By JOHN KANELIS / email@example.com
The die is cast in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Vice President Mike Pence is not going to push for Donald Trump’s removal via the U.S. Constitution’s 25th Amendment. Trump isn’t likely to resign.
That leaves the House only with the impeachment option. It will follow that course today with one specific aim, it appears to me. It is to prevent Trump from ever seeking public office again … forever.
A House impeachment will land in the Senate likely after Trump leaves office, so removal from the presidency doesn’t appear to be an option. That leaves the House impeachment managers with the task of persuading two-thirds of the Senate to convict Trump of “incitement of insurrection,” which carries a lifetime punishment of keeping him from seeking office.
You know what? I am more than fine with that. Yes, I had argued earlier that the Senate could return immediately and commence an expedited trial.
That won’t happen.
You know the story. Trump incited the rioters to stampede up Capitol Hill, where they stormed into the Capitol Building itself where Congress was performing its constitutional duty to certify President Biden’s victory over Trump on Nov. 3. Trump argues to this moment the election was “stolen.” It wasn’t. Yet he sought to actually prevent Congress from doing what it was obligated to do in ratifying an Electoral College victory for Biden.
He sought to subvert the democratic process. Indeed, many of the rioters were seen with nooses, zip ties, they shouted “Hang Mike Pence!” and shouted out “Where’s Nancy (Pelosi, speaker of the House)?”
Can there be a conviction, given that it would require 17 GOP senators to cross over? Two days ago it looked impossible. Today, not so much. GOP Senate Leader Mitch McConnell is said to be supportive of the impeachment effort, signaling a willingness to convict Trump when the Senate receives the single impeachment article. That suggestion might open the door for other Senate Republicans to join him. I can think of at least three others who are in the “convict Trump” category.
Trump’s days as president are all but over. The rest of the story still needs to play out. I want him banished from seeking federal public office.
It’s not too much to ask our senators to show courage and fealty to something other than to Donald Trump … you know, such as the oath they took to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.