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  • Writer's pictureCanniget A. Witness

Trump's Second Impeachment, and Why Mitch McConnell Sucks so Much

Updated: Nov 22, 2021

It's Thursday, February 18th. I'm sure that by now, you've heard that the Senate failed to convict Trump after his second impeachment trial. Most of the Republicans in the Senate voted to acquit, which is a fancy way of saying they did not find him guilty. And this is disappointing. A lot of people were hoping that the Senate would find him guilty this time, because an armed insurrection is way more serious than a phone call.

But you may be wondering some things. Like was Trump really impeached? Why did some Republicans say that having the trial was unconstitutional? Why did they say that there was nothing they could do to Trump, even if they did have a trial? Why didn't more Senate Republicans vote to convict Trump? And what was up with Mitch McConnell and his weird speech after he voted to let Trump get off scot free? Why does Mitch McConnell suck so much?

So let's talk about all of those things. I'm going to number them because after law school, I can't talk at all without first making a list.

1. Was Trump impeached?

Yes. Trump was impeached. Impeachment, however, has two parts. The first part happens when the House of Representatives writes the Articles of Impeachment. It's a fancy looking document. You may have seen Nancy Pelosi holding it up on the news. It was in this fancy binding, like a book. The Articles of Impeachment say why the impeached person is in trouble. It's kind of the Congressional version of being written up and sent to the dean's office. The Articles of Impeachment are the referral that says why you're being sent to the dean.

After the Articles of Impeachment are written, they get delivered to the Senate. You may have seen that on the news too. The delivery is very formal. A bunch of people called the House Managers get in a line and carry the document in the fancy binding over to the Senate. It's like the Rose Parade, without the roses, or the horses, or the marching bands. Or anything fun. I mean, unless you think a bunch of lawyers in suits is fun. Do you?

Anyway, after the Articles of Impeachment are delivered, the person is impeached. Then part two starts. Part two is the Senate's part. The Senate can decide to have a trial to figure out if the person being impeached is guilty of the charge being brought against them. If the Senate has a trial, then they vote at the end of it. The person on trial gets convicted if two thirds of the Senate votes to convict them. (Convict is just a fancy word for yeah, we think you're guilty.) If they get convicted, then the Senate can vote to punish them. The punishments they can use are removal from office and being banned from ever serving in an elected office ever again.

In Trump's second impeachment trial, some Senators voted to convict him, but not enough to reach the two thirds requirement. So they never got to the punishment phase.

2. Why did some Republicans say it was unconstitutional to have a trial in the Senate after the House of Representatives impeached Trump?

Okay, so the Constitution doesn't say much about impeachment. There are only a few sections that mention it. The section the Republican Senators were using to say that it was unconstitutional for them to have a trial for Trump's second impeachment is found in Article II, Section 4, which says, "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."

So the Republicans that said that it was unconstitutional to have a trial were saying that Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution gives us a specific list of people who can be impeached. And because a FORMER president of the United States is not on that list, it is unconstitutional to have the trial. (Of course, when they said this, they were completely ignoring the fact that the House wanted to have the impeachment trial while Trump was still in office, but Mitch McConnell refused to do it, even though he could have agreed to bring senators back early from their break to have the trial. But more on that later in the section about why Mitch McConnell sucks so much.)

In the end, though, the whole Senate had a vote, and they voted that it was constitutional to go ahead and have the trial.

This tells us something important about whether something is constitutional or not. Some parts of the Constitution are really straightforward, like when it says that you have to be at least 25 years old before you can run for a seat on the House of Representatives. Other parts are well, open to interpretation. So people fight about what they mean. And the side with the most votes wins. This is true in Supreme Court decisions, and it's true in Congress.

3. Why did some Senate Republicans say there was nothing they could do to Trump, since he was already out of office?

Some Senate Republicans were saying this because they're schmucks. (I'm looking at you, Tom Cotton.) They were deliberately not mentioning one punishment that they could still use. And I guess they were hoping that the rest of us couldn't read.

Article I, Section 3, says, "Judgement in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy an Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States." The part in bold is the punishment they were pretending they didn't see.

So Article I, Section 3 tells us that there are two things that can happen to a person if they are impeached. The Senate can remove them, and tell them that they can't serve in another elected office as long as they live. Some Republican Senators were pretending they didn't know that the second punishment was there. And if they were caught, and someone pointed out to them that they were forgetting about the second punishment, then some of them were saying that the two punishments needed to be used at the same time. And since Trump was already out of office, then they could not use the second punishment at all. Which is baloney. The Constitution does not say that the two punishments have to be used at the same time. They were just making up a lie to explain why they weren't doing anything to punish Trump. And like kids when they are caught in a lie, their lie was not very convincing.

4. Why didn't more Republicans vote to convict Trump?

Well, the word on the street is that a lot of Republican Senators are just plain scared of Trump supporters. Trump is still really popular among Republican voters, and a lot of Republican Senators are afraid that if they do anything bad to Trump, his supporters will be mad.

Also, Trump himself threatened to campaign against them in their next election cycle if they crossed him. And it seems that threat made them nervous enough to not vote to convict him.

5. Why does Mitch McConnell suck so much?

Well, this is a big philosophical question, so I will narrow it down to why Mitch McConnell sucks just in the context of this one impeachment.

So McConnell, like most Republican Senators, voted to acquit Trump. But right after the Senate voted to let Trump off scot free, McConnell gave this weird speech. In the speech, he said that he thought Trump was factually and morally responsible for all of the bad things the mob did on January 6th at the Capitol. He acknowledged the fact that the mob had stormed the Capitol that day in order to stop the Electoral College vote count, and maybe kidnap and murder certain officials, like Mike Pence, and Nancy Pelosi. And then he talked about how he and his colleagues in Congress went back, unafraid, and finished counting the vote to certify that Joe Biden had won the election. He said that he and his fellow Congressmen had done their duty, unlike Trump, who did not do his. But he said, in the end, he could not find Trump guilty because he is now a former president, not a sitting president, and "former president" is not on the list of impeachable persons listed in Article II, Section 4.

Okay, here's where we get to the part about McConnell sucking.

A. Mitch, if you really thought Trump was responsible for the riot on January 6th, then why didn't you vote to convict him?

B. Mitch, in your speech about how great you were because you did your duty to the Constitution, you left out one crucial detail. When Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives, he was still in office. They impeached him on January 13, 2021, about a week before he left office. The House of Representatives wanted Trump to have his impeachment trial in the Senate before he left office. At that time, the Senate was on some kind of recess, and McConnell made an excuse to not bring them back early. He said that all of them would need to agree before he could get them to leave their vacation early and come back to the Senate to hold an impeachment trial. Which is baloney. Congress passed a law in 2004 called the Senate Resolution 296 - A Resolution Related to Adjournments and Recesses. This law allows the minority leader and the majority leaders of the Senate to agree to bring the whole Senate back into session if there's an emergency. And Chuck Schumer, the minority leader, was willing to use this law and call everyone back. Mitch McConnell was not willing. He was only willing to give a weaselly excuse.

So when McConnell said that he had no choice but to acquit Trump because the trial happened after he had already left office, I say, Mitch, you are full of baloney, and you suck. If you had wanted to, you could have cooperated with Chuck Schumer, and called all of the Senators back to have the impeachment trial before Trump left office. But you didn't. You chose not to. So to have the gall to say that you couldn't do anything but acquit Trump because he was out of office is baloney. And you suck. And I think you planned it this way. You wanted to weasel out of having an impeachment trial while Trump was still in office, so you would have an excuse to not impeach him once he was out of office. You just didn't want to see your boy get in trouble, and you found a way to make that happen.

So don't talk to me about what a hero you are, and how bravely you did your duty. You would have been doing your duty by holding a trial while Trump was still in office, but you refused. So you're no hero. You're a schmuck.

So where does that leave us? Well, there is talk of using the third section of the Fourteenth Amendment to ban Trump from holding public office again. I'm going to write a post about that later, so stay tuned. And Trump is facing many lawsuits, both criminal and civil, so that may slow him down. But I think the best thing for us to do is to remember the Republican Senators who refused to punish Trump for inciting a violent mob, and work for their opponents' campaigns when they run for office again. In fact, thirty-four Senators are going to be running for re-election next year. And when it's that time, I will let you know how to get involved.

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