The United States House of Representative on Wednesday impeached President Donald Trump for the second time.
The house is charging the President with “incitement of insurrection” for his role in the violent riot by a pro-Trump mob of the U.S. Capitol that left five people dead and lawmakers lifes at risk as they sought to affirm the victory of President-elect Joe Biden in the U.S 2020 Presidential election.
The vote to impeach passed the Democratic-controlled House 232 to 197, with 10 Republicans voting against the president.
The House is expected to immediately send the article of impeachment to the Senate for them to begin the process of holding a trial to determine whether to convict Trump and potentially bar him from ever running for any office again.
However, the trial will not likely hold before the day the Senate plans to reconvene which is on on Jan. 19th and a day before President-elect Biden is sworn into office.
Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, a member of the GOP leadership, was the highest ranking Republican to vote to impeach Trump. She was joined by John Katko of New York, Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, Fred Upton of Michigan, Peter Meijer of Michigan, Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio, Tom Rice of South Carolina, David Valadao of California, and Jaime Herrera Beutler and Dan Newhouse of Washington.
No House Republican had in the president’s first impeachment inquiry voted to remove and that in turn led to the Senate acquitting him.
“Those insurrectionists were not patriots. They were not part of a political base to be catered to or managed. They were domestic terrorists and justice must prevail,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on the House floor, kicking off two hours of debate before the final vote was held.
“But they did not appear out of a vacuum. They were sent here, sent here by the president, with words such as a cry to ‘fight like hell,'” Pelosi, D-Calif., continued.
“The president saw the insurrectionists not as the foes of freedom, as they are, but as the means to a terrible goal: the goal of him personally clinging to power.”
Meanwhile, many House Republicans argued during debate that Trump’s impeachment was rushed and did not follow due the process.
Others stressed that impeaching him for the second time would only further divide the country while others maintained that Trump’s actions on Jan. 6th did not meet the legal standard for incitement.
“I believe impeaching the president in such a short timeframe would be a mistake,” Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California, the top House Republican, said during debate.
“No investigations have been. No hearings have been held,” he added. “A vote to impeach will further fan the flames of partisan division.”
Other Republicans cried hypocrisy, criticizing Democrats for their support for the Black Lives Matter protests that took place across the country last year.
“For months, our cities burned, police stations burned, our businesses were shattered, and they said nothing,” said Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla. “Some have cited the metaphor that the president lit the flame. Well, they lit actual flames.”
It is still, however, unclear what will happen in the Senate once the trial begins since Trump would have vacated the office by then but should he be convicted, that could bar him from holding any federal office again.
Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, on his part, told his Republican colleagues on Wednesday afternoon that he still remains undecided on whether or not he will vote to convict the president.
“While the press has been full of speculation, I have not made a final decision on how I will vote and I intend to listen to the legal arguments when they are presented to the Senate,” McConnell wrote in a letter to his colleagues.
President Donald Trump was first impeached by the Democratic-led House of Representatives in December 2019 on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress over his dealings with Ukraine about political rival Joe Biden.
He was, however, acquitted by the Republican-led Senate last February and remained in power.
He is now the only President in the history of America that has been impeached twice while in office.