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Ethics & Religion
Column #2,057
January 12, 2021
Trump Impeached a Second Time
By Mike McManus

The House of Representatives voted Wednesday 232 to 197 to impeach President Donald Trump on a charge for "high crimes and misdemeanors" such as "inciting violence" against the U.S. Government. It was the second time he has been impeached - the only President in history to be so dishonored.

Significantly, 10 Republican Members of Congress joined 222 Democrats to impeach the President. No Republican supported Democrats during the first impeachment.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R- KY) said the Senate trial of the President could not begin until Jan. 19, one day before President-Elect Joe Biden is to take the oath of office as President.

During the debate on the House floor, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy ((R-CA) said Trump "bears responsibility for last week's violent takeover of the Capitol," but argued against impeachment so close to the end of his term. However, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who led the House debate, called Trump a "clear and present danger."

The Impeachment article approved by the House states that for months "President Trump repeatedly issued false statements asserting that the Presidential election results were the product of widespread fraud and should not be accepted by the American people or certified by State or Federal officials." For example, it noted President Trump "addressed a crowd at the Ellipse in Washington D.C." on January 6 where "he reiterated false claims that "we won this election, and we won it by a landslide."

He "also willfully made statements that, in context, encouraged - and foreseeably resulted in - lawless action at the Capitol, such as "If you don't fight like hell you're not going to have a country anymore," the Impeachment Article stated.

"Thus incited by President Trump, members of the crowds he addressed, in an attempt to, among other objectives, interfere with the Joint Session's solemn constitutional duty to certify the results of the 2020 Presidential election, unlawfully breached and vandalized the Capitol, injured and killed law enforcement personnel, menaced Members of Congress, the Vice President, and Congressional personnel, and engaged in other violent, deadly, destructive and seditious acts<" the Impeachment Article asserted.

I have downloaded Trump's entire speech which lasted an hour and 14 minutes. It is full of astonishing lies that "We won this election, and we won it in a landslide." For example, he claimed that 8,000 ballots in Pennsylvania "were illegally counted, even though they were received after Election Day...Twenty-five thousand ballots were requested by nursing home residents, all in a single giant batch, not legal." Yet this number "was suddenly and drastically increased by 400,000 ballots."

This is outright fiction. Trump's staff filed 60 lawsuits making claims of fraud. No evidence was ever provided for any of them. Yet Trump told thousands gathered at the Ellipse that "88,000 ballots in Georgia were cast by people whose registrations were illegally backdated." And that "150,000 were registered in Maya Copa County" Nevada after the registration deadline.

Such claims sound plausible, but are total lies. There are many more examples. One I cited in last week's column involved his attempt to persuade Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to "find" 11,780 votes, so he could win the state by one vote to overturn the Georgia Presidential election results. Trump even threatened charging Raffensperger with a crime if he failed to do so.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi opened the debate about impeachment by saying "It is tragic that the President's reckless actions make impeachment necessary. He gave us no choice. What we are discussing today is the established fact that the President violated the Constitution...The President is an ongoing threat to our national security and the integrity of our elections, the basis of our democracy."

Rep. Liz Cheney, one of ten Republicans voting to impeach Trump, said "On January 6, 2021 a violent mob attacked the United States Capitol to obstruct the process of our democracy and stop the counting of presidential electoral votes. This insurrection caused injury, death and destruction in the most sacred space in our Republic"....

"The President of the United States summoned that mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack. Everything that followed was his doing. None of this would have happened without the President...There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United /states of his office and his oath to the Constitution."

President Trump deserves impeachment. The result? He will never be able to win elective office again.

_________________________

Copyright (c)2021 Michael J. McManus, President of Marriage Savers and a syndicated columnist. To read past columns, go to www.ethicsandreligion.commm. Hit Search for any topic.

 

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