Impeachment Trial Redux

Facts are apparently now a thing of the past, at least when they have anything to do with Donald Trump. Democrats and the Left couldn’t care less about the facts surrounding the events of January 6, and the corporate leftist propaganda and media machine shamelessly promotes their message.

It should come as no surprise, then, that Democrats and the Left have once again determined to target Donald Trump, even though he’s been out of office for weeks. They have been engaged in a nonstop smear campaign against Trump, begun even before he stepped foot in office and culminating in this second impeachment, which is devoid of evidence, facts, or reason. 

In other words, it is exactly like the first impeachment.

No reasonable person could interpret the president’s January 6 speech on the Ellipse as an incitement to violence or “insurrection.” Nothing in the text could be construed as encouraging, condoning, or enticing unlawful activity of any kind. In fact, the president’s remarks explicitly encouraged those in attendance to exercise their rights “peacefully and patriotically.” Yet the Democrats’ impeachment charges allege that the president intended for the crowd at the Ellipse to “interfere with the Joint Session’s solemn constitutional duty to certify the results of the 2020 Presidential election.” 

A reading of the plain text of the president’s remarks, of course, disproves this. The president devoted nearly his entire speech to an extended discussion of how legislators should vote on the question at hand. Instead of expressing a desire that the Joint Session be prevented from conducting its business, the entire premise of his remarks was that the democratic process would and should play out according to the letter of the law—including both the Constitution and the Electoral Count Act. 

Not only President Trump’s January 6 speech but his entire challenge to the election results were focused squarely on how the proper civic process could address any concerns through the established legal and constitutional system. The president brought his case before state and federal courts, the U.S. Supreme Court, the state legislatures, the Electoral College, and ultimately the U.S. Congress.

In the past, numerous other candidates for president have used many of the same processes to pursue their own election challenges. 

As recently as 2016, the Clinton campaign brought multiple post-election court cases, demanded recounts, and ridiculously they declared the election stolen by Russia. Many Democrats even attempted to persuade the Electoral College delegates to overturn the 2016 results. 

In 2000, the dispute over the outcome was taken all the way to the Supreme Court, which ultimately rendered a decision. To litigate questions of election integrity within this system is not incitement to insurrection; it is the democratic system working as the founders and lawmakers have designed.

To claim that the president in any way wished, desired, or encouraged lawless or violent behavior is preposterous. It is the Big Lie. In fact, the first two messages that the president sent via Twitter once the incursion of the Capitol began were “stay peaceful” and “no violence” because “we are the party of law and order.”

We now know that on January 6, a small group who came to engage in violent and menacing behavior hijacked the event for their own purposes. According to publicly available reporting, it is clear that extremists, of various different stripes and political persuasions, preplanned and premeditated an attack on the Capitol. From the beginning, Trump was clear: the criminals who infiltrated the Capitol must be punished to the fullest extent of the law. 

That the attacks were apparently premeditated demonstrates how absurd the incitement allegation is against Trump. Consider the language the House impeachment article alleges to constitute incitement: “If you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.” This is ordinary political rhetoric that is virtually indistinguishable from language used by people across the political spectrum for hundreds of years. Countless politicians have spoken of “fighting” for our principles. Joe Biden’s campaign slogan was “Battle for the Soul of America.” No human being seriously believes that the use of such metaphors is incitement to political violence.

Not only is this impeachment case utterly wrong on the facts, no matter how much heat and emotion is injected by the political opposition, it is also unconstitutional. In effect, Congress would be claiming the right to disqualify a private citizen, no longer a government official, from running for public office. They are making a mockery, again, of the solemn impeachment process and transforming it into a mechanism for asserting congressional control over which private citizens are and are not allowed to run for president. 

But that’s in many ways what this unprecedented effort by the Democrats is about: trying to disqualify their political opposition. It is, as others have pointed out, “cancel culture” on a constitutional level. They are trying, with a disturbing level of success, to punish the Great Outsider for daring to disrupt their carefully orchestrated and corrupt political system. 

We can only hope that history will record this shameful effort for what it is: nothing but a deliberate attempt by the Democratic Party to smear, censor, and cancel not just President Trump, but the over 74 million Americans who voted for him. 

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About Ned Ryun

Ned Ryun is a former presidential writer for George W. Bush and the founder and CEO of American Majority. You can find him on Twitter @nedryun.

Photo: congress.gov via Getty Images