Tag Archives: Trump impeachment

It was an ‘insurrection’

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

For several months now, I have been referring to the Jan. 6 riot as an “insurrection,” a term that reportedly gives congressional Republicans a case of the heebie-jeebies.

Senate Republicans didn’t like the term inserted into legislation that called for creation of an independent bipartisan commission to investigate the cause and effect of the insurrection; it also would have sought remedies to prevent it from happening in the future.

Well, you know what? I will continue to call it what it was: an insurrection against the government of the United States of America.

It was nothing short of that. It was a direct frontal assault on the very democratic process which on that day was certifying the results of the 2020 presidential election that resulted in Joe Biden and Kamala Harris  being elected president and vice president of the United States.

The ticket led by the 45th POTUS incited the insurrection, for which the House of Representatives impeached him for a second time. It was a big more of a bipartisan impeachment than the first go-round, with a handful of Republicans joining their Democratic colleagues in impeaching POTUS 45; what’s more, some GOP senators ended up voting to convict the disgraced ex-POTUS at trial.

My point, though, is that no one should shy away from calling the DC riot what it was: an act of insurrection against the government of the United States. For the GOP congressional caucus to dig in against the investigative commission because they dislike truth-telling language is a cheap and shallow attempt to deny the obvious.

The effort to get at the truth behind the insurrection must not end. The House has formed a select committee. It already includes one Republican House member; others should join the effort.

Let’s not be coy about what’s at stake. It is to find a way to prevent future insurrections from occurring.

Ever!

GOP leader has ‘had it’ with Cheney?

(Photo by Marc Piscotty/Getty Images)

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I never thought the day would come that I would be standing behind a conservative Republican member of Congress.

But here I am, telling you that Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming is getting the bum’s rush from her party leaders simply because she — and not them — chose to honor the U.S. Constitution they all swore an oath to protect and defend.

Disgusting, despicable, disgraceful.

House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy of California says he has “had it” with Rep. Cheney, which means she could lose her job as the House’s No. 3 GOP leader. Why is that? Because she voted to impeach Donald Trump after the president of the United States incited the insurrection mounted by the terrorists who stormed Capitol Hill on Jan. 6.

So, because she believes that Trump committed an act against the government by inciting the rioters to do what they did.

Is she less of a Republican politician because she chose to honor the Constitution? Of course not! Yet the GOP leadership now demands fealty to a cult leader above all else.

McCarthy has done the impossible. He has turned this center-left American patriot into a fan of a right-leaning member of Congress.

I am proud of Liz Cheney for standing up for the Constitution.

Sen. Romney earns salute

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Someone with whom I am casually acquainted over social media objected this weekend to the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum granting its annual Profile in Courage award to Sen. Mitt Romney.

Romney, a Utah Republican got the award for voting in early 2020 to convict Donald J. Trump of abuse of power during Trump’s first impeachment trial in the Senate. I applaud the honor that Romney will receive later this year.

This acquaintance disagrees. He wrote: This is just plain sad. No doubt the foundation decided this was a worthy act as a way to encourage those of faint heart and limp spine to stand up to political bullies. But really, what did Romney risk? There’s not much evidence that he might lose his seat over it, but even if he did, he’s still a very wealthy man near the end of his career. The fact that so many of his colleagues lacked the willingness to do the obvious for the good of the nation they swore to defend doesn’t make Romney’s vote particularly courageous. It makes the others abject cowards.

I responded with this: I will disagree. Romney’s vote has exposed him to ridicule and shaming from many within the GOP. I agree that they aren’t “legitimate” Rs who stand on policy or principle, but rather are beholden to the carnival barker who sold ’em the snake oil. I applaud the JFK Library for recognizing the courage Romney exhibited by being the first senator to vote to convict a president of his own party. Yep … well earned.

I just felt the need to share this with you here.

Sen. Romney will receive the award this summer. I believe JFK would be proud.

Conviction still unlikely

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

The evidence of incitement of insurrection has been searing, heartbreaking, graphic and it reveals a profound danger to our republic.

Despite what I believe we have seen in the impeachment trial of Donald John Trump, I fear it won’t move a sufficient number of Republican U.S. senators to do what they should do … which is convict the ex-president of the crime for which the House of Representatives impeached him for the second time.

Trump will get an acquittal. He likely will crow about it. The good news from my standpoint, though, is that his legacy — and I use that term with great caution — will be scarred forever by the knowledge that most senators believe he violated the sacred oath of his office.

He stood before the crowd of terrorists on the Sixth of January and implored them to march on Capitol Hill. He told them to “stop the steal” of an election he lost fair and square to President Biden. They tried to do as they were instructed to do by their hero, the disgraced president.

It won’t move enough senators to convict Trump. Which means the Senate cannot vote to ban this monster from ever seeking federal public office.

That will be to the shame of all the Republicans — and I am talking specifically to Texas’s two senators, Ted Cruz and John Cornyn, both of whom indicate no interest in doing the right thing.

They will hide behind the phony argument about the trial’s alleged unconstitutionality. They will look indifferently at the evidence, at the sight and sounds of terrorists storming the Capitol building, ignoring how many of their colleagues came to being physically harmed … or worse.

The good news, as I see it, will be that Trump will be marked forever as someone who sought to destroy the very government he took an oath to defend and protect.

Another GOP’er to leave

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Hey, who’s counting? OK, I guess I am.

Richard Shelby of Alabama today became the third prominent U.S. Senate Republican to announce he won’t seek re-election in 2022.

He joins Rob Portman of Ohio and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania as declaring themselves to be lame ducks.

I know what you are thinking: Where is he going with this?

Might they now muster up the courage to vote to convict Donald Trump of inciting the Jan. 6 insurrection on Capitol Hill, of exhorting the terrorists to storm into the Senate chamber where the second of Trump’s impeachment trials is about to begin?

Shelby, Portman and Toomey can join GOP Sens. Mitt Romney, Lisa Murkowski and perhaps Susan Collins as possible votes to convict Trump. That leaves only 11 more Republicans to persuade to do the right thing.

Trump can do nothing to those who are leaving public office. Therefore, the threat of reprisal against those politicians is a goner. Just sayin’, man.

Rep. Cheney ‘won’t bend’

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I sure hope I don’t choke on these words, so I’ll take great care when I write them.

It is that I am proud of U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., for standing on principle and not “bending” to the whims of partisan hacks.

Cheney has come under intense fire from Donald Trump’s core of lunatics who are angry at her because she voted on Jan. 13 to impeach their hero. The Wyoming Republican Party has censured her for her vote.

Rep. Cheney isn’t backing down. Not one bit!

She told “Fox News Sunday” this morning: “The oath that I took to the Constitution compelled me to vote for impeachment, and it doesn’t bend to partisanship. It doesn’t bend to political pressure,” she added. “It’s the most important oath that we take, and so I will stand by that, and I will continue to fight for all of the issues that matter so much to us all across Wyoming.”

Cheney on Trump impeachment vote: ‘The oath that I took … doesn’t bend to partisanship’ | TheHill

How about that, ladies and gentlemen? She reveres the oath she took when she joined the House of Representatives. That oath compels her to protect the Constitution and the laws of the land. She did not swear any fealty to Donald Trump. She didn’t give him a pass for inciting the Jan. 6 insurrection that well could have brought great physical harm to all 535 members of Congress … and the then-vice president, Mike Pence.

They were gathered on Capitol Hill to do their constitutional duty, which was to certify the results of an election that proclaimed President Joe Biden the winner over Donald Trump.

Cheney and the other GOP House members who voted to impeach Trump all have incurred the wrath of the Trumpkin Corps.

I mentioned “choking” on these words. It is because Liz Cheney is not my kind of politician. She is too right-wing for my taste. I would not vote for her if I lived in Wyoming.

However, I am addressing only her principled stand against the insurrection that Donald Trump incited with his angry rhetoric to the mob that stood before him.

It is amazing in the extreme that Rep. Cheney would have to defend her vote to defend the Constitution, but she did … and for that I am proud of her.

Liz Cheney: a new hero?

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Donald Trump’s time in public office has resulted in many seemingly impossible events.

Such as turning me — an unabashed center/lefty — into a fan of a right-wing politician who, in this instance, is Liz Cheney.

Cheney is a Republican House member from Wyoming. She’s No. 3 on the GOP congressional leadership chart. She voted on Jan. 13 to impeach Donald Trump, deciding that Trump’s incitement of an insurrection was too much for her … and for the nation.

Rep. Cheney is right. Trump was as wrong as wrong can be to bellow his encouragement for the riotous mob to march on Jan. 6 on Capitol Hill to “take back our country.”

Cheney is now the target of Trumpkin Corps members among her colleagues in the House. They want to remove Cheney from her leadership post. The House GOP caucus, though, decided overwhelmingly to keep her in that position. Good for them.

Good also for Liz Cheney for standing up for the Constitution.

Welcome to the pit, Rep. Kinzinger

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Adam Kinzinger has joined Liz Cheney in the purgatory pit of the once-Grand Old Party.

What did the two Republican members of Congress do to qualify for the roles as political pariahs? All they did was stand by the Constitution and vote to impeach Donald J. Trump while Trump was still president of the United States.

They aren’t the only lawmakers headed to the Trump cultists’ version of hell. Eight others also voted with their Democratic colleagues on Jan. 13 to impeach Trump for the second time in his term as president.

Cheney’s tenure as the No. 3 ranking member of the GOP caucus is now being threatened by the Trump suck-ups within Congress. Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida ventured to Wyoming to drum up support for someone to mount a primary challenge against Rep. Cheney in 2022.

We are witnessing in real time the cratering of a once-great political party. Adam Kinzinger is looking to create a new conservative political action committee dedicated to what he calls real conservative values.

Politico reported: “Look it’s really difficult. I mean, all of a sudden imagine everybody that supported you, or so it seems that way, your friends, your family, has turned against you. They think you’re selling out,” the Illinois congressman said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Rep. Kinzinger: They claim ‘I’m possessed by the devil’ – POLITICO

The visible and conscious anger being expressed by many Republicans against those who dared to challenge their guy in the White House has drawn some fierce push back in the media … from some surprising sources, I should add.

Chris Wallace, the Fox News Channel stalwart, over the weekend suggested that Republicans should devote more of their energy toward condemning the spewage that comes from QAnon conspiracist Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and less time criticizing those who followed their conscience and the Constitution in impeaching Donald Trump.

Adam Kinzinger’s family and friends accuse of him being “possessed by the devil.” That kind of idiocy tells me all I need to know about what has infected the GOP.

Follow the evidence, senators

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Donald Trump’s defense in his second impeachment trial is beginning to take shape.

It will not center on the high crime for which the House of Representatives impeached him. What he did was visible on TV screens around the world: He incited the terrorists to storm Capitol Hill on the Sixth of January and seek to prevent Congress from certifying the 2020 presidential election that determine Joe Biden the winner.

Instead, the former president’s defense will hinge on some constitutional language that suggests that the House acted beyond the scope of its power by impeaching a man who no longer would be serving in the office of president.

Except for this little item: Trump was president when the House impeached him on Jan. 13. He left the office a week after that. The Senate is trying him now to prevent him from seeking public office ever again.

As I ponder this event, which begins on Feb. 9, I am left to wonder whether a second acquittal for Donald Trump will be on a technicality. You know, the kind of verdict that hardline prosecutors detest when they lose cases in which they present incontrovertible evidence, only to see it swept aside because of some technical matter.

You can bet your final dollar that the House managers who present their case will rely solely on the evidence that everyone saw with their own eyes and heard with their own ears. Think as well about the fact that senators will be hearing this evidence in the very scene of the crime that the rioters committed … at Donald Trump’s behest.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi delivered the single count leveled against Trump to the Senate. The House managers have a steep hill to climb if they hope to persuade 17 GOP senators to do the right thing and vote to convict Trump.

However, as we have seen with all too much maddening regularity, congressional Republicans too often exhibit cowardice when faced with political repercussions. Donald Trump is now a cult leader in exile … but the cultists who follow him remain committed to him far more than to the country they profess to love.

Trump makes history!

(AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Well …

Let’s just start by acknowledging that Donald John Trump has crossed into the realm of “history-making president.”

The U.S. House of Representatives today impeached Trump for the second time in his single term as president of the United States. That’s for the history books, man.

Here’s another history-making aspect: 10 Republican House members joined their Democratic colleagues in casting “yes” votes on impeachment.

Is the president standing tall today after this event? Hardly.

He will walk out of the White House for the final time no later than Jan. 19, when he high-tails it to Florida a day ahead of President Biden’s inaugural.

I reject the notion that this impeachment is overly divisive, or that it tears at the nation’s quest for unity. Donald Trump has done a marvelous job all by himself of widening the divide among Americans. The vote today — 232-197 — does not signal an increase in that chasm. To me it merely signals the start of another political era, one that highlights restoration of the presidency.

To be sure, there now will be a Senate trial. It will occur after Trump is gone. I am not even close to believing that the Senate will muster up the two-thirds majority it needs to convict Trump of “incitement of insurrection,” but it might.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, the leading Senate Republican, expressed support for impeachment. That means he could vote to convict Trump of inciting that riot on Capitol Hill. Were he to make that declaration ahead of a vote, it could provide some form of political cover for other Republican senators who otherwise might want to hide in the weeds.

To my ears, I heard nothing that gave me pause for supporting Trump’s impeachment today. All I heard from many of Trump’s defenders were “what about” arguments from those who said, “What about those protests last summer?” or “What about Democrats who endorsed the violence then?”

What happened then has nothing to do with what Donald Trump did this past week? He incited a mob to storm the seat of our democratic government and to seek to overturn the results of a free and fair election.

For that act, Donald Trump made history today by becoming the nation’s first-ever two-time impeached president.

Nice going, Mr. President. Now … get the hell out of my house!