What We Know So Far About Trump’s Impeachment

Katherine Ge, Staff Writer

45th President Donald Trump waving goodbye to Georgia before traveling to Texas, just 2 days before the Capitol raid.

Since January 6th, the United States has been in suspense. Forty-fifth president, Donald Trump was impeached—a second time—for inciting a raid on the United States Capitol as Congress members were counting electoral votes. 

In the violence, four rioters died, as well as one US Capitol police officer. Protestors beat him to death with a fire extinguisher. Nearly 70 people were arrested for illegal entry, assault, and gun possession by Washington’s Metropolitan Police Department. The Capitol building itself was left in ruins and littered by debris, broken furnishings, and shattered glass.

Trump’s “Save America” rally speech, delivered shortly before, mostly incited the raid. The speech transcript, provided by Rev, shows he used the word “fight” more than 20 times—just 7 minutes in, the crowd chanted “Fight for Trump!” He concluded by encouraging supporters to march to Pennsylvania Avenue. 

Now Trump has been charged with an article of impeachment, what happens next?

Because he hasn’t pleaded guilty, the impeachment trial will follow a course similar to grand-jury proceedings. This will include witness testimonies, the Senate acting as jurors, and multiple impeachment managers acting as prosecutors for the case presentation. Simply put, Trump has been accused as a criminal, rather than as the president. 

However, the trial will encounter a few obstacles which could change everything. The Senate, which was in recess, did not return until January 19; meanwhile Biden was sworn into office on January 20. Previous impeachment trials have lasted 21-83 days: so there’s no way the Senate could reconvene in one day—let alone, impeach Trump. Mitch McConnell, Republican Senate Majority Leader, said himself that the Senate can’t act efficiently enough. 

Even so, Trump’s trial is planned to continue. He will be the first ex-president to be impeached after his presidency. “Donald Trump has deservedly become the first president in American history to bear the stain of impeachment twice over,” Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a recent statement. During the trial, Democrats will hold a majority, meaning only 17 Republicans need to vote against Trump. Since many Republicans have expressed dismay at Trump’s actions, it’s very likely that will happen.  

The Senate’s vote will not only criminalize Trump, but it could also restrain him from the 2024 presidential race. Schumer says Trump’s convictions of inciting a “violent mob” in a “vicious, depraved and desperate” attempt to claim power will be tried immediately after January 19. “For the sake of our democracy, it cannot and must not be tolerated, excused, or go unpunished.”