The House of Representatives voted 232-197 to impeach President Donald Trump Wednesday, exactly one week after a violent mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol in an attempt to overturn the certification of the Electoral College votes Jan. 6.
The Senate will now be responsible for the next phase of the impeachment process outlined in the Constitution: a trial before the Senate. The Senate is now in recess and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he will not call senators back until Jan. 19, the last day of Trump’s term. However, the trial and verdict could still be held. If Trump is convicted, the Senate could then vote to bar him from holding office in the future.
In the process of trying to halt the Constitutionally-mandated certification last week, members of the pro-Trump mob vandalized federal property inside and outside of the Capitol building and assaulted police. Two pipe bombs were also found and disabled.
“These individuals actively attacked United States Capitol police officers and other uniformed law enforcement officers with metal pipes, discharged chemical irritants, and took up other weapons against our officers. They were determined to enter into the Capitol Building by causing great damage,” Capitol police said in a statement.
The death toll from the riot currently stands at five, including U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, 42, who was hospitalized and later succumbed to injuries sustained “while physically engaging with protestors,” according to a statement released by Capitol police.
As of Wednesday, 40 people have been charged in connection with crimes committed during the attack on the Capitol, including one from Ohio. Christine Priola, 49, was charged with violent entry, unlawful activity and disorderly conduct after being photographed inside the Senate Chamber on Jan. 6.
Priola is a former occupational therapist with Cleveland Metro School District, who announced her resignation after being connected to the riots.
U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio David DeVillers, who was appointed to the position by President Trump in 2019, tweeted Jan. 6 that “…Federal crimes were committed today at our nation’s Capital (sic) building. Anyone who traveled from the Southern District of Ohio with the intent to commit such crimes will be prosecuted in the Southern District of Ohio.”
On Jan. 7, the day after the attempted siege, DeVillers released a statement outlining the potential charges against the rioters, including civil disorder, violation of the federal riot act and rebellion or insurrection.
Anyone with information about the identity of someone who may have taken part in committing federal crimes at the Capitol is asked to contact the FBI at 513-421-4310 or online at FBI.gov/USCapitol.
There is evidence that multiple groups from Ohio traveled to D.C. for the rally, including one bus trip funded by Ohio Board of Education member Kirsten Hill with the group “Totally Engaged Americans” (TEA) out of Lorain County.
Another group, OH Patriots out of Cleveland, claims to have filled seven buses for the “Stop the Steal” rally. However, the site states that members of the trip did not take part in the violence, but simply waved American flags, chanted and prayed during the insurrection.
Earlier in the week, the site’s landing page announced plans to set up a similar group of charter busses to make the trip from Ohio to Washington D.C. to protest President-Elect Joe Biden’s inauguration Jan. 20. However, the site now claims the group is not planning to attend.
Butler County GOP did not respond to requests for comment about any of its members traveling to Washington for the Capitol riot, or whether there are plans to travel to Biden’s inauguration.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine signed an order Tuesday activating up to 580 National Guard members from Ohio, who will be available to assist local and state law enforcement as President Trump’s supporters have announced plans to hold armed protests in all 50 states and Washington D.C. in the days leading up to the inauguration of President-Elect Biden.
Gov. DeWine also announced the closure of the Ohio Statehouse and all state office buildings in downtown Columbus until Inauguration Day, citing “the interest of public safety.”
“People have the right to protest. They do not have the right to be destructive or hurt other people. We welcome peaceful protesters, but we saw what happened at the Capitol, so we are concerned,” Gov. DeWine said on Twitter (@GovMikeDeWine).
Two days following the attack, three political science professors from Miami University joined more than 1,500 other government and politics professors from around the country in signing an open letter to Congress, Vice President Mike Pence, and the cabinet, calling for the impeachment of President Trump. The letter states:
We, the undersigned political scientists, call on the U.S. Congress, Vice President Mike Pence, and the Cabinet to immediately remove President Donald J. Trump from office through the impeachment process or by invoking the 25th Amendment.
The President’s actions threaten American democracy. He has rejected the peaceful transfer of power, encouraged state legislators to overturn election results in their states, pressured a state official to change election results, and now incited a violent mob that shut down the counting of electoral votes and stormed the U.S. Capitol.
Our profession seeks to understand politics, not engage in it, but we share a commitment to democratic values. The President’s actions show he is unwilling or unable to fulfill his oath to protect and defend the Constitution. He should be removed from office immediately before further violence takes place or further damage is done to our democracy.
Monica Schneider, professor of political science; Elizabeth Bell, assistant professor of political science; and Patrick Haney, professor of political science and Associate Dean in the College of Arts and Science, all signed their names from Miami.