What are the 37 counts against Donald Trump?

In the final days of his presidency in January 2021, the House of Representatives voted to impeach Donald Trump for a second time on a charge of “incitement of insurrection” related to the attack on the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters.

However, some have claimed Trump was actually impeached on 37 counts by the House. Is there any truth to this widespread claim about 37 counts against Trump? Let’s examine this allegation and what it gets wrong about the impeachment process.

The Origins of the Claim

In January 2021, a viral image began circulating on social media supposedly showing Donald Trump impeached by the House on 37 counts. Each count cited different grievances against Trump, ranging from abuse of power to obstruction of justice.

The image appears to have originated from a Facebook post by the page “Occupy Democrats” on January 13th, 2021—the same day the House officially approved a single article of impeachment against Trump for “incitement of insurrection.”

The image quickly gained traction on social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Reddit. Critics of Trump seized on the 37 counts as evidence of his corruption and unfitness for office.

However, despite the image’s popularity online, the claim of 37 impeachment counts is completely inaccurate. This is readily confirmed by the formal impeachment documents filed by the House.

The Actual Impeachment Charges

In reality, the House only approved a single article of impeachment related to the January 6th Capitol riots.

The article charged Trump with “incitement of insurrection” based on his refusal to accept his election loss, his urging of supporters to come to D.C. to protest, and his failure to promptly call off the violence at the Capitol.

No other charges or “counts” were part of this impeachment—only the lone article related to the riots, which passed the House with 232 yes votes from Democrats and 10 Republicans.

The alleged “37 counts” in the viral image were fabricated. They did not reflect actual congressional impeachment documents.

Other Impeachment Myth Claims

The fake 37 counts are one of several false ideas spread about Trump’s impeachments:

  • Some claimed Trump was impeached 3 times—in fact, he was impeached twice.
  • Others said no other president had been impeached twice before—another falsehood, since Andrew Johnson was impeached twice in 1868.
  • Trump himself falsely claimed he was impeached with no due process. In reality, standard House procedures were followed.

So the 37 counts are part of a suite of misinformation related to impeachment that diverges wildly from reality.

Why the 37 Counts Claim Caught On

There are a few reasons this particular myth gained so much online traction:

Distrust of Institutions

For those already distrustful of government and media, assuming the claim was true aligned with preconceived notions of corruption and elites misinforming the public.

Confirmation Bias

The made-up charges reinforced the biases of Trump critics and gave them more ammunition to argue Trump deserved impeachment and removal.

Too Outlandish to Verify

The sheer number of charges—37—seemed so absurdly excessive that users didn’t initially pause to verify if it was accurate before spreading it.

Social Media Rapid Spread

The compelling visual spread rapidly through sharing without regard for accuracy, exploiting social media’s reach to quickly achieve the veneer of truth.

The episode serves as a warning that compelling claims perfectly aligning with someone’s position deserve extra scrutiny before amplifying them through shares and likes.

Preventing Misinformation

The bogus 37 counts highlight the need for caution in sharing political claims online:

  • Verify suspect images and statistics through fact-checking sites before reposting.
  • Seek out original sources like congressional records rather than unsourced social shares alone.
  • Evaluate if claims seem too exaggerated or simplistic to reflect reality.
  • Be wary of supposed information aligning perfectly with your existing views.
  • Slow down in sharing rage-inducing partisan content untilconfirming it’s valid.

With conscious effort, we can curb the flow of misinformation contaminating civic discourse online.


In today’s hyperpolarized information environment, false claims readily gain traction when they reinforce preexisting biases. The made-up 37 impeachment counts against Donald Trump offer a powerful example of misinformation spreading virally through this toxic dynamic.

As citizens, we must guard against confirmation bias and demand evidence for assertions to avoid descent into partisan fantasy detached from reality. While imperfect, insisting on truth remains the best path to redeeming functional democracy.

Leave a Comment