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January 13, 2021

Daily News Lesson: The House impeaches President Trump for a second time

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Directions: Watch the video clip, read the summary below, and then answer the discussion questions. To read a transcript of the video, click here

If there is time, you can also watch this video providing an overview of the issues around this impeachment (you may want to stop at the 5.00 minute mark if time is limited):

You can also read the articles of impeachment here.

Summary:A week after a violent riot engulfed the Capitol, the U.S. House of Representatives impeached President Trump with a charge of inciting the assault.

  • All Democrats and 10 Republicans voted to impeach President Trump for his role in inciting the attack on the Capitol.
  • The President had been promoting false allegations of voter fraud since the election and encouraged supporters to disrupt Congressional counting of official results. That disruption included attacking the Capitol building with the vote in progress, resulting in five deaths, including a Capitol police officer, many injuries and destruction and theft of government property.
  • Supporters of impeachment have called the attack a threat to the tradition of a peaceful transfer of power, a bedrock of Constitutional government.
  • If Trump became the first U.S. president to be impeached twice. If he is convicted after a trial the Senate, he will be the first president to be removed from office or otherwise convicted.

Discussion:

Warm up questions: 

  1. What is the reason Democrats and some Republicans voted to impeach Trump?
  2. Who is Val Demings and what is her role in impeachment?
  3. Why do many members of Congress and the public think it’s important to move forward with impeachment even though Trump’s term is almost up? 
  4. When and where will the Senate trial take place?
  5. How will a conviction in the Senate affect President Trump’s political future?

Focus questions:

  1. Why do you think the House impeached even though President Trump’s term ends in one week?
  2. Many Republicans object that the impeachment is too rushed and that it will “inflame tensions” that are already high. Do you think it’s important to seek accountability, and do you think impeachment is a good way to do that?
    • Do you think there’s a better way to seek accountability for the attack on the Capitol, and if so, what is that better way?

Media literacy: Who else would you want to see interviewed to understand the stakes and perspectives on impeaching President Trump?

Additional resources: 

  • For our lesson on the events and their immediate aftermath, click here.
  • If President Trump is convicted in the Senate, he may be barred from running for office again using a section of the 14th Amendment. To learn more about that process, and how it was instituted in the wake of the Civil War, click here.
  • You might want to check out Share My Lesson’s Foundations of Democracy series, which explores issues related to contentious transition of power.
  • Want to learn more about how impeachment works? Use this pdf resource from iCivics to learn more about the powers, procedure and consequences of impeachment. Note: You’ll need to register for a free iCivics account in order to access the lesson plan. In this lesson, students will:
    • Explore the process of impeachment and removal of federal officials.
    • Recognize who has the power to impeach and remove, and where those powers come from.

From iCivics. Download the full pdf by visiting the site.

 


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