Commentary: Trump Impeached Again, Now It Gets Interesting


By David M. Greenwald

Ten Republicans crossed party lines on Wednesday to vote for a second Trump impeachment.  Not only is he the first President to be impeached twice now, but, while it doesn’t sound like a lot, 10 Republicans is the most votes for impeachment in our history by the sitting President’s own party—more than Andrew Johnson, Bill Clinton and Trump last year.

On Tuesday, Liz Cheney, the daughter of the former Vice President and the No.3 House Republican in her own right, announced that she would support impeachment.

“The president of the United States summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack,” Ms. Cheney said in a statement. “There has never been a greater betrayal by a president of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.”

Still, the numbers here are small.  But as we know the Senate is another animal.  Nearly 140 House members voted not to certify Biden’s electoral victory last week even AFTER the Capitol siege—and then many had the gall to suggest that the impeachment would harm unity—while the Senate had just seven members.

It really comes down to Senator Mitch McConnell, the outgoing majority leader.

On Tuesday, the NY Times reported, “Senator 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, according to people familiar with Mr. McConnell’s thinking.”

This is a private assessment, however.

Adding more intrigue: several GOP sources told CNN “that if McConnell supports conviction, Trump almost certainly will be convicted by 67 senators in the impeachment trial.”

“If Mitch is a yes, he’s done,” said one Senate GOP source who asked not to be named.

CNN reports that McConnell has made no commitment about how he would vote but that he has moved his conference away from Trump and that “he believes that impeaching President Donald Trump will make it easier to get rid of the President and Trumpism from the Republican Party.”

Now given that McConnell declined to fast track the impeachment process, it would be rather simple to conclude he is trying to run out the clock and is not inclined to remove Trump.

However, it was reported in the media yesterday that McConnell in a note to Republicans said he is uncertain how he will vote.

He wrote, “While the press has been full of speculation, I have not made a final decision on how I will vote and I intend to listen to the legal arguments when they are presented to the Senate.”

Frankly, that reads like a punt.  It may well be, but there is also a method to his madness.  By being uncommitted, he may be hoping to keep the president under wraps.

In a statement released on Wednesday, the president said, “In light of reports of more demonstrations, I urge that there must be NO violence, NO lawbreaking and NO vandalism of any kind.” Trump added: “That is not what I stand for, and it is not what America stands for. I call on ALL Americans to help ease tensions and calm tempers.”

We have two more hurdles to cross—one this weekend, where there are plans for “armed” protests at all the state capitals, and the second next week, when Biden is inaugurated.

There are real concerns for the possibility of violence.  Officials in Washington won’t be caught flatfooted again, when they plan to have 20,000 National Guard troops in Washington to prevent any repeat of last week.

Federal officials in a memo leaked to the New York Times yesterday warn of “Domestic Violent Extremists Emboldened in Aftermath of Capitol Breach, Elevated Domestic Terrorism Threat of Violence Likely Amid Political Transitions and Beyond.”

The memo warns that extremists view last week’s breach “as a success” and have been galvanized by the death of Ashli Babbitt.

The federal officials also wrote that “the shared false narrative of a ‘stolen’ election,’” the false claim perpetuated by President Trump, “may lead some individuals to adopt the belief that there is no political solution to address their grievances and violent action is necessary.”

Needless to say, any further violence will increase the pressure on Senators to act to remove Trump from office and prevent him from holding future public office, a move that the NY Times said was unprecedented and would likely trigger a court battle.

In the meantime, video has surfaced showing leaders of extremist movements plotting events at the Capitol for last week and a report by CNN finds, “Evidence uncovered so far, including weapons and tactics seen on surveillance video, suggests a level of planning that has led investigators to believe the attack on the US Capitol was not just a protest that spiraled out of control, a federal law enforcement official says.”

Perhaps most intriguing, “Among the thousands of tips the FBI received are some that appear to show members of Congress with people who later showed up at the Capitol riot, two law enforcement officials said. This doesn’t mean members of Congress and staff are under investigation, but the FBI is checking the veracity of the claims, the officials said.”

What will happen?  I think it largely depends on whether there is additional violence.  If this weekend’s protest and the inauguration turn out to be non-events, it is likely that the vote in the Senate falls well short of the 67 needed for removal.  But additional rounds of violence—even after Trump’s belated statement—will likely change that calculation.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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  1. Keith Olsen

    The Senate impeachment process will all get pushed back, Biden doesn’t want to pursue it during his first 100 days as they will be busy implementing new policies.  Then after 100 days this will all be forgotten and swept under the rug as often happens in the swamp.

    I found it interesting that Eric Swalwell was named an impeachment manager by Pelosi.  Eric Swalwell, the rep who might possibly be compromised because of a reported affair with a Chinese spy.


    1. Richard_McCann

      No, it will most likely come back in 100 days. The Dems won’t forget and will bring it up again after they get through their initial agenda. On the other hand, the ardor for Trump will wain among Republicans and they will care less about defending him. Conviction will be more likely after 100 days.

      1. David Greenwald

        He still believes that Nancy Pelosi’s ideas are more dangerous than Trump’s actions – even after last week. And we still don’t know what the next week will bring.

          1. David Greenwald

            You actually said it – by implication…

            “I’m still voting for Trump because if Biden gets in the country will go completely left with activists like AOC and the Squad having way too much input. Biden will be nothing more than a puppet with others pulling all the strings.”

            In other words, you find the ideas (or policies) of the left to be more dangerous than the actions of Trump.

        1. Alan Miller

          He still believes that Nancy Pelosi’s ideas are more dangerous than Trump’s actions

          The single best policy for comments, outside of the removal of outright personal attacks, would be for commenters not to tell the comments audience what another person believes.  Let them speak for themselves.

          *Why?  Because it’s often incorrect, which is judgement and besmirchment of character.

        2. Richard_McCann

          Alan M

          I disagree. Commentors must be allowed to confront other commentors with the implications of their statements, which we all take as reflecting their beliefs. If those statements do not reflect their actual beliefs, then they are just Internet trolls looking to set up arguments, and all such trolls should be banned from the site because they don’t add to productive discussion.

          David pulled up a statement from Keith O that documents what Keith O stated as his belief. If Keith wants to disavow that statement he can. If he tries to claim that the statement doesn’t reflect his belief but he refuses to provide his real belief in rebuttal, then David should ban him as an Internet troll.

        3. Ron Oertel

          I “agree”, Richard.

          I think that Keith should be banned, for refusing to acknowledge Trump’s wrongdoing.

          He is welcome to come back (after some period of time), after apologizing for not apologizing.

          (Satire intended.)

        4. Ron Oertel

          I’ll go ahead and “apologize” for that.  😉

          Never mind that calling someone a troll is a lot like “calling the kettle . . .”

          (Actually, I’ve never understood how that term arose, but I sincerely hope that it doesn’t have any racist overtones.)

        5. Richard_McCann

          Ron O

          Yes, I’ve stood up to your absurd statements and called you out when you’ve refused to acknowledge that you’ve been incorrect. That tactic that you use that is most evident of being a troll is rather than acknowledging that the other person has been correct, you instead try to change the subject and the direction of your argument.

        6. Ron Oertel

          Hey – I already “apologized”.

          I’ll go ahead and apologize for an insincere apology, if you’d like.

          Now, if we can only get Keith to apologize, then I think everything might be o.k.  😉

          But in my opinion, you have the least amount of personal self-reflection on this blog, at the moment. For some reason, I find that more amusing, than infuriating. You’re getting yourself worked up over nothing.

        7. Richard_McCann

          A backhanded apology is not an apology.

          My personal reflection is that I’m guilty of feeding the trolls here. But I can’t tolerate having unchallenged misinformation posted here for others to find at a later date in their research. Maybe if all of the rest of us agreed to never respond to any of your comments, then the discourse would diminish.

          BTW, whatever happened to the limit on the number of comments on a blog post? I really liked that policy.

        8. Keith Olsen

          But I can’t tolerate having unchallenged misinformation posted here for others to find at a later date in their research. 

          Richard is only here and commenting for the good of humanity.

          BTW, I thought calling others a ‘troll’ wasn’t allowed on the Vanguard?

        9. Ron Oertel

          But I can’t tolerate having unchallenged misinformation posted here for others to find at a later date in their research.

          A scarier thought is that anyone would refer to this as “research”.

        10. Alan Miller

          Alan M

          I disagree.

          I disagree with your disagreement, but I’m not going to tell you what you are saying.

          Banning people is a great idea #sarcasm#.  That way we can all listen to only people who are right (correct) and agree with us.  That’s how we grow as human beings #sarcasm#

          1. Moderator

            it’s okay to call others a “troll”.

            No it’s not. I was just busy today. Please everyone: don’t call other participants trolls. That privilege is reserved for David and the moderator.

  2. Ron Glick

    Trump is toast. He is finished. He leaves office totally disgraced. Trump had to put out a second hostage video yesterday. This one to denounce violence. Impeachment has him boxed in, Twitter has him on silent. His brand destroyed. The banks have him on liquidation only mode.

    In a hundred years when kids learn about Trump he will be remembered for one thing only that he is the only President to be Impeached twice.

    Of course by then history may show there is a second thing he will be remembered for, that he was a Russian asset.

    1. Keith Olsen

       that he was a Russian asset.

      There’s no proof of that.  Possibly history will show what lengths the democratic party went to in their efforts to unseat a sitting president.


      1. David Greenwald

        From the bipartisan Senate Report on the Russian Interference: “It provided a bipartisan Senate imprimatur for an extraordinary set of facts: The Russian government disrupted an American election to help Mr. Trump become president, Russian intelligence services viewed members of the Trump campaign as easily manipulated, and some of Mr. Trump’s advisers were eager for the help from an American adversary.”

        1. Tia Will

          “Sham” impeachment.

          Some of us, myself included believe it was not the impeachment that was the “sham” but rather the Senate’s unwillingness to hear any evidence or consider any witnesses but had decided not to convict before even receiving the articles.

          Out of curiosity, would you not consider it a “sham” if when Jeff Reisig made a charging decision and his ofice brought a criminal to trial, the jury said, we don’t want to hear it, we have decided to aquit? That is exactly what the Senate did.

      2. Eric Gelber

        Possibly history will show what lengths the democratic party went to in their efforts to unseat a sitting president

        . . . because of the demonstrated existential threat he posed to the rule of law and the fundamentals of democracy.”

        There. Finished it for you.

        1. David Greenwald

          Eric that’s really the point. The Democrats did go to an effort to unseat the sitting president because they rightly saw the threat he actually posed the rule of law and our democratic institutions. History will probably not judge kindly the Republicans sitting on their hands and apparently swallowing their concerns. Some have already expressed regret for not speaking out.

          1. David Greenwald

            Given Trump’s conduct, maybe TDS was justified and the people not justified were those who apologized for him?

        2. Eric Gelber

          Or maybe because of their TDS…

          Recent events have shown that any derangement has been on the part of the cowering GOP politicians who, through their blind loyalty, were complicit in Trump’s efforts to undermine democracy.

          1. David Greenwald

            The disturbing behavior by Trump didn’t start a few weeks ago either. History will look kinder on Trump’s critics than his defenders, imo.

          1. David Greenwald

            We should have been. He broke the basic norms of the presidency and basic decency before getting elected, he didn’t improve throughout his presidency and if anything he got more and more irrational. The real question is why weren’t you disturbed?

  3. Tia Will


    Well David, you do notice that the quote you put forward here was before the election and before the DC protest.”

    Have you retracted that statement or made any effort to indicate that you now see the dangers of the Trump presidency? This is an honest question because I do not read every comment on every article.


      1. Bill Marshall

        KO doesn’t need to do anything.

        Here I have to agree in the most part (you do need to do some basic biological functions, otherwise… natural consequences), but as to other actions/inactions I agree big time… quickest way to ‘get my Irish up’ is to tell me what I ‘need’ or ‘have’ to do… the words ‘should’, ‘consider’, ‘might want to’, are perfectly fine.

  4. Keith Olsen

    I see impeachment is now like having breakfast in the morning, it’s going to become quite common now that the Democrats have opened the flood gates:

    Representative Greene announced her plan on Twitter after the Democrat-controlled House passed the threshold to impeach president Donald Trumpon charges of inciting insurrection. While 10 Republicans voted to support the impeachment article, congresswoman Greene was amongst the 197 House representatives, who defended the president.
    “On January 21, 2021, I’ll be filing Articles of Impeachment against Joe Biden for abuse of power,” she wrote on Twitter, adding the hashtags, “#ImpeachBiden,” #QuidProJoe” and “BidenCrimeFamilly.”
    Ms Greene, in an interview with Newsmax on Wednesday, said, “On behalf of the American people, we have to make sure that our leaders are held accountable. We cannot have a President of the United States that is willing to abuse the power of the presidency and be easily bought off by foreign governments, Chinese energy companies, Ukrainian energy companies.”

        1. Bill Marshall

          But to be honest, the chief executive has become much too powerful since WWII and a few impeachments would be good to reign in the office.

          Our most recent political problems have been due to someone who feels/felt/believes that he should “reign in the office” indefinitely…

          It appears he is being reined in… none too soon… now if we could just rein in his samauri loyalists… too much b——t bushido behaviors going on… they seem the feel the ‘man who would be emperor’ is divine…

          [the European equivalent is the be(k)nighted in dross armor]

  5. David Greenwald

    Found these splits really interesting.  The only thing keeping Trump’s opinion  from being historically low is that he’s got a 44 approval with whites without college degrees.  Everyone else it’s 19 percent.

    1. Ron Oertel

      Not sure of the reason you’re posting that, but shouldn’t you then break-down the “everyone else” category, assuming that you’re trying to show something?

      Gender, skin color, etc.

      Also, who was “historically lower” than Trump?

      And is the question really that simple, in the first place? “Approve”, vs. “Disapprove”?

      Who are the (73 million people or so who voted for him?)

    2. Ron Oertel

      More like 74 million – was just guessing, before.

      But if you think about it – after everything that’s occurred the last 4 years, 74 million still supported him!

      Rather mind-boggling to some, I’m sure. Of course, this is the same country that elected George W. (at least once). 😉

      And Nixon twice, Reagan twice, etc.

      1. Richard_McCann

        Lincoln wasn’t really right…

        ‘“You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.”

  6. Richard_McCann

    An insightful article about the response needed to fascism (which we are seeing), but it’s only half. The other half needs to be address the concerns of That Guy’s supporters who are looking for workable solutions. But those solutions must not be about attacking scapegoats or denying that there are no real problems anymore for those outside of their group.

    The choice between fascism and civilisation always goes like this. It’s our violence or your peace, it’s our brutality or your decency, it’s our authoritarianism or your democracy, it’s our hate and domination or your consensual, modern society.

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