Letter 2 America for January 10, 2021

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Dear America,

Our Constitution was conceived and created in fragments over the course of about two centuries.  As a consequence, like any patchwork, it has seams that allow for interpretation.  So, when a provision was introduced, an Amendment for example, it sometimes left interstices as to issues like how it was to be enforced.  With regard to impeachment, for example, Section 2 of Article 1 gives the power to impeach to the House of Representatives.  Section 3 gives the Senate the sole power to try the person impeached, and says how the trial should proceed in general terms, but it doesn't say anything about the impeachment process in The House, effectively the indictment process, per se.

Section 3 of the 14th Amendment says:

"No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold ANY (emphasis added) office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.  But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability,"

all of which raises the question, does impeachment for a role in an insurrection itself, regardless of any trial that might or might not occur pursuant thereto, bar the impeached from holding office again?

I don't know the text of the articles of impeachment being circulated by Nancy Pelosi, but I would argue that this provision of our Constitution should be specifically referenced by incorporation in the definition of high crimes and misdemeanors with the phrase, "including insurrection or rebellion and giving aid and comfort to the enemies of the United States and our Constitution as specified in Section 3 of the 14th Amendment of our Constitution".  By doing so, the act of impeachment by our House of Representatives would arguably suffice to preclude Donald Trump from ever holding government office again. We may not be able to remove Trump from office now, but we might obviate removal in the future ever becoming an issue again.

I am no expert when it comes to the Constitution, or perhaps when it comes to anything at all.  There may be a provision of the Constitution that limits the significance of impeachment to effectively indicting someone.  It may be that impeachment can only serve as an indictment requiring trial by The Senate.  But whether that is so or not, an impeachment in and of itself, especially if it incorporates the language I suggest, would possibly be a permanent impediment to Trump's re-ascendancy. 

The events of January 6, which Donald Trump specifically suggested be committed and by doing so gave direction and comfort to the perpetrators thereof, should render that invasion of the seat of our legislature the death knell of the Trump threat to our nation's stability, not just now, but in perpetuity.  I don't mean only that such an outcome would be just, but rather, that we are delinquent in our duty as the progenitors of generations of Americans to come if we don't at least make the full effort to prevent the end of democracy in the United States of America as far as possible.  Every word, comma and phrase in any articles of impeachment that our House of Representatives passes will be of profound significance in this effort, and as such, should be weighed and assessed thoroughly, as should be any elision from the text.

It smacks of melodrama to claim that the interlopers of January 6 were invading my house, but it certainly is the case that they invaded our house.  It is not just symbolism to so suggest in that our laws, and hence justice and freedom in this country spring from there, and any effort to interdict that process is more than technical treason.  It is a genuine existential threat to our liberty as people and as a people.  Let's hope that congress does something...anything...to keep Donald Trump from wreaking his vile, psychotic  megalomania on our country again.  

Your friend,


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This page contains a single entry by Michael Wolf published on January 10, 2021 12:32 PM.

Letter 2 America for January 6, 2021 was the previous entry in this blog.

Letter 2 America for January 12, 2021 is the next entry in this blog.

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