The Latest

THE LATEST

THE LATEST THINKING

THE LATEST THINKING

The opinions of THE LATEST’s guest contributors are their own.

Trump Acquitted Again: Senate Impeachment Trial 2.0 Built on a Foundation of Quicksand

Brett Davis

Posted on February 14, 2021 09:30

3 users

Democrats ignored the Constitution, the “Federalist Papers” and precedent.

Democrats’ “A Few Good Men”-inspired dream of getting ex-President Donald Trump to admit under oath that he ordered the “code red” — inciting an insurrection at the Capitol building — turned into a nightmare, with his second Senate impeachment trial concluding with an inevitable acquittal.

Democrats frequently claimed an airtight case against Trump, but their actions belied their bravado. After all, Democrats moved the goalposts in stating during the trial that the Capitol riot was not the result of “one speech,” despite the fact that the actual article of impeachment passed by the House last month claimed Trump’s Jan. 6 speech incited it.

Democrats also played a deceptively edited video of said speech at the beginning of the trial, leaving out Trump’s call for supporters to “peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.”

Ironically, their hyper-focus on the article of impeachment’s specific but difficult-to-prove charge Trump incited an insurrection seems to have boxed Democrats in.

Beyond that, the trial mocked the plain meaning of the text of the Constitution. According to the end of Article II of the Constitution, a “President…shall be removed from Office” if first impeached by the House and convicted by the Senate for “high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

Impeachment and trial — the latter not presided over by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts this time — are mechanisms for removing a president from office. Had the Founders wished otherwise, one assumes they would have explicitly said so in the Constitution.

Furthermore, impeachment is addressed in eight of the 85 articles and essays that make up the “Federalist Papers,” and yet there is no discussion anywhere of separating the punishments of removal and disqualification from holding office in the future. In other words, the latter is contingent upon the former.

Nor does precedent support Democrats. In the 2010 case of U.S. District Court Judge Samuel Kent, the House approved a post-impeachment resolution asking the Senate to drop further proceedings against Kent because he had resigned in the interim. With nary a recorded dissent, the Senate dismissed the articles of impeachment. (Fellow U.S. District Court Judge George English met a similar fate in 1926.)

When President Richard Nixon resigned from office on Aug. 9, 1974, to avoid what surely would have been his impeachment by the House (and trial and conviction by the Senate), impeachment was not pursued.

Even Democrats’ favorite example of Secretary of War William Belknap, who was impeached and tried in 1876 after he resigned from office, undercuts their case against Trump, seeing as Belknap was acquitted in the Senate because a significant number of senators decided there was no impeachment jurisdiction over a former official. Sound familiar? Belknap, of course, was an appointed official rather than an elected one, much less president of the United States.

The truth Democrats can’t handle is that rather than seeking the more attainable and appropriate censure of Trump (given the circumstances), they overextended themselves in pursuing impeachment in the House and conviction in the Senate. 

Brett Davis

Posted on February 14, 2021 09:30

Comments

comments powered by Disqus
Source: The Blaze
2

Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee announced that they would not attend a scheduled subcommittee hearing on...

THE LATEST THINKING

Video Site Tour

The Latest
The Latest

Subscribe to THE LATEST Newsletter.

The Latest
The Latest

Share this TLT through...

The Latest