By Rachel Royster | Staff Writer
Furious after Trump’s words encouraged his followers to take “imminent lawless action at the Capitol,” House Democrats began the impeachment process last week, for the second time in this presidency.
Rather than being able to focus on the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden, the country now waits eagerly to see what will be done by congressional lawmakers after rioters stormed down the Capitol with Trump’s approval.
The riot, which left five dead, was aimed at disrupting the certification of Biden as the winner of the 2020 election because some right wing citizens believed that thousands of Republican ballots had been ignored. Claims about mass voter fraud had been perpetuated by the president and his allies in the weeks preceding and following Election Day, though no credible evidence was ever put forth to support the claims on such a massive scale.
After speaking at a rally followed by over two hours of chaos at the Capitol, Trump told the violent mob to “go home,” that he loved them and they were “very special.” The House of Representatives then voted to impeach him last Wednesday, a week after rioters stormed Congress.
“Today, in a bipartisan way, the House demonstrated that no one is above the law, not even the President of the United States and that Donald Trump is a clear and present danger to our country,” Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said when signing the impeachment documents.
Trump is the first president who has ever been impeached twice. The first impeachment happened just over a year ago for articles of obstruction of Congress and abuse of power. Now he will be put up for trial in the Senate for incitement of insurrection.
The impeachment process has already gone through the House of Representatives and is now waiting for Pelosi and the nine Democratic impeachment managers to introduce the article to the Senate. There, a trial will be held to determine the president’s guilt.
Though it is unlikely the Senate will call a vote before Biden is inaugurated, Trump will still face consequences if convicted. One of those consequences includes the revocation of Trump’s ability to run for president again, which it has been reported he is already considering for the 2024 presidential race.
Baylor students have an array of opinions about the way they would prefer the impeachment to proceed given the gravity of the impeachment article, the timing of the riot itself and the timing of the impeachment proceedings.
“I think it is warranted, but at this point, many Americans are just ready to get rid of him, but he only has a couple more days left in office,” said Stafford, Va., junior Kelcey Parks. “So now, it’s really just a matter of how is he going to end his presidency: Is he going to be compliant, or is he still going to do the same things that he’s been doing for the past four years?”
While some wish to see him convicted, others see it as a political ploy on behalf of the Democratic majority in the House.
“Trump still served four years for the United States, and he did do a lot for our economy, so he deserves the protection and rights any other president would get when they go out of office,” Cypress freshman Sarah Michael said. “Personally, I think this is just another way that the Democrats want to get a jab at Trump before he leaves the White House.”
The House vote to impeach the president was the most bipartisan impeachment of an American president, with 10 members of the president’s own party voting for the articles to be brought before the Senate. The final vote count was 232-197 in favor of impeachment.
Trump himself continues to say this impeachment is “absolutely ridiculous.” After reevaluating what he said that encouraged the riots, Trump is standing his ground in his innocence.
“They’ve analyzed my speech and my words and my final paragraph, my final sentence, and everybody, to the T, thought it was totally appropriate,” he said.