By Stacey Lennox | P J Media
In a spectacle that is almost certainly not going to be
the ratings grabber that Democrats might hope for, President Trump’s second
impeachment trial is shaping up to be a dumpster fire. Without the daily
outrage cycle fueled by whatever the former president was tweeting, America seems
prepared to move past the rancor. Democrats seem determined to cling to it.
However, even their impeachment manager can’t figure out
what constitutional authority they are using to proceed. In an interview with
CNN, the host asked Representative Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) how she would
respond to critics saying it is unconstitutional to hold an impeachment trial
for a former president. In response, she refers to a precedent she never cites
and asserts that there must be accountability for bad acts in the last days of
The House has impeached non-presidents, but they were all still in their
role as public servants at the time. If the purpose of impeachment is to remove
someone from the office they hold, the voters ousted President Trump, who left
the White House peacefully on January 20th. The Senate has also not proceeded
to trial in the one case where the impeached individual resigned. There is not
a single case where the Senate has tried a private individual in the list of
Someone may want to point out that the criminal justice
system handles crimes and misdemeanors committed by private citizens. If an
investigation found sufficient proof that President Trump had incited a riot,
he could be charged and tried. Democrats know this would never happen because
the incitement standard is exceptionally high, and some reported facts would
stand in the way.
According to the New York Times timeline, the people who
breached the barricades began pushing through them while the president was
still speaking. Additionally, federal officials have said the level of
coordination indicates that the actions were preplanned, not a protest that got out of
control. The FBI and NYPD also warned Capitol Police of the possibility of
violence before the protest, and the investigation regarding the lack of
security is still underway. Washington D.C. Metro Police are leading the
investigation and refused to release interviews with congressional security
officials, citing privacy concerns.
President Trump also explicitly told the protestors to
behave peacefully. As Senator Rand Paul noted in an opinion for the Hill:
But to argue that any politician that tells a crowd to
“fight to take back your country” is somehow guilty of incitement is absurd.
If we are to blame politicians for the most violent acts
of their craziest supporters, then many of my colleagues would face some pretty
harsh charges themselves. I’ve been shot at, assaulted and harassed by
supporters of the left, including some who directly said the words of
politicians moved them to this violence.
He went on to apply the same standard to Senator Bernie
Sanders regarding the shooter at the congressional baseball practice that
Democrats are applying to President Trump. Paul also noted that Chief Justice
John Roberts is required to preside over the impeachment of a president. He
asserted Justice Roberts would decline to preside, which is apparently the
case. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the Senate pro tempore, will
Paul has also hinted he may boycott the proceedings
citing Justice Roberts not presiding. Other GOP Senators have expressed similar
concerns questioning the constitutionality of proceeding and the harmful
effects such a move will have on a deeply divided nation. The trial’s
constitutional basis is rumored to be at least one defense used by Trump’s
The Democrats might want to Google the Streisand effect.
It appears their real motive is to prevent President Trump from seeking public
office again and stripping him from receiving any benefits due to a former
president. However, they will need 17 Republicans to vote with them to convict.
The math does not appear to be on their side. A victorious Donald Trump is much
more problematic for them than he is right now.
There is no doubt the media will cover the proceeding
breathlessly even if no one is tuning in. They will bash Republicans who do not
vote the way they want, no matter how reasoned or rooted in the Constitution
their positions are. And they will heap praise on “good” Republicans like
Senator Mitt Romney, who astonishingly thinks a conviction is necessary to
unify the country.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is no better. Politico reported
his staff told other Senators on a conference call that the chamber would not
likely have standing to stop the Senate trial in court on constitutional
grounds. McConnell himself made it clear he did not view it as his job to help
Trump with his strategy. Cocaine Mitch has left the building and we now have
the second fiddle for the Uniparty leading the caucus.
If supporting Democrats in a questionable impeachment
trial is the establishment’s strategy to excise President Trump’s influence on
the party, it is a flawed strategy. Trump plans to primary Republicans he sees
as co-opted and even those of us who did not always love his behavior
understand the appeal of his policy program. Anyone expecting to go back to
business as usual where the GOP can betray their voters and still be reelected
is most likely in for a rude awakening.