By: T. Jeffersonian
One week ago, former President Donald Trump was acquitted in his second impeachment trial. The final Senate vote was 57-43, missing the required vote count by ten. Unlike his first impeachment trial, in which only one Republican Senator voted to convict the former President, this trial resulted in seven Republican Senators joining their Democratic colleagues voting to convict Donald Trump. Of the seven Republican Senators, three of them were recently re-elected in November 2020 and will not face their constituents for another six years and two are retiring. One of the seven faces re-election in 2022. Following the impeachment, with the exception of one senator, all of the Republicans have been censured or rebuked by their respective State Republican party organizations. There have been calls for the unseating of Senator Romney; however, U.S. Senators can only be expelled from the Senate through impeachment.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell urged all Republican Senators to vote their consciences during the second impeachment trial. His intentions were closely held under wraps until the morning of the acquittal. In a statement released after the final vote, McConnell said that he believed the former President was guilty; however, he believed that the impeachment of a former President was unconstitutional. The impeachment of any former President, McConnell relayed, opened a dangerous precedent in which the Senate would have the ability to impeach any American citizen. McConnell believed that an impeachment conviction would further cement the polarized political environment we all currently live in.
After the Acquittal
After he was acquitted, Donald Trump released a lengthy statement restating that the Make America Great Again movement has only just begun. Mr. Trump promised more information would be available in the coming months. Mr. Trump, released a second statement in direct response to Mitch McConnell’s speech on the Senate floor, calling him a political hack.
Democrats on the opposite end of the political spectrum earlier this week supported Nancy Pelosi’s efforts to back down from moving to censure Mr. Trump. Despite support for censuring former President Bill Clinton vice impeaching him at the time of his scandal, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi replied that supporting the censuring of Mr. Trump would be just a slap on the wrist. The Speaker’s position on whether or not to censure has either matured with experience or is flexibly applied according to party politics.
While the political parties at the Capitol might be in a new state of unknown territory after the insurrection on January 6, 2021, Donald Trump’s base is largely unaffected and mobilized. However, during the next election, independent voters may be swayed by the riot’s images and memory of the second and the first impeachments.
If Donald Trump decides to run for a second term, memories and horrible images of the riots will surely play a role in 2023-2024. It is anticipated if Donald Trump runs again that the Democrats will initiate 14th Amendment proceedings in order to attempt to bar the former President from running again. Also it is anticipated that these proceedings will dominate the primaries and the election itself. It is also expected that the United States Supreme Court will have to make the ultimate decision as to whether the 14th Amendment will apply to Donald Trump. Currently, Donald Trump does not have a guilty verdict of any kind that connects him with inciting the January 6, 2021 riots; however, the acquittal was only one week old. Despite only being released a week ago, Donald Trump has already been sued by a Mississippi Democratic Representative for inciting the January 6, 2021 riot. If there is a guilty verdict in this case or any others that follow, they will be used as evidence for a credible 14th Amendment application argument.
Evidence this week surfaced that further leads us to believe that the Democrats are very concerned about the 2022 and 2024 elections. That evidence comes in the selection of President Joe Biden’s first two state visits – both battleground states. This week, President Biden visited Wisconsin and Michigan. In Wisconsin, he held a Cable News Network (CNN) sponsored town hall meeting to push his $1.9 trillion stimulus package. In Michigan, he toured a Pfizer vaccine production facility. Both states played big roles in the 2016 and 2020 elections and will continue that trend in the 2022 and 2024 elections. From the start of his 2016 campaign, National news media has persistently been covering Donald Trump with microscopic precision. Even at the Wisconsin town hall meeting this week, questions about Donald Trump caused Biden to reply, “I am tired of hearing about Donald Trump. I want the news for the next four years to be about the American people”.
However, America knows we have not heard the last of Donald Trump.