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Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author.
For the second time in the last 13 months, the House of Representatives voted to impeach the President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, for no good reason. Last year, the impeachment was for not communicating properly. This time it’s for being too zealous.
In the first impeachment, Trump was charged with abuse of power and obstruction of justice. Neither charge resulted in a conviction. The charges were based on Trump asking the government of Ukraine to “do me a favor” and investigate corrupt activities by any US officials including former Vice-president Joe Biden.
In Trump’s impeachment phone call his meaning for “do me a favor” was just that the US did not have access to all the necessary needed information and that Ukrainian officials did have the information. In business it is common to ask those with whom someone has a business relationship to do favors. In politics, “do me a favor’ often leads to corrupt behavior.
Trump is a businessperson and not a politician. Because he spoke as a businessperson, he was impeached for no good reason in December 2019.
Today, all Americans are extremely emotional and worn down from the events of the last year. The death toll from COVID, the tanked economy, the severely curtailed lifestyle and the lockdowns have us all feeling frustrated and angry. Add the political anger and the result is the huge increase in violence that we have seen all over America during the past year or so.
That violence hit a peak last week when people who were attending a peaceful rally, marched to the Capitol Building and attacked it. The act was horrific. The FBI will find all of those who broke the law and prosecute them fully. All of the guilty people should be sent to jail.
Who are the guilty people? Anyone involved in the siege or anyone that encouraged the terrorists. The House of Representatives claims that Trump fits into the category of encouraging the terrorists. An examination of Trump’s speech show that there is no direct words that would incite protestors to become terrorists.
Trump spoke of marching to the capital building. He said, “I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.”
The Democrats in the House of Representatives claimed that Trump incited an insurrection when he told the tens of thousands of generally peaceful protestors to march over to the Capitol Building. While his tone and style did add to the furor, is that enough to impeach a sitting president? Especially a president who will leave office in a matter of days.
Most believe that Trump made a bad situation worse by his words. Trump told his followers to “fight” for what they believed to be true. Congress said that using the word “fight’ was enough to incite the crowd.
Of course that is ridiculous. Every single politician while campaigning says if elected they will fight for Americans’ rights. How many times have we heard a politician say they will fight to raise the minimum wage? Or fight to give health care to every American? Or fight to open our borders and let more immigrants enter?
President Trump should, at worst, have been censured for stoking the crowd. He did not commit any impeachable offensives. The most recent information indicates that the attack on the Capital Building was pre-planned and would have occurred regardless of what Trump said during the rally.
Impeaching a president is very serious. Indeed, prior to Trump, it was used only twice in our history, both times for clearly impeachable offenses. The two impeachments of Trump were really for no good reason. This is very dangerous, especially the most recent impeachment which happened so quickly it is being referred to as a “snap impeachment.”
Does this mean that every time Congress is controlled by the opposite party of the president, an impeachment could follow when there is strong disagreement with policy or disagreement with the words that the president uses?
For the good of the country, if impeachment is necessary, it should be for valid reasons. Impeaching the president for no good reason is just bad for the health of the country.