There is no lack of opinions on this topic. I’ll be brief. I am against the second impeachment. The Senate will not get the 66 votes needed, so acquittal is inevitable. Can they strip Donald Trump of his right to run again? A number of constitutional scholars have said no.
So, the “can” part is shaky. The question of whether Trump’s actions merit impeachment, I contend, is also very weak. To encourage people to fight for what they believe in, is not the same as to incite a riot. Trump did not tell the people to go to the Capital and break in. He said to his followers that he knew they had plans to march on the Capital. He said a lot of things in support of their protest of the election results. It makes no difference if it was the truth or lies. You can not convict an elected official because they lie, particularly in off-hand comments to a group of protesters. And absolutely you can not convict an elected official for supporting a protest rally, which is exactly how this began.
Further, more evidence is coming to light that the break-in of Congress was in many ways planned in advanced. The organizers brought rope, and ladders to break-in. No one will be able to show Trump caused the attack on the Capital to occur. His defenders will point clearly to two sentences in his tirade in front of protesters on January 6:
“I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard. Today we will see whether Republicans stand strong for integrity of our elections, but whether or not they stand strong for our country, our country. “
Trump message was very simple – that he won the election honestly, and the Democrats rigged the election to show that he lost it. That was his narrative. The villains of the day included Mike Pence who he wanted to act in an illegal manner to refuse certification. Rudy Giuliani probably was more guilty than Trump of inciting violence, but I think he’s got a number of legal problems going forward.
I felt the House should have passed a motion of censure, which they could have gained the support of many Republicans. Trump’s speech on January 6 did encourage violence, and censure would have been appropriate.
It is what it is, my good friend says. Get ready for a lot of speeches in February, calling the impeachment unconstitutional and defending Trump and his right to free speech. Legal experts will testify that Trump can’t be impeached, and this whole Senate trial is a sham. And they will focus on one word he said on January 6 “peacefully” as proof that the impeachment is without merit.
There are so many links on the internet, including the transcript of Trump’s Jan 6 speech to the protesters. I use the word protesters or Trump’s supporters so I don’t characterize everyone assembled in front of the White House as participating in the attack on the Capital.