Thomas Gallatin / January 8, 2021

Remove Trump?

After some Trump rally attendees mobbed Capitol building, Democrats are calling for his removal.

Following the shameful display of a mob of deranged, fringe Trump supporters who briefly occupyied the Capitol building on Wednesday, with the objective of interrupting a joint session of Congress convened to officially tally the election results, calls for President Donald Trump’s removal quickly reached fevered pitch.

Even as Trump called on the mob occupying the Capitol to leave peacefully and go home, the narrative that Trump was primarily responsible for the chaos was seemingly set in stone. While Trump had indeed spoken at a massive rally of supporters regarding the “stolen election” and had encouraged them to go and protest the proceedings at the Capitol while disgracefully calling his own vice president a coward just before violence broke out, the notion that his intention was to instigate the riot is nonsense. That his words and manner of speaking was not presidential and that it served to undercut trust in America’s governmental institutions is a fair criticism.

However, in the emotional wake of Americans witnessing rioters in the Capitol building, it’s not surprising that both Democrat and, more importantly, Republican leaders quickly condemned the mob and Trump’s role for continuing to refuse concession even after weeks of failed and abandoned legal attempts to challenge the election results.

Appeals for Trump’s removal came quickly. Several members of his administration, including two cabinet members, resigned in disgust, and there are reports of administration officials mulling enacting the 25th Amendment. However, Vice President Mike Pence, whom Trump had earlier thrown under the bus for refusing to reject constitutional restraints, was quick to dismiss such action as “not happening.” In so doing, Pence demonstrated yet again his commitment to the Constitution despite emotional demands coming from both sides of the political aisle. As Andrew McCarthy astutely notes, “The [25th] amendment is not applicable to a situation in which the president is alleged to be unfit for reasons of character, or due to the commission of political offenses that may rise to the level of high crimes and misdemeanors.”

Of course, the never-let-a-crisis-go-to-waste Democrat congressional leaders were quick to call for Trump’s removal via that or impeachment. Speaker Nancy Pelosi insisted, “If the Vice President and Cabinet do not act, the Congress may be prepared to move forward with impeachment.” Soon-to-be Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer backed Pelosi, asserting, “What happened at the U.S. Capitol [Wednesday] was an insurrection against the United States, incited by the president. This president should not hold office one day longer. If the vice president and the Cabinet refuse to stand up, Congress should reconvene to impeach the president.”

Spare us the politically convenient sanctimony. This pair already tried to impeach Donald Trump once — for the actions of Joe Biden. They already pushed the attempted coup earlier in his administration. But now we can trust Pelosi and Schumer with determining constitutional order?

Moreover, where was their outrage when Black Lives Matter and antifa rioters were violently burning cities down all summer? Where were the calls for Joe Biden to step aside and Kamala Harris to resign over their failure to condemn by name BLM and antifa violence? Not only did Biden and Harris fail to condemn the rioting of BLM/antifa mobs, they sought to justify the rioters’ “cause.” “They’re not going to stop. This is a movement,” Harris said in June. “They’re not gonna let up and they should not” [emphasis added]. Harris even provided a link for bail money for jailed rioters. The hypocrisy is astounding.

Rioting is wrong no matter who engages in it, be it BLM/antifa or a mob of unhinged Trump supporters. The blatant double standard displayed by the likes of Pelosi, Schumer, Biden, and Harris is one of the major reasons why so many Americans have lost their trust in government leaders.

At least Trump condemned the actions of the Capitol rioters and publicly committed to engage in a smooth transition of power. Should Trump be impeached? While there’s a good argument to be made that Trump’s behavior here at the end is impeachable, with less than two weeks remaining in his presidency, the wise answer is no. Any attempt by the Democrats to impeach Trump now would only work to further incite the very distrust, anger, and disunity many Americans are feeling.

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