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Enemies foreign and domestic


House Democrats are currently planning to introduce articles of impeachment against President Trump as soon as Monday, according to multiple sources familiar with the matter. 

That could set up a vote in the House early to the middle of next week. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has not explicitly said when this will go to the floor. 

This would be the second time the House has unveiled articles of impeachment against President Trump.

In December 2019, the House impeached Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The Senate acquitted him on both charges last February.

Since Mike Pence apparently lacks even the minimal pundonor necessary to declare Donald Trump unfit to hold the office of president, it seems this will have to do.

I’ve seen what I understand is the basic draft of what will be the primary article of impeachment. It lays out in a powerful way how Wednesday’s murderous insurrection was just the culmination of two months of sedition on Trump’s part.

I believe whether there will be 67 votes in the Senate to convict Trump by this time next week is a genuinely open question, which is an astounding thing to say in both directions. Trump deserves impeachment and removal far more than any other president in American history; he makes Richard Nixon look like George Washington by contrast. Yet until less the 48 hours ago, the idea that the Senate might remove him was fantastical.

But a lot has changed since then:

Conway is a connected guy, so this might — might — be more than wishcasting.

But in the end it doesn’t make any difference whether there will be 67 votes for conviction in the Senate or not, in regard to the decision to impeach Trump yet again.

While impeachment is, in all circumstances, a discretionary political judgment rather than a legally required act, these circumstances are such that a decision not to impeach would be a stain on a Congress against which Donald Trump quite literally launched a murderous autogolpe.

A scintilla of the simple self-respect that Mike Pence and so much of the rest of the Republican party so clearly lack should be enough to determine the vote of any member of Congress in this matter.

A technical point: it seems quite possible the Senate trial will extend beyond January 20th, meaning that the question that would remain on the table during the proceeding is whether Donald Trump should be barred from holding any future federal office (Many legal scholars believe such a disqualification can be passed by a simple majority vote).

This would create the delicious and utterly apt irony that a man who rose to the office of the presidency by publicizing the outrageous falsehood that Barack Obama was not eligible to serve as president would then in fact be apparently rendered ineligible from holding the office, as part payment for his endless lies and corruption.

I say “apparently” because it’s not exactly clear if an official who was not removed from office via conviction because his term expired during the impeachment proceeding could then be subjected to future disqualification anyway.

All this, of course, would simply make Trump all the more determined to win the 2024 Republican nomination — which he no doubt would, despite the fact that the federal courts could well declare him ineligible to win the office.

But this is all needlessly speculative. One problem with all the discussions about impeachment over the course of Trump’s endlessly impeachable presidency is that too many people have been trying to play an angle of some sort. Since it’s impossible to say with any confidence what the long-term political consequences of impeaching and removing Trump would be, then it makes sense to simply do what simple justice demands, without regard to those consequences.

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