On a bipartisan vote of 232-197—every Democrat and 10 Republicans—the House impeached Donald Trump for inciting the violent insurrection against the U.S. Capitol that cost five people their lives. He is the third president to be impeached in the 244-year history of the United States, and the only one to be impeached twice.
“NEA members teach students about the beauty and power of our Constitution and democracy every day, and they know that our students are watching what you do now,” NEA President Becky Pringle said in a letter urging representatives to vote to impeach Trump.
Without evidence, the insurrectionists claimed the election had been corrupted in key battleground states, especially urban areas with large populations of people of color. They sought to throw out the results in those states, and then have the House anoint Trump winner of the election he clearly lost. It wasn’t even close—Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won the popular vote by 7 million and the Electoral College by the same margin as Trump in 2016.
State and federal judges appointed by both political parties dismissed dozens of lawsuits challenging the outcome of the election. Their opinions often seethed with anger over frivolous claims, error-ridden documents, and the blatant lies promulgated by Trump and enablers that included far-right extremists, armed militias aiming to overthrow the U.S. government, and conspiracy mongers like QAnon. The Supreme Court refused even to grant a hearing.
“There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution,” said Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the third most powerful Republican member of the House.
Many of those who voted against impeaching Trump voted against certifying the victory of Biden and Harris after joining lawsuits to overturn the election and disenfranchise their constituents. Publicly, they said they opposed impeachment because it would further divide the nation. Privately, many admitted the real reason was fear of retaliation against themselves, their families, and their staffs.
The next step, a trial in the Senate, won’t take place until after Jan. 20, when Joe Biden is inaugurated as the 46th President of the United States.