So, here we are. Just days before the Donald Trump presidency ends, and he has been impeached.
The first president to be impeached twice.
The House moved fast on the article. Ten Republicans joined the Democrats in voting for impeachment. 232 to 197.
Now begins the tricky part. The Senate trial. When? Is there any way to do it before President Trump leaves office?
NPR reports the Senate won’t even reconvene until January 19. That’s one day before the inauguration.
Then, do the Democrats have enough Republican Senators to vote in favor of it? Right now, it looks doubtful.
So, here we are. The possibility of a Senate impeachment trial of an outgoing president just as a new one comes in. It is certain to face legal challenges.
For certain though, this is a distraction for President-elect Joe Biden. He needs to hit the ground running next week. He doesn’t need all this baggage slowing him down.
On all of this, President-elect Joe Biden tweeted: “The House voted to impeach and hold President Trump accountable. Now, the process continues in the Senate… and I hope they’ll deal with their constitutional responsibilities on impeachment while also working on the urgent business of this nation.”
As for President Trump, he’s appealing for calm. In a new video, the president says: “No true supporter of mine could ever endorse political violence. No true supporter of mine could ever disrespect law enforcement or our great American flag. No true supporter of mine could ever threaten or harass their fellow Americans.”
Unfortunately, the genie is already out of the bottle. Following the attack on the U.S. Capitol, thousands of National Guard troops were deployed in Washington, D.C. ahead of the Inauguration. The Washington Post says 20,000 guardsman will be in place. So much for a peaceful transition of power.
With that said, the inauguration will happen. A Biden Administration will inherit a divided country… along with a worsening pandemic and economy.
He’s got a lot on his plate. I’ve decided his biggest challenge will be that of “Uniter-in-Chief.”
It’s a tough time. Maybe our toughest.
Historian and film maker Ken Burns tells Politico that we are in the fourth great crises in American history. The others being the Civil War, World War Two and the Great Depression.
But from a crises, we grow. Says Burns: “In order to truly understand and appreciate the promise of the country, still unrealized for too many, we must explore the points at which it was most challenged, at times when it appeared even to almost fall apart.”
Ken Burns then says, “It is a moment when we each get to decide how we want to proceed.”
We will proceed. We will heal. We will move on from this moment. And yes, American greatness will be the envy of the world. That’s my hope from all this pain.
2 thoughts on “Impeaching Again”
We may be on different paths on the political spectrum (although on most issues not really that far apart) but I have always respected the thoughtfulness and fairness of your political commentary. I do take issue with one thing about your latest essay.
I can appreciate and understand the speed with which the House of Representatives moved to impeach the President. The outrage and the evidence were there for us all to see. But the next step in this process is a Senate TRIAL. And in this democracy everyone, from the smallest petty thief to the President of the United States, is entitled to a fair, honest and judicious trial. AND he is entitled to all the time required to prepare for his defense in such trial. Your essay implied disappointment that this Senate trial was not taking place immediately. What is the rush? If we rush it then in the court of world opinion it will look like the American justice system is little more than a kangaroo court, or that the American Congress was rushing to lynch a President before he left town, or that it is lno more meaningful than smearing mud on the face of an incumbent President. We would not want that. If real justice is to be served we must not be in a rush. In fact, we must insist that the President be afforded the necessary time and opportunity to defend himself properly.
I remain a big fan of yours.
Well said, thank you.