House Impeaches Trump for Incitement of Insurrection

A bipartisan majority of the House of Representatives has voted to impeach Donald Trump for Incitement of Insurrection, by a margin of 232 to 197. 10 Republicans joined all of the Democrats in voting to impeach Trump for his role in the violent attack on the Capitol one week ago.

House Resolution 24, Impeaching Donald John Trump, President of the United States, for high crimes and misdemeanors, specifies:

incited by President Trump, members of the crowd he had addressed, in an attempt to, among other objectives, interfere with the Joint Session’s solemn constitutional duty to certify the results of the 2020 Presidential election, unlawfully breached and vandalized the Capitol, injured and killed law enforcement personnel, menaced Members of Congress, the Vice President, and Congressional personnel, and engaged in other violent, deadly, destructive, and seditious acts.

The Article of Impeachment also states:

President Trump gravely endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of Government. He threatened the integrity of the democratic system, interfered with the peaceful transition of power, and imperiled a coequal branch of Government. He thereby betrayed his trust as President, to the manifest injury of the people of the United States.

The gravity of these charges explains why this was the most bipartisan vote to impeach a President in US history. House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy did not vote to impeach, but he did say earlier in the day that “the President bears responsibility” for the insurrectionists’ attack on the Capitol.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who is said to favor impeachment and removal of Trump, quickly announced that the trial in the Senate would begin during the first regular session after the Article of Impeachment is delivered by the House to the Senate. This is likely to be on January 19, but could be some time after that, as both Democrats and Republicans have said President-elect Joe Biden should be able to start his presidency immediately building a new administration and confronting the devastating COVID-19 pandemic.

For perspective, the 232-197 margin amounts to a vote of 54% to 46%, which is a wider margin than the popular vote in the 2020 Presidential election, which Joe Biden won 81.2 million (51.4%) to 74.2 million (46.9%). With the famously ferocious loyalty of the House Republicans to Trump, this shift signals real outrage at Trump’s behavior and a significant possibility of conviction in the Senate.

Conviction in the Senate after the inauguration of a new administration is still of legal and political importance, and of value to national security, as it would bar Trump from ever holding office again. Conviction on charges of insurrection, specifically, also carries that penalty, under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

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