Said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, “We cannot escape history.”
WASHINGTON — At the scene of the crime — a week after the Capitol attack and a week before Joe Biden’s inauguration — the House impeached President Donald Trump again, this time, for “willful incitement of insurrection.”
The action jumps to the GOP-run Senate — another Jan. 6 crime scene — where Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Wednesday night there is no time for a trial before Biden gets sworn in next week.
So a trial will wait until Senate Democrats take control, Trump is out of office and Biden is in the White House.
Democrats, joined by 10 Republicans, including Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., voted 232-197 to make Trump the only president in history to be impeached twice.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said the insurrectionists were “domestic terrorists” who did not appear out of nowhere. They were sent by Trump. She said the House had to act. “We cannot escape history.”
The impeachment raced through the House at the speed of light, coming straight to the House floor without a hearing. There could be testimony in a Senate trial.
In the House, the speedy impeachment took about two hours. The lawmakers who voted to impeach Trump were also witnesses to the crime: a Trump-inspired mob, fed junk information that the election could be overturned, invaded the Capitol to stop Congress from counting Biden’s Electoral College vote.
Republicans who want to rinse the party of the corrosive Trump influence — that is, take Trump out of Trumpism — will get a dividend if Senate Democrats can find enough Republicans to get a supermajority of 67 votes needed for a conviction.
The Constitution says that after a conviction, the Senators could vote to disqualify Trump from holding office again, removing Trump from the 2024 presidential contest, clearing the field for other ambitious Republicans.
Trump, the reality show star, leveraged birther lies about President Barack Obama to launch his political movement. He grew it with his Twitter magic touch and complicit Republican enablers who denied reality, fearful of his wrath.
Trump will leave office Jan. 20 with his series cancelled. His second impeachment guarantees his place in history as the worst president of the United States. I never thought he would resign. He still has pardons to give out.
All 13 Illinois House Democrats voted to impeach Trump. Of the five Illinois GOP members, Kinzinger was the only yes.
On the floor, Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Ill., the top Republican on the House Administration Committee, tried and failed to get support for his alternative to impeachment suggestion, creation of a bipartisan commission to probe the “domestic terrorist attack” on the Capitol in lieu of impeachment. “We need to fully understand what took place last week,” he said.
In this impeachment-in-a-blink, floor speeches were limited to 30 seconds or a minute.
Rep. Danny Davis, D-Ill., in his turn said, “The people of the 7th District of the state of Illinois have told me what to do. They have said impeach this president.”
Said Rep. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, D-Ill., “I voted to impeach him once, and I’m ready to do it again.” Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., said, “Time to hold this president accountable,” while freshman Rep. Marie Newman, D-Ill., used her seconds to chide Republicans for not wearing COVID-19 face masks.
In the sprint to the impeachment vote, House Democrats often praised Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyoming — the daughter of ex-Vice President Dick Cheney — for coming out forcefully for impeachment, saying it would be a vote of “conscience.”
They weren’t doing Cheney, the number three House leader, a favor. She may be tossed from leadership by GOP pro-Trump hardliners.
Many Republicans, such as Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fl., replayed their grievance list — “impeachment is an itch that doesn’t go away,” he said, as they worshiped at the altar of false equivalence. Gaetz brought up Pelosi tearing up Trump’s State of the Union speech last year as he denounced violence from the left and the right.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, another enabler, did something right Wednesday — holding Trump responsible for the insurrection and, also important, he tried to shut down a conspiracy.
Some Republicans, such as freshman Rep. Mary Miller, R-Ill., suggested that it was possible antifa — a nickname for the anti-fascist protest movement — had something to do with the Capitol violence. That took heat off of the pro-Trump White nationalists, anti-Semites and election deniers in the mob.
Said McCarthy, “Some say the riots were caused by antifa. There is absolutely no evidence of that, and conservatives should be the first to say so.” And he did, at the crime scene.