The impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump unveiled the dark landscape of where American democracy stands, and those who supported him in this trial should be met with stiff resistance going forward.
Trump’s incitement of insurrection to his followers was laid bare for all to see in video after video. He gave the charge to go to the Capitol and “fight like hell,” saying nothing less than the future of their country was at stake. Many of those arrested and awaiting trial have through their lawyers admitted they were following Trump’s orders.
It’s an open and shut case of insurrection. Many Republican senators have said they do not condon what Trump did but believe an impeachment trial is unconstitutional because the president is no longer in office. That argument is not only wrong based on legal precedent, but irrelevant since the Senate voted on a bipartisan basis that holding the trial was constitutional.
Trump lied about the election result and tried to eliminate the voting rights of Americans. Trump fomented this dastardly false narrative for months before and after the election, and he was undaunted by courts, his own attorney general and others who pledged it just wasn’t so. He tried to strong-arm Georgia election officials into “finding” him votes. He sent henchmen like Rudy Giuliani to offer ghastly falsehoods, blaspheming America’s safe and secure system of voting.
The impeachment process is not about sending Trump to jail, though had the same crimes been committed by average Americans, that is where we would be.
Impeachment is about holding the president accountable for the riot he caused that resulted in death, the lies he told and, most importantly, the serious and blatant violation of his oath of office. And all of this will likely be played out again if Americans don’t act.
When Trump escaped conviction for trying to bribe a foreign power to interfere in our election, he was only emboldened to double down on destroying the pillars of American democracy. That will likely continue.
American democracy has been weakened by Trump’s malicious attack on it. We will now be called on to mount a rigorous counter-offensive.