By: Emma Smith
Looking back on an unprecedented second impeachment trial
After many days of hearing all sides, the Senate acquitted former president, Donald Trump on his impeachment charges. The argument was made that he cultivated the riot that occurred on Jan. 6. Weeks prior, Trump made remarks that encouraged his supporters not to believe the results of the election. The Capital riots seemed to be the last straw for Senators, on both sides, that is until it came time to vote on Feb. 13.
Trump’s second impeachment trial lasted for less than a week and in the end only seven on the fifty Republican senators voted to convict Trump on his charge of “incitement of insurrection.” This meant that 57 senators voted against Trump and 43 GOP senators voted to acquit. The vote fell short of the two-thirds needed to convict the former president.
Some people look at these actions and wonder if it will affect Trump at all or the democracy for that matter. An acquittal of his second impeachment means that he can once again run for presidency in the future, something he has hinted towards before.
Dr. Robert Postic, Professor of Political Science and Chair of Behavioral Sciences at UF had this to say via email on the subject of whether Trump will be leaving the political world: “Trump will still be present or relevant in some way. The key question is whether that will be from within the Republican party or from outside the Republican party. There’s been some talk about a third party forming. I think that’s unlikely.”
Speaking of opinions, it seems that everyone has a strong opinion of Trump, regardless of what it is. According to fivethirtyeight.com, it seemed that many GOP members, like Mitch McConnell have been ready for the party to move on from Trump. The most recent election did not help in this feeling of seeing him as a drag to the party. Other members of the Republican party were completely appalled by the actions to possibly convict Trump.
Instead of running for office once more, Dr. Postic thought Trump might try to influence the views through media. “What I think to be more likely is Trump either forming his own media network or joining with a media network (such as Newsmax) and attempting to influence politics through that medium. Alternatively, he could simply find a new platform such as Parlor, which I believe is back. But I don’t see him going away,” he said.
An agreement by people who did not want this trial to go forward, was that the trail was unconstitutional due to Trump being out of office when the trial took place. Dr. Postic however disagrees, saying that not only is that in correct because he was formally impeached while still in office, but the agreement defeats the two-step process that Congress has the right to go through.
“The House impeaches; the Senate holds a trial. That’s the process. While it’s true that scholars agree public officers can only be impeached while in office, the process can extend beyond when the person leaving office,” he said.
Featured photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Feb. 26, 2021 4:52 PM: An edit was made to correct a date.