Suits Filed By Trump Opponents
Many of the lawsuits filed against Trump asked for . A court’s compels no action as it simply resolves a legal question. A declaration that the president has accepted emoluments would make the work of House Managers easier in an impeachment.Blumenthal v. Trump asked for declaratory relief as to emoluments. In CREW and National Security Archive v. Trump and EOP, a declaratory finding that the administration willfully failed to retain records would support a charge of obstruction of justice. The CREW v. Trump case was dismissed in December 2017 for lack of standing, but in September 2019 this ruling was vacated and remanded upon appeal.Blumenthal v. Trump was dismissed in February 2020.
Conviction In The Senate Will Hinge On Republicans
At this point, there do not appear to be enough votes in the Senate to convict Trump in an impeachment trial: Sixty-seven votes, or two-thirds of the chamber, would be needed to make this happen.
That math means 17 Republicans would have to join with the 50-person Democratic caucus on a conviction vote, once newly elected Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock of Georgia are seated. While Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is reportedly pleased Democrats are impeaching Trump, according to the New York Times, no Senate Republicans have announced that theyll vote to convict the president yet. McConnell also recently told colleagues he has yet to make a final decision.
Sans sufficient GOP support for conviction, Trump would be acquitted much like he was during the previous impeachment process last year. In the first impeachment trial, Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah was the only Senate Republican to vote in favor of conviction.
Whether or not more Republicans are willing to do so this time around could have major implications for Trumps political future and that of other Republicans with presidential aspirations.
Thus far, Republicans have stopped short of backing a conviction, however. Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Pat Toomey have called for Trumps resignation, while Sen. Ben Sasse has said hell consider the article of impeachment when the House sends it over.
Start Of Formal Impeachment Proceedings
The start of official proceedings was first revealed to the public in a court filing dated July 26, 2019.
This assertion was repeated in another court filing in a suit seeking to compel the testimony of former White House Counsel Don McGahn, stating:
The Judiciary Committee is now determining whether to recommend articles of impeachment against the president based on the obstructive conduct described by the special counsel, But it cannot fulfill this most solemn constitutional responsibility without hearing testimony from a crucial witness to these events: former White House counsel Donald F. McGahn II.
Later that day, Chairman Jerrold Nadler went on both CNN and MSNBC and said proceedings had indeed begun and that impeachment hearings would begin in September.
Politico reported that during August, Nadler and other majority members of the HJC had been drafting a formal document delineating the legal parameters of an official inquiry and that this would be voted on September 11, 2019.
The draft resolution was released to the public on September 9, 2019, and approved on a party-line vote two days later.
Testimony of Lewandowski
There were two other witnesses scheduled that day, and President Trump directed former top aides, Rob Porter and Rick Dearborn, not to appear to testify before Congress, which they did not.
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What Is The House Impeaching Trump For Specifically
The impeachment is a response to the attack on the US Capitol by Trump supporters that took place last Wednesday.
Specifically, a resolution authored by Rep. David Cicilline and other key members of Congress impeaches Trump on one count: incitement of insurrection.
The article of impeachment alleges that Trump incited violence against the government of the United States. It recounts how, as members of Congress gathered to count the electoral votes that would make Bidens victory official, Trump spoke to a large crowd, made false claims that he was the true winner, and urged them to fight like hell.
Thus incited by President Trump, the article continues, members of the crowd he had addressed … unlawfully breached and vandalized the Capitol, injured and killed law enforcement personnel, menaced Members of Congress, the Vice President, and Congressional personnel, and engaged in other violent, deadly, destructive, and seditious acts.
The impeachment article also mentions Trumps prior efforts to subvert and obstruct the certification of the results of the 2020 Presidential election, including Trumps request that Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger find votes for him to change the outcome there.
It concludes by asserting that Trump should be removed from office and disqualified from holding future office.
On Whether To Vote To Convict
Senate Democrats favored the conviction of Trump, stating that the evidence was clear and straightforward. Assuming all Democratic senators had voted to convict Trump, 17 Republican senators would have needed to vote to secure the two-thirds majority for conviction. If Trump had been convicted, then the Senate could have disqualified him from holding any federal office by a simple majority vote. On February 9, 45 senators supported conviction, 35 senators opposed conviction, and 20 senators had not released an official statement. This implied that to convict Trump with the required two-thirds majority, some of the Republican senators who said they opposed conviction would have needed to change their minds, either by voting to convict or by not appearing for the vote. Senator Lindsey Graham worked to persuade other Republicans to vote against conviction. In January, Republican Senator Mitch McConnell, the former Senate Majority Leader, reportedly told senators their decision on whether to convict the outgoing president would be a “vote of conscience” and told colleagues he was undecided whether he himself would vote to convict. He later stated on the Senate floor that President Trump “provoked” the mob that stormed the Capitol. However, McConnell announced on the morning of February 13 that he would vote to acquit Trump.
The summons to Trump was issued the same day.
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Constitutionality Of Senate Trial Of Former President
The question of whether the Senate can hold a trial for and convict a former president is unsettled. Article II, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution provides:
|The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.|
|Article II, Section 4, of the U.S. Constitution|
Article I, Section 3, of the Constitution, also states the following:
|Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.|
|Article I, Section 3, Clause 7, of the U.S. Constitution|
J. Michael Luttig, who served on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit for 25 years, said that such a trial would be unconstitutional. He interpreted the language of Section 4 to refer to an official in office.
Luttig said, “The very concept of constitutional impeachment presupposes the impeachment, conviction and removal of a president who is, at the time of his impeachment, an incumbent in the office from which he is removed. Indeed, that was the purpose of the impeachment power, to remove from office a president or other ‘civil official’ before he could further harm the nation from the office he then occupies.”
House Democrats Deliver Trump Impeachment Charge To Senate
6 Min Read
WASHINGTON – The U.S. House of Representatives delivered to the Senate on Monday a charge that former President Donald Trump incited insurrection in a speech to supporters before the deadly attack on the Capitol, setting in motion his second impeachment trial.
Nine House Democrats who will serve as prosecutors in Trumps trial, accompanied by the clerk of the House and the acting sergeant at arms, carried the charge against Trump to the Senate in a solemn procession across the Capitol.
Wearing masks to protect against COVID-19, they filed through the ornate Capitol Rotunda and into the Senate chamber, following the path that a mob of Trump supporters took on Jan. 6 as they clashed with police.
On arrival in the Senate, the lead House impeachment manager, Representative Jamie Raskin, read out the charge. Donald John Trump engaged in high crimes and misdemeanors by inciting violence against the government of the United States, he said.
Ten House Republicans joined Democrats in voting to impeach Trump on Jan. 13. But Senate Democrats will need the support of 17 Republicans to convict him in the evenly divided chamber, a steep climb given the continued allegiance to Trump among the Republican Partys conservative base of voters.
President Joe Biden said on Monday he did not believe there would be enough votes to convict Trump, according to CNN, citing a brief interview with Trumps Democratic successor.
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Ukraine: Pelosi Agrees To Proceedings
In July 2019 a whistleblower complaint was filed by a member of the intelligence community, but the Director of National Intelligence refused to forward it to Congress as required by law, saying he had been directed not to do so by the White House and the Department of Justice. Later reporting indicated that the report involved a telephone conversation with a foreign leader and that it involved Ukraine. Trump and his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, had been trying for months to get Ukraine to launch an investigation into former vice president and current presidential candidate Joe Biden as well as his son Hunter Biden. Trump had discussed the matter in a telephone call with the president of Ukraine in late July. It was also revealed that Trump had blocked distribution of military aid to Ukraine, although he later released it after the action became public. The controversy led House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to announce on September 24 that six House committees would commence an impeachment inquiry against Trump.
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The managers’ argument ended with the message that a vote to convict is simply holding Trump accountable for the events of Jan. 6, and that if convicted, the Senate would need to hold an additional vote to disqualify Trump from seeking reelection.
“My dear colleagues, is there any political leader in this room who believes that if he is ever allowed by the Senate to get back into the Oval Office, Donald Trump would stop inciting violence to get his way?” lead House Impeachment Manager Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., said in his closing arguments. “Would you bet the lives of more police officers on that? Would you bet the safety of your family on that? Would you bet the future of your democracy on that?”
Trump’s lawyers were often combative in their rebuttal.
They neither sought to call the election results fraudulent nor did they defend the actions of Jan. 6. They focused their argument on claiming the former president’s words did not incite violence, that political speech must be protected and that the Senate cannot convict a private citizen under the Constitution.
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Where Does The Senate Come In
The Senate is tasked with handling the impeachment trial, which is presided over by the chief justice of the United States in the case of sitting presidents. However, in this unusual case, since Trump is not a sitting president, the largely ceremonial task has been left to the Senate pro tempore, Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., the chamber’s most senior member of the majority party.
“The president pro tempore has historically presided over Senate impeachment trials of non-presidents,” Leahy said in a statement in January. “When presiding over an impeachment trial, the president pro tempore takes an additional special oath to do impartial justice according to the Constitution and the laws. It is an oath that I take extraordinarily seriously.”
To remove a president from office, two-thirds of the members must vote in favor at present 67 if all 100 senators are present and voting.
If the Senate fails to convict, a president is considered impeached but is not removed, as was the case with both Clinton in 1998 and Andrew Johnson in 1868. In Johnsons case, the Senate fell one vote short of removing him from office on all three counts.
In this trial, since the president has already left office, the real punishment would come if the president were to be convicted, when the Senate would be expected to vote on a motion to ban the former president from ever holding federal office again.
Impeachment Resolutions In The 116th Congress
- H.Res.13 Introduced March 1, 2019 by Rep. Brad Sherman on the grounds of obstruction of justice during the Mueller investigation
- H.Res.257 Introduced March 27, 2019 by Rep. Rashida Tlaib for opening an investigation with no specific accusation made
- H.Res.396 Introduced May 25, 2019 by Rep. Shelia Jackson Lee which named several areas of concern, including:
- Using law enforcement to punish political enemies
- Attacking the press as “enemies of the people”
- Mismanagement by failing to fill vacancies
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Rep Liz Cheney Says She Wont Step Down From Gop Leadership After Impeachment Vote Announcement
Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., the third-ranking House Republican, told reporters Wednesday she would not give up her position in party leadership despite calls from some House Republicans to step down after she said she would vote to impeach President Donald Trump.
Cheney said she was not going anywhere.
This is a vote of conscience. It’s one where there are different views in our conference. But our nation is facing an unprecedented, since the Civil War, constitutional crisis. That’s what we need to be focused on. That’s where our efforts and attention need to be, she said.
In a blistering statement released Tuesday, Cheney laid blame for the riot at the Capitol Jan. 6 at Trumps feet, saying there had never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.
Since then, some Republicans including Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, have called on her to step down from her position.
How Each Member Of The House Voted On Trumps Second Impeachment
The House voted to impeach President Donald Trump for incitement of insurrection, exactly one week after a mob attacked the Capitol, where lawmakers were convening to approve President-elect Joe Bidenâs Electoral College win. Trump is the first president in history to be impeached twice.
Ten Republicans joined Democrats in the historic vote â a contrast with the first impeachment vote, when every House Republican voted against both articles of impeachment. Four Republicans did not vote: Reps. Kay Granger , Andy Harris , Gregory Murphy and Daniel Webster .
Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming â the No. 3 House Republican â had announced the day before that she would vote to impeach, calling it a âvote of conscienceâ and placing the blame for the attack squarely on the President.
âNone of this would have happened without the President,â Cheney wrote. âThe President could have immediately and forcefully intervened to stop the violence. He did not. There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.â
Hereâs how everyone voted. Legislators who reversed their votes from the previous impeachmentvoteare shown in bold:
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Here Are All Of The House Republicans Who Voted To Impeach Donald Trump
Ten members of the GOP joined with Democrats in the vote.
Unlike his first impeachment in 2019, 10 Republicans joined Democrats to charge Trump for the “incitement of insurrection” for his role in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol with a final vote of 232-197.
Some Republicans may have feared for their own safety if they voted for impeachment, Rep. Adam Kinzinger, one of those who voted against Trump, said. Kinzinger told ABC’s “Powerhouse Politics” podcast that some members of his party are likely holding back from voting for impeachment due to fear of highlighting their own participation in supporting the president’s false claims of election fraud.
Democrat Jason Crow, of Colorado, relayed similar thoughts in an interview with MSNBC on Wednesday morning.
“I had a lot of conversations with my Republican colleagues last night, and a couple of them broke down in tears talking to me and saying that they are afraid for their lives if they vote for this impeachment,” he said.
Here is a list of the 10 Republicans who took a stance against Trump:
Rep. John Katko, R-N.Y.
“To allow the President of the United States to incite this attack without consequence is a direct threat to the future of our democracy. For that reason, I cannot sit by without taking action. I will vote to impeach this president.”
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