The ConstitutionImpeachmentThe SenateThe PresidencyAmerican Government

Trump Acquitted in Second Impeachment

Posted on in The Constitution · Impeachment · The Senate · The Presidency · American Government

The second impeachment of former President Donald Trump concluded with an unsurprising acquittal less than one week after proceedings began. Even though 57 senators voted to convict Trump on the charge of inciting an insurrection, a two-thirds super-majority was required to convict. The conclusion of the impeachment trial followed days of heated exchanges between the House managers and the former president’s defense team. The final dispute over witness testimony was bypassed as senators cast the final votes, resulting in the exoneration of the former president.

Instructors, click the link below to download this week’s lecture for use in your classroom. The deck contains a writing prompt and a debate question as well as other assessment questions.

Download the PowerPoint Lecture Spark for “Trump Acquitted in Second Impeachment"

Links

“McConnell blames Trump but voted not guilty anyway”
https://www.cnn.com/2021/02/13/politics/mitch-mcconnell-acquit-trump/index.html
 
“Trump escapes conviction but even his allies say he’s damaged”
https://www.politico.com/news/2021/02/13/trump-impeachment-witch-hunt-469001
 
“Trump celebrates acquittal in Senate trial, foreshadows political future: ‘Much to share'”
https://www.foxnews.com/politics/trump-statement-impeachment-acquittal
 
“Trump acquitted in impeachment trial; 7 GOP Senators vote with Democrats to convict”
https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/donald-trump/trump-acquitted-impeachment-trial-7-gop-senators-vote-democrats-convict-n1257876

“Trump on acquittal: MAGA ‘has only just begun'”
https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/538766-trump-on-acquittal-maga-has-just-begun
 
“Senate Acquits Trump In Impeachment Trial — Again”
https://www.npr.org/sections/trump-impeachment-trial-live-updates/2021/02/13/967098840/senate-acquits-trump-in-impeachment-trial-again
 
“U.S. Senate acquits Trump as Republicans save him in impeachment again”
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-impeachment/democrats-urge-senate-to-convict-trump-for-inciting-deadly-capitol-siege-idUSKBN2AD0AE?il=0
 
“Trump acquitted on impeachment charge of inciting deadly attack on the Capitol”
https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-acquitted-impeachment-riot/2021/02/13/dbf6b172-6e12-11eb-ba56-d7e2c8defa31_story.html

Assessment

  • Writing: Describe the differences between an impeachment trial and a courtroom trial. What additional considerations are part of an impeachment trial beyond the facts of the case ?
  • Debate: Is impeachment enough of a deterrent from committing “high crimes and misdemeanors” if every president facing the charge has been acquitted?
  • Poll: Should Senate on impeachment charges be cast anonymously?
  • Short Answer: What, if anything, can be done to make the impeachment process less political than currently is?

Current events quiz:

1) Who was the only Republican senator to vote for conviction in both impeachment trials of former President Donald Trump?

a. Susan Collins
b. Mitt Romney
c. Pat Toomey
d. Ben Sasse

2) Why did Leader McConnell and some Republicans vote to acquit even if they disapproved of the former president’s role in starting the capital riot?

a. they believed presidents can only be impeached once
b. they believed that the president’s electoral defeat was enough punishment
c. they believed that presidents who have already left office cannot be convicted and removed from office
d. they believed that a lengthy impeachment would take time away from passing President Biden’s legislative agenda

3) What tool did the House managers use, in the course of the trial, to persuade senators of Mr. Trump’s guilt in lieu of live witnesses?

a. video footage of the assault on the capital
b. a deposition of the former president
c. signed statements from liberal law professors who thought it entirely appropriate to impeach and convict a former president
d. a condemnation of the former president’s actions written by former Vice-President Pence

4) No presidents have ever been convicted and removed from office after impeachment. (T/F)

5) Leader McConnell suggested that former President Trump could face additional civil and criminal charges now that he is out of office. (T/F)

6) Seven Democrats voted against the conviction of former President Trump. (T/F)

Answers:

1) B

2) C

3) A

4) True

5) True

6) False

 

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Featured Image Credit: Gage Skidmore

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