Donald Trump should have been removed from office a year ago. But the Republicans in Congress have failed the country. The question now arises whether they will fail again by apologizing for the lateness of the lesson.
It is never too late to indict and remove a president who poses a threat to the republic. And make no mistake, Trump is a threat.
His incitement to riotous takeover of the US Capitol on Wednesday was a high crime and there is every reason to believe that if he is allowed to retire, he will commit more serious crimes.
“The urgency of this moment is real and we have to be courageous and united to defend our republic,” said representative Ilhan Omar, who took up the urge to be impeached. “The time to stand up against a tyrant is now and history will not be kind to those on the sidelines.”
In a letter to colleagues that Omar distributed on Thursday, the representative said wrote“Every hour that Donald Trump stays in office, our country, our democracy and our national security remain in danger. Congress must take immediate action to protect the people of this country and set a precedent that such behavior cannot be tolerated. ”
Yes, the timeline is short. But the impeachment authority as founded in 1787was designed with the need for flexibility in mind. The constitution simply says“The President, Vice President and all civil servants of the United States will be removed from office for impeachment and conviction for treason, bribery or other serious crimes and misdemeanors.” It tells us the house is indicting and the Senate is trying and removing. That’s it.
No lengthy hearings or debates are required when the high crimes and offenses have taken place within sight and the threat of further abuse remains all too real. Members of the two chambers can fill in the blanks while respecting the oath they have sworn to “support and defend the United States Constitution against all enemies at home and abroad.” Indeed, failure to indict and remove Trump would at this point be a rejection of the second part of that oath, which states that members of Congress must “bear true faith and allegiance to it.”
Senate minority chairman Chuck Schumer, the New York Democrat who will soon become majority leader with two new Democratic senators from Georgia, recognized the need for swift action on Thursday. “What happened in the US Capitol yesterday was an uprising against the United States instigated by the President. This president should not stay in office for another day. ” he said on Thursday. “The quickest, most effective way – this can be done today – to remove this president from office is for the vice president to call 25 immediatelyth Modification. If the Vice President and Cabinet refuse to stand, Congress should meet again to indict the President. “
House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi endorsed Schumer’s call, but predictably Pence was resistant. Trying to convince the vice-president and cabinet members is a fool’s job at this point. Congress needs strengthening, and the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Jerry Nadler has the right perspective on how to do that. “We have limited time to act” says Nadler. “The nation cannot afford a lengthy process, and I support putting impeachment proceedings right on the floor of the House.” The Read article of impeachment::
On January 6, 2021, President Trump encouraged people who had traveled to the Washington, District of Columbia to violently attack the United States Capitol while both houses of Congress were in session. After those supporters forcibly violated the Capitol, he made another statement reiterating his false claims of electoral fraud and telling the mob, “We love you, you are very special.”
Additionally, on January 2, 2021, President Trump breached his constitutional duty to comply with United States law when, on a taped phone call, he repeatedly asked Georgian Foreign Secretary Brad Raffensperger to discard the President’s final and verified November 2020 election results in the state of Georgia. President Trump abused his office by threatening an elected official with unspecified consequences if he failed to pursue the president’s false claims and attempted to force an elected official to cheat.
The facts are not up for debate.
The only question is whether Congress is ready to act. Dozens of Democrats have indicated they are ready. Representatives David Cicilline from Rhode Island, Ted Lieu from California, Al Green from Texas, Hank Johnson from Georgia, Ayanna Pressley from Massachusetts, Rashida Tlaib from Michigan, Vicente Gonzalez from Texas, Jamaal Bowman from New York, Mondaire Jones from New York, Veronica Escobar from Texas, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez from New York, and Cori Bush from Missouri have signed up with Omar as co-leader of the impeachment effort. A dozen other Democratic members have already signed up as co-founders of the resolution.
“Donald Trump has led a violent mob to riot on the legislature to reject the results of a free and fair election and undermine the integrity of our democracy.” says Representative Jones. “We need to make sure this is nothing more than a last breath for Donald Trump and his Republican co-conspirators in the House and Senate. That is why I am proud to be calling for impeachment together with my colleagues. Hundreds of Donald Trumps in the Republican Party are trying to rise to office and we need to send them a message that no one is above the law. ”
Jones is right to focus on the Republicans. During the impeachment process a year ago, the Republican Party was almost unanimous in defending Trump. It blocked accountability and eased his persistent wrongdoing. After Trump riotously attacked the Capitol where they serve, the question arises whether Republicans in the House and Senate are ready to defend the Constitution and the rule of law.
They cannot do this with selfish statements that distance themselves from the president, whom they have endorsed for the past four years, with whom they have struggled, defended and empowered. You can only do this by upholding full accountability.
There is nothing radical in indicting Donald Trump. It is the right and necessary answer to a president who instigates mob violence not only against Congress but also against the rule of law itself.
This is a moment to choose between fascist violence on Wednesday and American democracy. Congress must recognize the ongoing threat from the rioters who attacked the Capitol – most of whom were allowed to leave after the building was invaded and occupied – and the president who urged them to do so. Congress must also recognize that – if not charged and removed – Trump will be able to abuse his position in dramatic and dangerous ways for nearly two weeks.
This is a threat that should have been addressed a year ago. At the end of his argument for Trump’s removal last February, Representative Adam Schiff warned the Senate Republicans: “They will not change him. You cannot limit it. He is who he is. The truth is little important to him. What is right is even less important, and decency is not important at all. ”
These words apply. The threat will linger as long as Trump remains able to attack democracy, undermine the government and create new horrors.
The impeachment addresses the threat the president poses to the country. It also puts our elected representatives in place, exactly where they belong.
There has never been a legitimate middle ground on the charges against Donald Trump. Those who imagined they existed a year ago were completely wrong. If you choose to uphold the lie now, you will be just as dangerous as Trump.