The Week Ahead: Inaugurations and Impeachments

Last week was another one for the history books and we are expecting this week to join it. On January 13, 2021, President Trump became the first U.S. president in history to be impeached twice and the impeachment vote itself was the most bipartisan in history with 10 GOP representatives joining 222 House Democrats in voting to impeach the President of the United States. Now as President-elect Biden is to be inaugurated as the 46th President, the 45th is facing an upcoming Senate Trial which could very well be the first impeachment conviction of a U.S. President in history.  

That being said, here's what this week is looking like:

"I'm not going to lose my son at the end of 2020 and lose my country and my republic in 2021." 

- Rep. Jamie Raskin on CNN’s State of the Union Sunday Morning

Sunday began with a flurry of appearances from lawmakers across the political spectrum as the nation prepares for the week ahead.

Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin, the House's lead impeachment manager, spoke on CNN's "State of the Union" about President Trump's upcoming second Senate Impeachment Trial. The House has yet to send the article of impeachment to the Senate but is expected to do so soon, an action that will mark the start of the beginning of Trump's second Senate Impeachment Trial.

The U.S. Senate returns this week on Tuesday, the day before President-elect Biden's inauguration. No known timing yet for Trump's second impeachment trial, but it isn't expected to start until after Joe Biden is sworn in as president on Wednesday.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham is seemingly sticking with President Trump to the end, warning that if Senate Republicans "embrace an unconstitutional impeachment of Donald Trump after he's out of office, it will destroy the party." Graham is part of the section of the GOP against impeachment which is arguing that a president cannot have a Senate Impeachment Trial after they leave office.

What both sides of the Senate have in common is the position amongst party leadership that voting to convict Trump in the Senate is "a vote of conscience" for every senator and party leadership on both sides will be doing little to no "arm-twisting" for or against conviction.

The Week Ahead

Out with the old and in with the new, President Trump is leaving town for the last time as president for one final Air Force One trip. He plans to land in West Palm Beach, FL Wednesday morning, an hour before his presidency ends. President-elect Biden becomes the 46th President of the United States at noon that same day.

Despite Trump's inauguration absence, VP Mike Pence is planning to attend the ceremony. Security has been ramped up in the wake of the Capitol Siege, with the Capitol essentially on lockdown for the inauguration Wednesday. Lawmakers are hoping for a safe and peaceful ceremony.

The Senate becomes a 50-50 split soon, once the two Georgia Democrat victors are sworn-in. Democrats will have the majority due to soon-to-be Vice President Kamala Harris having the tie-breaking vote, but that doesn't mean things will be easy to get done.

Monday marks the day Harris will be resigning from the Senate in order to move on to become the Vice President. Her replacement, Alex Padilla, will be the first Latino in history to represent California in the Senate.

Unlike last time, there is little to no "team effort" between Republican Senate leadership and the White House regarding the action plan for the impeachment trial. Republican Leader Senator Mitch McConnell has made it clear that this time is different, which could mean we are looking at possibly witnessing the first impeachment conviction of a U.S. President. McConnell has long held the reins of Republicans in the Senate, but with a hands-off approach, some view it as permission to vote to convict.

For a Senate conviction, all 50 Democratic Senators and 17 Republican Senators will need to vote in favor. Senators who may be one of the necessary 17 Republicans include Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Sen. Susan Collins, Sen. Mitt Romney, Sen. Ben Sasse, and Sen. Pat Toomey. If Sen. McConnell votes to convict, many other senators are expected to follow his lead.

President Trump's impeachment defense team is up in the air. Some lawyers who worked the last impeachment are not looking to assist this time around, while some mixed signals regarding Rudy Giuliani are getting sent out. Giuliani said he's working on the case, a statement which was followed up on by a statement Sunday morning from Trump campaign spokesman Hogan Gidley, who states no decisions on the matter have been made.

President-elect Biden's first days in office are starting to come into focus. Numerous executive actions are in the plans, beginning as early as Inauguration Day. More on what's expected in Biden's first days here.


Basil E. Bacorn

Basil E. Bacorn is an author, artist, entrepreneur, and aspiring entertainer. He has written and published over ten books, including Geek Gods, The Book of Random Thoughts, The Circle's Problem, and the Dark's Descent Series, and has earned an associate's degree in Business and Entrepreneurial Studies.

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