On Friday, January 8, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced plans to impeach US President Donald Trump for the second time in a year, hoping to drive him from office before he does more damage to the country. The first effort, which began in December 2019 and ended last February, was futile and unwise, and ended up giving Trump a small political boost. This time around, Democrats again face steep odds, but they should move forward. Impeachment offers the possibility of barring Trump from holding office again, and that alone justifies the risk of failure.
Under the US Constitution, the House of Representatives must first approve the articles of impeachment with a majority vote. With the Democrats holding a majority, this would be the easy part. The hard part comes in the Senate, where 17 Republican senators would have to join the Democrats to provide the two-thirds majority required to remove and disqualify the president.
Many people have been waiting for years for Republicans to acknowledge Trump’s unfitness for office and abandon him. But despite a litany of scandals, policy failures, and outrageous lies, Trump has maintained his base, forcing Republican politicians seeking re-election to seek his support. That simple fact explains why almost every Republican elected official has remained loyal to the president.
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