‘It’s hard to take measure right now.’ Historians reflect on Capitol riot, second Trump impeachment

KNWA

President Trump enters the last days of his presidency facing a second impeachment and growing calls for his resignation after his supporters launched an assault on the nation’s Capitol in an effort to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power. Yet Trump will try to go on offense in his last 10 days, with no plans of resigning. Instead, Trump is planning to lash out against the companies that have now denied him his Twitter and Facebook bullhorns. And aides hope he will spend his last days trying to trumpet his policy accomplishments, beginning with a trip to Alamo, Texas. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The House voted to impeach President Trump for the second time—a first in American history. All Arkansas Representatives voted against doing so, and several state historians said it’s a difficult period to contextualize.

“There’s really nothing comparable,” said Hoyt Purvis, a former University of Arkansas professor who spent most of his professional career in politics.

Purvis once had an office in the Capitol when he worked for late Senators Robert Byrd and J. William Fulbright. He said that added into his being disturbed by last week’s insurrection.

“Those were very familiar sights to me,” Purvis said. “I never imagined that anything quite so extraordinary could take place.”

Arkansas Reps. voted against impeachment. Purvis said this may have been the most-important moment in their careers.

“Many of them were making the argument that [impeachment] is too much,” Purvis said.

Prof. Patrick Williams is a historian at the University of Arkansas. He said previous contentious moments didn’t amount to the storming of the Capitol.

“I was amongst those outside the Capitol protesting the Vietnam War, and I don’t remember anybody suggesting that, as angry as they were,” Williams said.

Williams said this situation’s more comparable to the impeachment of President Andrew Johnson rather than President Bill Clinton. He said it’ll take some time to truly understand where the past couple weeks stand in terms of American history.

“It’s hard to take measure of it right now,” Williams said.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Latest Video

FOX24 Video

TOP STORIES

More News

Local News Video

DON'T MISS

More Don't Miss

Trending Stories

Follow KNWA & FOX24 on Facebook

get the app

News App

Weather App

Follow @KNWAFOX24 on Twitter

Mega Millions & Powerball Numbers