Does President Trump deserve to be convicted now that he has been impeached, certainly? Should he be convicted by the Senate, probably not? The penalty upon conviction is removal from office and after a separate vote by the Senate the President could also be barred from future public office.
I take exception with efforts by President Trump to discredit our free press, our courts and judges, our law enforcement & intelligence agencies, his personal attacks on those who disagree with him and his repeated denial of our legal and proper election process. The basis of our Democracy is the right to vote and a free press. The worst of these actions may be his calling for people to support his unfounded election fraud claim and efforts to overturn the election results including calling Georgia election officials. His words inspired if not led directly to the invasion of our Capitol Building, the symbol of our Democracy. That action alone is reprehensible and warrants some retribution.
I do not know that any President could stop this impeachment process now. Advocating the overthrow of our government is in essence what he and others did. This must not be ignored. If such activity as this does not equate to “high crimes and misdemeanors” what does? That being said and since he was legally replaced by our electoral process, I am not certain that conviction on his impeachment is our best course of action now. This can not be a “let go of the past” moment. Those who stormed our Capitol need to be punished and so too those who advocated it regardless of their elective position. There needs to be some punishment for those who encouraged and engaged in these actions against our constitution and their failure to support our Democracy.
President Trump surely didn’t honestly believe he won this election. He possessed the power of our federal government including the justice department. The Attorney General, a strong Trump supporter, and many reputable people with election knowledge all advised Mr. Trump that he lost fair and square. Despite this he continued to claim victory and to enrage people with his fallacious claims. I do not know if that says more about him or us. Many of us trusted him but he trusted no one in his quest to remain in office. Knowing he lost and continuing to incite people tells us he knew better but did not care about our votes. The words and actions by him and others resulted in people dying. There needs to be some accountability.
Any past President receives a substantial pension and travel allowance. In Mr. Trump’s case he can also seek any elective office including the Presidency again. Does he deserve the esteem that goes with being a former US President? Does he get to build a library and have his name affixed to buildings? How much continued Secret Service protection do he and his family members continue to receive, for how long?
Perhaps we might consider Mr. Trump not only as no longer being the President, but we treat him as though he never was. “No $200,000 pension, No million dollar travel budget, no national security briefings and no respect.” Knowing he was the only US President who was impeached twice even though not convicted is something in itself. There are other limitations that can placed on any impeached and convicted President. Does President Trump need to be convicted by the Senate in order for limitations to be imposed? I will leave that answer to legal and constitutional scholars? Granted he is out of office but we as a country must acknowledge the wrong he pursued and he must as well. Walking away no questions, no limitations, no acknowledgement by him that he misled our nation, that can not be acceptable.
Neither the President nor his enablers should escape or be allowed to ignore what has been happening and came to full fruition on Jan. 6th, 2021. When the years of apartheid ended in South Africa the Truth and Reconciliation Commission was created. This was a court- like restorative justice body assembled to get beyond the hate. Perhaps we need something similar here to get beyond the ……….