Trump is Impeached. Now What?
Photo by Evan El-Amin
As Donald Trump became the first President in U.S. history to be impeached twice on Jan. 13, he will be awaiting an impeachment trial held by the Senate after Joe Biden is inaugurated this week.
The House of Representatives impeached the President for “high crimes and misdemeanors.” The outcome was a 232–197 vote and included ten republicans agreeing with the Democratic led House.
The next step would be an impeachment trial held by the Senate. However, the chances of this happening before President Trump needs to leave office is unlikely.
Senator Mitch McConnell said that it will not convene before the Presidential Inauguration.
President Trump has not determined who will represent him in court. Jay Sekulow, one of his lawyers from the first impeachment, will not be rejoining his team, although he expressed support against the second impeachment of Trump.
“I think it would be a gigantic mistake to institute articles of impeachment when the president is going to be out of office in 12 days. So, why divide the country so significantly when the president is in fact going to be out of office in 12 days,” Sekulow said.
Pat Cipollone, Jane Raskin or Robert Ray will also not be involved in the second impeachment trial.
Robert Ray, a member of the first impeachment defense said “I could imagine that you could draft an article of impeachment that would actually make a legal argument that the president aided or abetted or actually elicited a riot.”
President Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, confirmed that he will be involved in the case. Although there are no specific details on how the President wants to handle the case, Giuliani said that part of the defense would involve proving widespread voter fraud.
In an interview with Jon Karl, Giuliani said that if he can prove the claims to be true or that the President believed them to be true, that he can’t be charged with inciting violence. Giuliani doesn’t believe the President incited violence due to the time period between the President’s speech and the attack.
“Basically, if [incitement] is going to happen, it’s got to happen right away,” said Giuliani.
“It’s all going to boil down to what the president’s defense is…And if it’s Rudy Giuliani’s defense, I think it raises the likelihood of more than 17 Republicans voting for conviction,” Republican strategist Karl Rover told Fox News.
Rove said he doesn’t believe the defense will work because voter fraud claims have been rejected by over “50 courts with judges appointed by President Trump, President Obama, President Bush, President Clinton, and I think even one Reagan justice.”
The attack on the Capitol has left some Republican leaders to consider impeachment. Alaska Senator, Lisa Murkowsi, was the Republican to call on the President to resign.
“I want him to resign. I want him out. He has caused enough damage,” Murkowsi said.
Nebraska Senator, Ben Sasse, said he would consider impeachment but questioned if it was a prudent course of action.
President-elect Joe Biden said regarding the second impeachment of President Trump, “What the Congress decides to do is for them to decide.”
Now, in order to remove President Trump from office, the Senate will need 67 votes in favor for the impeachment.