WACO, Texas – The House of Representatives’ historic decision to impeach President Trump Wednesday is one Americans might have to get used to due to the nation’s current political climate.
President Trump is the first U.S. President ever to be impeached twice, and this one comes after the House argued he incited the riots on Capitol Hill last week – which resulted in five deaths.
“The folks who are in charge of impeaching presidents, the House of Representatives, feel like they were attacked and the president caused it,” says McLennan Community College History Professor Ashley Cruseturner. “So I’m not surprised.”
Like films and TV series, the impeachment sequel deviates from the original.
“One difference between the first impeachment and the second impeachment is that this time, at least a few Republican House members look like they are going to vote for impeachment,” says Baylor University Political Science Professor Dr. Patrick Flavin.
The decisions comes just seven days before President-Elect Joe Biden’s inauguration – leaving many to wonder if there’s any point to impeaching the president with such little time left in his tenure.
“It doesn’t really have any effect on removing the president,” Flavin said. “But if President Trump was to be convicted by the Senate, they could then hold a vote on barring him from holding office in the future, which is sort of the most practical effect of him being convicted once he’s out of office.”
After two impeachments in 200 years, this is now the second in a three-year span. Experts believe this action will be taken more cavalierly in the future.
“It certainly seems like impeachment is gonna be a more frequently-used tool,” Flavin said.
The divisive political and social climate in the United States might be a contributing factor.
“Impeachment is one of those ultimate tools,” Cruseturner said. “But things are getting to a point where nothing is beyond the pale. All is fair at this point.”
None of the three impeached presidents have ever been convicted by the Senate.