IMPEACHMENT BEGINS MONDAY
8 January 2021, 3:00 P.M.
News has just broken that the U.S. House of Representatives will begin proceedings on Monday, 11 January 2021 for the impeachment of President Donald Trump. Find the draft article of impeachment here .
After the Trump-incited mob attack on the Capitol last Wednesday, calls began for the removal of the President from office. Apparently, the first choice was for Trump to resign from office voluntarily. That did not occur and there was no real expectation that it would occur. The second choice was for the Vice President and Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment which provides for them to suspend the president. After two days of attempts, it became clear that Vice President Pence would not convene the Cabinet for this purpose. As of today this left the third option, impeachment and removal of the President by Congress. This process begins with articles of impeachment passed by a majority of the members of the House of Representatives. This is likely to occur by mid-week. Then, the articles go to the Senate where the President is put on trial. A two-thirds vote of the senators is necessary for the removal of the President.
The proposed impeachment contains one article. In it, two examples of impeachable conduct are given, incitement of the mob that invaded the Capitol and the phone call to GA Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. The article concludes:
"Wherefore President Trump, by such conduct, has demonstrated that he will remain a threat to national security, democracy, and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office, and has acted in a manner grossly incompatible with self-governance and the rule of law. President Trump thus warrants impeachment and trial, removal from office, and the disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit under the United States."
It is likely that the House will pass articles of impeachment by mid-week. It is entirely unknown at this time whether the Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, will allow the articles to be taken up on the floor although the Constitution requires this. Republicans still have a slight majority in the Senate. Since there would be only one week left of Trump's term, the Republicans may choose to run out the clock so they do not have to go on record with votes on whether to remove the President from office. If so, the articles from the House may be dead on arrival in the Senate. Even if Trump were not removed from office, he would be the only president in history to be impeached twice. At least this would be some measure of punishment.
It is absolutely essential that the federal government take decisive and strong action to punish the perpetrators and participants in last Wednesday's attack on the constitutional government of the United States. This was a mob insurrection incited by Trump and certain other political officers. If this attempted coup is left to stand without punishment it will be a green light for much worse would-be dictators to come. The government must act swiftly and strongly to make a statement that treasonous and seditious attempts to overthrow or intimidate the legal, legitimate, constitutional government will not be tolerated under any circumstances. This is why President Trump must be held accountable now.
(I have studied, taught, and written about the French Revolution and Napoleon for decades. I could tell a lot about what mobs can do in history, but I will save that for another time. For now, I will just say mob actions and the stability of government are rarely compatible.)
The basis of the mob invasion of the Capitol was the big lie that Trump won the election but Democrats stole it from him. This falsehood was promoted by certain members of the House of Representatives and the Senate. Even after the invasion of the Capitol with it violent bloodshed and vandalism, the majority of the Republicans in the House voted to sustain the very lie that had prompted the mob attack on their chambers. Five Senators also voted to perpetuate the provocative lie. These people must face some kind of reprimand if we are to defend the Constitution of the United States. The ring leaders in each house should be censured by Congress. All of them should be challenged in their next elections when the voters can render judgment on them. Five representatives from South Carolina and five from Alabama voted to sustain the anti-democratic lie. The two leading Senators, Cruz and Hawley should be censured by the Senate.
The senators from SC and AL were not exactly paragons of patriotism and wisdom. Alabama's brand new football coach senator, Tuberville, was one of only five senators who voted to overturn the legal votes of both Arizona and Pennsylvania. Shelby voted against. Then there is the king of the hypocrites, Lindsey Graham. He arose to say that he had had enough of Trump and would not go along with this travesty. He has been going along for four years, so he has little credibility at this late date. Nevertheless, at least in the end, he could no longer abide Trump's outrageous behavior. Even for this too little and too late attempt to salvage his reputation, he was heckled by Trumpistas at the airport. The people of SC should not forget the four years in which Graham aided and abetted the anti-democratic regime of his golfing buddy Donald Trump. History will remember.
It is twelve days until the end of the Trump term. I am buckling my seat belt for a wild ride. It has just begun.