One week after the Capitol riots, President Donald Trump became the first president to be impeached twice.
“We cannot begin to heal the soul of this country without first delivering swift justice to all its enemies,” House Judiciary Committee Members said in a statement.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer: ’We must rise to this moment and not only affirm the virtues we cherish, but reject the vices we abhor … Reject deceit. Reject fear mongering. Reject sedition, tyranny, and insurrection.’ pic.twitter.com/6TMwzP7OiG
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) January 13, 2021
The trial will begin after the Senate reconvenes on January 19, the day before President-elect Joe Biden in inaugurated. Despite the pressing matter, a memo by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell indicated the Senate will not reconvene early. It is unclear if McConnell will vote to convict Trump. However, CNN reported that “he believes that impeaching [Trump] will make it easier to get rid of the President and Trumpism from the Republican Party.”
In a new statement today, McConnell said, “I believe it will best serve our nation if Congress and the executive branch spend the next seven days completely focused on facilitating a safe inauguration and an orderly transfer of power to the incoming Biden administration.”
In a recent op-ed, Rep. Ted Lieu, an impeachment manager and California representative, explained the need for impeachment. In addition to describing his experience during the riots, Lieu argued impeachment would deter Trump from taking crazier actions, would prevent him from taking office again (and strip him of tax-funded benefits like a pension) and that future generations need to know Congress acted with force after the attack.
“Trump’s domestic terrorists were trying to keep him in office through violent means,” Lieu wrote. “If our response were merely sternly worded press statements, we would embolden more violent actors to try to overthrow our democracy in the future.”
During today’s House debates, many Republicans made calls to move on without impeachment in the name of unity. Mistaking the difference between insurrection and protest, some made comparisons of last week’s violence to the summer’s Black Lives Matter uprisings.
“In this moment, we need to focus on toning down the rhetoric…. as we move toward a peaceful transfer of power,” Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., said.
Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., countered this notion, explaining that many of Trump’s in-office supporters fueled his lies, bigotry and racism. “It is time this Congress now holds him accountable,” McGovern said. “As history calls on us today, I pray that we all have the moral clarity to uphold it here today.”
The Capitol Building is America's temple of freedom. I'll never forget the first time I visited—walking these hallowed halls and witnessing the glory of our democracy up close.
Watching it desecrated by a mob incited by Donald Trump fills me with sadness and rage. pic.twitter.com/cJTGb6qbOv
— Rep. Jim McGovern (@RepMcGovern) January 13, 2021
Five people died during the Capitol siege. Numerous arrests have been made across the country, which includes the indictment of three men. Several Capitol police officers are under investigation.