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Impeachment of Trump: An act of accountability

Published : Monday, 18 January, 2021 at 12:00 AM  Count : 326
Kazi Fahim Ahmed

Impeachment of Trump: An act of accountability

Impeachment of Trump: An act of accountability

President Donald Trump is the first president in US history who has been impeached twice. Donald Trump always wanted to make history and this time; he has become history himself. He will be reminisced through his shameful leaving.

The United States House of Representatives voted 232-197 to impeach Trump for the second time. The House of Representatives impeached President Donald Trump for inciting an insurrection on January 6. For conviction and the removal of President Donald Trump from office this matter will go to the Senate now. But a trial and vote in the Senate is unlikely to happen before President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration on January 20.

This time, around 10 House Republicans have voted to impeach Donald Trump. The Republican leaders did not prevent their members from voting in favour of impeachment as it might lead to further clash and it could also put their lives in danger. And these votes have made the impeachment the most bipartisan in the US history.

Though this impeachment is moral clarity for what happened at the US Capitol on January 6, the main action remains far away. As Trump has only a few days left in the office, his removal is unlikely to happen. But even after Joe Biden's inauguration, Trump's conviction can be a greater achievement for the democrats. If Donald Trump is convicted in the Senate trial by a majority of the vote in the Senate, he will also be barred from future presidential election. As several surveys show, Donald Trump remains the favourite candidate among the Republicans and the 2024 Republican Presidential nomination and has about 42 per cent support. Therefore, Democrats are pushing hard for an impeachment trial in the Senate against President Donald Trump.

Trial in the Senate usually takes a lot of time. And with a Republican majority in the Senate like the first impeachment trial, it also seems complicated. Though this process seems a long way, this impeachment trial will be different from the first one. Because Republicans are more open in discussion this time. Many Republican House of Representatives and the Republican Senators have changed their stands on Donald Trump after seeing the violence at the US Capitol on January 6. They think the violence as an attack on them too.

According to The NY Times, the Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell "has concluded that President Trump committed impeachable offenses and believes that Democrats' move to impeach him will make it easier to purge Mr. Trump from the party." This is a vibrant indication that McConnell is thinking for the conviction of Donald Trump. McConnell's wife Elaine Chao, former Transportation Secretary of Trump administration, resigned from the administration after the event on January 6. However, Mitch McConnell said that he had not decided how to vote. He told this to his colleagues in a letter after the impeachment.

Meanwhile, Trump seems vulnerable in his position. He hasn't also talked much about the impeachment. Recently, he lost his Twitter account as his account was permanently banned by Twitter authority for inciting violence. The White House has not taken any legal steps too to face the trial.

This impeachment is unlike the first one for several reasons. In the first impeachment, Trump was at the middle time of his tenure and he had the power to punish any Republican lawmakers for voting in favour of the impeachment. So, Republicans who did not like Donald Trump feared that their career could be ruined if they voted against him. There were several examples of that too. But this time, Trump has lost the election and he cannot harm any lawmakers in his last days at office. So, many Republicans have openly taken a stand against Donald Trump.

On the other hand, the attempted coup at the US Capitol on January 6 has created anger and fear of lives among the US lawmakers. It has made them feel that Trump is a big threat to American democracy and a danger for them too. It has also shifted public opinion drastically. Several polls show that Trump's approval rate is at a historic low. Many experts are saying that the insurrection attempt at the US Capitol has unleashed the potential risk of US politics. This has made it vibrant that the far-right movement is a global issue and it must be dealt with in a solemn hand.

The second impeachment of President Donald Trump for inciting an attempted coup at the US Capitol is also seen as a potential instrument. It can be used by the Senate to remove him if Donald Trump misuses his final hours at the White House. Because there is fear among the Democrats that he can take irresponsible actions and even he can start a nuclear war.

This impeachment also carries a bold message of liability to both the people of the United States of America and the world. In his four years at office, Donald Trump has caused immense harm to the Global image of the United States. And his incitement for the insurrection attempt at the Capitol has shocked the world too. So, the world must see that the attempt to destroy democratic value do not go with impunity.

On January 20, President-elect Joe Biden will be inaugurated as the 46th President of the United States of America. In such a time, this impeachment and trial at the Senate raises many concerns. Many think it can shift public attention from Joe Biden to Donald Trump even after the end of his presidency. Several politicians suggest starting the trial after Joe Biden's first 100 days at the White House.

Whatever happens with the impeachment trial in the Senate, it has already made a position of US lawmakers in US politics. Now the US politicians need to act more firmly to promote democracy at home and abroad. Because the United States of America has to recover the damage of its global image as the advocate of democratic values.
The writer is a student,
Department of International
Relations, University of Dhaka








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