Having confirmed their victory over the Republicans in the 2020 Presidential Elections, Democrats are now trying to revenge against Trump for the difficult political work that he created for them during and after the elections. With less than 10 days to go before Trump officially hands over the presidency to his rival. Joseph Biden, it makes no sense that the Democrats would attempt to embark on a lengthy process of impeachment and to expect the Republicans to support them. A previous attempt to impeach Trump by the Democrats was a colossal failure and yet they deem it prudent to make a final attempt 10 days before Mr Trump steps down as president of the United States of America. Trump has already committed himself to a smooth hand over of power to Mr Biden in contrast to his earlier challenge to the election results.
He followed legal channels to challenge the results and brought no less than 50 court cases to try and overturn the results but eventually conceded defeated when Electoral College confirmed Biden’s victory by 306 against 232 for Mr Trump.
Of the 156 000 000 Americans who voted almost 45% of them voted for Mr Trump. It is understandable that Mr Trump felt that he should have won the elections 74 000 000 Americans voted for him against 81 000 000 for Mr Biden. Given a margin of 7 000 000 votes, it is possible that somewhere somehow some votes that were not properly counted could close the margin. Trump was fully within his rights, on behalf of the more than 74 000 000 Americans,to insist that the election process be scrutinized to ensure that the elections were free and fair and that they were free from any irregularities. Once it became clear that the Electoral College has voted in favor of Biden, Trump conceded:
“Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th,” Trump said in a statement.
“I have always said we would continue our fight to ensure that only legal votes were counted. While this represents the end of the greatest first term in presidential history, it’s only the beginning of our fight to Make America Great Again,” Trump said.
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The Democrats will not accept any smooth hand over. They first tried to invoke Section 4 of the 25th Amendment to the US Constitution and tried to pursuade Vice President Mike Pence to seize power from President Trump on the grounds that President Trump is unable to act as President of the United States. Section 4 reads as follows:
Section 4. Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.
Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that no inability exists, he shall resume the powers and duties of his office unless the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive department or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit within four days to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. Thereupon Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within forty-eight hours for that purpose if not in session. If the Congress, within twenty-one days after receipt of the latter written declaration, or, if Congress is not in session, within twenty-one days after Congress is required to assemble, determines by two-thirds vote of both Houses that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall continue to discharge the same as Acting President; otherwise, the President shall resume the powers and duties of his office.
This strategy appear to have faltered right from the start as Vice President Mike Pence does not appear to be convinced that President Trump is unable to act as President and Mike Pence is in any event, not interested in being President for just a few days. Vice Prsident Mike Pence and President Donald Trump met on 12 January 2021 and resolved the issue.
This did not impress the anti-Trump camp. They are now attempting a long shot, being that they want to impeach President Trump just a few days before his term comes to an end on 20 January 2021 on the grounds that he instigated his supporters to storm the Capitol when he addressed them on 06 January 2021 shortly before the Electoral College voted for the next US President. Trump’s exact words were: “I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.”,
After the address, Trump’s supporters marched over to the Capitol and clashed with security as they tried to force their way into the Capitol building. Trump himself did not march to the Capitol together with his supporters.At least 5 people died during the subsequent chaos. Several people were later arrested and charged in connection with the riots.
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For the articles of impeachment to succeed in the House of Representatives, at least 17 Republicans would have to support the motion. It appears that some Republicans may support the motion but it does not appear as if the number will reach 17. Article II Section 4 provides for circumstances under which an impeachment shall take place. It states as follows: The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors. High crimes and misdemeanors”, in the legal and common parlance of England in the 17th and 18th centuries, is corrupt activity by those who have special duties that are not shared with common persons. Towards the end of the 1700s, “High crimes and misdemeanors” acquired a more technical meaning. As Blackstone says in his Commentaries The first and principal high misdemeanor…was mal-administration of such high offices as are in public trust and employment.
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It does not appear as if the articles of Impeachment by the Democrats has any chance of success. On the contrary, their conduct may well amount to an abuse of their majority. Impeachment proceedings against a President should not be easily invoked. Just in case he may be accused of inability to act, President Trump has signed emergency measures in Washington DC to ensure safety and security during the Presidential Inauguration.
Six Republicans have indicated their intention to vote in favor of the motion. We have seen that the Democrats will need at least 17 Republicans to vote with them for the motion to succeed. Even if it succeeded, the Senate still needs to conduct a trial. Many Republicans are asking in what manner did Trump incite the mob to attack the Capitol. Can the crowd’s actions be attributed to any of Trump’s words? Exactly what did he say to give the crowd an indication that they should attack the Capitol? The Democrats are conveniently avoiding to answer these questions.
Trump has said that he will come back in four years to contest the presidential elections. By impeaching him, the Democrats want to make sure that he does not come back as they fear the overwhelming support that he commands among Americans.