40] By late January 9, it was reported that Pence had not ruled out invoking the 25th Amendment and was actively considering it. [42] [ needs update ]

The House Rules Committee met on January 12, 2021, to vote on a non-binding resolution calling on Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment. [6] Pence later reiterated his position of not invoking the 25th Amendment, according to a letter sent to Pelosi late on January 12. In it, he stated that the 25th Amendment was intended for presidential incapacity or disability, and invoking Section 4 to punish and usurp President Trump in the middle of a presidential transition would undermine and set a terrible precedent for the stability of the executive branch and the United States federal government. [43]

On the same day, the House of Representatives voted to call for Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment. The resolution passed with 223 in favor, 205 against, and 5 (all Republicans) [a] not voting Adam Kinzinger was the only Republican to join a unified Democratic Caucus. [44]

Raskin bill Edit

The 25th Amendment allows Congress to establish a committee to determine when a president is unfit to serve (section 4 of the Amendment provides that the "declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office" is made by "the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments [i.e., the Cabinet] or of such other body as Congress may by law provide"). [45] However, such a committee has never been established. In May 2017, Representative Jamie Raskin (D–MD-8) introduced legislation to create a standing, independent, nonpartisan body, called the Oversight Commission on Presidential Capacity, to make such a determination. The bill had 20 cosponsors. [46] Raskin had previously introduced a legislative proposal under the same title with the same purpose back in 2017.

In October 2020, Raskin and Pelosi introduced a similar bill to create a Commission on Presidential Capacity to Discharge the Powers and Duties of Office, to have 17 members – four physicians, four psychiatrists, four retired Democratic statespersons, and four retired Republican statespersons appointed by congressional leaders (the Speaker of the House, House Minority Leader, Senate Majority Leader, and Senate Minority Leader). The bill defines "retired statespersons" as former presidents, vice presidents, attorneys general, secretaries of state, defense secretaries, Treasury secretaries, and surgeons general. The committee chair would be appointed by the other members. The bill provides that no members of the commission could be a current elected official, federal employee, or active or reserve military personnel, a measure intended to avoid conflicts of interest and chain-of-command problems. A majority of the commission (nine members), plus the vice president, would need to support invoking the 25th Amendment. The bill had 38 cosponsors. [47] While the bill has received renewed interest since the Capitol incident, as with any other bill it would require passage by both houses of Congress and consideration by the president for the commission to be formed and consider invocation of Section 4.

Drafted articles of impeachment Edit

Within hours of the storming of the Capitol, multiple members of Congress began to call for the impeachment of Donald Trump as president. Several representatives began the process of independently drafting various articles of impeachment. Of these attempts, the first to become public were those of Representative Ilhan Omar (D–MN-5) who drafted and introduced articles of impeachment against Trump. [48] [49] [50] [51]

Representative David Cicilline (D–RI-1) separately drafted an article of impeachment. The text was obtained by CNN on January 8. [52] On Twitter, Cicilline acknowledged the coauthorship of Ted Lieu and Jamie Raskin, [53] and said that "more than 110" members had signed on to this article. [54] "Article I: Incitement of Insurrection" accuses Trump of having "willfully made statements that encouraged—and foreseeably resulted in—imminent lawless action at the Capitol". [55] As a result of incitement by Trump, "a mob unlawfully breached the Capitol" and "engaged in violent, deadly, destructive, and seditious acts". [56] On January 10, it was announced that the bill had gathered 210 cosponsors in the House. [57]

Article of impeachment introduced Edit

On January 11, 2021, U.S. Representatives David Cicilline, along with Jamie Raskin and Ted Lieu, introduced an article of impeachment against Trump, charging Trump with "incitement of insurrection" in urging his supporters to march on the Capitol building. The article contended that Trump made several statements that "encouraged—and foreseeably resulted in—lawless action" that interfered with Congress' constitutional duty to certify the election. It argued that by his actions, Trump "threatened the integrity of the democratic system, interfered with the peaceful transition of power, and imperiled a coequal branch of Government," doing so in a way that rendered him "a threat to national security, democracy, and the Constitution" if he were allowed to complete his term. [6] [58] By the time it was introduced, 218 of the 222 House Democrats had signed on as cosponsors, assuring its passage. [59] Trump was impeached in a vote on January 13, 2021 ten Republicans, including House Republican Conference chairwoman Liz Cheney, joined all of the Democrats in supporting the article.

On January 12, with the article's passage assured, Pelosi named Raskin, Lieu, Cicilline, Diana DeGette, Joaquin Castro, Eric Swalwell, Joe Neguse, Madeleine Dean, and Stacey Plaskett as managers to present the prosecution case in the Senate conviction trial, with Raskin as lead manager. [60] The managers were chosen for their expertise in constitutional law, civil rights, and criminal justice. Raskin is a former constitutional law professor at American University. Lieu is a former military prosecutor in the United States Air Force. Cicilline is a former public defender. Swalwell was a former prosecutor in California. DeGette is a former civil rights attorney. Castro, Neguse, Dean and Plaskett are all lawyers in private practice. [61]

The House impeachment managers formally triggered the start of the impeachment trial on January 25 by walking across the Capitol and delivered to the Senate the charge against Trump. The nine managers walked two-by-two led into the Senate chamber by the lead impeachment manager, who read the article of impeachment. [11] The trial in the Senate was scheduled for and began on February 9. [12]

House vote Edit

Full list of votes on House Resolution 24 [62]
District Member Party Article I
Alabama 1 Jerry Carl Republican Nay
Alabama 2 Barry Moore Republican Nay
Alabama 3 Mike Rogers Republican Nay
Alabama 4 Robert Aderholt Republican Nay
Alabama 5 Mo Brooks Republican Nay
Alabama 6 Gary Palmer Republican Nay
Alabama 7 Terri Sewell Democratic Yea
Alaska at-large Don Young Republican Nay
Arizona 1 Tom O'Halleran Democratic Yea
Arizona 2 Ann Kirkpatrick Democratic Yea
Arizona 3 Raúl Grijalva Democratic Yea
Arizona 4 Paul Gosar Republican Nay
Arizona 5 Andy Biggs Republican Nay
Arizona 6 David Schweikert Republican Nay
Arizona 7 Ruben Gallego Democratic Yea
Arizona 8 Debbie Lesko Republican Nay
Arizona 9 Greg Stanton Democratic Yea
Arkansas 1 Rick Crawford Republican Nay
Arkansas 2 French Hill Republican Nay
Arkansas 3 Steve Womack Republican Nay
Arkansas 4 Bruce Westerman Republican Nay
California 1 Doug LaMalfa Republican Nay
California 2 Jared Huffman Democratic Yea
California 3 John Garamendi Democratic Yea
California 4 Tom McClintock Republican Nay
California 5 Mike Thompson Democratic Yea
California 6 Doris Matsui Democratic Yea
California 7 Ami Bera Democratic Yea
California 8 Jay Obernolte Republican Nay
California 9 Jerry McNerney Democratic Yea
California 10 Josh Harder Democratic Yea
California 11 Mark DeSaulnier Democratic Yea
California 12 Nancy Pelosi Democratic Yea
California 13 Barbara Lee Democratic Yea
California 14 Jackie Speier Democratic Yea
California 15 Eric Swalwell Democratic Yea
California 16 Jim Costa Democratic Yea
California 17 Ro Khanna Democratic Yea
California 18 Anna Eshoo Democratic Yea
California 19 Zoe Lofgren Democratic Yea
California 20 Jimmy Panetta Democratic Yea
California 21 David Valadao Republican Yea
California 22 Devin Nunes Republican Nay
California 23 Kevin McCarthy Republican Nay
California 24 Salud Carbajal Democratic Yea
California 25 Mike Garcia Republican Nay
California 26 Julia Brownley Democratic Yea
California 27 Judy Chu Democratic Yea
California 28 Adam Schiff Democratic Yea
California 29 Tony Cárdenas Democratic Yea
California 30 Brad Sherman Democratic Yea
California 31 Pete Aguilar Democratic Yea
California 32 Grace Napolitano Democratic Yea
California 33 Ted Lieu Democratic Yea
California 34 Jimmy Gomez Democratic Yea
California 35 Norma Torres Democratic Yea
California 36 Raul Ruiz Democratic Yea
California 37 Karen Bass Democratic Yea
California 38 Linda Sánchez Democratic Yea
California 39 Young Kim Republican Nay
California 40 Lucille Roybal-Allard Democratic Yea
California 41 Mark Takano Democratic Yea
California 42 Ken Calvert Republican Nay
California 43 Maxine Waters Democratic Yea
California 44 Nanette Barragán Democratic Yea
California 45 Katie Porter Democratic Yea
California 46 Lou Correa Democratic Yea
California 47 Alan Lowenthal Democratic Yea
California 48 Michelle Steel Republican Nay
California 49 Mike Levin Democratic Yea
California 50 Darrell Issa Republican Nay
California 51 Juan Vargas Democratic Yea
California 52 Scott Peters Democratic Yea
California 53 Sara Jacobs Democratic Yea
Colorado 1 Diana DeGette Democratic Yea
Colorado 2 Joe Neguse Democratic Yea
Colorado 3 Lauren Boebert Republican Nay
Colorado 4 Ken Buck Republican Nay
Colorado 5 Doug Lamborn Republican Nay
Colorado 6 Jason Crow Democratic Yea
Colorado 7 Ed Perlmutter Democratic Yea
Connecticut 1 John B. Larson Democratic Yea
Connecticut 2 Joe Courtney Democratic Yea
Connecticut 3 Rosa DeLauro Democratic Yea
Connecticut 4 Jim Himes Democratic Yea
Connecticut 5 Jahana Hayes Democratic Yea
Delaware at-large Lisa Blunt Rochester Democratic Yea
Florida 1 Matt Gaetz Republican Nay
Florida 2 Neal Dunn Republican Nay
Florida 3 Kat Cammack Republican Nay
Florida 4 John Rutherford Republican Nay
Florida 5 Al Lawson Democratic Yea
Florida 6 Michael Waltz Republican Nay
Florida 7 Stephanie Murphy Democratic Yea
Florida 8 Bill Posey Republican Nay
Florida 9 Darren Soto Democratic Yea
Florida 10 Val Demings Democratic Yea
Florida 11 Daniel Webster Republican NV
Florida 12 Gus Bilirakis Republican Nay
Florida 13 Charlie Crist Democratic Yea
Florida 14 Kathy Castor Democratic Yea
Florida 15 Scott Franklin Republican Nay
Florida 16 Vern Buchanan Republican Nay
Florida 17 Greg Steube Republican Nay
Florida 18 Brian Mast Republican Nay
Florida 19 Byron Donalds Republican Nay
Florida 20 Alcee Hastings Democratic Yea
Florida 21 Lois Frankel Democratic Yea
Florida 22 Ted Deutch Democratic Yea
Florida 23 Debbie Wasserman Schultz Democratic Yea
Florida 24 Frederica Wilson Democratic Yea
Florida 25 Mario Díaz-Balart Republican Nay
Florida 26 Carlos A. Giménez Republican Nay
Florida 27 Maria Elvira Salazar Republican Nay
Georgia 1 Buddy Carter Republican Nay
Georgia 2 Sanford Bishop Democratic Yea
Georgia 3 Drew Ferguson Republican Nay
Georgia 4 Hank Johnson Democratic Yea
Georgia 5 Nikema Williams Democratic Yea
Georgia 6 Lucy McBath Democratic Yea
Georgia 7 Carolyn Bourdeaux Democratic Yea
Georgia 8 Austin Scott Republican Nay
Georgia 9 Andrew Clyde Republican Nay
Georgia 10 Jody Hice Republican Nay
Georgia 11 Barry Loudermilk Republican Nay
Georgia 12 Rick W. Allen Republican Nay
Georgia 13 David Scott Democratic Yea
Georgia 14 Marjorie Taylor Greene Republican Nay
Hawaii 1 Ed Case Democratic Yea
Hawaii 2 Kai Kahele Democratic Yea
Idaho 1 Russ Fulcher Republican Nay
Idaho 2 Mike Simpson Republican Nay
Illinois 1 Bobby Rush Democratic Yea
Illinois 2 Robin Kelly Democratic Yea
Illinois 3 Marie Newman Democratic Yea
Illinois 4 Jesús "Chuy" García Democratic Yea
Illinois 5 Mike Quigley Democratic Yea
Illinois 6 Sean Casten Democratic Yea
Illinois 7 Danny K. Davis Democratic Yea
Illinois 8 Raja Krishnamoorthi Democratic Yea
Illinois 9 Jan Schakowsky Democratic Yea
Illinois 10 Brad Schneider Democratic Yea
Illinois 11 Bill Foster Democratic Yea
Illinois 12 Mike Bost Republican Nay
Illinois 13 Rodney Davis Republican Nay
Illinois 14 Lauren Underwood Democratic Yea
Illinois 15 Mary Miller Republican Nay
Illinois 16 Adam Kinzinger Republican Yea
Illinois 17 Cheri Bustos Democratic Yea
Illinois 18 Darin LaHood Republican Nay
Indiana 1 Frank J. Mrvan Democratic Yea
Indiana 2 Jackie Walorski Republican Nay
Indiana 3 Jim Banks Republican Nay
Indiana 4 Jim Baird Republican Nay
Indiana 5 Victoria Spartz Republican Nay
Indiana 6 Greg Pence Republican Nay
Indiana 7 André Carson Democratic Yea
Indiana 8 Larry Bucshon Republican Nay
Indiana 9 Trey Hollingsworth Republican Nay
Iowa 1 Ashley Hinson Republican Nay
Iowa 2 Mariannette Miller-Meeks Republican Nay
Iowa 3 Cindy Axne Democratic Yea
Iowa 4 Randy Feenstra Republican Nay
Kansas 1 Tracey Mann Republican Nay
Kansas 2 Jake LaTurner Republican Nay
Kansas 3 Sharice Davids Democratic Yea
Kansas 4 Ron Estes Republican Nay
Kentucky 1 James Comer Republican Nay
Kentucky 2 Brett Guthrie Republican Nay
Kentucky 3 John Yarmuth Democratic Yea
Kentucky 4 Thomas Massie Republican Nay
Kentucky 5 Hal Rogers Republican Nay
Kentucky 6 Andy Barr Republican Nay
Louisiana 1 Steve Scalise Republican Nay
Louisiana 2 Cedric Richmond Democratic Yea
Louisiana 3 Clay Higgins Republican Nay
Louisiana 4 Mike Johnson Republican Nay
Louisiana 5 Vacant
Louisiana 6 Garret Graves Republican Nay
Maine 1 Chellie Pingree Democratic Yea
Maine 2 Jared Golden Democratic Yea
Maryland 1 Andy Harris Republican NV
Maryland 2 Dutch Ruppersberger Democratic Yea
Maryland 3 John Sarbanes Democratic Yea
Maryland 4 Anthony G. Brown Democratic Yea
Maryland 5 Steny Hoyer Democratic Yea
Maryland 6 David Trone Democratic Yea
Maryland 7 Kweisi Mfume Democratic Yea
Maryland 8 Jaime Raskin Democratic Yea
Massachusetts 1 Richard Neal Democratic Yea
Massachusetts 2 Jim McGovern Democratic Yea
Massachusetts 3 Lori Trahan Democratic Yea
Massachusetts 4 Jake Auchincloss Democratic Yea
Massachusetts 5 Katherine Clark Democratic Yea
Massachusetts 6 Seth Moulton Democratic Yea
Massachusetts 7 Ayanna Pressley Democratic Yea
Massachusetts 8 Stephen F. Lynch Democratic Yea
Massachusetts 9 Bill Keating Democratic Yea
Michigan 1 Jack Bergman Republican Nay
Michigan 2 Bill Huizenga Republican Nay
Michigan 3 Peter Meijer Republican Yea
Michigan 4 John Moolenaar Republican Nay
Michigan 5 Dan Kildee Democratic Yea
Michigan 6 Fred Upton Republican Yea
Michigan 7 Tim Walberg Republican Nay
Michigan 8 Elissa Slotkin Democratic Yea
Michigan 9 Andy Levin Democratic Yea
Michigan 10 Lisa McClain Republican Nay
Michigan 11 Haley Stevens Democratic Yea
Michigan 12 Debbie Dingell Democratic Yea
Michigan 13 Rashida Tlaib Democratic Yea
Michigan 14 Brenda Lawrence Democratic Yea
Minnesota 1 Jim Hagedorn Republican Nay
Minnesota 2 Angie Craig Democratic Yea
Minnesota 3 Dean Phillips Democratic Yea
Minnesota 4 Betty McCollum Democratic Yea
Minnesota 5 Ilhan Omar Democratic Yea
Minnesota 6 Tom Emmer Republican Nay
Minnesota 7 Michelle Fischbach Republican Nay
Minnesota 8 Pete Stauber Republican Nay
Mississippi 1 Trent Kelly Republican Nay
Mississippi 2 Bennie Thompson Democratic Yea
Mississippi 3 Michael Guest Republican Nay
Mississippi 4 Steven Palazzo Republican Nay
Missouri 1 Cori Bush Democratic Yea
Missouri 2 Ann Wagner Republican Nay
Missouri 3 Blaine Luetkemeyer Republican Nay
Missouri 4 Vicky Hartzler Republican Nay
Missouri 5 Emanuel Cleaver Democratic Yea
Missouri 6 Sam Graves Republican Nay
Missouri 7 Billy Long Republican Nay
Missouri 8 Jason Smith Republican Nay
Montana at-large Matt Rosendale Republican Nay
Nebraska 1 Jeff Fortenberry Republican Nay
Nebraska 2 Don Bacon Republican Nay
Nebraska 3 Adrian Smith Republican Nay
Nevada 1 Dina Titus Democratic Yea
Nevada 2 Mark Amodei Republican Nay
Nevada 3 Susie Lee Democratic Yea
Nevada 4 Steven Horsford Democratic Yea
New Hampshire 1 Chris Pappas Democratic Yea
New Hampshire 2 Ann McLane Kuster Democratic Yea
New Jersey 1 Donald Norcross Democratic Yea
New Jersey 2 Jeff Van Drew Republican Nay
New Jersey 3 Andy Kim Democratic Yea
New Jersey 4 Chris Smith Republican Nay
New Jersey 5 Josh Gottheimer Democratic Yea
New Jersey 6 Frank Pallone Democratic Yea
New Jersey 7 Tom Malinowski Democratic Yea
New Jersey 8 Albio Sires Democratic Yea
New Jersey 9 Bill Pascrell Democratic Yea
New Jersey 10 Donald Payne Jr. Democratic Yea
New Jersey 11 Mikie Sherrill Democratic Yea
New Jersey 12 Bonnie Watson Coleman Democratic Yea
New Mexico 1 Deb Haaland Democratic Yea
New Mexico 2 Yvette Herrell Republican Nay
New Mexico 3 Teresa Leger Fernandez Democratic Yea
New York 1 Lee Zeldin Republican Nay
New York 2 Andrew Garbarino Republican Nay
New York 3 Thomas Suozzi Democratic Yea
New York 4 Kathleen Rice Democratic Yea
New York 5 Gregory Meeks Democratic Yea
New York 6 Grace Meng Democratic Yea
New York 7 Nydia Velázquez Democratic Yea
New York 8 Hakeem Jeffries Democratic Yea
New York 9 Yvette Clarke Democratic Yea
New York 10 Jerry Nadler Democratic Yea
New York 11 Nicole Malliotakis Republican Nay
New York 12 Carolyn Maloney Democratic Yea
New York 13 Adriano Espaillat Democratic Yea
New York 14 Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Democratic Yea
New York 15 Ritchie Torres Democratic Yea
New York 16 Jamaal Bowman Democratic Yea
New York 17 Mondaire Jones Democratic Yea
New York 18 Sean Patrick Maloney Democratic Yea
New York 19 Antonio Delgado Democratic Yea
New York 20 Paul Tonko Democratic Yea
New York 21 Elise Stefanik Republican Nay
New York 22 Vacant
New York 23 Tom Reed Republican Nay
New York 24 John Katko Republican Yea
New York 25 Joseph Morelle Democratic Yea
New York 26 Brian Higgins Democratic Yea
New York 27 Chris Jacobs Republican Nay
North Carolina 1 G. K. Butterfield Democratic Yea
North Carolina 2 Deborah K. Ross Democratic Yea
North Carolina 3 Greg Murphy Republican NV
North Carolina 4 David Price Democratic Yea
North Carolina 5 Virginia Foxx Republican Nay
North Carolina 6 Kathy Manning Democratic Yea
North Carolina 7 David Rouzer Republican Nay
North Carolina 8 Richard Hudson Republican Nay
North Carolina 9 Dan Bishop Republican Nay
North Carolina 10 Patrick McHenry Republican Nay
North Carolina 11 Madison Cawthorn Republican Nay
North Carolina 12 Alma Adams Democratic Yea
North Carolina 13 Ted Budd Republican Nay
North Dakota at-large Kelly Armstrong Republican Nay
Ohio 1 Steve Chabot Republican Nay
Ohio 2 Brad Wenstrup Republican Nay
Ohio 3 Joyce Beatty Democratic Yea
Ohio 4 Jim Jordan Republican Nay
Ohio 5 Bob Latta Republican Nay
Ohio 6 Bill Johnson Republican Nay
Ohio 7 Bob Gibbs Republican Nay
Ohio 8 Warren Davidson Republican Nay
Ohio 9 Marcy Kaptur Democratic Yea
Ohio 10 Mike Turner Republican Nay
Ohio 11 Marcia Fudge Democratic Yea
Ohio 12 Troy Balderson Republican Nay
Ohio 13 Tim Ryan Democratic Yea
Ohio 14 David Joyce Republican Nay
Ohio 15 Steve Stivers Republican Nay
Ohio 16 Anthony Gonzalez Republican Yea
Oklahoma 1 Kevin Hern Republican Nay
Oklahoma 2 Markwayne Mullin Republican Nay
Oklahoma 3 Frank Lucas Republican Nay
Oklahoma 4 Tom Cole Republican Nay
Oklahoma 5 Stephanie Bice Republican Nay
Oregon 1 Suzanne Bonamici Democratic Yea
Oregon 2 Cliff Bentz Republican Nay
Oregon 3 Earl Blumenauer Democratic Yea
Oregon 4 Peter DeFazio Democratic Yea
Oregon 5 Kurt Schrader Democratic Yea
Pennsylvania 1 Brian Fitzpatrick Republican Nay
Pennsylvania 2 Brendan Boyle Democratic Yea
Pennsylvania 3 Dwight Evans Democratic Yea
Pennsylvania 4 Madeleine Dean Democratic Yea
Pennsylvania 5 Mary Gay Scanlon Democratic Yea
Pennsylvania 6 Chrissy Houlahan Democratic Yea
Pennsylvania 7 Susan Wild Democratic Yea
Pennsylvania 8 Matt Cartwright Democratic Yea
Pennsylvania 9 Dan Meuser Republican Nay
Pennsylvania 10 Scott Perry Republican Nay
Pennsylvania 11 Lloyd Smucker Republican Nay
Pennsylvania 12 Fred Keller Republican Nay
Pennsylvania 13 John Joyce Republican Nay
Pennsylvania 14 Guy Reschenthaler Republican Nay
Pennsylvania 15 Glenn Thomposon Republican Nay
Pennsylvania 16 Mike Kelly Republican Nay
Pennsylvania 17 Conor Lamb Democratic Yea
Pennsylvania 18 Mike Doyle Democratic Yea
Rhode Island 1 David Cicilline Democratic Yea
Rhode Island 2 James Langevin Democratic Yea
South Carolina 1 Nancy Mace Republican Nay
South Carolina 2 Joe Wilson Republican Nay
South Carolina 3 Jeff Duncan Republican Nay
South Carolina 4 William Timmons Republican Nay
South Carolina 5 Ralph Norman Republican Nay
South Carolina 6 Jim Clyburn Democratic Yea
South Carolina 7 Tom Rice Republican Yea
South Dakota at-large Dusty Johnson Republican Nay
Tennessee 1 Diana Harshbarger Republican Nay
Tennessee 2 Tim Burchett Republican Nay
Tennessee 3 Chuck Fleischmann Republican Nay
Tennessee 4 Scott DesJarlais Republican Nay
Tennessee 5 Jim Cooper Democratic Yea
Tennessee 6 John Rose Republican Nay
Tennessee 7 Mark E. Green Republican Nay
Tennessee 8 David Kustoff Republican Nay
Tennessee 9 Steve Cohen Democratic Yea
Texas 1 Louie Gohmert Republican Nay
Texas 2 Dan Crenshaw Republican Nay
Texas 3 Van Taylor Republican Nay
Texas 4 Pat Fallon Republican Nay
Texas 5 Lance Gooden Republican Nay
Texas 6 Ron Wright Republican Nay
Texas 7 Lizzie Pannill Fletcher Democratic Yea
Texas 8 Kevin Brady Republican Nay
Texas 9 Al Green Democratic Yea
Texas 10 Michael McCaul Republican Nay
Texas 11 August Pfluger Republican Nay
Texas 12 Kay Granger Republican NV
Texas 13 Ronny Jackson Republican Nay
Texas 14 Randy Weber Republican Nay
Texas 15 Vicente Gonzalez Democratic Yea
Texas 16 Veronica Escobar Democratic Yea
Texas 17 Pete Sessions Republican Nay
Texas 18 Sheila Jackson Lee Democratic Yea
Texas 19 Jodey Arrington Republican Nay
Texas 20 Joaquin Castro Democratic Yea
Texas 21 Chip Roy Republican Nay
Texas 22 Troy Nehls Republican Nay
Texas 23 Tony Gonzales Republican Nay
Texas 24 Beth Van Duyne Republican Nay
Texas 25 Roger Williams Republican Nay
Texas 26 Michael C. Burgess Republican Nay
Texas 27 Michael Cloud Republican Nay
Texas 28 Henry Cuellar Democratic Yea
Texas 29 Sylvia Garcia Democratic Yea
Texas 30 Eddie Bernice Johnson Democratic Yea
Texas 31 John Carter Republican Nay
Texas 32 Colin Allred Democratic Yea
Texas 33 Marc Veasey Democratic Yea
Texas 34 Filemon Vela Jr. Democratic Yea
Texas 35 Lloyd Doggett Democratic Yea
Texas 36 Brian Babin Republican Nay
Utah 1 Blake Moore Republican Nay
Utah 2 Chris Stewart Republican Nay
Utah 3 John Curtis Republican Nay
Utah 4 Burgess Owens Republican Nay
Vermont at-large Peter Welch Democratic Yea
Virginia 1 Rob Wittman Republican Nay
Virginia 2 Elaine Luria Democratic Yea
Virginia 3 Bobby Scott Democratic Yea
Virginia 4 Donald McEachin Democratic Yea
Virginia 5 Bob Good Republican Nay
Virginia 6 Ben Cline Republican Nay
Virginia 7 Abigail Spanberger Democratic Yea
Virginia 8 Don Beyer Democratic Yea
Virginia 9 Morgan Griffith Republican Nay
Virginia 10 Jennifer Wexton Democratic Yea
Virginia 11 Gerry Connolly Democratic Yea
Washington 1 Suzan DelBene Democratic Yea
Washington 2 Rick Larsen Democratic Yea
Washington 3 Jaime Herrera Beutler Republican Yea
Washington 4 Dan Newhouse Republican Yea
Washington 5 Cathy McMorris Rodgers Republican Nay
Washington 6 Derek Kilmer Democratic Yea
Washington 7 Pramila Jayapal Democratic Yea
Washington 8 Kim Schrier Democratic Yea
Washington 9 Adam Smith Democratic Yea
Washington 10 Marilyn Strickland Democratic Yea
West Virginia 1 David McKinley Republican Nay
West Virginia 2 Alex Mooney Republican Nay
West Virginia 3 Carol Miller Republican Nay
Wisconsin 1 Bryan Steil Republican Nay
Wisconsin 2 Mark Pocan Democratic Yea
Wisconsin 3 Ron Kind Democratic Yea
Wisconsin 4 Gwen Moore Democratic Yea
Wisconsin 5 Scott Fitzgerald Republican Nay
Wisconsin 6 Glenn Grothman Republican Nay
Wisconsin 7 Tom Tiffany Republican Nay
Wisconsin 8 Mike Gallagher Republican Nay
Wyoming at-large Liz Cheney Republican Yea

Senate trial Edit

The second impeachment trial of Donald Trump, the 45th president of the United States, began on February 9, 2021, and concluded with his acquittal on February 13. Trump had been impeached for the second time by the House of Representatives on January 13, 2021. The House adopted one article of impeachment against Trump: incitement of insurrection. He is the only U.S. President and only federal official to be impeached twice. [63] The article of impeachment addressed Trump's attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election results (including his false claims of election fraud and his efforts to pressure election officials in Georgia) and stated that Trump incited the storming of the Capitol in Washington, D.C., while Congress was convened to count the electoral votes and certify the victory of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. [64]

At the beginning of the trial, Senator Rand Paul forced a vote to dismiss the impeachment charge on the basis that it was unconstitutional to try a former president because the sole remedy for impeachment and conviction is removal from office and Trump was no longer holding the office. The motion was defeated in a 55–45 vote, with all Democrats, both independents, and five Republicans (Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Mitt Romney of Utah, Ben Sasse of Nebraska, and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania) voting against the motion. [65] [66] This was the first time that a former president had been tried. Jamie Raskin was the lead impeachment manager and the primary author – along with Representative David Cicilline and Representative Ted Lieu – of the impeachment article, which charged Trump with inciting an insurrection by sparking the storming of the Capitol. Joaquin Castro, Eric Swalwell, Madeleine Dean, and Stacey Plaskett also assisted in delivering the oral arguments for conviction.

Trump's defense was led by Michael van der Veen, a personal injury lawyer from Philadelphia, along with David Schoen and Bruce Castor. Van der Veen's style and substance during the trial drew criticism from many, with gasps and laughter in the Senate when he stated that he would seek to depose at least 100 people at his Philadelphia office, including Nancy Pelosi and Vice President Kamala Harris. [67] [68] Trump had originally hired Butch Bowers and Deborah Barbier to represent him, but they quit along with three other lawyers after "the former president wanted the lawyers representing him to focus on his allegations of mass election fraud and that the election was stolen from him." [69]

At the conclusion of the trial, the Senate voted 57–43 to convict Trump of inciting insurrection, falling 10 votes short of the two-thirds majority required by the Constitution, and Trump was therefore acquitted. Seven Republican senators joined all Democratic and independent senators in voting to convict Trump, the largest bipartisan vote for an impeachment conviction of a U.S. president. [70] [71]

Support Edit

Individuals from media and political organizations have expressed support for Trump to be either impeached or removed through the methods outlined in the 25th Amendment. Any impeachment by the House of Representatives would, for removal, require a trial and conviction in the Senate, with the concurrence of two-thirds of Senators present and voting, during which time Trump would remain in office. As of January 8, the extent of support among Senators for an impeachment process is unclear, particularly given the length of time necessary to organize a trial and the short duration remaining of Trump's presidency. [72] Poll aggregate website FiveThirtyEight noted that roughly 85% of Democrats, 49% of Independents, and 16% of Republicans supported impeachment. The pollster also saw a roughly 8% drop in Trump's approval ratings following the attack. [73] [74]

Federal elected officials Edit

At least 200 [75] [76] members of Congress have called for Trump to be impeached or stripped of his powers and duties under the 25th Amendment. [77] Other House members, as well as several state officials, have called for Trump's immediate removal by Congress under the 25th Amendment. [78] [79] [80] [81] On January 6, four "senior Republican elected officials" told CNN that they believe Trump should be removed via the 25th Amendment, while two other Republican elected officials said Trump should be removed by impeachment. [81] On January 11, 24 former Republican members of Congress came out in support of impeachment. [82]

House Democrats Edit

The day of the attack, many House Democrats, including Seth Moulton, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Katherine Clark, called for Trump's immediate impeachment and removal by Congress, or via the 25th Amendment. [78] [79] [77] [83] Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, urged the removal of Trump via the 25th Amendment, and announced she was prepared to vote on articles of impeachment if this does not happen. [84] Pelosi said Trump is "a very dangerous person who should not continue in office". [85] In vowing to impeach Trump again if his cabinet does not remove him themselves, Pelosi said Trump "incited an armed insurrection against America" and that "the gleeful desecration of the U.S. Capitol, which is the temple of our American democracy, and the violence targeting Congress are horrors that will forever stain our nation's history – instigated by the president." [8]

On January 6, Representatives Ted Lieu and Charlie Crist called on Vice President Mike Pence to remove Trump via the 25th Amendment. [80] [86]

House Republicans Edit

The first House Republican to call outright for Trump's removal from office was Adam Kinzinger he tweeted in favor of the 25th Amendment the day after the riot. [87] [88]

On January 8, CNN reported that two Republican members of the House, whom they did not name, said they would consider voting for impeachment. One explained: "We experienced the attack we don't need long hearings on what happened." [89] Subsequently, Kinzinger, as well as John Katko, Liz Cheney, Jaime Herrera Beutler, Fred Upton, and Dan Newhouse [90] indicated they would vote in favor of impeachment other House Republicans openly considering voting for impeachment included Peter Meijer (as of a January 11 statement). [91] [92] [93] Anthony Gonzalez posted a statement expressing support for impeachment to Twitter during the vote. [94] Ultimately, ten Republicans voted to impeach, including Katko, Kinzinger, Upton, Beutler, Newhouse, Meijer, Cheney and Gonzalez, as well as David Valadao of California and Tom Rice of South Carolina. [95] Four Republicans did not vote. Liz Cheney released a strong statement in support of the impeachment, which was also prominently quoted in the closing argument by House majority leader Steny Hoyer, stating that "the president of the United States summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack. Everything that followed was his doing. (. ) There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution." [96] Later the Wyoming GOP demanded that Cheney, the third highest ranking Republican in the House, resign her post. She refused to do so, and corrected some members of her state party who had claimed that the Capitol rioting was done by antifa and Black Lives Matter protesters. [97]

Senate Democrats Edit

By January 7, Democrat Chuck Schumer, the Senate Minority Leader, had called for Trump's immediate removal from office, [98] as had many other Democratic members of the U.S. Senate. [ who? ] [75]

On Monday, January 11, Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) said that he thought the plan to vote on impeachment that week was "ill-advised" since there was no path to conviction by the Senate. He said Congress could move forward with impeachment after the inauguration of President-elect Biden. [99]

Senate Republicans Edit

On January 8, Republican senator Ben Sasse said he was willing to consider an impeachment because Trump had violated his oath of office. [100]

As of January 9, no Republican senators were publicly calling for Trump's removal from office, according to CNN. [88] However, two Republican senators have called for his voluntary resignation. On January 8, Republican senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska called on Trump to resign immediately, stating: "I want him out. He has caused enough damage." [101] [102] Murkowski suggested that she might declare herself an Independent, as, "if the Republican Party has become nothing more than the party of Trump, I sincerely question whether this is the party for me." [103] Republican senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania stated on January 9 that he thinks President Trump "committed impeachable offenses" and that his Republican colleagues should be "soul searching" about their own involvement, [104] but he would not say how he plans to vote if the matter comes to a Senate trial. [105] On January 10, Toomey said that "the best way for our country" would be for Trump "to resign and go away as soon as possible". [106]

After Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell acknowledged Biden's victory on December 15, Trump did not speak to McConnell for the remaining month of his presidency. [107] McConnell reportedly believed that Trump had committed impeachable crimes on Trump's last full day in office, McConnell said that "the mob was fed lies" and that "they were provoked by the president." [108] While McConnell was also said to believe that an impeachment proceeding would make it easier for Republicans to purge Trump's influence from the party, [109] he nevertheless told fellow senators on January 13 that he had not yet decided whether he would vote to convict Trump and that he would listen to the arguments during the trial. [110] Furthermore, McConnell was unwilling to convene the Senate early to hold the trial, [111] entailing that Trump finished his presidential term.

State elected officials Edit

Current governors and lieutenant governors Edit

The following governors and lieutenant governors said that Trump should be removed from office:

  • California Governor Gavin Newsom (Democratic) [112]
  • Illinois Governor J. B. Pritzker (Democratic) [113]
  • Maryland Governor Larry Hogan (Republican) [114]
  • Maryland Lieutenant Governor Boyd Rutherford (Republican) [115]
  • Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker (Republican) [116]
  • New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (Democratic) [117]
  • New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy (Democratic) [118]
  • North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper (Democratic) [119]
  • Vermont Governor Phil Scott (Republican) [120]
  • Virginia Governor Ralph Northam (Democratic) [121]
  • Washington Governor Jay Inslee (Democratic) [122]
Former governors Edit
  • Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (Republican) [123]
  • Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (Republican) [124]
  • Former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld (Republican) [125]

Administration positions Edit

Federal employees Edit

About 175 career diplomats in the State Department, mostly lawyers, called on Mike Pompeo to support consultations with other cabinet officials on possibly invoking the 25th Amendment to remove the president from office. The cable stated that the president's actions undermined U.S. foreign policy and democratic institutions. [126]

Former administration officials Edit

Former Secretary of Homeland Security and White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly, who left Trump's Cabinet in 2019, said that if he had still been part of the administration during the storming of the Capitol, he would have supported Trump's removal from office. [127]

Historians, scholars, and commentators Edit

More than 1,000 historians and constitutional scholars signed an open letter, posted online on January 11, 2021, calling for Trump to be impeached and removed from office. [128] [129] Additionally, the American Constitution Society published a statement signed by over 900 law professors calling for Congress to impeach and remove Trump from office, or for Vice President Pence and the Cabinet invoke the 25th Amendment. [130]

Yoni Appelbaum (The Atlantic), David French (Time), Austin Sarat, David Frum (The Atlantic), [131] Tom Nichols (USA Today), David Landau, Rosalind Dixon, and Bret Stephens (The New York Times) called for the impeachment of Trump the second time and for him to be disqualified from public office. [132] [133] [134] [135] [136] [137] Mary L. Trump, the President's niece, said she thought her uncle should be barred from ever running for office again. [138]

Several conservative commentators, including Meghan McCain, Rod Dreher, Daniel Larison (The American Conservative), John Podhoretz (Commentary), Tiana Lowe and Eddie Scarry (Washington Examiner) expressed their support for the impeachment and/or the invocation of the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office. [139] [140] [141] [142] [143] [144] Matthew Continetti, writing in the National Review, also called for Trump's removal from office. [145] Fox News analyst Juan Williams wrote in The Hill, "Arrest the rioters impeach Trump". [146]

Progressive commentators John Nichols (The Nation) and Matt Ford (The New Republic) also called for Trump to be impeached and disqualified perpetually from public office. [147] [148]

Calling the armed storming of the Capitol an "act of sedition", The Washington Post editorial board wrote that Trump's "continued tenure in office poses a grave threat to U.S. democracy" as well as to public order and national security, and called for Pence to immediately begin the 25th Amendment process to declare Trump "unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office" so that Pence could serve until Biden's inauguration on January 20. [149] In its first-ever staff editorial, The Dispatch stated that Trump "must be removed" for abusing his office, violating the public trust, and inciting "a violent attack on the Capitol and Congress". [150] The Financial Times editorial board called for Trump to be "held accountable for storming the Capitol". [151] The Wall Street Journal editorial board invited Trump to resign, calling his acts "impeachable" and stating that the President had "crossed a constitutional line that Mr. Trump hasn’t previously crossed". [152]

Other organizations Edit

The Lincoln Project, a political action committee formed by anti-Trump Republicans and former Republicans, called for the House of Representatives and the Senate to "immediately impeach Donald Trump for directing and provoking this attack". [153]

The National Association of Manufacturers also requested Pence to "seriously consider" invoking the 25th Amendment. [154]

Freedom House issued a press release calling for the immediate removal of President Trump, through resignation, the 25th Amendment, or impeachment. [155]

The American Civil Liberties Union called for Trump's impeachment for the second time. [156]

March for Science circulated an online petition calling for Trump to be removed immediately via the 25th Amendment. [157]

Crowell & Moring LLP, a large Washington, D.C., law firm, circulated a letter among the nation's largest law firms calling for Trump's ouster under Section 4 of the Constitution's 25th Amendment. At least 18 other law firms, including DLA Piper, Foley Hoag, and Hanson Bridgett joined this call. [158] [159]

Opposition Edit

Senate Edit

On January 7, Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) said "These calls for impeachment I'm hearing -- I don't think they're helpful, and I think we should allow 13 days to move forward peacefully and prepare for this transition of power that's going to happen on Jan. 20." [160]

On January 8, Senator Lindsey Graham (R–SC) tweeted that impeachment "will do more harm than good". [161] In a follow-up tweet, he implied that Pelosi and Schumer wanted to impeach Trump because they were concerned about their own political survival. [162] Also, on January 11, Graham tweeted "It is past time for all of us to try to heal our country and move forward. Impeachment would be a major step backward." [163]

On January 11, three senators spoke out against impeachment. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS) said "Let's get through the 10 days. He will leave the office and let's get on with things." [164] Senator John Hoeven (R-ND) said "We need to work together to heal the divisions in our nation and impeachment would instead serve to further divide our country." [165] Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) said "I'm not going to do what the Democrats are doing. I think we need to lower the rhetoric. We need to get some unity going." [166]

On January 12, Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) tweeted "An impeachment vote will only lead to more hate and a deeply fractured nation. I oppose impeaching President Trump." [167]

On January 13, seven senators spoke out against impeachment. Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN) said "At a time when the United States needs national healing and a true commitment to the rule of law, the American people should look to their legislators not to deepen partisan division, but to bring us together. There are seven days to go in the President's term, and he has fully committed to a peaceful transfer of power." [168] Senator Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) said "Moving forward with impeachment at this juncture will only further divide our already hurting nation." [169] Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND) said: "The president's rhetoric, while reckless, while at some level could be accused of inciting anger and inciting some bad behavior, it is also clear that the exact words that he used do not rise to, in my mind anyway, a criminal level of incitement as we would have to consider, in my view, in this process even as political as it is." [170] Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) said "To persist with impeachment now, with just days to go in the current administration, will further divide Americans and exacerbate tensions. Moving forward, it is my sincere hope Congress will work on a bipartisan basis to restore the confidence of the American people in our elections and affirm our shared commitment to the rule of law." [171] Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) told the Meridian Star on Jan. 13 that he opposes impeachment. [172] Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) said: "After January 20, Congress should get on with the people’s business: improving our vaccination efforts, getting kids back to school, and getting workers back on the job." [173] Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) said "We just need to go forward to help the people of this country and quit worrying about politics." [174]

On January 14, Senator Mike Rounds (R-SD) said "I think if the question is moot, I don't see a reason to convict." [175]

On January 19, three senators spoke out against impeachment. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) said "If they proceed with the impeachment trial, I think that will further divide the country." [176] Senator John Thune (R-SD) said, "In my view, using a constitutional tool designed to remove the president from office after he has already left could further divide our country when we can least afford it." [177] Senator Roger Marshall (R-KS) said "Not only is it unconstitutional to impeach a President after he leaves office, I firmly believe an impeachment effort at this juncture will only raise already heated temperatures of the American public and further divide our country at a time when we should be focused on bringing the country together and moving forward. Whether it's getting the COVID-19 vaccine into the arms of all those who want and need it, boosting job recovery, or opening our economy back up to pre-pandemic levels, we have real work to do." [178]

On January 20, Senator John Boozman (R-AR) said "With [Trump] already being gone, impeachment would be a significant expense and waste of time." [179]

On January 21, five senators spoke out against impeachment. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) said "It's one thing, according to the constitution, to impeach a president, but can you impeach a citizen? Because now it's not President Trump, it's citizen Trump." [180] Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) said "Democrats appear intent on weaponizing every tool at their disposal — including pushing an unconstitutional impeachment process — to further divide the country. Missourians will not be canceled by these partisan attacks." [181] Senator Mike Braun (R-IN) said "I think the key point is, is it constitutional to do this when somebody is out of office — and then, is it purely retribution when you try to push it forward." [182] Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) said "I believe an impeachment trial of a former president is unconstitutional and would set a very dangerous precedent." [183] Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) said ""It seems that Senate Democrats, the response they have to that is they want to start the new Congress the very first thing, with a vindictive and punitive impeachment trial," [184]

On January 24, two senators spoke out against impeachment. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) said Democrats were sending a message that "hatred and vitriol of Donald Trump are so strong" that they will hold a trial that stops Biden's policy priorities from moving. [185] Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) said "The first chance I get to vote to end this trial, I will do it, because I think it's really bad for America." [186]

On January 25, three senators spoke out against impeachment. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) said "My concern right now is that the president is no longer in office. Congress would be opening itself to a dangerous standard of using impeachment as a tool for political revenge against a private citizen, and the only remedy at this point is to strip the convicted of their ability to run for future office – a move that would undoubtedly strip millions of voters of their ability to choose a candidate in the next election." [187] Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) tweeted "I object to this unconstitutional sham of an 'impeachment' trial and I will force a vote on whether the Senate can hold a trial of a private citizen." [188] Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) said "A charge like this should go to the Justice Department and be referred for prosecution. Unfortunately, that's not what they're doing," However, Burr ended up voting to convict Trump for the charges on incitement of insurrection. [189]

On January 26, eight senators spoke out against impeachment. Senator James Lankford (R-OK) said "This is not a trial this is political theater. You cannot remove someone from the office who is already out of office. In this trial, there is no current President, no Chief Justice, and no possibility someone could be removed from office because they are not in any office. In a moment when our nation needs to unite, this trial will only create even deeper divisions." [190] Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) tweeted "Given that the penalty for impeachment shall be removed from office, my reading of the Constitution leads me to believe that the Founders did not intend for us to impeach former federal officeholders. I agree with @RandPaul that it's not constitutional to try a former president." [191] Senator John Kennedy (R-LA) said "Today, I voted to affirm that these impeachment proceedings are unconstitutional. Based on the information I have right now, I voted today and will vote again later in the impeachment trial to dismiss the impeachment proceedings against former President Trump." [192] Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) tweeted "This impeachment is nothing more than a partisan exercise designed to further divide the country. Democrats claim to want to unify the country but impeaching a former president, a private citizen, is the antithesis of unity." [193] Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) told reporters he has "deep reservations whether they should be trying him at all." [194] Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) tweeted that "I believe the constitutional purpose for presidential impeachment is to remove a president from office, not to punish a person after they have left office." [195] Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) said "My vote today to dismiss the article of impeachment is based on the fact that impeachment was designed to remove an officeholder from public office. The Constitution does not give Congress the power to impeach a private citizen. This charge is directed at an individual who no longer holds public office. I believe it is time we focus our attention and energies on the numerous challenges our country presently faces. Instead of taking a path of divisiveness, let us heed the call to unity that we have heard spoken so often over the past few weeks." [196] Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) said "On January 6, I said voting to reject the states' electors was a dangerous precedent we should not set. Likewise, impeaching a former President who is now a private citizen would be equally unwise." [197]

Senators Jim Risch (R-ID) was among a group of Republican senators who have asked Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) how to prevent the Senate from even holding a trial. [198]

Others Edit

Retired Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz, who represented Trump during his first impeachment and had endorsed Biden for president in the 2020 election, [199] opposed another impeachment. He stated that Trump "has not committed a constitutionally impeachable offense" and that he "would be honored to once again defend the Constitution against partisan efforts to weaponize it for political purposes". [200]

George Washington University Law School professor Jonathan Turley wrote an op-ed in The Hill in which he argued that this new impeachment effort would "damage the constitution". While Turley condemns Trump's remarks, he stated that Trump's speech "would be viewed as a protected speech by the Supreme Court". He also noted that Trump "never actually called for violence or riots" and pointed to other remarks made by congressional Democrats last year that similarly encouraged protests that turned violent. [201]

Former National Security Advisor John Bolton called for Trump's resignation [202] however, he argued against both invocation of the 25th Amendment and impeachment, claiming that it was a "very bad idea", that the 25th Amendment was the "worst drafted" section of the Constitution, and would lead to "two competing presidencies" if invoked and challenged by Trump. [203]

As a counter to the push for impeachment, House Republicans introduced a resolution to censure Trump, sponsored by Brian Fitzpatrick with original cosponsors Tom Reed, Young Kim, John Curtis, Peter Meijer, and Fred Upton Meijer and Upton announced they would also support impeachment. [204] [205] [206]

After the storming of the U.S. Capitol, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine stated that impeachment was not a wise idea, saying that "if that were to occur more people would be inflamed. There would be less trust in the whole system. We only got two more weeks and the next president will take place at 12 noon on January 20, two weeks to go and that will be it." [207]

On January 12, Trump described the impeachment charge as a "witch hunt" that was "causing tremendous anger" among his supporters. [208]


Will the Senate remove Trump?

The Democratic-led House approved 230-197 the first article of impeachment accusing Trump of abusing his power by asking Ukrainian officials to announce investigations that would benefit his reelection. Minutes later, the House approved a second article, voting 229-198 to charge Trump with obstructing the congressional investigation into that request.

Though the historic votes ended a hurried effort by Democrats to advance impeachment articles before the end of the year – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi launched the inquiry into Trump’s actions less than three months ago – it will kick off an exceptionally rare trial in the Senate to determine whether the president will be removed from office.

Republican leaders expect that trial to begin next month, though Pelosi was noncommittal during a press conference after the vote about when the House would send the articles to the Senate for their review.

In an emotional moment during that press conference, Pelosi raised the late Rep. Elijah Cummings, a Maryland Democrat and former chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform who died in October.

"We did all we could, Elijah, we passed the two articles of impeachment," Pelosi said. "The president is impeached."

Speaking earlier on the House floor, Pelosi said the vision of the nation conceived by the Founding Fathers was "under threat" from the White House.

"He gave us no choice,” Pelosi said.

Impeachment, which Pelosi and other Democratic leaders initially resisted, could also have consequences for the 2020 election, where a field of candidates angling to unseat Trump have sought to focus the nation’s attention on health care, immigration and education while tiptoeing around the constitutional dramas unfolding in Washington. Trump is betting impeachment will sour swing voters on Democrats for years to come.

Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi walks to the House floor on Dec. 18, 2019 (Photo: Jim Lo Scalzo, EPA-EFE)


House set to cast historic votes on articles of impeachment

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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Contents

In 1994, Paula Jones filed a lawsuit accusing Clinton of sexual harassment when he was governor of Arkansas. [5] Clinton attempted to delay a trial until after he left office, but in May 1997 the Supreme Court unanimously rejected Clinton's claim that the Constitution immunized him from civil lawsuits, and shortly thereafter the pre-trial discovery process commenced. [6]

Separate from this, in January 1994, Attorney General Janet Reno appointed Robert B. Fiske as an Independent counsel to investigate the Whitewater controversy. [7] In August of that year, Ken Starr is appointed to replace Fiske in this role. [7]

In 1997, the first effort in congress to start an impeachment against Clinton was launched Republican congressman Bob Barr. [8]

Jones's attorneys wanted to prove Clinton had engaged in a pattern of behavior with women who supported her claims. In late 1997, Linda Tripp began secretly recording conversations with her friend Monica Lewinsky, a former intern and Department of Defense employee. In those recordings, Lewinsky divulged that she had a sexual relationship with Clinton. Tripp shared this information with Jones's lawyers, who added Lewinsky to their witness list in December 1997. According to the Starr Report, a U.S. federal government report written by appointed Independent Counsel Ken Starr on his investigation of President Clinton, after Lewinsky appeared on the witness list Clinton began taking steps to conceal their relationship. Some of the steps he took included suggesting to Lewinsky that she file a false affidavit to misdirect the investigation, encouraging her to use cover stories, concealing gifts he had given her, and attempting to help her find gainful employment to try to influence her testimony. [ citation needed ]

In a January 17, 1998 sworn deposition, Clinton denied having a "sexual relationship", "sexual affair", or "sexual relations" with Lewinsky. [9] His lawyer, Robert S. Bennett, stated with Clinton present that Lewinsky's affidavit showed there was no sex in any manner, shape or form between Clinton and Lewinsky. The Starr Report states that the following day, Clinton "coached" his secretary Betty Currie into repeating his denials should she be called to testify.

After rumors of the scandal reached the news, Clinton publicly said, "I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky." [10] But months later, Clinton admitted his relationship with Lewinsky was "wrong" and "not appropriate". Lewinsky engaged in oral sex with Clinton several times. [11] [12]

The judge in the Jones case later ruled the Lewinsky matter immaterial, and threw out the case in April 1998 on the grounds that Jones had failed to show any damages. After Jones appealed, Clinton agreed in November 1998 to settle the case for $850,000 while still admitting no wrongdoing. [13]

The Starr Report was released to congress on September 9, 1998 and to the public on September 11. [7] [14] In the report, Starr argued that there were eleven possible grounds for impeachment of Clinton, including perjury, obstruction of justice, witness tampering, and abuse of power. The report also detailed explicit and graphic details of the sexual relationship between Clinton and Lewinsky. [7] [15]

The charges arose from an investigation by Ken Starr, an Independent Counsel. [16] With the approval of United States Attorney General Janet Reno, Starr conducted a wide-ranging investigation of alleged abuses, including the Whitewater controversy, the firing of White House travel agents, and the alleged misuse of FBI files. On January 12, 1998, Linda Tripp, who had been working with Jones's lawyers, informed Starr that Lewinsky was preparing to commit perjury in the Jones case and had asked Tripp to do the same. She also said Clinton's friend Vernon Jordan was assisting Lewinsky. Based on the connection to Jordan, who was under scrutiny in the Whitewater probe, Starr obtained approval from Reno to expand his investigation into whether Lewinsky and others were breaking the law.

A much-quoted statement from Clinton's grand jury testimony showed him questioning the precise use of the word "is". Contending his statement that "there's nothing going on between us" had been truthful because he had no ongoing relationship with Lewinsky at the time he was questioned, Clinton said, "It depends upon what the meaning of the word 'is' is. If the—if he—if 'is' means is and never has been, that is not—that is one thing. If it means there is none, that was a completely true statement." [17] Starr obtained further evidence of inappropriate behavior by seizing the computer hard drive and email records of Monica Lewinsky. Based on the president's conflicting testimony, Starr concluded that Clinton had committed perjury. Starr submitted his findings to Congress in a lengthy document, the Starr Report, which was released to the public via the Internet a few days later and included descriptions of encounters between Clinton and Lewinsky. [18] Starr was criticized by Democrats for spending $70 million on the investigation. [19] Critics of Starr also contend that his investigation was highly politicized because it regularly leaked tidbits of information to the press in violation of legal ethics, and because his report included lengthy descriptions which were humiliating and irrelevant to the legal case. [20] [21]

On October 8, 1998 the United States House of Representatives voted to authorize a broad impeachment inquiry, thereby initiating the impeachment process. [22] The Republican controlled House of Representatives had decided this with a bipartisan vote of 258–176, with 31 Democrats joining Republicans. [23] Since Ken Starr had already completed an extensive investigation, the House Judiciary Committee conducted no investigations of its own into Clinton's alleged wrongdoing and held no serious impeachment-related hearings before the 1998 midterm elections. [ citation needed ] Impeachment was one of the major issues in those elections. [ citation needed ]

In the November 1998 House elections, the Democrats picked up five seats in the House, but the Republicans still maintained majority control. The results went against what House Speaker Newt Gingrich predicted, who, before the election, had been reassured by private polling that Clinton's scandal would result in Republican gains of up to thirty House seats. Shortly after the elections, Gingrich, who had been one of the leading advocates for impeachment, announced he would resign from Congress as soon as he was able to find somebody to fill his vacant seat [24] [25] Gingrich fulfilled this pledge, and officially resigned from Congress on January 3, 1999. [26]

Impeachment proceedings were held during the post-election, "lame duck" session of the outgoing 105th United States Congress. Unlike the case of the 1974 impeachment process against Richard Nixon, the committee hearings were perfunctory but the floor debate in the whole House was spirited on both sides. The Speaker-designate, Representative Bob Livingston, chosen by the Republican Party Conference to replace Gingrich as House Speaker, announced the end of his candidacy for Speaker and his resignation from Congress from the floor of the House after his own marital infidelity came to light. [27] In the same speech, Livingston also encouraged Clinton to resign. Clinton chose to remain in office and urged Livingston to reconsider his resignation. [28] Many other prominent Republican members of Congress (including Dan Burton, [27] Helen Chenoweth, [27] and Henry Hyde, [27] the chief House manager of Clinton's trial in the Senate) had infidelities exposed about this time, all of whom voted for impeachment. Publisher Larry Flynt offered a reward for such information, and many supporters of Clinton accused Republicans of hypocrisy. [27]

On December 11, 1998, the House Judiciary Committee agreed to send three articles of impeachment to the full House for consideration. The vote on two articles, grand jury perjury and obstruction of justice, was 21–17, both along party lines. On the third, perjury in the Paula Jones case, the committee voted 20–18, with Republican Lindsey Graham joining with Democrats, in order to give President Clinton "the legal benefit of the doubt". [29] The next day, December 12, the committee agreed to send a fourth and final article, for abuse of power, to the full House by a 21–17 vote, again, along party lines. [30]

Although proceedings were delayed due to the bombing of Iraq, on the passage of H. Res. 611, Clinton was impeached by the House of Representatives on December 19, 1998, on grounds of perjury to a grand jury (first article, 228–206) [31] and obstruction of justice (third article, 221–212). [32] The two other articles were rejected, the count of perjury in the Jones case (second article, 205–229) [33] and abuse of power (fourth article, 148–285). [34] Clinton thus became the second U.S. president to be impeached the first, Andrew Johnson, was impeached in 1868. [35] [36] The only other previous U.S. president to be the subject of formal House impeachment proceedings was Richard Nixon in 1973–74. The Judiciary Committee agreed to a resolution containing three articles of impeachment in July 1974, but Nixon resigned from office soon thereafter, before the House took up the resolution. [37]

H. Res. 611 – Impeaching President Bill Clinton
December 19, 1998
First article
(perjury / grand jury)
Party Total votes [31]
Democratic Republican Independent
Yea Y 00 5 223 00 0 228
Nay 200 00 5 00 1 206
Second article
(perjury / Jones case)
Party Total votes [33]
Democratic Republican Independent
Yea 00 5 200 00 0 205
Nay Y 200 0 28 00 1 229
Third article
(obstruction of justice)
Party Total votes [32]
Democratic Republican Independent
Yea Y 00 5 216 00 0 221
Nay 199 0 12 00 1 212
Fourth article
(abuse of power)
Party Total votes [34]
Democratic Republican Independent
Yea 00 1 147 00 0 148
Nay Y 203 0 81 00 1 285

Five Democrats (Virgil Goode, Ralph Hall, Paul McHale, Charles Stenholm and Gene Taylor) voted in favor of three of the four articles of impeachment, but only Taylor voted for the abuse of power charge. Five Republicans (Amo Houghton, Peter King, Connie Morella, Chris Shays and Mark Souder) voted against the first perjury charge. Eight more Republicans (Sherwood Boehlert, Michael Castle, Phil English, Nancy Johnson, Jay Kim, Jim Leach, John McHugh and Ralph Regula), but not Souder, voted against the obstruction charge. Twenty-eight Republicans voted against the second perjury charge, sending it to defeat, and eighty-one voted against the abuse of power charge.

Article I, charging Clinton with perjury, alleged in part that:

  1. the nature and details of his relationship with a subordinate government employee
  2. prior perjurious, false and misleading testimony he gave in a federal civil rights action brought against him
  3. prior false and misleading statements he allowed his attorney to make to a federal judge in that civil rights action and
  4. his corrupt efforts to influence the testimony of witnesses and to impede the discovery of evidence in that civil rights action. [38][39]

Article II, charging Clinton with obstruction of justice alleged in part that:

  1. . corruptly encouraged a witness in a Federal civil rights action brought against him to execute a sworn affidavit in that proceeding that he knew to be perjurious, false and misleading.
  2. . corruptly encouraged a witness in a Federal civil rights action brought against him to give perjurious, false and misleading testimony if and when called to testify personally in that proceeding.
  3. . corruptly engaged in, encouraged, or supported a scheme to conceal evidence that had been subpoenaed in a Federal civil rights action brought against him.
  4. . intensified and succeeded in an effort to secure job assistance to a witness in a Federal civil rights action brought against him in order to corruptly prevent the truthful testimony of that witness in that proceeding at a time when the truthful testimony of that witness would have been harmful to him.
  5. . at his deposition in a Federal civil rights action brought against him, William Jefferson Clinton corruptly allowed his attorney to make false and misleading statements to a Federal judge characterizing an affidavit, in order to prevent questioning deemed relevant by the judge. Such false and misleading statements were subsequently acknowledged by his attorney in a communication to that judge.
  6. . related a false and misleading account of events relevant to a Federal civil rights action brought against him to a potential witness in that proceeding, in order to corruptly influence the testimony of that witness.
  7. . made false and misleading statements to potential witnesses in a Federal grand jury proceeding in order to corruptly influence the testimony of those witnesses. The false and misleading statements made by William Jefferson Clinton were repeated by the witnesses to the grand jury, causing the grand jury to receive false and misleading information. [38][40]

Preparation Edit

Between December 20 and January 5, Republican and Democratic Senate leaders negotiated about the pending trial. [41] There was some discussion about the possibility of censuring Clinton instead of holding a trial. [41] Disagreement arose as to whether to call witnesses. This decision would ultimately not be made until after the opening arguments from the House impeachment managers and the White House defense team. [41] On January 5, Majority Leader Trent Lott, a Republican, announced that the trial would start on January 7. [41]

Officers Edit

Process and schedule Edit

The Senate trial began on January 7, 1999, with Chief Justice of the United States William Rehnquist presiding. The first day consisted of formal presentation of the charges against Clinton, and of Rehnquist swearing in all senators. [41]

A resolution on rules and procedure for the trial was adopted unanimously on the following day [44] however, senators tabled the question of whether to call witnesses in the trial. The trial remained in recess while briefs were filed by the House (January 11) and Clinton (January 13). [45] [46]

The managers presented their case over three days, from January 14 to 16, with discussion of the facts and background of the case detailed cases for both articles of impeachment (including excerpts from videotaped grand jury testimony that Clinton had made the previous August) matters of interpretation and application of the laws governing perjury and obstruction of justice and argument that the evidence and precedents justified removal of the President from office by virtue of "willful, premeditated, deliberate corruption of the nation's system of justice through perjury and obstruction of justice". [47] The defense presentation took place January 19–21. Clinton's defense counsel argued that Clinton's grand jury testimony had too many inconsistencies to be a clear case of perjury, that the investigation and impeachment had been tainted by partisan political bias, that the President's approval rating of more than 70 percent indicated his ability to govern had not been impaired by the scandal, and that the managers had ultimately presented "an unsubstantiated, circumstantial case that does not meet the constitutional standard to remove the President from office". [47] January 22 and 23 were devoted to questions from members of the Senate to the House managers and Clinton's defense counsel. Under the rules, all questions (over 150) were to be written down and given to Rehnquist to read to the party being questioned. [41] [48] [49]

On January 25, Senator Robert Byrd moved for dismissals of both articles of impeachment. On the following day, Representative Bryant moved to call witnesses to the trial, a question the Senate had scrupulously avoided to that point. In both cases, the Senate voted to deliberate on the question in private session, rather than public, televised procedure. On January 27, the Senate voted on both motions in public session the motion to dismiss failed on a nearly party line vote of 56–44, while the motion to depose witnesses passed by the same margin. A day later, the Senate voted down motions to move directly to a vote on the articles of impeachment and to suppress videotaped depositions of the witnesses from public release, Senator Russ Feingold again voting with the Republicans.

Over three days, February 1–3, House managers took videotaped closed-door depositions from Monica Lewinsky, Clinton's friend Vernon Jordan, and White House aide Sidney Blumenthal. [50] On February 4, however, the Senate voted 70–30 that excerpting these videotapes would suffice as testimony, rather than calling live witnesses to appear at trial. The videos were played in the Senate on February 6, featuring 30 excerpts of Lewinsky discussing her affidavit in the Paula Jones case, the hiding of small gifts Clinton had given her, and his involvement in procurement of a job for Lewinsky.

On February 8, closing arguments were presented with each side allotted a three-hour time slot. On the President's behalf, White House Counsel Charles Ruff declared:

There is only one question before you, albeit a difficult one, one that is a question of fact and law and constitutional theory. Would it put at risk the liberties of the people to retain the President in office? Putting aside partisan animus, if you can honestly say that it would not, that those liberties are safe in his hands, then you must vote to acquit. [47]

Chief Prosecutor Henry Hyde countered:

A failure to convict will make the statement that lying under oath, while unpleasant and to be avoided, is not all that serious . We have reduced lying under oath to a breach of etiquette, but only if you are the President . And now let us all take our place in history on the side of honor, and, oh, yes, let right be done. [47]

Acquittal Edit

On February 9, after voting against a public deliberation on the verdict, the Senate began closed-door deliberations instead. On February 12, the Senate emerged from its closed deliberations and voted on the articles of impeachment. A two-thirds vote, 67 votes, would have been necessary to convict on either charge and remove the President from office. The perjury charge was defeated with 45 votes for conviction and 55 against, and the obstruction of justice charge was defeated with 50 for conviction and 50 against. [3] [51] [52] Senator Arlen Specter voted "not proved" [b] for both charges, [53] which was considered by Chief Justice Rehnquist to constitute a vote of "not guilty". All 45 Democrats in the Senate voted "not guilty" on both charges, as did five Republicans they were joined by five additional Republicans in voting "not guilty" on the perjury charge. [3] [51] [52]