Tag Archives: impeachment

Delay Senate trial? Sure … why not?

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell wants to delay the trial of the disgraced former president until February.

To which I am inclined to say: Sure … whatever.

The former president is out of office. A conviction won’t kick him out. He’s in Florida luxuriating at his posh resort/residence and playing lots of golf.

All he did to merit the second House impeachment was incite an insurrection on Capitol Hill. It happened on the Sixth of January. He egged on a mob, told ’em to walk to Capitol Hill and “take back the government.” That’s what happened and for that the House impeached the Insurrectionist in Chief.

If he’s convicted, and a delay might allow prosecutors to muster up even more evidence than what we all saw happen in real time, the Senate then can cast a simple majority vote to bar him from seeking public office ever again. That is the goal! It’s a noble one.

That is what makes McConnell’s request doable, even for those who want to rush to judgment against the former president.

I am not one of those. I am in no particular hurry to see him convicted. I just want House impeachment trial managers to collect all they evidence they need to get the job done.

Biden inherits historic burden

(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Let’s flash back a few decades, shall we?

President Woodrow Wilson served while the nation was battling a killer pandemic; President Franklin Roosevelt took office during the Great Depression, with an economy in free fall; President Lyndon Johnson assumed office with the nation struggling with racial tension.

President Joe Biden? He’s about to take office to battle a raging pandemic, an economy in dire peril and a nation torn by racial strife.

Oh, and let’s add that his immediate predecessor, Donald Trump, will be standing trial in the U.S. Senate for inciting an insurrection that resulted in a deadly riot on Capitol Hill.

The new president is going to have a full plate, you know?

These are challenging times. I am heartened by the knowledge that the new president spent a professional lifetime in government. Thus, he knows which buttons to push, which levers to pull, whose arms to twist.

He will need all the skill he has developed over his years in the Senate and as vice president of the United States. President Biden’s lengthy career should hold him in good stead. It also should serve well a nation that needs significant repair from the damage done by the man who is heading out the door.

Videos keep worsening Jan. 6 tragedy

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

So help me I don’t know how much more of this I can take.

The New Yorker magazine today released a video from the Jan. 6 invasion of Capitol Hill by the horde of terrorists. It sent chills up my back; it made the hair seemingly stand up. Videos such as this provide ample and graphic evidence of what Donald Trump incited that morning while exhorting the crowd gathered in front of him.

Oh, and then we had Don Trump Jr. saying something like “coming after you” those who don’t turn from “zeroes to heroes” and Rudy Giuliani calling for “trial by combat.”

It just gets more repulsive daily, it seems, as video after video surfaces to show the world — yes, the entire planet — what kind of moron this nation saw fit to elect as its president four years ago.

The latest video shows terrorists busting through windows at the Capitol Building. They are marching under Old Glory, wearing those hideous MAGA hats, yelling “Where’s f***ing Nancy (Pelosi)!” They chant “Hang Mike Pence!” The video shows rioters pulling a police officer into the crowd and beating him within an inch of his life with flagpoles.

And  they scream “USA, USA, USA!” while attacking the very seat of our national government!

How in the name of decency does any of this make any godd*** sense?

The House impeached Trump one week later. He now will stand trial in the Senate. Trump will be out of office. Following true to form Trump said his conduct was proper. He takes no responsibility for the “incitement of insurrection” that he clearly and without any serious question is guilty of committing.

A Senate conviction won’t remove him from office. It can bar him from ever seeking public office again. That punishment would be good enough for me, even though I preferred a conviction during the first impeachment a year ago would have prevented all of this tragedy from unfolding in the first place.

Three days to go before President Biden takes the reins.

Oh, my. Let’s hold on for dear life.

Commence the trial quickly

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

U.S. senators say it so often it sounds practically cliche, but I get their point.

They say they “walk and chew gum at the same time,” that they can conduct an impeachment trial and debate, discuss and enact policy matters crucial to running the country simultaneously.

I’ll take them at their word. Which is my way of suggesting that senators need to commence Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial quickly while deliberating over the confirmation of President Biden’s national security team.

Trump will be out of office. It doesn’t matter one little bit whether he is president of an ex-president. What he did on Jan. 6 was punishable and he needs to be held accountable for inciting the riot that sought to subvert our democratic process.

The terrorists who stormed into the Capitol Building sought to end the congressional act of ratifying Biden’s victory in the election. They acted on a message delivered on The Ellipse from Donald Trump. Trump’s impeachment came with 10 GOP House members voting “yes.” It was a bipartisan impeachment!

And so the trial will begin. I do not want House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to delay sending the single impeachment article to the Senate. I want her to do so quickly to enable the Senate to prepare to put Trump on trial for inciting the mob to run rampant over the very Senate floor on which our distinguished senators will convene the trial.

Think for just a moment about that. Senators will conduct a trial in the very crime scene that Trump created by inciting the rioters to act in the manner that they did.

Can this jury of 100 senators hear the evidence submitted in the trial in the morning, break for lunch, and return in the afternoon to consider who President Biden has nominated, say, for defense secretary, CIA director or the director of national intelligence?

Of course it can! And it should!

Pipe down, Rep. Jordan!

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan needs to stuff a sock in his yapper.

You see, the Ohio Republican is so damn angry with his GOP colleague Liz Cheney — Wyoming’s sole House member — that he wants the House Republican caucus to replace her as caucus chair. Why is that? Because she had the guts, the courage and stood tall on principle in voting to impeach Donald J. Trump.

That ain’t flying in Jordan’s chicken coop.

Cheney was one of 10 GOP House members to vote to impeach Trump on an article alleging “incitement of insurrection.” You know the drill, right? Trump exhorted the mob in front of him Jan. 6 to march down the street to the Capitol Building and “take back” the government from unknown or unseen forces.

The rest, as they say, is history. The mob ransacked the Capitol, killed five people — including a police officer — and proceeded to attempt what is looking more each day like a coup against the government. And why do that? Because Congress was gathering to ratify that Joe Biden beat their guy, Trump, in a free and fair election.

Cheney couldn’t abide by what she saw. So she did the right thing and declared her intention to impeach the president. Which she did.

House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy, I am happy to learn, is standing behind Cheney. He ought to take his rowdy colleague Jordan to  the proverbial woodshed.

If anything, the House GOP leadership can use more politicians who are willing to be faithful to their oath of office, to the Constitution and to our government than to one man who has hijacked the party and turned it into a cult of personality.

Jim Jordan is a member of that cult. He should be ashamed of himself and stop trying to shame Rep. Cheney because she acted out of conscience and principle.

Hoping to be done with Trump, but …

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

You may choose to believe this or … disbelieve it. Makes no difference to me.

I had hoped to be done, finished with Donald J. Trump the moment President Biden took office. Biden will take office next week and for that I remain hopeful for a new day.

Sadly, none of us will be finished with Trump just yet. You see, we have this impeachment trial to follow and to assess as it convenes and progresses for the time it takes to render a decision on Trump’s culpability in the hideous attack on Capitol Hill that occurred Jan. 6.

Senators will debate openly about the evidence that the House of Representatives prosecutors will present them. I don’t know what the debate will entail precisely or the extent to which Trump’s defense team will be able to, um, defend what I consider to be the indefensible.

However, Donald Trump will remain the focus of this important debate and, dammit anyway, he will remain in our sights even as we move on to watching and commenting on the Biden administration.

The scuttlebutt now concerns whether there might be 17 Republican senators serving in a Senate that is split 50-50 on party lines who will deliver guilty verdicts on whether Trump committed “incitement of insurrection” against the U.S. government. The Constitution sets the bar high for conviction of a president; it requires a two-thirds vote among senators.

I can think right now of roughly four, maybe five, senators who can cross over and join the Democrats. One of them might include the Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell, who has endorsed the House impeachment; he remains mum on how he intends to vote.

Again … this is all about Donald Trump. I suppose at one bizarre level he likes it that way, given that he remains at the center of attention, unwanted as it might appear to be.

Alas, only a little while longer.

Then he’ll really be gone.

This experiment failed … bigly

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

It can be proclaimed forever and ever that the Great American Experiment in Unconventional Politicians has turned out to be a monumental failure.

Yep! I feel quite comfortable making that declaration.

Donald John Trump won election in 2016 in what I consider to be the Mother of All Flukes. He swore an oath to protect the Constitution, our government and us. He failed.

What has been the price of that failure? For him? Well, he is the first president in history to be impeached twice. He got past the first impeachment because only one Republican senator — Mitt Romney of Utah — had the courage to convict him of abusing the power of his office. The rest of the GOP caucus cowered in fear of Trump.

As egregious as the first impeachment allegations were — soliciting political favors from a foreign government — they pale in comparison to what transpired on Jan. 6.

Trump fomented a violent insurrection on the Capitol Building which at that moment contained members of Congress and the vice president who were doing their duty to ratify an election that Trump lost. He didn’t buy into that reality. Hence, he exhorted the terrorists/rioters to march on Capitol Hill.

So now he is impeached again. President-elect Biden becomes president of the United States in six days. The Senate will put Trump on trial once more. There stands a still-slim — but possibly growing — chance that he’ll be convicted, even though he will be out of office. The impeachment article contains a provision that bans Trump from ever seeking public office again. Hmm. That might be sufficient incentive for enough GOP senators to join their Democratic colleagues in banning this clown from the White House forever.

A man with zero public service experience on his record flim-flammed his way into the presidency by promising that “I, alone” can fix the nation’s problems. We knew he was a phony and a fraud. We knew about the refusal to release his tax returns. We knew about the groping of women. We knew that he disrespected our military veterans and our valiant prisoners of war. We knew about his penchant for cozying up to dictators. We knew of his mocking of disabled people.

We knew all of that. Yet he got elected anyway.

His quest to “make America great again” failed as well, chiefly because America has already is great.

The country has demonstrated its greatness by turning away from the failed experiment of electing a novice politician to the nation’s highest office.

The experiment was doomed from the beginning … as many of us knew would be the case.

Cheney feeling heat for voting her conscience

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Liz Cheney listened to her conscience today when she cast a vote to impeach Donald J. Trump.

The Wyoming Republican joined nine other GOP House members to align with House Democrats in impeaching Trump for inciting an insurrection. He exhorted the riotous mob into storming the Capitol Building a week ago, putting every member of Congress — as well as Vice President Mike Pence — in dire jeopardy.

Yep, it’s an impeachable offense.

But now her fellow Republican, Jim Jordan, wants to strip her of her leadership role in the GOP congressional caucus. Jordan is a fervent Trumpkin, figuring that fealty for the man is more valuable than adhering to the oath they all take to defend the Constitution.

Jordan, one of the House’s more nauseating blowhards, has misplaced his priorities. He should be ashamed of himself rather than seeking to shame a colleague who saw fit to punish a lame-duck president for an egregious breach of the sacred oath he took.

How in the world can that be a bad thing? Well, in Jordan’s perverted view, Rep. Cheney should have remained loyal to the president, to the bulk of the GOP caucus and said to hell with the Constitution and the rule of law.

I happen to believe Rep. Liz Cheney and the other Republicans who joined her deserve to be saluted, not scorned.

As for Jim Jordan … he is a bum.

Debate is brisk, but unconvincing

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

The House of Representatives is winding down its debate over whether to impeach Donald J. Trump.

It’s been brisk, impassioned, fast-moving, mostly mannerly to the great credit of politicians on both sides of the great divide.

It also has been wholly unconvincing to me. I also suspect it has changed a single mind among those who believe the impeachment is a non-starter.

To my mind and heart, Trump committed an impeachable act when he told the rioters to “walk down to the Capitol” and “take back the country.” He should be impeached. He is about to be impeached a second time and put on trial — eventually — in the Senate.

Trump will be gone from the office next week. My hope is that the Senate will convict him and deny him the chance to seek federal public office ever again.

It’s a ‘go’ for impeachment

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.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.