After almost three-and-a-half hours of momentous debate on Jan. 13, 2021, at 3:22 p.m., the U.S. House of Representatives reached the threshold of 217 votes needed to make Donald J. Trump the only U.S. President to be impeached twice.

President Trump was impeached today for inciting the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. The House of Representatives approved an article of impeachment with 232 votes for impeachment and 197 votes against impeachment of the president.

Ten Republicans joined the Democrats in voting for impeachment. Congresswoman Liz Cheney, who holds the third-highest position in the House Republican leadership, was among those who voted in favor of impeachment. It was the most bi-partisan impeachment vote in the history of the United States. The impeachment took place two weeks after Joseph R. Biden was declared President.

Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (IL – 9th District), spoke on the floor of the House for 30 seconds.

“Last Friday I sent a letter to my constituents telling the story about the violent attack on our Capitol building, which is really like the temple of our Democracy. I have taken the oath of office, the same oath of office that the President of the United States has taken … and he has been the orchestrator of this attack. It is time to hold this president accountable. It is time and history demands that,” said Congresswoman Schakowsky.

Later during the debate she said, “I rise in support of impeaching the President of the United States of America, Donald. J. Trump for high crimes and misdemeanors.

“One week ago, in this Capitol Building, there was an armed insurrection orchestrated and incited by the President of the United States himself.

“Think about that for a moment – led and encouraged by the President of the United States. This threat to our democracy can never be overstated; the trauma experienced, and loss of life, can never be erased from our collective memory or minimized in our history books.

“Look at this room, look at this building, the scars of bullet holes and mob attack remain. We are working within a crime scene. Many of my friends and colleagues, on both sides of the aisle, were only moments away from being overrun by this mob – that was armed with guns, handcuffs, chemical weapons, and other objects of death and destruction.

“The mob violently smashed its way into the Capitol. They sought the Speaker of the House to cause her harm. The sought the Vice President of the United States to cause him harm. Their goal was to overturn the most important element of our electoral democracy – a free and fair election.

“Madam Speaker, President Trump has declared war on democracy. He lied to our country for weeks regarding the results of our Presidential election. He charged up the white supremacist mob that attacked this Congress. He did nothing as police were attacked, and killed, and hundreds of Members and staff hid under tables and behind doors to preserve their lives. He is a clear and present danger to this country and our democracy and he must be removed from office.

“Were it not for the bravery of law enforcement, I’m afraid of what may have happened one week ago.

“What we do today will be studied by our children and grandchildren. Nobody is above the law. A President’s primary job requirement is to protect and preserve the Constitution of the United States, and the lives of the American people. He has demonstrably failed at both.

“I implore my colleagues to consider this. If we are not going to use the tool of impeachment provided by the U.S. constitution to hold those accountable for violent sedition against the United States, then what should it be used for?

“When our time comes to vote in only a matter of moments, I call on all members in this chamber to honor their oaths, an oath we signed only 10 days ago: ‘I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion, and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I’m about to enter. So help me God.’

“History demands that we hold Donald Trump accountable for dangerously failing to abide by this sacred oath.”

The House also voted in December 2019 to impeach Mr. Trump. There will be no trial while he is in office. It is, however, possible that a trial will take place after President-elect Joe Biden takes office on Jan. 20.

The articles of impeachment are available here.

Heidi Randhava

Heidi Randhava is an award winning reporter who has a deep commitment to community engagement and service. She has written for the Evanston RoundTable since 2016.