Accountability for sedition needed to protect future of democracy
We have known since 2016 that Donald Trump presented an urgent threat to our Republic and the existence of our multi-racial democracy. He made no secret of his contempt for the rule of law, his racism and chauvinism and his support of violence. He made clear that his pursuit of power by stoking racial grievance would be unhindered by facts or fealty to our national principals.
For four years, we have seen that prediction come to pass, with each transgression abetted by the Republican Party. Each time Trump undermined our Constitution and was not held accountable, he resolved to push the limits even farther.
On January 6th, Trump reached the logical conclusion of his campaign to delegitimize our national laws and to replace them with his cult of personality. He would not accept the results of an election that he did not win and would not commit to a peaceful transfer of power. After a months-long campaign falsely attacking the results of the election, he had whipped his supporters into a state of fury. He then summoned them to the Capitol for a “wild” protest, where he stoked their animosities, told them to be “strong” and to “fight.” His personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani called for “trial by combat.” Trump then directed the mob he’d assembled to the Capitol where violence, openly planned and called for by radical right-wing groups like the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers, broke out.
What happened next was perhaps just as damning. News reports indicate that Trump watched the storming of the Capitol on live TV with glee and ignored calls from legislators fearing for their lives behind barricades. He and Giuliani were actually calling Senators to pressure them to decertify the election during the siege. Trump refused to authorize aid to the Congress while rioters swept the Capitol seeking legislators, including Mike Pence, his own Vice President, to assassinate at the gallows they had erected outside. Indeed, it was VP Pence who finally authorized the DC Guard.
After several hours, Trump had finally been convinced to put out a statement condemning the riot. Instead, he rehashed the lies that inspired the mob and told the seditious terrorists sacking the Capitol, “You're very special people. We love you.” These mixed messages did not dissuade the rioters from their plan.
There can be no stronger set of circumstances for impeachment and, indeed, criminal prosecution for sedition. If we do not impeach a President for attempting to overthrow the government and aiding assassination attempts, then what on Earth is impeachment for? What greater crime is necessary to move the hearts of Republicans to finally hold accountable their own standard bearer?
Yes. Donald Trump must be immediately impeached and prevented from running for office ever again by enforcing section 3 of the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution. This must happen if we are ever to have a functioning democracy. There must finally be consequences. Furthermore, lawmakers who aided this conspiracy must be expelled from Congress for their role in the sedition followed by investigations into their criminal liability.