Democrats in Congress, along with a few Republicans, have officially impeached President Trump for the second time. Throughout America’s entire nearly 250-year history, Congress had only impeached a president twice. In the span of just over a year, under one president, that number has been doubled.
There are several good reasons to oppose this impeachment sequel. One reason is certainly that Donald Trump will be gone from office in seven days. The Senate would not convene to exonerate or convict him until after he is out of office. It is likely that trying a private citizen in this manner would not be Constitutional, though there are many unknowns because such a thing has never been attempted. Regardless, if Trump presents an “existential threat,” as is claimed, that “threat” will end of natural causes, so to speak, before the impeachment would be able to make a difference. It seems reasonable to argue that Congress should not waste time trying to remove a president who will not be president by the time he can actually be removed.
But the bigger issue is that the grounds for this move are dubious at best. The articles of impeachment charge Trump with, among other things, “incitement of insurrection.” He is accused of inciting a mob of extremists to storm the Capitol and wreak all of that havoc we witnessed last week. Trump’s defense is that he specifically told the crowd to march and protest peacefully. A quick look at a transcript of his remarks last Wednesday back him up on this score (emphasis mine):
We have come to demand that Congress do the right thing and only count the electors who have been lawfully slated, lawfully slated. I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard. Today we will see whether Republicans stand strong for integrity of our elections, but whether or not they stand strong for our country, our country.
Nancy Pelosi and others are conveniently skipping over that line and focusing instead on Trump’s exhortation to the crowd that they must “fight like Hell” or else “you’re not going to have a country anymore.” Right after saying that, he told everyone to “walk down Pennsylvania Avenue” and “give [Republicans] the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country.”
One must engage in all sorts of mental gymnastics to pretend that “fight like Hell” is anything but a very common figure of speech. Senator Richard Blumenthal said he was going to “fight like Hell” against Trump’s Supreme Court nominee. Did anyone imagine that he intended to engage in literal fistfights on the floor of the Senate?
In fact, Democrats have, especially recently, given us examples of what incitement sounds like when it is direct and explicit. Explicit incitement sounds like Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley encouraging more “unrest in the streets” while the BLM riots were raging. It sounds like a Democrat state Senator in Michigan a few weeks ago calling on “soldiers” to find Trump supporters and “make them pay.” It sounds like Maxine Waters telling her supporters to seek out Trump administration officials, “form a crowd,” and let them know that they “aren’t welcome anywhere.” As it happens, all of these people now favor impeaching Trump for doing what they themselves are guilty of doing.
If the argument is that incitement doesn’t have to be explicit, then Democrats are all the more indicted by their own words and actions. Any Democrat who publicly romanticized BLM rioting as a fight for “social justice” has been guilty of “incitement” at least on the same level as Trump. Same goes for any Democrat who amplified the lie that racist cops are hunting and killing people across the country. Indeed, if they are not responsible for a crowd in Minneapolis burning down a police station after they told the crowd that racist cops are out murdering black men, then Trump is not responsible for what happened on Wednesday. There is no getting around this. You cannot have it both ways.
I propose a compromise. Let every Democrat who has, by their own professed standard, incited riots in recent months resign. Then, once they have held themselves accountable, the trial can proceed. There will probably only be about three or four Democrats left in Congress by then, but at least they will have made their point.
The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.