After a week of trauma and deliberation, lawmakers have grappled with impeachment, as well as face covering required outside the chamber of the house due to the coronavirus and newly installed metal detectors, to keep lawmakers from bringing guns to the ground bring. Some Republicans raced past the machines without stopping and set off the alarm. Several Democrats said they had concerns – previously unfounded – that far-right colleagues might have played a role in facilitating the attack and called for an investigation.
Dozens of others stayed away from the Capitol on this landmark day because they feared exposing colleagues or themselves to the virus and security threats, rather than voting remotely by proxy.
The House’s action set the stage for the second Senate trial against the President in one year. The exact timing of these proceedings, however, remained in doubt as Senators were unlikely to convene before January 20, when Mr Biden would take the oath of office and Mr Trump becomes a former president.
The last trial was a partisan affair. But this time around, Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and majority leader, is set to support efforts to cleanse his party of Mr. Trump and usher in a political and constitutional showdown that could shape the course of American politics.
If a trial against the Senate resulted in Mr. Trump’s conviction, it offered the prospect of seducing Democrats and many Republicans alike into preventing him from ever assuming office again.
In a measured statement after the vote, Mr Biden called for the nation to come together after an “unprecedented attack on our democracy”. He stared at the likelihood that the process would complicate his first days in office and hoped that the Senate leadership would “find a way to deal with their constitutional responsibilities in impeachment while working on the nation’s other pressing issues.” That work included cabinet nominations and addressing the coronavirus crisis.
In the House of Representatives, Democrats and Republicans who supported his overthrow made no attempt to hide their anger at Mr. Trump, who allegedly enjoyed watching the attack on television when lawmakers asked for help. The Republicans approached members of their own party for supporting his mendacious campaign to win the election.