A Final Vote On Trump's Second Impeachment Could Happen Fast
Trump is officially the first president to ever be impeached twice, and his trial is moving through the Senate after beginning on Feb. 9. While impeachment might be boringly familiar to you after his 2020 trial and acquittal, there's at least one big change — the latest impeachment process is moving much faster than his first trial. So, when will the Senate vote on Trump's second impeachment? Things seem to be moving along quickly.
On Jan. 13, the U.S. House of Representatives moved to impeach Trump with a 232–197 vote after the fatal Jan. 6 Capitol riot, during which a mob of his supporters breached the Capitol building in an effort to prevent Congress from certifying the November 2020 election. Trump became the first president to ever be impeached twice when the House charged him with "incitement of insurrection" against the U.S. government, per the article of impeachment. Representatives for Trump did not previously respond to Elite Daily's request for comment on the impeachment or Trump's role regarding the riot.
While Trump's first impeachment, in 2019 and 2020, took about seven weeks, the timeline for the second impeachment trial has been sped up significantly, perhaps a sign that lawmakers are eager to close this particular chapter in political strife. Impeachment managers and Trump's lawyers each have up to 16 hours each to present their cases, after which the Senate will come to a vote. Prosecutors have been scheduled to make their cases on Feb. 10 and 11, the defense is expected to argue on Feb. 12 and 13, and senators will have time for questions. While there's no official date set for senators to vote on the charges, a final verdict on Trump's fate could potentially come as soon as the week of Feb. 15.
However, it seems likely that Trump will — once again — be acquitted. On Tuesday, Feb. 9, the Senate held a vote on the question of whether the trial was constitutional, given that it began after Trump had already left office. The Constitution limits the consequences of impeachment to removal from office, and the possibility of being barred from holding future office. The vote passed by 56-44, but only six conservative lawmakers broke with their party and voted to move forward with the trial — those yes votes being Sens. Susan Collins, Bill Cassidy, Lisa Murkowski, Mitt Romney, Ben Sasse, and Pat Toomey — signaling there likely won't be enough support from Republicans to convict Trump for his role regarding the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. At least 17 Republican senators must cross party lines to convict Trump.
After witnessing the defense presented by Trump's legal team, Cassidy, who voted in objection to the trial last month, became the only Republican senator to change his stance. "President Trump's team [was] disorganized," he said in a Feb. 9 press statement. "They did everything they could but to talk about the question at hand, and when they talked about it, they kind of glided over, almost as if they were embarrassed of their arguments," he added.
With the current impeachment process moving fast, it's hard to say what might happen next — or what the final vote will ultimately look like.