Following the historic deadly siege on the U.S Capitol by pro-Trump supporters a week ago, The House of Representatives on Wednesday, January 13, filed as impeachment charge against Donald Trump.
This made him the first U.S. president to be impeached twice. He was formally charged with “incitement of insurrection.” He made the following rhetoric,
He seemingly justified the assault on the Capitol Building by writing
“These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long. Go home with love & in peace. Remember this day forever!”
Twitter tagged his Tweet as follows
“This claim of election fraud is disputed, and this Tweet can’t be replied to, retweeted, or liked due to a risk of violence.”
Trump’s second impeachment – The process
Typically, the impeachment process would include investigations with the evidence presented to the House Judiciary Committee, which would hold hearings, draft articles and send them to the full House. That was what happened during Trump’s first impeachment process over his involvement with the President of Ukraine. The impeachment process took 3 months.
In this second impeachment, however, impeachment went straight to the House floor for a vote, since most members of Congress heard Trump speak to his supporters and were in the Capitol when the mob laid siege to the building hence, no need to lengthen the process with an investigation.
The House of Representatives on Wednesday made history by voting 232-197 to impeach President Trump for a second time for “incitement of insurrection.” Ten Republicans joined with Democrats.
Following the impeachment of the President by the House, the article of impeachment and evidence would be sent to the Senate, where a trial and a final vote to either convict or acquit would be held.
The Senate’s Republican majority leader, Mitch McConnell, has however rejected calls by the Democrats for an immediate impeachment trial saying the trial cannot begin until after the Senate returns from a recess on January 19.
But with the inauguration ceremony of Joe Biden on January 20 and the exiting of Trump from the office, can the impeachment trial still hold?
According to political scholars and analysts, the impeachment trial still holds. A “late impeachment” is constitutional since impeachment is used not only to remove elected officials from office but also to disqualify them from holding any office of honour. Thus, Trump’s impeachment trial will still take effect even when he leaves office. If convicted, Trump will be disqualified from running for office in 2024.
Trump’s second impeachment – likely impact on businesses
In the first impeachment of Donald Trump in 2019, the stock market, investors, and consumer behaviour seemed unwavering by the news of impeachment.
The stock market did however experience a temporary and slight jolt during the announcement of Trump’s first impeachment. The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average were both up slightly on the day, by about 0.10%.
According to Brad McMillan, chief investment officer for Commonwealth Financial Network “From an economic standpoint, impeachment simply hasn’t mattered—and it isn’t likely to.”
“Investors look at fundamentals—economic growth, earnings, labor costs, and so forth— none of these factors have been affected by impeachment,” he further said.
Taking a page from history, the stock markets fell when Nixon resigned but soared during Clinton’s impeachment. Economists say this was due to the broader economic picture that preceded the political tumult. That is, the economic atmosphere prior to the resignation of Nixon was poor while that of Clinton was of a stable climate.
Given the current market trend which reflects a global economic slowdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, this trend is likely to persist irrespective of the president’s impeachment.
Moreover, with only 5 days to Donald Trump’s exit from office, investors and the entire business ecosystem seem unfazed by the impeachment process.