An Insurrection at The Nation's Capital
Trump bears much of the blame. Impeach and disqualify him
An insurrection took place in the U.S. Capitol building yesterday in Washington, and it was one of the more shameful days in United States history. The people who did it are responsible for their actions. Still, President Trump bears responsibility for inciting what the world witnessed after he fed his supporters a steady diet of lies and conspiracy theories for the last 60 days.
It culminated in Trump giving a rambling, mostly incoherent speech on the day Congress was to go through the largely ceremonial process of counting certified electoral votes from all 50 states and putting a figurative stamp of approval on the election results. But Trump, of course, continued to shovel loads of bullshit to faithful supporters who gathered near the White House and who then descended on the Capitol as he commanded them.
What we all witnessed looked like something out of a movie. I was half expecting to see Gerard Butler show up at some point. Insurrectionists forced their way past barriers, broke windows, ignored Capitol Hill police. Many of them proceeded to trash offices, rifle through Speaker Pelosi’s desk, take over the House and Senate chambers. As a result of the chaos fomented by Trump, one woman was shot by Capitol Hill police and later lost her life, and from what I have read, three others died as a result of other medical emergencies. They died because they believed Trump’s lies. It’s disgusting.
While I thought Trump’s Ukraine phone call was impeachable, I didn’t think it was worthy of removing him from office. And this may sound strange, but I don’t think it’s worth trying to remove him from office at this point. Regardless of what went down yesterday, it’s unlikely the Senate can get to 67 votes to remove Trump from office.
However, Congress can impeach Trump and disqualify him from ever holding a federal office again, including making a bid for 2024, as many expect him to try. Article 1, Section 3 gives the Senate that power. The text says:
Judgement in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States; but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgement and Punishment, according to Law.
The Constitution requires two-thirds of the Senate to agree on removal but says nothing about disqualification, meaning it would require only a simple majority. Depending on when Georgia certifies the elections of Jon Ossoff and Rafael Warnock (counties in Georgia have to certify their results to the state by January 15th), they could both get sworn in before January 20th to take a vote.
Unless I am mistaken about control, that still leaves Senate control in GOP hands with a 50-50 split until the 20th when Kamala Harris takes over as Vice-President. All it takes is one Senator to vote with Democrats to disqualify Trump from holding office in the future.
I think more than a few would join in. And they should.
When Donald Trump steps out of the White House on January 20th, he should never have the opportunity to go back unless he’s taking a tour. Trump is a dangerous narcissist who thinks what’s rightfully his was taken from him by Joe Biden. Put it out of his reach for all time. It wouldn’t surprise me one bit if he announced shortly after Biden gets inaugurated that he will run again in 2024. Why wouldn’t he?
The Senate can stop that from happening. The window is short, but screw the pomp and circumstance at this point. The Constitution, laws, norms, procedures, tradition, separation of powers? It all means nothing to him. Trump issued a statement through his caddie Dan Scavino, saying there will be an “orderly transition of power” on January 20th. So what? Whatever Trump says directly or through a spokesperson is worthless.
Impeach him. Disqualify him. End this madness once and for all.
As for Senators Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley, both of whom entertained this clown show and helped it along, they’re a disgrace to the offices they hold and the institution where they serve. They joined in the farce for one reason only: To curry favor with the most fervent Trump supporters. Even after what happened and Congress reconvened to certify the results, Hawley and Cruz still voted to reject Arizona and Pennsylvania's electors. I told people they wouldn’t vote to reject enough electors to overturn the election. They did enough that Biden still retained 275 electoral votes.
Their pathetic cravenness for the approval of Trump and his supporters makes them look small and weak. Both Cruz and Hawley often speak of their reverence for the Constitution. However, they both ignored the oaths they made to defend that document by voting to ignore certified results from two states because the President is too much of a child to accept defeat.
State courts, federal courts, secretaries of state, and other officials found none of the malfeasance alleged by Trump. Even if you agree that some of what the states did in the run-up to the election wasn’t right, it doesn’t fall on Congress to reject the one set of electors delivered to them by the states. As Utah Senator Mike Lee said, their job is to count the electoral votes. Nothing more.
After watching the fiasco, Andrea, who voted for Ted Cruz in the 2016 primary, declared herself #NeverCruz. “I’m done with him, man.” I agree.
Thirteen days left. Let’s not pretend for a moment the nightmare ended until Biden officially gets sworn in.
5 years ago, I strongly supported Ted Cruz in the GOP presidential primaries, believing him to be someone with solid conservative creds who could beat Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. I was generally supportive of his time as Senator before Trump's election. Over the 4 years of Trump's term, I don't think there is any person that I voted for that, little by little, has embarrassed me more than Cruz. His presidential ambitions and desire to ingratiating himself with Trump and his supporters clearly changed him, and not for the better. To call what Cruz and Hawley did after Trump's loss and during the Jan 6 EV certification a disgrace, would be quite an understatement.
I too, am now #NeverCruz.
As always Jay, I enjoy reading your columns. Your intellectual honesty and fairmindedness is what I appreciate the most about you. Thank you.