Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Can the Senate Constitutionally Punish Trump?

            The topic of discussion for this Constitution Monday concerns the constitutionally of the U.S. Senate holding a trial to convict Donald Trump of insurrection and remove him from office when he is already out of office. There are constitutional “experts” on both sides of the issue.

Some of the better known and well recognized experts say that the Senate cannot constitutionally try a private citizen – which Trump is now that he is out of office. Democrats and their minions are intent on punishing Trump, but they are more determined to keep him from running for President at a later date.

In an interview on “The Nation Speaks,” Harvard Law School Professor Emeritus Alan Dershowitz noted that Trump did not incite a riot because he asked for “peaceful and patriotic demonstrations.” He added that there is a custom in America to go after the “actor” or the “people who commit crimes” and not the “speaker.” 

Pelosi acted as soon as the attack on the Capitol was over because she wanted to strike while emotions ran hot. Once a transcript of Trump’s speech was available, anyone could see that he did nothing to incite a riot but instead invited his supporters to act peacefully and patriotically. Pelosi cannot walk back the impeachment without looking stupid, so she will advance it to the Senate tomorrow.

Dershowitz explained some options that the Senate could take. He said that the Senators could vote against taking the case, but he does expect them to do so because only a simple majority is necessary to try the case. A conviction in the Senate requires a two-thirds majority, which is always more difficult to obtain. He said that if the Senators vote to hold a trial, the trial will be unconstitutional.

My own view, and it’s not a view shared by other liberal academics, is that a Senate conviction would be null and void and Mr. Trump, citizen Trump could simply ignore the consequences. And if he decides to run for president in 2024, he should be free to do it. And the courts will have to decide whether the Sente had any authority to determine who the presidential candidates in 2024 are.

            Dershowitz suggested that a trial in the Senate would take a long time and would not be beneficial for Democrats. He said that Trump could file a lawsuit in the federal district court with a claim that he was the subject of an unconstitutional bill of attainder. He also indicated his belief that the censorship movement is more dangerous to the country than McCarthyism because it has more public support.

There are several problems with the Democrat plan. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi rushed impeachment through the House without any investigation. A week after the attack, CNN published an article quoting a federal law enforcement official stating that the federal investigation uncovered evidence that included “weapons and tactics seen on surveillance video [which] suggests a level of planning that has led investigators to believe the attack on the US Capitol was not just a protest that spiraled out of control.”

The FBI found evidence suggesting that some people at the Trump rally at the Ellipse (by the White House) left the event before it was over – possibly to obtain items used to attack the Capitol. Investigators are also looking at travel and communications records to see if there is evidence for a counterterrorism investigation.

There is also the problem of insufficient numbers of police at the Capitol before the attack occurred. US News reported that the Pentagon asked the Capitol Police if it needed support from the National Guard. It also said that the Justice Department offered FBI agents as the attack was taking place. The police turned down the offers for help. 

Last, there is the claim of Steven Sund, the U.S. Capitol Police Chief, who was in charge at the time of the attack. He “reportedly asked his supervisors ahead of time for permission to request that the D.C. National Guard be on standby if the situation spiraled out of control – but was denied.” Sund resigned soon after the attack, but he said the following in an interview with The Washington Post: “If we would have had the National Guard we could have held them at bay longer, until more officers from our partner agencies could arrive.” 

In addition, there are reports that the FBI knew that attacks were being planned several days before the attack. According to the Washington Post, the FBI warned the Capitol Police that extremists were threatening to attack Congress. The report was supposedly issued internally the day prior to the attack.

So, the FBI had intelligence saying that extremists were threatening to attack the Capitol, and they notified the Capitol Police. The Capitol Police Chief went to his superiors asking for backup and was turned down. This begs the question: Who are the “superiors” who turned down the help? Was Pelosi one of them? If so, she may have used impeachment of Trump to cover her own neglect.

The bottom line is that the Democrats and the minions in the Deep State, Big Tech, Big Media, Big Business, etc. are afraid of Donald Trump. They are fearful that he will come back into power and continue to expose their corruption. This is the reason why they are all arrayed in an effort to crush Trump. Their hatred and vindictiveness indicate that Trump was right all the time. They are swamp creatures!



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