With the 2nd impeachment of Donald Trump by the House today, here are some historic firsts to note, as well as some other points of interest.
– Trump has become the first president to be impeached twice, this time on incitement of insurrection, after Trump incited a violent mob to storm the Capitol last week, resulting in five deaths.
– Ten House Republicans voted in favor of impeachment making this the most bipartisan presidential impeachment in US history. The final vote on the article of impeachment was 232-197.
– The most surprising Republican “yes” vote on impeachment came from Tom Rice of South Carolina. Before the vote, Rice did not offer any indication that he was planning to support impeachment, and he was not considered one of the likely “yes” votes.
– There won’t be a Senate trial before Trump leaves office because Mitch McConnell won’t bring the Senate back into session early. However he has indicated that he supports impeachment.
– The House might hold off sending the articles of impeachment to the Senate in order to give Biden time to get all his appointees approved. McConnell and Biden might come to an agreement on allowing the trial and other business to run in parallel though.
– The reason both Republicans and Democrats are in favor of having a trial – even after Biden is sworn is – is to get rid of Trump once and for all. If convicted, not only will he have to give up all post-Presidential benefits, he will also be barred from running for public office again. There is every indication that the GOP wants to be rid of him forever.
Trump on Thursday attacked Fox News after a poll showed 51% of registered voters favor impeachment proceedings against him, escalating his previous attacks on the network’s polling and some of its more objective hosts and commentators, as opposed to those who provide him with favorable coverage.
In a series of tweets, Trump said the network’s pollsters “suck” and falsely claimed he has “NEVER had a good Fox News poll” — despite regularly tweeting about favorable Fox News polls.
He went on to attack Fox News legal analyst Andrew Napolitano, who last week called Trump’s July 25 call with Ukraine’s president, in which he asked the country to investigate 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden, “criminal and impeachable.” Trump also went after afternoon anchor Shep Smith, who frequently fact-checks Trump and points out the president’s penchant for lying.
A second intelligence official who was alarmed by Trump’s dealings with Ukraine is weighing whether to file his own formal whistle-blower complaint and testify to Congress, according to two people briefed on the matter.
The official has more direct information about the events than the first whistle-blower, whose complaint that Trump was using his power to get Ukraine to investigate his political rivals touched off an impeachment inquiry. The second official is among those interviewed by the intelligence community inspector general to corroborate the allegations of the original whistle-blower, one of the people said.
Things are spinning all over Washington at a dizzying rate.
Meanwhile with the Democrats…
With Elizabeth Warren either closing in on, or slightly passing, Joe Biden in the latest polls, what impact does Sanders’ sudden hospitalization for stent procedures have on the nomination process?
If Sanders were to withdraw, would his supporters flock to Warren? And if so, would she then become the clear leader for the candidacy?
And if Warren gets the nomination, does she have a better chance of beating Trump than Biden has? She still has yet to clarify her health insurance ideas, even though she is famous for “having a plan” for just about everything else.
There is some concern that if she sticks to the idea of abolishing private health insurance in favor of a mandatory Medicare for All that it will frighten away many voters who like the plans their unions fought for. That could be too much of a sudden upheaval for the complicated U.S. market. On the other hand, if she threads the needle too finely and supports a public option, what Buttigieg calls, “Medicare for all who want it,” and is supported by Biden, Harris, and Klobuchar, that Warren’s supporters might feel sold out. Warren apparently is still saying that she is looking at all options.