Oh my goodness! This has been one twisted road to acquittal. Here are my five thoughts on the Senate’s vote to acquit President Donald J. Trump, who was impeached previously by the House for incitement of an insurrection.
“There is no question, none, that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day.” … “A mob was assaulting the Capitol in his name.” … “These criminals were carrying his banners, hanging his flags and screaming their loyalty to him.”Senator Minority Leader Mitch McConnell
- Why impeach President Trump if the Republicans will never vote for it?
My answer: historical and moral precedent. President Trump incited a riot, an insurrection. People were not only trying to kill our representatives and our Vice President, but they were also trying to overturn election results. They were trying to stop our democracy, and President Trump is responsible for inciting it. Not impeaching him would’ve looked worse than impeaching him knowing that a large portion of the Republican senators, who aided President Trump’s efforts, weren’t going to vote to convict. We cannot let their refusal to work for the people, the constitution, and our country as an excuse to not stand up for what is right.
2. A president can’t get impeached after they are out of office.
Well, first and foremost, President Trump was impeached prior to leaving office. The House of Representatives votes to impeach a president. The vote to impeach President Trump was 232-197 on January 13, 2021. He was impeached before leaving office. Then, the senate voted 56-44 that it was constitutional to hold a Senate Trial to potentially convict him. They answered that question in the senate prior to the trial. Therefore, no matter how much you want the Senate Trial to be unconstitutional, it wasn’t. That argument was brought to the floor and shot down by democrats and six republicans. Can we just move on from this now and focus on more important things?
3. President Trump should be charged criminally, not convicted by the Senate.
I agree that now average citizen Trump should be charged criminally, but I do not really understand why that means he shouldn’t be disqualified from holding future office by the Senate. This was the main argument, I felt, that McConnell used to vote for acquittal. I liked Senator Mitch McConnell’s speech after the vote. I was happy that he actually seemed to grow a rubber spine. I was thankful he said what he said because WORDS MATTER. However, it did confuse me. How did those beliefs, feelings, and convictions point him toward acquittal? I am not sure. As a member of the Senate, he has the actual ability to vote to convict him. He has the opportunity to actually help make sure that Trump faces the consequences of his actions. Mitch, why not help ensure both a Senate conviction and a criminal one? It doesn’t have to be one or the other.
4. What was that defense? … Seriously.
I want to say that the House Managers (who did a fantastic job all around) made them look bad, but I think they did that on their own. I just… I have no words. It was embarrassing to watch, and at times, it was hilarious.
5. Crack goes the Republican Party.
Seven republicans voted to convict Trump in the Senate. Ten republicans voted to impeach him in the House, including Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming (who they tried to basically kick out of the GOP). GOP member registrations also dropped significantly after the attack on the capital. Is it really starting to break? Do I really see a snap, a crack, a fracture, a splinter? I think I do. I am starting to see people stand up and start saying some of the right things. I don’t exactly know what this will mean in the future. I hope it means that we will actually start getting things done and legislation passed with some bipartisan efforts.
Ultimately, the Senate Trial to convict and disqualify former President Trump has left me speechless, and it is not just because of that defense team. The House Managers inspired me. They presented the evidence, spoke with passion, and intelligently explained why this conviction was necessary. I felt that our representatives were actually asking the important questions. It all gave me hope, but then came the vote. The results left me feeling lost.
I don’t know how I feel. I don’t know what comes next. I don’t know if there is going to be any change. I guess, for now, we just need to hold our representatives at all levels accountable. We need to keep speaking up and staying loud. Call, email, and vote. There are quite a few are up for reelection. I am looking at you Ron Johnson.