Trump impeached a second time

Staff Writer
Taft Midway Driller
President Donald Trump

The House reached the majority vote needed to impeach President Donald Trump for inciting an “insurrection” in last week’s attack on the Capitol, a stinging rebuke of the nation’s 45th president as he prepares to depart the White House after four tumultuous years.

Ten Republicans broke from their party – and their president – to join Democrats in approving the single article of impeachment. Trump will leave power as the first president in the nation’s 245-year history to be impeached twice.

One of the 10 was David Valadao (R-Hanford).

"“Based on the facts before me, I have to go with my gut and vote my conscience. I voted to impeach President Trump,” Valadao said in a statement posted to Twitter. “His inciting rhetoric was un-American, abhorrent, and absolutely an impeachable offense. It’s time to put country over politics.”

The vote to impeach Trump was 232 to 197.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will decide when to transmit the article to the Senate, which must either dismiss the charge or hold a trial. At least 67 of the 100 senators are needed for conviction which would require Trump’s removal from office.

The House first impeached Trump in December 2019 for his efforts to pressure the president of Ukraine to investigate political rival Joe Biden but the Senate declined to convict him.

This time could be different following an unprecedented and violent assault on Congress’ home that left five people dead – including a U.S. Capitol police officer – and a nation shaken by an attack that struck at what President-elect Biden, a former senator, calls the “citadel “of democracy.

The impeachment of a president, usually a drawn-out process involving weeks of hearings and witnesses, took only a matter of days. But Democrats said steps had be taken to punish the president that would also prevent him from holding federal office again.

“America was attacked, and we must respond even when the cause of this violence resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue,” House Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern, D-Mass., said on the House floor before voting for impeachment. “Every moment that Donald Trump is in the White House, our nation, our freedom, is in danger.”

Though a few Republicans – including GOP Conference Chair Liz Cheney of Wyoming – voted for impeachment, most Republicans opposed the move. They said it denied the president due process by fast-tracking the process and would only further divide a nation torn apart by political acrimony.

GOP Rep. Tom Cole called it an attempt by Democrats to “settle old scores.”