Impeachment II

Why Only Impeachment II Will Do


Leonard Zwelling

There are short-term and long-term goals here.

The short-term goal is to get Donald Trump out of the White House as soon as possible so that he cannot do any more damage. The question is the definition of soon enough and whether or not that is even possible. The fortnight between the riot on Capitol Hill and the inauguration in the same place may not afford sufficient time to get Trump out of the White House before January 20. Unfortunate.

There are only four routes out.

Trump could resign, putatively to get Mike Pence to give him a pardon rather than have to pardon himself not knowing if the self-pardon maneuver will work over time. Is it even constitutional? No one knows for sure. I don’t see this happening. Trump will never resign. That’s too bad because this would be the quickest way out.

Two, Vice President Mike Pence could invoke the 25th Amendment and get a vote of the majority of the Cabinet to dislodge Trump. Let’s face it. That ain’t gonna happen. Pence is a weenie and the Cabinet is loaded with Trump loyalists anyway. This is idle talk from the talking heads of left-wing talk radio and talk TV. Yes, it’s all talk.

The House could impeach Trump for the second time and then either move the articles of impeachment to the Senate for trial or hold the articles for a later trial. Even if the House impeaches, it is unlikely that a trial would start before January 19 and Trump is gone by January 20. Impeachment does not serve the short-term goal.

Finally, he’s out for sure on January 20 and that doesn’t help the short-term goal, as we said.

The long-term goal is not to get him out but to make sure he stays out.

It seems to me there is only one solution at this point.

First, move forward with the impeachment and hope he quits knowing that the only way he quits is if Pence promises an immediate pardon.

Second, hold the articles (or article) of impeachment in the House for a few months so as not to occupy the Senate which must be allowed to concentrate on confirming the Biden appointments and moving the Biden covid agenda forward. Sending the Senate the articles now will bog it down when action is what is needed on covid economic relief. Besides, it will be fun to see Trump sweat with articles of impeachment being held over his head while he plays golf in Florida. The trial can be later. I like July 4th.

So those are the first two decision points. It seems unlikely that Trump will be gone before January 20 when we know he will be. Impeaching him for a second time would set him down ignominiously in the history books which is quite important. Why? Because, despite what some of my conservative friends think, he incited a riot and an attack on the seat of our democracy and cannot be allowed to in any way escape that responsibility. It is Congress’ role to hold the chief executive accountable for his actions. Now is the time to do it.

There is one more critical decision point, too. That is the decision point the Republican Party is coming to with regard to its continued relationship with Donald J. Trump. Will the party wisely jettison him to the scrap heap of history where he belongs or will the party continue to embrace him because a small but vocal minority supports his racist, nativist agenda which has been unchanged since he slithered down that escalator in Trump Tower in 2015? That’s the real question to me. If I am ever to vote Republican again, the party must rid itself of this fascist element that stormed the Capitol last week and there were no antifa representatives in the crowd.

This was the greatest threat to American democracy since the Civil War. Trump owns it. He needs to wear it in American history forever. Impeach him again and try him in six months. It will be cleansing and my guess that the chance of convicting is far higher then, when the threat of retaliation from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue has been moved from a bunker there to one on the fourteenth hole in Florida.

To all my conservative readers out there, you were wrong. Trump is the menace that many of us said he was five years ago. That you still defend him or in any way suggest what he has done is not sedition is a joke.

Donald Trump tried to get our elected representatives killed. Five people died in the riot he incited. He needs to be held accountable—now and forever.

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