Monday, February 1, 2021

The Trump-Impeachment Farce; Dems Ponder Censuring Trump as Impeachment Odds Wane, and related stories

Melina Mara/Reuters
The Trump-Impeachment Farce:
The Democratic congressional leadership is determined to proceed with the impeachment and trial of former President Trump. This does not bode well for the possibilities of good government from the Democrats in the next 18 months, before the campaigning begins for the midterm elections, because this impeachment must stand as the stupidest legislative initiative in the entire history of the United States of America.
All readers will be aware that that the preceding sentence is an extraordinary superlative for which there is fierce competition, yet it seems well justified. This impeachment ignored all precedent and prior practice, which required the presentation of evidence, witnesses, and a full right to reply and call and question witnesses by the accused. There was none of that in this case; in fact, there was no due process whatsoever; it was a sham and an outrage that would not be tolerated in any court in the United States at any time, not excluding courts that have acquitted those accused of lynching or courts that upheld blacklists, or even the colonial courts that purported to identify witches. The impeachment was jammed through the House of Representatives on an almost entirely partisan vote, with 10 Republicans voting with the Democrats in the heat of the Never Trump post-election revival, but 197 Republicans voting against the charge. It is recognized that presidential impeachments, to be successful, must be substantially bipartisan and not simply the party out of the White House imposing its congressional majority to get to the Senate and fail there, as happened with President Clinton and President Trump last year. That is what occurred here, and that is why the only presidential-impeachment process in history that had any chance of succeeding was that against President Nixon in 1974, when he suffered substantial defections from his own party and, patriotic traditionalist as he was, and although there remains no conclusive evidence that he committed a crime, acknowledged that he had made serious mistakes and spared the country the embarrassment of an impeachment trial by resigning.
The single count in this case is attempted incitement of an insurrection. Anyone who wishes to can hear President Trump’s remarks on January 6 to approximately 300,000 of his supporters, aggrieved at what they thought with some reason was a stolen election, at the failure of the judiciary and particularly the Supreme Court, and at the failure of Congress to do anything but rubber-stamp what they thought to be a tainted result. At no point in his lengthy remarks did Trump urge violence. He shared the anger of his followers but he urged them to behave “peacefully and patriotically to be sure your voices are heard.” All experts on incitement cases who have commented agree that incitement cannot legally be sustained here. The same is true for insurrection, which is defined both legally and in common usage as the attempted violent overthrow of legitimate authority, particularly a government. Even the vandals and hooligans who gained entry to the United States Capitol showed no signs of trying to overthrow the government; they wished only to insult the legislators of the country. All polls indicate that this is a sentiment shared by the overwhelming majority of Americans, and that very few Americans, the former president decidedly not among them, would condone violence in the expression of that sentiment. --->READ MORE HERE
Michael Reynolds/Reuters
Democrats Ponder Censuring Trump as Impeachment Odds Wane:
Senator Tim Kaine said Wednesday that he is discussing with fellow Democrats the possibility of censuring former President Trump over his role in the deadly Capitol riot as an alternative to an impeachment trial.
“Having alternatives on the table is important,” Kaine told CNN. “There has to be accountability for the actions of January 6 including accountability for the President who fomented this violent attack on the Capitol.”
Kaine said he has drafted a censure resolution and may introduce the measure as soon as next week.
Meanwhile, Democrats are considering an impeachment trial as short as one week after Senate Republicans indicated that they are unlikely to join Democrats and vote to convict Trump.
On Tuesday, Senator Rand Paul (R., Ky.) forced a point of order vote on holding an impeachment trial, arguing the Senate should not take up the House’s single impeachment article against Trump because he has already left office. The motion failed in a 55-45 vote, but only five Republicans defected. --->READ MORE HERE
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