Why Trump’s Impeachment Acquittal is Meaningless – A Republican Article
Despite being acquitted during his second impeachment trial on February 13th, 2021, this does not mean former President Donald J. Trump is off the hook. The Senate can now focus on more pressing issues such as further stimulus packs.
I’m no expert in the field of Constitutional law. Therefore, I won’t try to argue whether a private citizen can legally be impeached and tried by the Senate. However, the Senate voted to go ahead with the trial after debating the issue. So I suppose that can now serve as precedent if such a case is to occur again in the future. Regardless of the outcome of the trial, this is only the beginning of a slow demise for Trump.
The main issue moving forward is that Trumpism will continue to affect the Republican Party. At least for the next few years. This was made quite evident with the lack of Republican Senators stepping up to vote to convict Trump. Of those that did vote to convict, none of them were particularly surprising.
Mitt Romney of Utah had been outspoken against Trump since the beginning. Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins never supported him either. Pat Toomey and Richard Burr don’t need to worry about re-election as they’ve already stated they aren’t running again. Bill Cassidy defended the Constitution and put the country above party, so kudos to him. And lastly, there’s Ben Sasse, a rapidly rising Junior Senator who has built quite the anti-Trump name for himself.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell voted to acquit Trump. However, following the vote McConnell gave a strongly worded speech placing the blame entirely on Trump for the actions of rioters on January 6th. Many other Senate Republicans voted in this same manner. They used a rather weak argument that it is unconstitutional to impeach a non-sitting President. With many of these Senators facing reelection in the upcoming midterms, they feared they would lose their Senate seats if they voted to convict.
Many will be disappointed with the Democrats decision to go ahead with the vote rather than allow witnesses to speak. Morally, I believe this was the wrong decision. However, given this country is facing a pandemic and widespread economic issues, it was a difficult concession for the Democrats to make. They believed that witnesses would only drag out the trial further and not influence their Republican colleagues. The Republican Senators were looking to end this as fast as possible so they could focus on more pressing issues.
Unfortunately, it demonstrates that the elected GOP officials have acknowledged that the base has been corrupted by Trump. Voters no longer vote for a “Republican” candidate, they vote for a Trump ally. 2022 and 2024 will determine the future of the party. Most importantly in 2024, if the Republican Presidential candidate is a Trump-esque candidate, the GOP will undoubtedly lose its legitimacy. This is the final hope for the Republican Party.
There remain two final opportunities for the GOP to slowly begin to rebuild. Firstly, many top leaders of the GOP, most importantly Mitch McConnell, have understood the importance of moving the party away from Trump. Potential 2024 Presidential candidates Governor Larry Hogan of Maryland, and former ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, support this notion. Secondly, many GOP officials are speaking of the potential for criminal prosecution in civil courts for Trump’s actions on January 6th.
Two states are already investigating Trump for several reasons. In New York, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. is expanding an ongoing investigation into potential financial crimes. In Georgia, prosecutors have opened a criminal investigation against Trump pertaining to his now-infamous call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, pleading and begging for him to find votes for Trump to overturn the election results in Georgia. While Trump has almost certainly committed some form of financial crime in his many dubious business ventures, I believe there is a legitimate case in Georgia for criminal prosecution. Moving forward, this is most likely the best shot at achieving justice against Trump.
The claws of Trumpism have dug deep. Nonetheless, one can only hope that moving forward, these claws are beginning to lose their grip. This will allow the wounds Trumpism has inflicted on the GOP to slowly begin to heal. The scars will permanently mark the GOP. However, rather than attempting to conceal them, let them serve as a reminder that we must learn from our mistakes.
This country must never allow another Trump to take office. The United States is a beacon of hope and democracy in an otherwise dark world. While the flames of liberty may have nearly been extinguished, from the smoldering cinders let us work together to restore this flame to its former glory.
Written by Republican Writer, Sebastian Calcopietro
Point of Information
We cannot make Trump’s Impeachment Meaningless – A Democratic Response
I agree with my colleague Sebastian that it appears the Republican Party is caught in the ‘the claws of “Trumpism”. However, I disagree with his assumption that the impeachment of the former President was meaningless. Trump abused his position of power to promote a false conspiracy theory that he won the 2020 Presidential Election. He then used this lie to promote frivolous legal campaigns to try and overturn the will of the people. With the walls coming in around him, the soon to be departing president decided that in one last-ditch effort he would try to stop the certification of the election through inciting a violent mob.
While Trump will almost certainly be answering for numerous his crimes in court, it was important for Congress to send a message as well. The United States is a country of law and order for everyone. If Trump committed an impeachable act as president, then it is up to Congress to proceed with impeachment. This is even if Trump finishes his term. If presidents could simply commit crimes during their last month in office and leave, then would be the point of impeachment at all? Let me be clear, Congress has the power to impeach and convict any current or past federally elected or appointed officeholder if it comes to their knowledge they committed a crime during their tenure. This has been established fact since the 1876 impeachment of the former War Secretary William Belknap. This country doesn’t give freebies to people based on their wealth or previous position of power.
Congress did the right thing when it impeached Trump. If the Republican’s weren’t still afraid of Trump’s influence, I believe he would have been convicted.
Written by Democratic Writer, Christopher Norman
Unfortunately, Trumpism will Continue to Linger – A Foreign Perspective
I would not say that the impeachment acquittal of Donald Trump has been completely meaningless. On the contrary, I think this process has exposed plenty of holes and flaws in the US political system which need to be addressed. It is an outcry that the former President has not been charged for inciting violence. Too many lives were put at stake during the Capitol Riots and this should never occur again.
Many Senators stated it was unconstitutional to impeach a non-sitting President. Surely then a process must be set up to avoid this happening again? Criminal charges should then be brought against the accused individual like a normal citizen. This process has exposed flaws in the system, so again, I state that the acquittal was not completely meaningless.
Now I would have to agree with Sebastian that Trumpism must not make its way into the White House ever again. It is up to Joe Biden to unite the country and Congress to ensure Trump does not run again. Many of Trump’s policies have been reversed through executive orders so Biden has done a reasonable job thus far putting the nation back on track. There is a lot more that must be done and he is going to have a difficult four years ahead.
Written by Foreign Perspective Writer, Max Jablonowski