President Trump is now the only United States leader to be impeached twice, after Wednesday’s historic vote in the House of Representatives.
But his trial in the Senate will not happen until after Joe Biden, a Democrat, is inaugurated as the new US president next week.
After last week’s demonstration in Washington, DC which turned into a riot, the President’s opponents, and many of his compatriots in the Republican Party, determined that he would have to pay for inciting the people who entered the Capitol building.
National Guardsmen were brought into the House of Representatives on Wednesday to guard the tense proceedings, during which ten Republicans joined Democrats in voting to impeach the President for inciting an insurrection against the government of the United States.
Ten Republicans vote to impeach
The ten Republicans were: Representatives Liz Cheney from Wyoming, the third-most powerful leader in the House of Representatives; John Katko, New York; Fred Upton, Michigan; Dan Newhouse, Washington; Peter Meijer, Michigan; Anthony Gonzalez, Ohio; David Valadao, California; Tom Rice, South Carolina; Jaime Herrera Beutler; Washington and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois.
However, Republican Senator Mitch McConnell stated that he would not agree with the use of emergency powers to bring the Senate back into session for an impeachment trial before Jan. 19th.
The House passed a single article of impeachment, not only voting 232 to 197 to charge Trump with incitement, but requesting his immediate removal from office and disqualification from ever holding office again in his lifetime.
President-elect Joe Biden is slated to assume office on January 20th. President Trump has already stated that he will not attend the inauguration.
Trump condemns violence
Trump issued a video on Wednesday, avoiding any mention of the impeachment proceedings against him, but stating that he condemns violence “unequivocally.”
It what was seen as a broadside against Twitter and other social media giants, who have banned him for life, as well as the banning of the free-speech platform Parler, he condemned any infringement on the freedom of speech as “wrong and dangerous.”
“I want to be very clear,” the President said in today’s video, “I unequivocally condemn the violence that we saw last week. Violence and vandalism have absolutely no place in our country, and no place in our movement.”
“Making America great again has always been about defending the rule of law, supporting the men and women of law enforcement and upholding our nation’s most sacred traditions and values. Mob violence goes against everything I believe in, and everything, our movement stands for,” Trump added.
What happens next?
The impeachment article will head to the Senate, which will hold a trial to determine the president’s guilt.
A two-thirds majority is needed to convict Mr Trump, meaning at least 17 Republicans would have to vote with Democrats in the evenly split, 100-seat upper chamber.
As many as 20 Senate Republicans are open to convicting the president, the New York Times reported on Tuesday.
If Mr Trump is convicted by the Senate, lawmakers could hold another vote to block him from running for elected office again – which he has indicated he planned to do in 2024.
But the trial will not come during Mr Trump’s remaining week in office.