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Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Choose You This Day

A mob of Trump supporters surround the gallows on which they intended to hang Vice President Mike Pence at the Capitol, January 6, 2021.
Click to enlarge.

Choose you this day whom ye will serve . . .

-- Joshua 24: 15

Click here for CNN live coverage of impeachment proceedings in the House of Representatives.

Many fine speeches were made on the floor of the House today; here are two that your Head Trucker thinks particularly well done, covering all the essential points of the case. 

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi gives the opening argument:

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer gives the closing argument:

Update, 3:36 p.m., Texas time-- The House of Representatives has just voted to impeach Trump, 232-197.  Ten Republicans voted with the Democrats to impeach.  Four Republicans did not vote.  House has now adjourned until January 15th.  The Senate is in recess until January 19th, when the Article of Impeachment will be presented to them.

For the benefit of my overseas truckbuddies, it is important to understand that impeachment is not the same as removal from office.  Rather, an impeachment by the House is equivalent to an indictment by a grand jury; the Senate then acts as a court to try the case, and either convict (by a two-thirds majority) or acquit the President, who would cease to be President immediately upon conviction.  Trump was previously impeached by the House in December 2019, but acquitted by the Senate in February 2020.

The Constitution gives each house of Congress the authority to set its own rules of procedure; thus, the Senate does not have to follow the ordinary rules of procedure used in federal courts.  Furthermore, it is up to Congress on its own authority to determine what constitutes the "high crimes and misdemeanors" (not defined in the Constitution) for which a president can be impeached.

Even if the Senate convicted Trump of the charge specified in the Article of Impeachment, the only effect would be to remove him from office - and that will be moot, as Biden will already be President by the time the Senate decides the case.  For Trump to be barred from running for office again, or to lose his post-presidency benefits, the Senate would have to vote specifically on those points.

Full text of the Article of Impeachment below the jump - or see PDF in original format here.

Resolution impeaching Donald John Trump, President of the United States, for high crimes and misdemeanors.

Resolved, the Donald John Trump, President of the United States, is impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors and that the following article of impeachment be exhibited to the United States Senate:

Article of impeachment exhibited by the House of Representatives of the United States of America in the name of itself and of the people of the United States of America, against Donald John Trump, President of the United States of America, in maintenance and support of its impeachment against him for high crimes and misdemeanors.


The Constitution provides that the House of Representatives "shall have the sole Power of Impeachment" and that the President "shall be removed from Office on Impeachment, for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors." Further, section 3 of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution prohibits any person who has "engaged in insurrection or rebellion against" the United States from "hold[ing] and office ... under the United States.' In his conduct while President of the United States — and in violation of his constitutional oath faithfully to execute the office of President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, provide, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States and in violation of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed — Donald John Trump engaged in high Crimes and Misdemeanors by inciting violence against the Government of the United States, in that:

On January 6, 2021, pursuant to the 12th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, the Vice President of the United States, the House of Representatives, and the Senate met at the United States Capitol for a Joint Session of Congress to count the votes of the Electoral College. In the months preceding the Joint Session, President Trump repeatedly issued false statements asserting that the Presidential election results were the product of widespread fraud and should not be accepted by the American people or certified by State or Federal officials. Shortly before the Joint Session commenced, President Trump, addressed a crowd at the Ellipse in Washington, D.C. There, he reiterated false claims that "we won this election, and we won it by a landslide." He also willfully made statements that, in context, encouraged — and foreseeably resulted in — lawless action at the Capitol, such as: "if you don't fight like hell you're not going to have a country anymore." Thus incited by President Trump, members of the crowd he had addressed, in an attempt to, among other objectives, interfere with the Joint Session's solemn constitutional duty to certify the results of the 2020 Presidential election, unlawfully breached and vandalized the Capitol, injured and killed law enforcement personnel, menaced Members of Congress, the Vice President, and Congressional personnel, and engaged in other violent, deadly, destructive and seditious acts.

President Trump's conduct on January 6, 2021, followed his prior efforts to subvert and obstruct the certification of the results of the 2020 Presidential election. Those prior efforts included a phone call on January 2, 2021, during which President Trump urged the secretary of state of Georgia, Brad Raffensperger, to "find" enough votes to overturn the Georgia Presidential election results and threatened Secretary Raffensperger if he failed to do so.

In all this, President Trump gravely endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of Government. He threatened the integrity of the democratic system, interfered with the peaceful transition of power, and imperiled a coequal branch of Government. He thereby betrayed his trust as President, to the manifest injury of the people of the United States.

Wherefore, Donald John Trump, by such conduct, has demonstrated that he will remain a threat to national security, democracy, and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office, and has acted in a manner grossly incompatible with self-governance and the rule of law. Donald John Trump thus warrants impeachment and trial, removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit under the United States.



Huston said...

I was very disappointed that so few Republicans voted to impeach. This may well be the end of Liz Cheney's career. I think she deserves her own "Profiles in Courage" citation. However, I think that as the FBI begins to investigate the Capitol attack, the shit will really begin to hit that old fan. At least I hope so.

Russ Manley said...

It's amazing to me that even the imminent threat of death at the hands of roaring mob could not persuade more than 10 Republicans to vote for impeachment; although as Rep. Meijer said in a news vid I posted the other day, he knows that some of them, at least, are in fear for their lives and the safety of their families, should they vote against the party line. How utterly deplorable that things have come to such a point in America!

I haven't thought much of Liz Cheney in years past, but I was proud to see her stand up and speak the truth. Who knows, she might become President one day. History takes some strange twists and turns: four years ago, who would have bet any money on Biden ever becoming President?

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