Is the House right to impeach Trump a second time?
- On Saturday, November 7, media channels like CNN, PBS, Fox News, and Facebook broadcasted that Biden won the election with 290 electoral votes against Trump’s 214 votes.
- Trump had previously refused to concede to Joe Biden, claiming he “will never give up” until he promised a “smooth, orderly, and seamless transition of power” on January 7, 2021.
- Wednesday, January 6, Trump supporters rallied on the US Capitol “interrupting challenges to Biden Electoral College victory.” After chaos ensued, there were four fatalities, 52 arrests, and 14 police officers injured.
- For the first time in US history, Donald Trump has become “the first president to be impeached twice,” the first after allegedly provoking violence at Capitol Hill , and the second, for potentially trying to persuade Ukranian officials to interfere with the Biden’s campaign.
- If the impeachment trial goes through, Trump will not be able to hold office again.
The House of Representatives impeached President Trump for supposedly inciting an insurrection at the Capitol on January 6 while Congress was counting the Electoral College vote. In truth, President Trump made no remarks that could be construed as promoting violence. Instead, he encouraged peace by saying, “I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol Building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.” House Speaker Pelosi revealed her true motivation for impeaching the president in an interview with 60 Minutes reporter Leslie Stahl when she declared that if the president wasn’t punished, he could run again for president.
Former Washington prosecutor Jeffrey Scott Shapiro wrote an article entitled, “No, Trump Isn’t Guilty of Incitement: Inflaming emotions isn’t a crime. The president didn’t mention violence, much less provoke it.” He reports how spiteful media and lawmakers contend Trump provoked the riot by telling supporters to “fight much harder.” Former Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz claimed Pelosi was trying to destroy the Constitution and noted the impeachment was unconstitutional in many ways.
Lifelong Democrat and Constitutional Law Professor Jonathan Turley had suggested that impeaching Trump for incitement would “gut not only the impeachment standard but also free speech.” He also stated the president’s “address does not meet the definition for incitement under the criminal code” and added it would be considered protected speech by the Supreme Court. It is abundantly clear that President Trump did not encourage violence in his message to supporters, and the rationale for impeachment is entirely baseless and driven only by vindictive politics.
President Trump's recent actions and claiming “We will never give up, we will never concede [...] You don’t concede when there’s theft involved” present him as a legitimate threat to the United States' safety. By electing to impeach Trump, the nation will be side-stepping impending immediate and future danger. This accountability sends a strong message to the American people that outright false and dangerous claims will no longer be tolerated.
Trump is encouraging and instigating the violence that occurred in Capitol Hill. After Mike Pence refused to overturn the outcome of the election, he incited his supporters to fight the result. Last Wednesday, Trump tweeted that Mike Pence 'lacked the courage needed to protect the country' as the horde of rioters approached the Capitol building, in which Pence resided. While Twitter has removed Trump from its platform, along with most other major social media platforms, he is still able to make statements from his website and other mediums.
Trump's actions are setting the wrong example for future presidents. His ability to persuade his followers by circulating false information has shown how easy it is to misinform an entire population. While politicians have always had the reputation of deceiving their followers, nobody had made such a bold claim as Trump had when he claimed that the election outcome was fraudulent. While calling the election fraudulent is a baseless claim, it is estimated that nearly 50% of his followers find the claims to be true. Trump has access to classified information that he appears to be unfit to hold. If he continues down this path, he may expose data that can cause irreparable damage to the way other countries view the United States.