It appears that Mike Pence couldn’t find his balls that his wife keeps in a jar hidden under their bed. He has rejected his constitutional duty to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove a president who is is a clear and present danger to the national security of the United States, after personally inciting a seditious insurrection against Congress this week. Silence is consent, a tacit ratification of Trump’s criminal insurrection that jeopardized his own life and that of his family who were present at the joint session of Congress. Pence is complicit. Pence is said to oppose invoking 25th Amendment to strip Trump of his duties.
Since this craven coward refuses to do his constitutional duty, the Congress must. As Jamelle Bouie says, “It’s Congress that was attacked and Congress that needs to act.” Running Out the Clock on Trump Is Cowardly and Dangerous.
Axios reports, House Democrats moving toward second impeachment:
House Democrats have a caucus call at noon to discuss that very topic. Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) told Kasie Hunt on MSNBC’s “Way Too Early'”: “I think that Democrats are going to move forward with another impeachment because they do believe that he must be held accountable.”
Articles of impeachment have already been drafted and are circulating among House members.
House Judiciary Committee Chairmen Jerold Nadler issued a statement yesterday:
Chairman Nadler Statement in Support of Removal of President Trump
Washington, January 7, 2021
Washington, D.C. – Today, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) issued the following statement:
“I support the immediate impeachment of the President and his removal from office.
“Since taking office, President Trump has encouraged violence against the citizens of this country whenever it serves his selfish interests—when white supremacists marched on Charlottesville, when he forcibly removed peaceful protesters from Lafayette Square, when he told the Proud Boys to ‘stand back and stand by,’ when gunmen stormed the Michigan State Capitol, and yesterday, when he ordered his supporters to ‘walk down to the Capitol.’
“In selfish refusal to accept his electoral defeat, President Trump only ratcheted up his rhetoric. His supporters were told to reject the results of the election. They were told to be strong. They were told to stand by. The President called his supporters to Washington, D.C. and told them to go to the Capitol itself. Unsurprisingly, these seditious calls to action by a desperate man and his allies achieved their intended result—violent insurrection. Donald Trump lit the match, and his allies and enablers fanned the flames of rebellion.
“What this country endured yesterday was beyond intolerable. Domestic terrorists stormed the Capitol, breached the Senate Chamber, waved Confederate flags in the halls of democracy, and disrupted the operations of the House and the Senate as they worked to ratify the election that President Trump tried so hard to undermine. Members of Congress hid under chairs, wearing gas masks, and were ushered from room to room by armed guards trying to ensure their safety.
“In the wake of this deadly attack on the Capitol, in the face of this insurrection, we must act. There must be consequences. Those consequences must be commensurate with the offense, and they must begin with the President of the United States.
“We on the House Judiciary Committee have a long record of seeking accountability for this President. We have worked to expose his lies and oppose his horrendous policies. We introduced articles of impeachment, held hearings on them, brought them to the floor, and helped pass them in the House of Representatives. As an impeachment manager, I beseeched the Senate to convict Donald Trump and remove him from office before he could do further harm to the country.
“No one feels worse than I do that those efforts did not result in President Trump’s removal from office. But I have not given up. I have called upon the Vice President to invoke the 25th Amendment and remove the President from office because he is unfit to serve. And now, I am once again urging that the President be impeached and removed from office. We have a limited period of time in which to act. The nation cannot afford a lengthy, drawn out process, and I support bringing articles of impeachment directly to the House floor.”
Conservative columnist Brett Stephens writes, Impeach and Convict. Right Now. (excerpt):
The duty of the House of Representatives and the Senate is to reconvene immediately to impeach the president and then remove him from office and bar him from ever holding office again.
To allow Trump to serve out his term, however brief it may be, puts the nation’s safety at risk, leaves our reputation as a democracy in tatters and evades the inescapable truth that the assault on Congress was an act of violent sedition aided and abetted by a lawless, immoral and terrifying president.
As Chairman Nadler said, accountability “must begin with the president of the United States.” But Trump did not act alone. His enablers and accessories to his crime must also be held accountable:
[T]here is no getting away from the extent to which leading party members and their cheerleaders in the right-wing media are complicit in creating the political atmosphere in which this Visigothic sacking of the Capitol took place.
The legal hucksters, from Rudy Giuliani to Mark Levin, who promoted demonstrably debunkable claims about electoral fraud, are complicit. All of those supposedly sober-minded conservatives who encouraged the president to “pursue his legal options” (knowing full well they were bunk, but with the assurance that they would settle doubts about the validity of the vote) are complicit. The 126 House Republicans who signed on to the preposterous brief supporting the Texas lawsuit to overturn the election — flicked away in a single paragraph by the Supreme Court — are complicit. Ted Cruz, whom I once described as a “serpent covered in Vaseline” but who turns out to be considerably worse, is complicit. Josh Hawley and the rest of the Senate cynics, who tried to obstruct Biden’s election certification in a transparent bid to corner the market on Trumpian craziness, are complicit. Mike Pence, who cravenly humored Trump’s fantasies right till the moment of constitutional truth, is complicit. (If there’s an argument against Trump’s removal from office, he alone is it.)
Some of these charlatans are now trying to disavow Wednesday’s violence in carefully phrased tweets. But Cruz, Hawley, Pence and the other Bitter-Enders have done far more lasting damage to Congress than the mob that — merely by following their lead — physically trashed it. Broken doors can be fixed. Broken parties cannot.
Above all there is the president, not complicit but wholly, undeniably and unforgivably responsible.
* * *
There is only one prescription for it now. Impeach the president and remove him from office now. Ban him forever from office now. Let every American know that, in the age of Trump, there are some things that can never be allowed to stand, most of all Trump himself.
Conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin also calls for Trump’s enablers and accessories to his crime to be held accountable, Seditious Republicans must be held accountable:
Senators and House members who brought spurious objections to Pennsylvania’s electoral college votes after an angry mob seeking to upend our democracy stormed through the Capitol bear a heavy burden to explain their conduct.
Sadly, a significant number of House and Senate members appear dim and perhaps were led astray by more mendacious members. But many — for example, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) — are not dumb. They knew the objections were baseless. They saw the violent results triggered by disinformation, yet they doubled down on Republicans’ sedition.
While many Republicans denounced the violence, pointed to President Trump as the instigator and decried their colleagues’ refusal to level with voters, they so far show no sign of willingness to censure their colleagues or to end their membership in the Republican caucus.
I contacted the office [of Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.)] inquiring as to whether fellow Republicans should be disciplined. I got no response. I made the same inquiry of Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), who even suggested the 25th Amendment would be appropriate to invoke against the president. No response. I received no answers from Republican Sens. Patrick J. Toomey (Pa.) or Ben Sasse (Neb.). The office of Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) referred to his remarks criticizing those who gave false hope to their supporters that the election results could be overturned but would not comment on possible sanctions.
The question remains: What is to stop seditious congressmen and senators from repeating this attack on democracy either in the next couple of years or in a subsequent election? The House and Senate each has ethics rules. The purpose of these is to deter bad conduct, discipline offenders and, if needed, expel members for particularly egregious conduct. It makes a mockery of those rules to say that misallocating funds to decorate your office, for example, is punishable, but seeking to undo an election and inciting rioters are not.
Each chamber can enact a simple rule: “No member shall retain a seat if he or she endeavors to overthrow the results of an election, file frivolous lawsuits seeking to do the same or seek to pressure any election official to change the results of an election.” In addition, “No member shall incite domestic terrorists verbally or by gesture.”
Such rules would not run afoul of members’ First Amendment rights; instead, they recognize that the privilege of holding a seat in Congress comes with responsibilities. The bare minimum of those responsibilities involves refusal to participate in delegitimization of an election by perpetuating a nonstop stream of disinformation.
In addition, I want to highlight four Republicans who voted with the seditionists: Reps. Mike Bost (Ill.), Bill Johnson (Ohio), Dan Meuser (Pa.) and Lloyd Smucker (Pa.). (Smucker and Meuser even voted to disenfranchise their own state.) These are members of the so-called Problem Solvers Caucus. This group was founded specifically to oppose rank partisanship and support reasonable debate and bipartisan governance. Their actions turn that group into a fraud and a joke. [I have always thought so.] They should be expelled from that caucus; if not, it should be disbanded.
Every Republican bears a responsibility for what happened on Wednesday, whether or not they participated in a seditious attempt to overthrow our democracy. In the House, they voted for leaders who participated in sedition. They continue to caucus with the perpetrators of a great assault on our democracy. It is now up to Republicans to disassociate themselves from these members of their party. Expulsion or at least censure and loss of committee seats is necessary to underscore the depth of their offense. If they fail to do so, they will ratify their fellow Republicans’ behavior.
Democrats have an obligation here as well. They must confront their Republican “colleagues” and summon the nerve to take disciplinary action against them. It may not be pleasant, but it is a defining moment for them as well.
Invoke the 14th Amendment, Section 3. Expel them from Congress and disqualify them from ever holding public office again.
UPDATE: The Daily Beast reports, Trump Impeachment Vote Could Come as Early as Middle of Next Week, House Dems Say:
House Democrats will press ahead with an impeachment vote on President Trump as soon as the middle of next week, according to Assistant House Speaker Katherine Clark (D-MA). “Donald Trump needs to be removed from office and we are going to proceed with every tool that we have to make sure that happens to protect our democracy,” she told CNN’s New Day on Friday morning. “If reports are correct, and Mike Pence is not going to uphold his oath of office and remove the president and help protect our democracy, then we will move forward with impeachment to do just that.” Pressed further on the timing, Clark said she’s aware there is “limited time” to impeach the outgoing president, but there are “procedural tools” they can use to get articles of impeachment to the floor “as fast as possible.” Pressed again, she said that could be “as early as mid next week.”
Let’s all pray that Trump doesn’t start a war or another riot in the interim.