Opinion: Two impeachments prove Trump was never fit to lead

On Jan. 13, Former President Donald Trump became the first president in history to be impeached twice. It continues to baffle me that the only president to be impeached twice still has supporters willing to lead deadly and destructive riots. To me and many of my peers, a twice-impeached president should be unfit to lead.

Needing 217 votes to approve the article of impeachment, all 222 Democrats and 10 Republican representatives voted to impeach Trump, charging the president with “high crimes and misdemeanors” and “incitement of insurrection” following the violent riots that took place on Jan. 6. 

Among the 10 republican representatives that voted “yes” for impeachment was Rep. Tom Rice from South Carolina, who had voted in favor of overturning the election results. Even a Republican who unabashedly voted in favor of keeping Trump in office for another four years recognized the extreme violence that the president encouraged. More members of the Republican party voted “yes” than in any other impeachment. 

[Response coordinator for White House Coronavirus Task Force Deborah Birx, right, speaks as President Donald Trump listens during a briefing on COVID-19, at the Rose Garden of the White House on April 15, 2020, in Washington, D.C.]
Photo courtesy of Mandel Ngan

The single impeachment article accuses Trump of “inciting violence against the government of the United States,” calling for him to be removed from office and be unable to hold any public office again. The articles of impeachment are to be delivered to the Senate on Monday, Jan. 25, with a Feb. 9 date set for Trump’s hearing.

The vote on the impeachment article came a day after the House voted to call on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th amendment and assume the powers of the presidency, therefore removing Trump from office. Pence refused in a letter sent to House Speaker Pelosi, stating that “invoking the 25th Amendment in such a manner would set a terrible precedent.” 

So, not only did Trump get impeached twice, but the House also voted in favor of utilizing the 25th amendment. It would seem clear to me that removing a president whom our own government agrees is unfit to hold office, now or ever again, would be the best course of action. However, many have argued that since there will not be time for Trump to be removed from office that the impeachment trials are just a waste of time. 

Despite that, should the Senate choose to convict Trump of incitement of insurrection, another vote will occur afterward on “barring him from running again,” Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said in a press release on Jan. 13. This simply means that, come the 2024 presidential race, Trump will be unable to run, nor will he be able to hold any other office. 

Along with that, Trump simply should have to face punishment for inciting such violent events. “We know that the president of the United States incited this insurrection – this armed rebellion – against our common country,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi prior to the impeachment vote. “He must go. He is a clear and present danger to the nation that we all love.”

It is largely disconcerting to me that, even after clear proof that the president holds the ideals of a dictator, Trump’s supporters continue to push the agenda that the election was rigged. This conception has been debunked by numerous sources. 

The Brennan Center for Justice compiled a list of “government officials, judges and elected leaders” acknowledging the fact that this 2020 presidential race was one of the most secure elections in history. AP Fact Check stated that “no election was stolen from Trump.” 

The facts are clear. President Trump has created an era of fear-mongering among his supporters, but thankfully, his reign of fear is over.

[Graphic outlining the United States impeachment process]
Graphic by Jordan Barno | The Arbiter

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