The Democrats unwise push for an impeachment trial in the U.S. Senate is shaping up to become the Democrats worst nightmare.
Instead of allowing GOP President Joe Biden’s administration to move smoothly ahead, the trial will open up a Pandora’s Box of unexpected troubles and drag the country back to the issue of whether Biden was rightfully elected.
The article of impeachment against former President Donald J. Trump was poorly drafted and hastily passed by House Democrats without an real evidentiary hearing. If the Democrats had taken more time and given the article more thought, they could have closed potential lines of inquiry about the legitimacy of the election. For whatever reason, they did not take the time and now, to compound the damage, they are insisting on moving ahead with a trial in the U.S. Senate.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she will send the article of impeachment to the U.S. Senate on Monday, rejecting a request by Republican Senate leaders to delay the start of the trial until February. Possibly it dawned on Pelosi that delay gives Trump more time to prepare for the hearing.
The article accuses Trump of abusing his power by making “false claims” to his supporters at a rally on Jan. 6, the day a group of thugs broke into the Capitol Building on national television and sent legislators scurrying in fear.
One such claim, according to the article of impeachment, was Trump’s statement that “we won this election, and we won it by a landslide.” This statement is the equivalent of an invitation for Trump to defend himself by introducing evidence that the election was indeed stolen and the claim is true.
This Article contains an invitation for Trump to defend himself by introducing evidence the election was stolen.
Will his impeachment trial finally be the hearing that Trump was denied by partisan state courts and federal courts cowed by organized campaigns of intimidation focused on the legal system by The Lincoln Project and others?
The article of impeachment states Trump “willfully made statements that encouraged – and foreseeably resulted in – imminent lawless action at the Capitol.”
The transcript of his remarks show he told protesters to march to the Capitol Building peacefully and patriotically to protest the certification of electors.
Is arguing that Trump was responsible for the “riot” like arguing Vice President Kamala Harris is responsible for Black Lives Matter riots last summer that resulted in 24 deaths, a thousand police officers injured and billions in damages? Harris told a late night talk show host that the BLM protests were justified and should continue.
In any case, the article of impeachment calls out Trump’s “prior efforts to subvert and obstruct the certification of the results of the 2020 presidential election.” Given the forewarning, why was there virtually no security at the Capitol Building?
The Capitol Building was protected by a couple of dozen police officers standing behind a waist high portable fence. The officers weren’t even wearing riot gear. Compare this to the overwhelming show of force at the Capitol Building during BLM protests. Will Trump inquire about whether the riot was foreseeable and whether lack of security was the result of incompetence or design? Did any Democrats leave the building unsecured to encourage the riot?
The bottom line is that the article of impeachment was poorly drafted and invites lines of inquiry that may feel uncomfortable to Democrats or worse. And the whole process ill serves the start of the new administration of Biden and Harris. Indeed, it may mark the end of a short honeymoon.