This week, the House of Representative have met to impeach President Donald Trump for an unprecedented second time following the shockingly violent Capitol Hill riot on January 6th.
This time, the chamber voted again for impeachment resulting in 232 to 197; as a next step, Senate members must vote whether Trump should be convicted in a trial for violence instigation hours (and even weeks) before the Capitol Hill attack.
Right now, we can’t predict how many Republicans will vote in favor of Trump’s conviction; however, we do have five key takeaways from this historical day for our country’s political system.
It’s the most bipartisan impeachment ever
During the first session for impeachment, almost every politician supporting the initiative belonged to the Democratic party. This time, though, a surprising number of Republicans have also voted in favor, turning this event into the most bipartisan impeachment in our national history.
Even Kevin McCarthy, the top-ranking Republican and Congressman in the room, has declared loud and clear that Trump should be held accountable for instigating his followers to violence on Capitol Hill.
However, at least two-thirds of the Senate members have to vote in favor of Trump’s conviction for the President to face accusations after Inauguration Day. Although 10 Republicans have voted for his impeachment last time, there’s still a long way to actually convicting him.
Democrats are concerned about security
On January 6th, some of our country’s most important politicians – vice-president Mike Pence included – quite literally feared for their lives as they were hiding behind desks during the Capitol Hill riot. Not only were security teams and Capitol Police completely underprepared that day, but there’s also evidence that they refused any help from the FBI twice.
Whether the Capitol Hill riot has been somehow allowed to become so violent or not we may never know. However, this event has definitely fueled many Democrats’ anger and made them wonder whether security teams are truly ready for Inauguration Day, as well as other important meetings and trials.
Most Republicans didn’t concede any fault
During Wednesday’s debate, the two parties seemed to agree on one thing: the Capitol Hill riot was simply unacceptable in terms of violence. And that’s great.
Ronna McDaniel, the Republican National Committee chairwoman, specifically denounced the mob attack:
‘Violence has no place in our politics. Period. I will wholly condemned last week’s senseless acts of violence, and I strongly reiterate the calls to remain peaceful in the weeks ahead.’
Donald Trump has also released a video statement urging all Americans to accept the transition process especially during Inauguration Day. Following all his previous statements and instigation to violence, though, we can’t assert the veracity of his words. After all, condemning rioters just one week after telling them you love them is a bit radical, isn’t it? And if recent reports from inside the White House are to be believed, president Trump has expressed his anger and regret at making the conciliatory statement.
You can watch the full statement here:
At some point, it even seemed like Republicans and Democrats have the same mindset – but it didn’t last long.
Republican Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, who had her Twitter account suspended hours ago for supporting the bizarre QAnon conspiracy theory (learn more about QAnon here), was quick to judge Democrats for supporting the alleged violence during the Black Lives Matter Protest. According to her, the Democratic party is ‘on record supporting violence when it supports their cause. They will take away everyone’s guns just as long as they have guards with guns.’
We still don’t know what the Senate will do
It’s very difficult to predict what will happen in the Senate next.
During Trump’s first impeachment, the only Republican who voted for convict was Utah Senator Mitt Romney. For the second impeachment, at least 17 Republicans should vote to confirm the conviction.
Even if this happens, McConnell explained in previous statements that the earliest date for a trial would be after Joe Biden’s inauguration (on January 20th). But is that really so?
Chuck Schumer, McConnell’s Democratic counterpart, specifically declared that a Senate trial can begin anytime if the Senate majority leader agrees to schedule the emergency session. Schumer is also convinced that there will be an impeachment trial for Donald Trump, regardless of when it happens.
Only time can tell the future regarding this tangled political situation.
The Republican party is falling apart
There were few times in our national history when members of the same party had such distinct political views. However, it seems that Donald Trump has somehow managed to divide the Republican party as even his most important members are on opposite sides of the spectrum.
Chairwoman of the House Republican Conference, Congresswoman Liz Cheney, the elder daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, has already declared her desire to support Democrats by voting for Trump’s impeachment. We could also witness heated conflicts between freshman lawmakers such as congresswoman Nancy Mace and congresswomen Marjorie Taylor Greene. According to The Guardian, Mace accused Greene of supporting QAnon as well as the Capitol Hill riot.
In the midst of all this chaos, Senator Mitch McConnell (the highest-ranking Republican of his chamber), seems unsure of which side to join. The Senator has reportedly told his colleagues that he doesn’t know which voting decision is best, although some associates claim that McConnell is in fact glad that the Democrats are fighting for Trump’s second impeachment.
Our country is far from returning to any sort of political normalcy, if such a thing ever existed, as some Republican senators still insist on calling foul on the election results. If Trump is impeached for a second time and is possibly barred from ever serving in public office again, many believe that will spark yet another wave of protests, riots and violence.
While we don’t have a crystal ball and can’t see what will happen in the next few weeks, what we can say for absolute certainty is that on January 20th Joseph R. Biden WILL be inaugurated as the 46th President of these currently not United States.