Photo Credit: Michael Judkins

The House of Representatives on Wednesday afternoon held a snap impeachment debate and vote that is lawless and based on an obviously false proposition, i.e., that President Trump incited the criminal invasion of the Capitol.  

The impeachment vote is lawless because it is being done without any preceding investigations, hearings, or any due process, such as was granted to President Clinton and all presidents in any attempted impeachment before President Trump. Such due process would have included hearings in the House of Representatives, with the president being represented by counsel and having the right to present and cross-examine witnesses.

If there were such investigations and hearings, the impeachment indictment would be laughed out of Washington, D.C.

We now know that the invasion of the Capitol was obviously planned before President Trump ever spoke on January 6th. The Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund said the rioters “came with riot helmets, gas masks, shields, pepper spray, fireworks, climbing gear — climbing gear! — explosives, metal pipes, baseball bats. I have never seen anything like it in 30 years of events in Washington.” 

Are we supposed to believe that the rioters obtained this equipment after hearing Trump speak? 

The Washington Post has now reported that the FBI’s Norfolk, Virginia office was aware before January 6th of plans to attack Congress, including that “Congress needs to hear glass breaking, doors being kicked in, and blood from their BLM and Antifa slave soldiers being spilled.”

The rioters could not have been “incited” by the president’s speech because it is extremely doubtful that they heard any of it, and they could not have heard more than the first eight minutes.  Chief Sund reported that the assault on the Capitol police began at 12:40 p.m.  According to Bing, it takes 32 minutes to walk from the Ellipse, where the speech was given, to the Capitol. This means the rioters would have had to leave the Ellipse, under ideal conditions and assuming they were ever at the Ellipse, at 12:08 p.m. at the latest.

National Pulse editor Raheem Kassam reported that, given the crowds, it took 45 minutes for that walk to the Capitol area on January 6th. This means the rioters would have had to leave the Ellipse by 11:55 a.m. 

Kassam reported that the president’s speech began at noon. National Public Radio reported that the speech ended at 1:11 p.m. The noon starting time and 1:11 ending time agree with the one hour and eleven-minute length of the speech on the transcript.    

 Even if they had heard the speech, President Trump never called for force, violence, or overthrow of the government. He made only the following comments on the Capitol:

“We’re going walk down to the Capitol, and we’re going to cheer on our brave senators, and congressmen and women. We’re probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them because you’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength, and you have to be strong. 

“We have come to demand that Congress do the right thing and only count the electors who have been lawfully slated, lawfully slated. I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.”

To remove a President for “incitement,” based on his asking his supporters for a peaceful and patriotic march to the Capitol to “make your voices heard,” would be lawless hypocrisy.  

The president’s critics have ignored his call for a peaceful demonstration. They have quoted, out of context, his statement made not two minutes before the end of his speech, when no rioters could have been there to hear them, that, “And we fight. We fight like Hell and if you don’t fight like Hell, you’re not going to have a country.” Just as President Obama stated that Democrats should bring a gun to a knife fight, the president repeatedly used “fight” to refer to “fighting” in the legislatures, courts, elections, and the media. He referred to Jim Jordan fighting in Congress. Did he mean that Jordan was punching his colleagues? Did Obama mean that Democrats should engage in knife fights with Republicans but use a gun to win? 

As for the president controlling the rioters, The Washington Post reported that “4:30: Outside the east side of the Capitol, a man with a megaphone announced to a crowd of hundreds: ‘Hey, everyone, Donald Trump says he wants everyone to go home.’ In response, some in the crowd booed loudly. One man shouted back: ‘Shut the f— up! We’re not going to bend a knee, motherf—–!'”

Alexis de Tocqueville opined that “A decline of public morals in the United States will probably be marked by the abuse of the power of impeachment as a means of crushing political adversaries or ejecting them from office.”

The impeachment is a lawless and irrational abuse of power. 

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  1. Read Andy McCarthy’s posts on NRO for a masterful assessment of the impeachment process underway.

  2. After reading his latest article,”The Trump Impeachment Is Deeply Flawed, but He Deserves Conviction,” I have concluded that Andrew McCarthy is an illogical hypocrite. He admits that “If it [impeachment] is done prematurely, driven by partisan animus (or at least perceived to be), or based on flimsy grounds, it will do more harm than good and set the country on a banana-republic style trajectory of strife, instability, and upheaval.” That precisely prescribes what is happening here.

    McCarthy admits that ” the impeachment article the House has lodged against the president is . . . ill-considered, legally dubious, politically motivated, deeply divisive, and calculated as a first salvo in targeting Republicans other than President Trump for disqualification from public office.” He admits that, ” the article of impeachment was poorly drafted and rashly adopted.”

    Despite that, McCarhy says he would vote to convict due to uncharged impeachable conduct by the President! Do you have that? Voting to convict on charges that were never made. No due process for the President in the House of Representatives to even the slightest degree. No properly framed charges, according to McCarthy. Result of all the above, according to McCarthy, vote to convict!

    Despite his statement he would vote to convict, he ultimately concludes that Congress should censure the President and then agree there will be no trial. McCarthy obviously fears any proceeding, such as a senate trial, where President Trump would get due process. The impeachment charges would be shredded. He admittedly fears an acquittal because that would benefit President Trump.

    I sincerely pray that no one is ever a defendant in any trial where McCarthy is a juror!

    1. One major flaw with your argument. While I agree President Trump should have received due process, it’s not a criminal proceeding, and it’s not required. It’s a political, not legal, process. That said, I’m on the record stating I think impeaching him was a mistake. I highly doubt he will be convicted and I’m not even certain there will be a trial.

      1. The practice for every president subjected to the impeachment process in the House of Representatives, up to President Trump, was to provide due process to the president. The complete failure to do so here violates well-established precedent. Due process is certainly not limited to criminal proceedings. It is required, under the 5th Amendment, in every proceeding in which the government seeks to deprive someone of their life, liberty or property. The President has a reasonable expectation of non-removal until his elected term ends, except for impeachment for high crimes and misdemeanors, or for the process provided under the 25th Amendment. He therefore, has a property interest in the job and is entitled to due process. It certainly would seem strange that a janitor in the White House has a right to due process before removal from his job, while the President has none.

      2. “It is required, under the 5th Amendment, in every proceeding in which the government seeks to deprive someone of their life, liberty or property.”

        Yes, and impeachment impacts none of those. I understand there is precedent and I agree with you that he should have received it. My point is that it is not constitutionally required considering it is a political, not a legal, process.

      3. The president does not have a property interest in the presidency since the presidency is not property that someone can own.

        Ultimately, the due process comes in the form of debate and the required vote. Obviously, we can see it’s easy to impeach a president since it only requires a majority vote. It’s quite a different story in the Senate which is why we’ve had three presidents impeached and no convictions up to this point.

  3. If a person is a government employee who is purely “at will”, i.e. he can be terminated for any reason or no reason (except for reasons that violate anti-discrimination laws or other general statutory protections of employment that apply to everyone) he has no reasonable expectation in employment and, therefore, has no property interest in employment. Therefore, he has no right to due process. If there are laws, or even contracts or tenure policies, that give him a reasonable expectation of continued employment, even employment to the end of his contract, he has a property right to employment and has a right, therefore, to due process before he can be terminated. (This does not mean a right to employment beyond the end of his contract barring the existence of tenure policies or practices that would given him a reasonable expectation of renewal of the contract). There are laws that specify how and when a president may be removed from office before the end of his term. Because of these laws, the president has a reasonable expectation that he will continue as president until the end of this term. He, therefore, has a property interest in that employment. He, therefore, has a right to due process.

    The other source of a right to (or at least an expectation of) due process is past precedent, which is not limited to court decisions. The past precedent in the House of Representatives has been to provide due process through investigations and hearings, with the president having a right to counsel, to present witnesses and evidence, and to cross-examine witnesses and object to evidence. Those rights were completely ignored in a rush to judgment that was motivated, frankly, by raw hatred of the president.

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