The House voted last week (Wends Jan 13th) to impeach Trump. Making him the first president in history to have the, uh, antithesis-of-honor of being impeached a second time.
If you’re not familiar with how impeachment works, the articles of impeachment now go to the Senate for the Senate to debate. However, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made it clear that they won’t start debating until after Biden is sworn in tomorrow (Jan 20th at noon.)
Additionally, Biden appears lukewarm about the whole thing. I have no doubt he’s not surprised Trump is being, well, himself. But the fact that Biden will have lawmakers pushing for impeachment when he’ll need them to push his agenda is certainly concerning. Democrats seem to be weighing this – but they aren’t as unified as you might expect.
Those are the key points as of now, but here’s the full break-down if you’re interested in more details.
Trump’s Second Impeachment
Trump is, formally, being impeached for “incitement of insurrection” based on his involvement in attempting, basically, a coup last week. I already covered how Trump was involved in inciting the riot and what happened during the riot if you want to read more about that.
But, if you’re like most of the US, you probably already know it all by now.
The House voted 232 to 197 to impeach Trump. Ten Republicans voted with all the Democrats to impeach the current president. Additionally, four Republicans didn’t vote – which is just about the same as voting for impeachment.
The ten Republicans who voted to impeach were;
- Adam Kinzinger of IL (who was the first Republican to publicly call for impeachment)
- Liz Cheney of WY
- John Katko of NY
- Fred Upton of MI
- Jaime Herrera Beutler of WA
- Dan Newhouse of WA
- Peter Meijer of MI
- Anthony Gonzolez of OH
- Tom Rice of SC
- David Valadao of CA
If you’re familiar with the averages of impeachment, this impeachment process was one of the fastest and most bipartisan impeachments we’ve ever seen. They voted – and moved forward – with Trump’s second impeachment exactly a week after Capitol Hill.
For reference, to get to the point where the Senate debates (which is the next step here) takes 126 days on average.
What About The Holdups With McConnell?
While Democrats are calling to have the Senate return early to debate impeaching Trump, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made it clear that the chamber won’t return until January 19th. And they won’t start on debates until after Biden is sworn in.
Despite numerous attempts from the Democrats to convince McConnell to invoke emergency authority to reconvene the Senate earlier than scheduled.
In a statement released after the House moved to impeach, McConnell said;
“Given the rules, procedures, and Senate precedents that govern precedents presidential impeachment trials, there is simply no chance that a fair or serious trial could conclude before President-elect Biden is worn in next week.”
And before you jump on the Republican vs Democrat bandwagon (an easy thing to do right now, I know) sources indicate McConnell believes impeaching Trump would be the only way to permanently remove him from the party. And, reportedly, McConnell is furious over Trump’s role in the Capitol Hill riots. Additionally, he blames Trump for the party’s failure to hold the two Georgia Senate seats.
McConnell also wrote to his Republican colleagues saying, “While the press has been full of speculation, I have not made a final decision on how I will vote and I intend to listen to the legal arguments when they are presented to the Senate.”
Though I’m not necessarily press, I do think the operative word here is “final.”
So What About Biden?
Not that I feel bad, he paid to get elected to run this shitshow, but all I have to say is he’s got a rough road ahead of him. And I have a hard time imagining this is how he thought his success would, I dunno, be overshadowed by Trump.
It’s been hinted at that Biden and his closest would like 100 days of Biden in office – without this impeachment business tying up lawmakers – to get his agenda moving. I mean, with COVID, economic depression, mass eviction, repos, and foreclosures looming, vaccine issues… yeah.
House Whip Jim Clyburn told Democrats to hold off on impeachment and he reported that Pelosi also had concerns about the timing. “Let’s given … Biden the 100 days he needs to get his agenda off and running and maybe we will send the articles sometime after that.”
Only that never happened. And shortly after the impeachment news came back Biden said (in short) that he hoped the Senate could effectively juggle their important duties while dealing with the impeachment debates.
And given that Trump is now officially impeached, no one can pardon him. Not even himself. Though I do suspect we may still see him try.
And About Trump…
If Trump’s comments while he was running for a second term are anything to go by, he may just attempt to pack up and bail.
“Could you imagine if I lose? My whole life, what am I going to do? I’m going to say, ‘I lost to the worst candidate in the history of politics.’ I’m not going to feel so good. Maybe I’ll have to leave the country, I don’t know.”
With African, Belgium, and Mexico thoroughly off the table for various reasons, where could he go? Poland, North Korea, and a few spots in Russia seem like the most promising places for Mr. Trump.
The only one of those that has an extradition treaty with the United States is Poland. Since I figured you were wondering.
He was once considered to be a relatively-high flight risk by many sources, but with the scrutiny that he’s brought on himself, is it still possible? Is it possible that Russia or North Korea would take him in with this much scrutiny? Particularly since everyone who surrounds themselves with Trump seems to find themselves in hot water.
If not, Trump owns a luxury hotel in the United Arab Emirates and an unfinished hotel in Azerbaijan, two countries that don’t have extradition treaties with the United States. But he may also be protected if he goes to his country club in Scotland or his resort in Ireland. Though his reception in the latter two countries will likely be lukewarm at best.
Time will tell where Trump lands. But, in the meantime, Trump’s spending his last days as president burning his few remaining bridges.