UPDATED: January 14, 2021 12:03 IST
United States House of Representatives has voted to impeach President Donald Trump following the unprecedented riots at the Capitol building last week. With this round of impeachment, Donald Trump made history by becoming the only US president to be impeached a second time.
With just days left for his presidency to end, Donald Trump now awaits trial for the impeachment move brought in by the Democrat-controlled Senate which ruled in favour of removing him with a vote of 232-197.
As worldwide outrage poured in over the Capitol riots that led to five deaths and the shocking siege of the seat of democracy in the United States, 10 Republicans broke ranks and joined the Democrats to remove President Trump from his seat.
Before Trump, Bill Clinton and Andrew Johnson were the only two other presidents who were impeached. However, none were removed from office as the US Senate went on to acquit both Clinton and Johnson.
Bill Clinton impeachment
President Bill Clinton, a Democrat, was impeached by the House in 1998 following the scandal over his sexual relations with White House intern Monica Lewinsky, who was 22 at the time. Monica Lewinsky was decades younger than Bill Clinton who had initially denied the charges of having any sexual relations with her.
However, Bill Clinton was not charged for his sexual ties with Monica Lewinsky, but for lying under oath and encouraging others to do the same about the scandal.
The House later voted against Bill Clinton’s impeachment on a second perjury charge over abuse of power. Later in 1999, the Senate acquitted Bill Clinton on the perjury charge, preventing his removal from the office.
Andrew Johnson impeachment
Andrew Johnson, who was the vice-president in the Abraham Lincoln administration, was impeached over a gross power struggle between the US Congress and the White House.
According to the New York Times, in March 1868, the House approved 11 articles of impeachment against Andrew Johnson over the primary charge of violating the Tenure of Office Act of 1867. The impeachment moves by Congress came as an effort to prevent him from firing pro-Reconstruction officials whom Lincoln had appointed.
As the trial began in Supreme Court, Johnson’s lawyers argued against the charges of the violation of the Tenure of Office Act. The lawyers pointed at flaws in the law and argued that Johnson “should not be convicted and removed from office for misconstruing his constitutional rights”.
Johnson then went on to complete his term till March 1869.