Trump Impeached—Again

The U.S. president was impeached on charges of “incitement of insurrection” in a vote that laid bare deep divisions within the Republican Party over its post-Trump future.

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi walks to House chambers as Congress considers impeachment against Trump.
U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi walks to the House chamber to consider the impeachment of President Donald Trump for high crimes and misdemeanors in Washington on Jan. 12. Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. House of Representatives voted on Wednesday to impeach President Donald Trump again, making him the first president in U.S. history to be impeached twice.

Ten Republican lawmakers joined all 222 Democrats in supporting impeachment, which came a week after a pro-Trump mob violently breached the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, fueled by baseless claims from the president that the election was stolen from him. The final tally of the vote was 232 in favor and 197 against.

The articles of impeachment now go to the Republican-controlled Senate, where the process of removing the president from office before his term is up seems highly unlikely.

The Senate is expected to reconvene on Jan. 19, just one day before President-elect Joe Biden is set to take office, leaving little time for an impeachment trial and vote. In a statement on Wednesday afternoon, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he had “not made a final decision” on his vote and intended to listen to legal arguments in the Senate—though he said that the upper chamber would not reach a verdict until after Trump leaves office.

But even if Trump is not removed from office prematurely, the vote represents another historic stain on the president’s legacy during his final weeks in the White House, a period of time that past presidents have used to focus on a smooth transition to their successors and take victory laps on their policy accomplishments. Neither of the other presidents who have faced impeachment—Bill Clinton or Andrew Johnson—has faced charges as severe: “willful incitement of insurrection.”

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Robbie Gramer is a diplomacy and national security reporter at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @RobbieGramer

Cailey Griffin is an intern at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @keenstoryteller

Jack Detsch is Foreign Policy’s Pentagon and national security reporter. Twitter: @JackDetsch

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