Acquittal Concludes Trump’s Second Impeachment

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Daphne Renoux

The verdict of a historic second impeachment for the 45th president of the United States has finally been decided.

Daphne Renoux, Staff Writer

This second historic impeachment of former President Donald Trump has officially ended with his acquittal. After weeks of arguing about Trump’s guilt and debates as to whether or not he should be impeached, senators finally voted on the issue on Feb. 13, 2021. Despite a majority of senators voting for impeachment, the president was acquitted because the required 2/3 of the votes in favor of his removal were not obtained. This verdict was the conclusion of a long and tiresome process after the House of Representatives voted on the issue.

Donald Trump, the 45th president of the United States, was first impeached and later acquitted by the Senate on Dec. 18, 2019. The following year, he lost his re-election campaign to President Joe Biden. With this second, more recent impeachment, Trump made history as the only president to have ever been impeached twice by the House. Both times, the Senate voted to acquit the former president, which allowed him to remain in office. This acquittal means that Trump will have the option to run for president again in 2024.

“I think that it is unfair because people are in jail right now, and they did way fewer crimes, or are way less guilty than he is, but just because he is rich and a former president we let him pass,” freshman Prune Mathiot said.

The trials required intense preparation on both sides, as the prosecution and defense each scrambled to find evidence to support their respective arguments. Despite the amount of footage that was obtained from the Capitol riots — the main cause of the impeachment — the judges wanted more. Thus, the process was even more grueling for the prosecution who had to quickly find witnesses to be able to present its side before Congress. Some of these witnesses were House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser and Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington.

It blows my mind that Republicans like Mitch McConnell acknowledge that what Trump was wrong and still do nothing, and to me, this ruling just shows how messed up the Republican Party has come with the rise of Trumpism.”

— freshman Emmanuelle Desmet

After hours of debate, the Senate finally voted, a decision that could completely change the face of politics for the years to come. If Trump were to be impeached, then he would never be able to run for president again, opening doors for new candidates to campaign in 2024.

“He should have been convicted because on Jan. 6. In the events leading up to that day, he incited violence by stating absurd and blatantly false claims that the media had ‘rigged’ the election,” freshman Emmanuelle Desmet said.

The votes were finally counted and the results were 57- 43, in favor of impeaching the former president. This meant that even though the prosecution won the majority, the defense ultimately won the trial because the 2/3 requirement was not met. This time, seven Republicans voted against Trump, a great contrast to the first impeachment in which only one Republican had “switched sides”.

The 45th president was, thus, not impeached despite claims that he incited the insurrection at the Capitol. Trump is therefore free to run for, and win, the presidency in 2024. Whichever outcome this trial resulted in would have significantly altered the future of American politics. For now, President Biden remains in power, and may have to face off against Trump again in the next election.