On Monday, the impeachment trial for Donald Trump will start in the Senate. The House impeached him on January 13 of inciting an insurrection against the federal government at the U.S. Capitol.
The picture is clear: For months prior to the election, Trump sowed doubt about election integrity and absentee ballots, and then after the election, he doubled down on the rhetoric that the election was stolen from him. His attorneys filed over 60 lawsuits to try and overturn results in various states, and lost all of them or had them dismissed. Nevertheless, he and his allies continued to persist and spread The Big Lie. They promoted the January 6 event as a march on the Capitol, where a joint session of Congress would be counting the electoral votes, where they would “stop the steal.”
This is clear to everyone, but nonetheless there is the question of whether or not Republican Senators will actually convict Trump of this charge. It is clear that they must do so. They should listen to what Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyoming) said, which is that Trump “summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack. Everything that followed was his doing. … There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.” Source
There are few signs that Republicans Senators will do what is right. But as activists and civically engaged voters, what “might be” doesn’t stop us from doing what we must. And that is to shout from the rooftops that Trump must be held accountable.
“In the eyes of history, Trump’s acquittal will convict those who failed to summon the courage to find him guilty.” (Washington Post opinion 2/2/21)
That said, here is some good information for you as we work to push to make sure Senators do what they must.
The Democrats’ brief
You can read the Democratic House managers’ full impeachment brief which was filed today HERE. A couple of quotes I want to highlight:
“President Trump’s effort to extend his grip on power by fomenting violence against Congress was a profound violation of the oath he swore.”
“Trump used his bully pulpit to insist that the Joint Session of Congress was the final act of a vast plot to destroy America.” At the Jan. 6 march he said, “Fight like hell [or] you’re not going to have a country anymore.”
They argue that the Senate must convict because “Trump has demonstrated beyond doubt that he will resort to any method to maintain or reassert his grip on power. A president who violently attacks the democratic process has no right to participate in it. Only after President Trump is held to account for his actions can the Nation move forward with unity of purpose and commitment to the Constitution.”
Feel free to use these quotes when you contact your Senators and/or as you write social media posts. Use the hashtags #DoYourDuty and #ConvictAndDisqualify.
Is it unconstitutional to try a former president?
This is one of the big arguments coming from Trump’s team and his Republican allies. To answer it, let’s reference actual Constitutional lawyers. This is the argument I’ve seen over and over again:
Whether a former officer can be impeached is beside the point. Donald Trump was President of the United States at the time he was impeached by the House of Representatives. The impeachment was therefore unquestionably permissible (putting aside any disagreements over the nature of the charges).
Article I, Section 3, Clause 6, states: “The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments.” The key word is “all.” This clause contains no reservation or limitation. It does not say “the Senate has power to try impeachments against sitting officers.” Given that the impeachment of Mr. Trump was legitimate, the text makes clear that the Senate has power to try that impeachment. Source
Take action today
Call both of your Senators (or email them if you prefer) and tell them you want them to convict Trump, and bar him from ever holding federal office again. You can get their contact information HERE.
We aren’t pundits, we are activists. And that means that instead of trying to predict how Senators will behave, we take action to tell them how we want them to behave.
Thank you for taking action.
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