Democrats today took to the House floor to debate an impeachment resolution set to catapult Donald Trump into infamy as the first President in the history of the United States to face possible removal from office for a second time. A swift and surprisingly bipartisan vote to condemn his role in “incitement of insurrection” as the resolution read, of the breach and siege at the US Capitol on January 6th. Several Republicans joined House Democrats to vote in favor of the impeachment of the truculent Trump. The warp-speed with which the article of impeachment was tabled and the vote brought to the floor emphasized the fury that lawmakers, Republicans included, feel about Trump’s role in instigating the storming of the Capitol.
The House set a final vote for removal in the afternoon. Ten Republicans ultimately went with the Democrats for impeachment, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell posing little objection. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Minority Whip Steve Scalise who were tepidly opposed, also did not lobby their conference against it. Liz Cheney of Wyoming issued a scathing condemnation of Trump, stating: “there had never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.” Cheney, number three in the Republican leadership, and daughter of former Bush VP Dick Cheney, was the first to announce she would vote to impeach. The move was seen as a tipping point which emboldened more skittish Republicans to vote for as well, and allowed them to overcome their fear of going against the president.
The schism within the Republican Party was a remarkable reversal from the 2019 Trump impeachment when House and Senate Republicans presented a solid block of opposition. Rumor has it Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wants the impeachment to go through, believing it will make easier to finally completely get rid of Trump and Trumpism.
After the 232-197 vote, with camera lights flashing, Speaker Pelosi ceremoniously signed the Article. This set the stage for the next phase: sending the document to the Senate for trial. Observers think that this time a trial will proceed, with conviction highly likely. Unlike his last impeachment when he was all over the airwaves, this time President Trump was said to have quietly watched the proceedings on TV, isolated and alone in the White House. The Senate trial will most likely occur in the weeks subsequent to the inauguration of Joe Biden on January 20th. At that point, Democrats will hold the majority in the Senate.