From the Right: Impeachment of a Private Citizen Is Political Theater at Best, a Dangerous Sham at Worst.

Don Schmitz

Grim faced representatives are making their case for the senate to convict Donald Trump. Will it weaken Trump politically? Conclusions are subjective, but let’s look at the facts we should all agree on.

Article II, Section 4 of our constitution gives congress the authority to remove the president and all federal civil officers for due cause, which isn’t conviction of a crime and jail. Due process, criminal conviction and incarceration are also specifically addressed in our constitution, but what is happening in the senate isn’t that. The only recourse for congress pertaining to Trump is to remove him from office, which of course is irrelevant as he has already left. We have a new president, Biden, who took the oath at the inauguration and is busily cranking out executive orders at a historically unprecedented rate. 

Sad that we must emphasize the obvious, but here is another: the constitution is clear that “the Chief Justice shall preside” over an impeachment trial, so how is Supreme Court Chief Justice Roberts legally able to declare he won’t do it this time? Again, the purpose of congressional impeachment of the president is to remove him from office. To state it plainly, Roberts doesn’t have to preside, because it isn’t a real impeachment trial. To be blunt, it is because the entire proceeding is a sham—a political stunt.

Now don’t start screaming and yelling because I stated the truth; hot heads are what got us into this mess. A summer of “mostly peaceful” burning, looting and murder nationwide causing $4 billion in damage, followed by those contemptable fools who stormed our Capitol and desecrated it. Each and every person who participated in that violence and vandalism, including planning it, should go to jail for a very long time— 100 percent agreed. There isn’t a person in this country more outraged about the assault on our Capitol than me. That is our Capitol, the seat of the longest surviving Republic in the world! But let’s ask ourselves what is really happening here, and whether it will succeed. As impeachment only removes the president, and Trump has left the building, clearly the process is all political. The impeachment is designed to render Trump impotent on future political debates and fatally wound the Republican Party. In the short term with a conviction (which won’t happen), the senate Democrats might succeed on both goals, but long term they will fail, spectacularly. Worse yet, much worse, they will hurt our country even more.

America is spectacularly divided, and deeply so. The Democrats lost seats in the house, but their impressive wins in Georgia created a 50/50 split in the senate. Both presidential candidates racked up historical numbers of votes, but Biden with his message of national reconciliation more than carried the day. He ran against an abrasive and polarizing Trump, in a year where our country is reeling from a horrible pandemic and rioting. We all just want the acrimony to stop and go back to our lives. Enter Pelosi and Ocasio Cortez, Schiff and Schumer. They haven’t got the reconciliation memo; extracurricular impeachment of a man who is no longer president, contemplating removal of Senator Cruz for questioning the presidential election as allowed constitutionally (which Cortez tweeted was to have her murdered!), even proposing a black list of anyone that worked in the Trump administration from ever getting a job again. Although this may resonate with the strident base of the Democrats, it doesn’t reflect what most Americans want. November’s vote reveled again most states closely divided, elections decided by a percentage point or less. Gone are the days when a candidate like Reagan crushed Mondale with 49 states. If either party thinks they are in good shape with us, they are mistaken. Polling consistently shows Americans’ trust in their government is at an all-time low and dropping. Biden won as the “normal” old school statesman, something our tired people are pining for.

I won’t debate the claims that Trump incited the Capitol riots, but contemplate what the country will observe in retrospect: the assault was planned days in advance and Trump called for a peaceful protest. Maxine Waters and Bernie Sanders have both used more inflammatory rhetoric than Trump. When the Republicans take back the house (power swings) should they immediately impeach President Biden? If this congress can impeach Trump after he has left office, can the next congress impeach Obama? (I have already heard proponents of this). Enough already. This latest nonimpeachment of a private citizen will be viewed by many as the latest political theater dragging us through the muck. The Democrats won the White House with the election certification, but in their fury and hatred, their leadership is poised to squander any chance of uniting the country and governing effectively.