Written by: Dr. Islam Ayadi – Professor of International Relations – Arab American University

  • Arab Democratic Center

Defining impeachment as authorized in Article Two, Section Four of the United States Constitution, is the formal process that allows Congress to press charges of “treason, bribery, or other major crimes and misdemeanors” against high-ranking civilian officials, such as the President. The impeachment is the first step in an important examination of the executive and judicial authorities of the government regarding violations of the law and abuse of power, and once the House of Representatives is removed from office, the official is tried, and if he is convicted by the Senate, he is removed from office.

Article Two, Section IV of the United States Constitution states: “The President, Vice President, and all civil servants in the United States shall be removed from their office in cases of convictions for treason, bribery, or other serious crimes and misdemeanors.”

In US history, only three American presidents – Andrew Johnson, Bill Clinton, and Donald Trump – have been impeached by the US House of Representatives, but all three have been acquitted by the Senate. However, Mr. Trump is the first to be impeached twice, and the only one to be charged as the end of his term approaches.

Accordingly, the House of Representatives impeached President Trump for the second time, more than a year after he was impeached for the first time due to pressure on Ukraine to announce investigations that would have helped him politically, the vote was from 232 to 197, with all Democrats joining 10 Republicans, in a chamber of Parliament. Representatives are guarded by National Guard forces stationed throughout the Capitol and its grounds.

According to the Constitution of the United States of America, the Constitution gives the House of Representatives ample room to deal with the impeachment process, and there are no restrictions on the number of times a person can be removed, although President Trump will be the first person ever to be impeached more than once.

Given that the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden is so close, the repercussions of a second impeachment by the House of Representatives will be mostly symbolic. The Senate has now been postponed and cannot convene again until January 19 unless it obtains unanimous approval from all 100 members. This is what Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said, “The impeachment trial cannot begin until President Trump’s last full day in office at the earliest.” Donald Trump became the first US president in history to be impeached for the second time after the House of Representatives accused him of “inciting revolt” for his role in stirring up a crowd of supporters who stormed the Capitol on January 6, 2021.

Barely hours after the congressional storming took place, its Democratic members began searching for the best way to punish the president for inciting his supporters to an attack that not only threatened American democracy from their point of view, but also their lives. The Democrats ended up making Trump the first US president to be impeached twice in a single term. And the Democrats were not justifying the accusation of Donald Trump only; Rather, they fully condemned his legacy in political life.

Representatives have attacked Trump’s behavior throughout his presidency and tracked down Republican members of Congress who have been chanting Trump’s words. And it seems that there are Democrats in Congress who are trying to blame the entire Republican Party with Trump’s mistake of inciting the storming of Congress.

The last impeachment trial and the Senate trial took place when President Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives on December 18, 2019. The resolution contained two articles of impeachment:

First: the abuse of power, this example of “grave crimes and misdemeanors” accused Trump of a corrupt attempt to demand that Ukraine conduct investigations to discredit his democratic political rivals. Article 230 to 197 was approved with Republican members of the House of Representatives united in their opposition, and two Democrats also voted against the article.

Second: Obstructing the work of Congress, which also falls under “major crimes and misdemeanors,” arose out of accusations that when Congress tried to investigate the situation in Ukraine, Trump ordered his administration to challenge every attempt to obtain information and testimony. This article was approved from 229 to 198 with Join an additional Democrat to the Republicans opposing the charge.

The impeachment articles were submitted to the Senate on January 16, 2020, and the trial began. Due to the objections of the Republican senators, no witnesses or documents were called. On February 5, 2020, the President was acquitted of both charges, the vote on Article 1 was abuse of power, 48 for conviction, and 52 for acquittal. Regarding Article 2 obstruction of Congress, the vote was 47 guilty, 53 acquittal.

Trump is now in an embarrassing situation more than he has ever been, had Trump acknowledged his defeat in the November elections, the Republicans would have retained control of the Senate by keeping their bases in Georgia, and Trump would have remained influential in the Republican Party, and he would have been able to run again for the presidency in 2005. 2024. But the path Trump took has now left him in an unenviable position; Without a tongue on social media, even his favorite platform, Twitter, is banned from tweeting on it. This is what reminds us of the Arab proverb, “It is upon itself that it is Jannat Baraqish”.