As I am drafting this post on January 19, most likely by the time you read this Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will have already been inaugurated as President and Vice President. Hopefully this historic event will be accomplished without mishap, due to the continued presence of thousands of National Guard officers called out by the District of Columbia in response to the unconscionable January 6 massacre on Capitol Hill instituted by throngs of crazed Trump supporters.
Articles of Impeachment
As you are most likely aware, the transmission of articles of impeachment from the House to the Senate will take place later this week, with the trial of the former president to begin at 1 pm the following day in accordance with constitutional guidelines.
The focus of this trial will be to demonstrate that Donald Trump should be declared disqualified to hold any future public office. Once the articles of impeachment are presented to the Senate, the first step is convicting Mr. Trump, which requires a two-thirds majority vote. This is admittedly an exceedingly high bar. The good news is that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel was seething at Trump after the January 6 massacre and appears to tacitly support the impeachment process. Hopefully his open disdain toward Trump’s egregious behavior will serve to motivate at least 17 additional Republican Senators – who are likewise appalled at Trump’s inciting the riot – to follow their consciences and vote for conviction.
Assuming that a two-thirds majority of Senators vote for conviction, the next step is the actual process of impeachment. Under provisions of the Constitution, impeaching a federal official on the grounds that he or she is deemed unqualified to hold a future public office requires only a simple majority vote from the Senate. That should be a slam-dunk, as the Democrats now hold a majority in the Senate, and many of the Republicans who voted for conviction would logically be expected to join in voting for impeachment.
As I’m sure most readers will agree, it is imperative that Donald Trump be barred from holding any future public office, especially at the federal level. While I fervently believe that concluding that Mr. Trump is unfit to hold any future public office should be a no-brainer, unfortunately the formalities associated with any impeachment process can be quite time consuming.
Significantly, Trump’s personal attorney and close confidant Rudy Giuliani has stated that he will not be participating on the defense team. I hope and pray that the process does not degenerate into a publically televised “circus,” and will not unduly detract both the majority the Senate body and a growing majority of the general public from expressing their unequivocal support for the newly installed President and Vice President in decisively moving forward to restore dignity, equanimity and camaraderie to the citizens of a nation that has been both defiled and torn asunder over the past four years.
What will happen following the impeachment?
While a few pundits have floated rumors that Trump may attempt to issue pardons to both himself and members of his immediate family before leaving office, it is highly unlikely that such action would be allowed under our nation’s Constitution.
On January 7 Michael Sherwin, acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, repeatedly told reporters that his office would be investigating and potentially charging “all actors” involved in the previous day’s riot. He added that “We’re trying to deal with the closest alligators to the boat right now – Those are the people who obviously breached the Capitol, created violence and mayhem there and then exited. And yes, we are looking at all actors here, not only the people who went into the building.”
If former president Trump is indeed tried and found guilty by the District of Columbia court system, I personally hope they lock him up and throw away the key! Indeed, in that event our former would enjoy another post-presidential “perk,” namely the provision of free room and board at federal expense, courtesy of the Federal Department of Corrections.