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  • Writer's pictureFred Guerin

Impeachment Act 2

Well, the first stage of impeachment is over with and the results 232 for and 197 against. A total of ten republicans voted with Democrats to impeach Trump. I listened to the House of Representatives debates for most of the morning. The speakers in favour of removing Trump from office as soon as possible based their conclusions on the fact that Donald Trump clearly incited the violent armed mob with the intention of overturning the results of the November 3rd election. He is, therefore, guilty of incitement. Many argued that what Trump did was a clear violation of the constitution, an abdication of the rule of law and a stain on the office of the Presidency. They also made it clear that if Trump is not held accountable for his actions it will signal the end of America as a democratic republic.

The 197 Republicans who voted against impeachment argued that the individuals who indulged in violent insurrection should be dealt with through the criminal justice system, but they were not incited by Trumps words. This is like claiming that there would still be a MAGA white supremacist mob without Trump. It was nothing short of nauseating to hear Republicans who aided and abetted Trump for the past three years quote Lincoln, speak of the need for due process, make appeals to unity and an end to divisiveness and partisanship, and tell Americans that healing can only begin when impeachment is voted down. They claimed that the impeachment process was not intended to bring justice or accountability to the office of the Presidency, but was simply an attempt to seek retribution. But there can be no 'healing', reconciliation or unity in the absence of justice and accountability.

The thing is that if Trump had even a shred of decency he would already have resigned. He will never resign. He will continue to stoke anger and hatred as long as he occupies the Oval Office.

That is why it can be reasonably claimed that he is a clear and present danger. He has real blood on his hands right now—and he must be considered unfit to hold office. For those claiming that there will be more violence if Trump is impeached, I would say that there will yet be more bloodshed whether or not Trump is impeached. The January 6th mob insurrection was not some unforeseen or spontaneous expression of rage or attempt to overturn the results of an election through violence. It was rage that was inspired, deliberately organized, summoned and spurred on by Donald Trump.

We all know that racism, hatred, white supremacy has been smouldering in America for 200 years before Trump. But we also know that this president has stoked race hatred and given it a platform and legitimacy under the protection of the highest office in the land. Moreover, on the days leading up to January 6th Trump threw gas on the smouldering fire and the violence, destruction and death that followed should never, ever be forgotten. However, impeaching a dangerous, unhinged, narcissist reprobate is only the first step. It is not just about getting him out of the Oval Office—it is about restoring accountability to the office of the Presidency, to Congress and indeed to democracy and the rule of law. Impeachment can ensure that Trump is never permitted to hold political office again. It can prevent him from profiting or accruing any benefit from his term as President.

Unfortunately, there are 197 Republican House members and millions of Trump supporters who will continue to support this reckless criminal. We should also remember that although Trump has been impeached in the House of Representatives this does not automatically mean he is kicked out of office—the House vote functions as something like a vote for indictment.

There will yet be a second Congressional vote that will finally determine whether the charge of incitement is upheld. Under the American Constitution the House of Representatives has sole Power of impeachment and the Senate has sole power to try all Impeachments. Conviction occurs only when there is concurrence among two-thirds of the Senate members present.

Republicans will undoubtedly claim that the charge of incitement followed by impeachment is a violation of ‘due process’. It is not. It is perfectly legitimate within the parameters set by the US Constitution under Article 1.

However, it is important to also remember that impeachment is not a legal, but rather a political device. Republicans know this. They are not really opposed to impeachment on ethical or legal grounds. Their continued support of Trump is a function of pure political expedience. They know very well that much of the Republican base still supports Trump no matter what he does. However, anyone who argues that impeachment is an unwise political move is simply deluding themselves that holding Trump accountable is a meaningless, retributive act. It is not. Not only should Trump be impeached, but his presidency should be looked on as an abomination.

As for those who continue to support Trump, these individuals are the worst of the worst, and history will surely not look upon them with either tolerance or compassion.

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