Trump Faces Trial Following Second Impeachment

Trump has been impeached again and will go through another trial.

Abbey Manzanares, Copy Editor

Former President Donald Trump was impeached for the second time on Jan. 13. and is set to begin trial on Feb. 8. Trump is the first U.S. president to be impeached twice. 

Trump was first impeached in Dec. 2019 because the House of Representatives felt that he abused his power and obstructed Congress. His first impeachment was stemmed from a phone call he had with the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, in July of 2019. During the phone call, Trump requested for Zelensky to investigate the energy company that Joe Biden’s son worked for (British Broadcast Channel). He was seen as not guilty on Article I with a vote of 52-48 and was also seen as not guilty on Article II with a vote of 53-47 (National Public Radio).

 He was then impeached a second time on Jan. 13, 2021, by the House of Representatives with the charge of attempting to overturn the 2020 presidential election. The House stated that Trump endangered the security of the United States as well as manifested injury on the people. One of their pieces of evidence was Trump’s speech and tweets that they felt heavily influenced the march at the D.C. Capitol (NBC News). If he was tried as guilty before the end of his presidency, former Vice President Mike Pence would have taken office.

Current President Joe Biden was sworn in before Trump’s Senate trial. Now the question is whether or not it is constitutional to have a Senate trial when he is no longer in office.

“Well, the Constitution doesn’t say anything explicitly about if Congress has the power to do so or not so it depends on your interpretations of the Constitution overall,” Regan Jones, US history teacher, said. “Personally, I believe that Congress has powers beyond what is expressly written in the Constitution so they could impeach the former President Trump.”

Since Trump was impeached before President Biden was inaugurated, history teacher Marc Serrano believes that it is constitutional, as well. Not one person out of the five interviewed believed that it was unconstitutional.

“This is why there are constitutional lawyers who can really get deep into this and draw conclusions, but from my perspective, the answer is yes you can do it,” Serrano said. “Ultimately you are trying to find out if a crime was committed. Even if that crime was committed in the last hour or minute of a president’s term, then a crime has taken place. Therefore, a trial must commence determining the guilt or innocence of the crime in question.”

Trump has already stated that he plans to run for office again in 2024 and his exit speech said that he would “see us soon”. If he is seen as guilty during the Senate trial then he will lose the privilege to hold any office.

“He would lose access to certain privileges that Presidents get like a pension and secret service agents,” Jones said. “And if he was later convicted in a Civil Court he would lose his voting rights as well as convicted felons are not allowed to vote.”

After five trial days, Trump was acquitted of the charges with a vote of 57-43 therefore he still has the privileges that the other former presidents’ have (CNN). He is allowed to run for President in 2024 but those previous plans are now undetermined by him. He has stated that he will remain in the political world by supporting and playing a role in the 2022 midterm elections.

Lead impeachment manager Jamie Raskin put in a continuous effort to convict Trump as he claims this is the most bipartisan presidential impeachment in the history of the United States.

“Senator Mitch McConnell just went to the floor, essentially to say that we made our case on the facts, that he believed that Donald Trump was practically and morally responsible for inciting the events of January 6th,” Raskin said. “He described it as we did, as a disgraceful dereliction of duty, a desertion of his office.”

In contrast, Michael van der Veen, one of Trump’s attorneys, states that the other team never had a case. He believes that their case was quickly demolished and they were acting like “dying animals that had been trapped in the corner cornered” while attempting to save the case.

“They shouldn’t have brought this impeachment from the beginning. It really does stem from political hatred,” van der Veen said.

Trump made a public statement about the impeachment result on Feb. 28 on the Conservative Political Action Conference stage. This is his first public statement since leaving the White House. During his statement, he named each one of the Republican lawmakers who voted against him as well as stating that Biden needs to get schools open. Many of his supporters were pleased to hear him tease at another Presidency while joking about a third impeachment trial.

“But who knows? I may even decide to beat them for a third time,” Trump said. “I may even decide to beat them a third time”

 According to the teachers, there are many different reasons that people wanted Trump convicted whether it’s to ensure he can never hold a political role again, hold him accountable for his actions, or to plummet his ego and confidence. 

Teachers also have their own political bias and personal opinions on why they do or do not want Trump convicted. For this reasoning, teaching current events in the classroom can be seen as difficult. Teachers like Serrano and Appelhanz decided to not state their political bias in the classroom because they feel as if their job is to let students make their own decision without being swayed. Although Jones also believes that students should decide their own political beliefs, she decided to not teach without bias. She does however acknowledge her bias when she knows it could impact what she is teaching to create a productive learning environment for all.

“When I began my educational journey at Washburn University in the Fall of 2016, I had a professor look at us the day after the election and say, ‘teaching is political and if you can’t handle that and acknowledge your bias in a classroom, you don’t belong in this profession’,” Jones said.


*This story is updated as of February 28, 2021.