Posts tagged with "Senator Mitch McConnell"

Donald Trump illustration by Kaelen Felix for 360 MAGAZINE

Donald Trump Impeached Again

By Dana Feeney

The House of Representatives has voted to impeach President Donald Trump for the second time in his four-year term as president, which started in January of 2017. He is the third president to be impeached and the first president ever to be impeached more than once. This second impeachment comes shortly after the riots in the capital last week on January 6th, 2021. Trump is being impeached on the charge of “incitement of insurrection’’ because of the statements he made on January 6. He told his supporters to “fight like hell” because the Democrats were stealing the election. You can watch the speech hereDuring the riots, Trump supporters carrying a variety of racist and white supremacist paraphernalia swarmed the Capitol and forced their way into the building to stop the count of electoral votes. The riot caused the deaths of at least five individuals, including a Capitol police officer. 

Because of the insurrection, Democrats pushed for Vice President Mike Pence to enact the 25th amendment, which he could use to declare Trump unfit to serve as president and remove him from office. Republicans blocked this move. U.S. Congressmen David N. Cicilline (RI-01), Ted Lieu (CA-33), and Jamie Raskin (MD-08) introduced the article of impeachment to the House of Representatives on the morning of January 11, 2021. The article of impeachment is co-sponsored by 211 members of Congress according to Cicilline’s press release. You can read the full article of impeachment here. On January 13, 2021, the House of Representatives voted to impeach Trump with a 232 to 197 majority. 10 Republicans voted to impeach, more members of the president’s party than in any prior impeachment.

Impeachment does not mean removal from office; impeachment is adjacent to an indictment. The difference in American law is that indictment applies to criminal charges, while impeachment is the accusation of misconduct in a political setting. Any civil officer in the United States can be impeached. In the case of the President or Vice President, the first step is the introduction of the article(s) of impeachment in the House of Representatives. After the article(s) of impeachment are introduced to the House, the House then votes on each article of impeachment, and if any pass by a simple majority, more than 50%, the articles will be tried in front of the Senate. During the Senate trial, the chief justice of the Supreme Court presides over the Senate trial, the Senate body functions as the jury, a committee of House representatives, called “managers,” act as the prosecution, and the president and his or her lawyers act as the defense. All articles of impeachment are argued on the Senate floor, then are voted on by the Senate body to either convict or acquit; to convict, there must be a two-thirds majority. Only two presidents, Bill Clinton and Andrew Johnson, were impeached and reached the Senate trial, both were acquitted. Despite an extensive impeachment investigation, Richard Nixon was never impeached because he resigned.  

Yesterday, January 13, 2021, the House voted to impeach Trump with only six days until the inauguration of Joe Biden. It is highly unlikely that Trump will be removed from office before the end of his term as president. The Senate is not set to be in session until January 19, 2021, and neither Democrats nor Republicans benefit from rushing the trial to be any sooner as this Senate trial will be a lengthy process that requires preparation from both the prosecution and the defense. Despite Trump losing the support of some members of his party, it is unclear how likely it is that Trump will be convicted because, even Mitt Romney, who voted to impeach in the first impeachment, has implied he is unsure that this is the right way to go. Many Republicans may hesitate to vote to convict because of the 74 million people who voted for Trump; these are the people who control whether Republicans will be reelected in the future. The main person who could cause a possible shift is Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader. If McConnell chooses to vote to convict Trump, other members of the Republican party may do the same. McConnell released this statement on January 13 saying that “there is simply no chance that a fair or serious trial could conclude before President-elect Biden is sworn in next week.”

Trump has been silent since besides releasing this video condemning violence and has not acknowledged the second impeachment. He has been banned from social media, including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitch, and Snapchat. Along with these bans, the tech industry has made broad statements against this recent violence. Apple and Google have removed the app Parler from their app stores. The app was used by Trump supporters and white supremacists to communicate and coordinate the attack on the Capitol. Further, Amazon Web Services, which hosted the app, has cut off its service to Parler on the premise that it violated its terms of service. One feature of the app was that users could upload a photograph of their government-issued ID or driver’s license to become a “Verified Citizen.” The app lost the support of its security services, which protected user data, leaving it vulnerable to hackers who stole the data and turned it over to the FBI to be used to identify terrorists present at the riot. Read more about it here. Additionally, there are accounts publicly identifying people in photographs from the riots on platforms including Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok. Federal officials are identifying and arresting individuals who were at the event.

 The riots have caused many security changes in Washington D.C. and state capitals across the U.S. as Joe Biden’s inauguration grows closer and threats of further violence continue to spread online. These changes include the resignation of the U.S. Capitol Police chief, Steven Sund, increased police and national guard presence in Washington D.C. and the implementation of high security barriers around the Capitol building. Many D.C. businesses inside of the security perimeter are already making changes in preparation for the inauguration. Some are boarding up their windows in preparation for possible protests while others are preparing to serve guests who come to D.C. for the inauguration. In response to various local, state, and federal officials asking people not to travel to Washington, D.C., Airbnb has canceled all reservations in the Washington, D.C. metro area during the inauguration week, according to this press release. Some hotel chains in the city have stated that they will be hosting guests; as of now, nothing has been done to prevent this.

The events in this article, including the Senate trial, the consequences of the riots, and the coming inauguration, are all ongoing.

 

Trump Booed at Ginsburg’s Casket

By Payton Saso

On Thursday, President Donald Trump made a brief trip to the Supreme Court to visit the casket of the late Justice Ginsburg. However, where he and his wife, Melania, came to stand in silence to pay their respects, the observing crowds’ chants consumed the moment.

The crowd booed, chanted “vote him out” and “honor her wish” as the President stood for a short time wearing a mask, which he is not usually seen doing. It seems his symbolic act of honoring Justice Ginsburg did not appease the masses.

After a video showing the moment Trump learned of the Justice’s passing was broadcasted, many people were shocked that the President appeared civil, for lack of a better word, when interviewed.

However, it is important to remember actions speak louder than words, and this bare minimum, one-off moment does not over power his lasting sentiment about Ginsburg.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had not been one to shy away from sharing her opinion, especially when she saw something as an injustice. CNN reported that in 2016 Ginsburg “called Mr. Trump “a faker” who has “an ego” and has been treated too gently by the press. She said Mr. Trump “says whatever comes into his head at the moment” and has no consistency in his thinking.”

But this does not come as a surprise that this is how the Justice felt about the President. As a champion of women’s rights and one of the Justice’s that falls far left in opinion, it’s not unusual that the acts of an ultra-conservative, law bending president would not be Ruth’s cup of tea.

This showed strongly when NPR reported Ginsburg’s dying wish: “Just days before her death, as her strength waned, Ginsburg dictated this statement to her granddaughter Clara Spera: ‘My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.’”

This, however, is not the track the President is taking. With a vacancy on the Supreme Court, a Republican President’s nomination could shift the court in their favor 6-3, and Trump and Senator Mitch McConnell are trying to clutch that nomination before the November election.

It seems the revered Justice’s dying wish will not be honored even though the man pushing for her replacement made a similar exception four years ago.

Republican Senator McConnell’s words have come back to haunt him when in 2016 following Justice Scalia’s passing, he made it clear they would not allow a nomination during an election year. “Approximately one hour after his death, McConnell announced that the Senate would not hold confirmation hearings for anyone President Barack Obama chose to nominate. McConnell claimed, without any legal basis, that Supreme Court vacancies should not be filled in election years,” NBC reported.

But it seems now the Senator is back peddling, pushing for a new nomination just 40 days from the election. Not only are they dishonoring Justice Ginsburg’s death by nominating someone while Trump is still president, but Trump publicly said he doesn’t believe that was really her dying wish.

On the Fox News broadcast ‘Fox and Friends’ Trump gave an interview Monday claiming her dying wish might have been fabricated.

“I don’t know that she said that, or was that written out by Adam Schiff and Schumer and Pelosi. I would be more inclined to the second, OK? That came out of the wind,” Trump said. “It sounds so beautiful. But that sounds like a Schumer deal or maybe a Pelosi or shifty Schiff. So that came out of the wind. Let’s see. I mean, maybe she did and maybe she didn’t.”

This was dedicated in a fact checking article written by CNN where they rebuffed saying that these claims are completely baseless.

This conspiracy theory made up in the mind of Trump, seems just another way Trump has concocted that Democrats are out to get him. Claiming a person, let alone a Supreme Court Justices’ dying wish is a scheme made up by Democrats to dissuade Trump from making a nomination is outlandish.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg deserves to honored after death for her revolutionary career and the lasting impact she had on many people’s lives, especially women’s. So while the crowd booed and chanted “honor her wish” as Trump paid his respects, whether it was for show or not, the public can only hope that the President does, or at least isn’t able to push his nomination.