A Capitol Offense: Why an Impeachment ‘Trial’ in the Senate Makes No Legal Sense

We are all WITNESSES!

I am a retired public interest lawyer observing the spectacle of Trump’s ongoing coup attempt. While I didn’t do a lot of trial work in my career, I can assure you that there has never been a trial in our jurisprudential history where the jury was comprised entirely of witnesses.

Think about that! What is the point of laying out a set of facts to the very people who were the subject of an assault? I could present this case to the U.S. Senate in three words: “What you saw.”

And then move on to closing arguments: “Trump tried to overthrow our government. It’s called ‘insurrection’ and ‘treason’ in our Constitution.”

That’s it! Trial over. They could do it on Zoom. There is no reason whatsoever to hold a trial on impeachment, other than to permit the treasonous Trump an opportunity to be heard — and we all know what that means.

Which serves to make my point that parliamentary procedures are not the appropriate response to a President who openly and on national tv, right before all of our lying eyes, incites an insurrection against both houses of Congress that results in pummeled and dead cops, dead rioters, an attempt to lynch leaders that came within minutes of succeeding, all of which was then openly endorsed by said President, empathizing with the attackers.

And he wasn’t the only public official to side with the terrorists after their attempt to topple our government.

Please try to imagine our founders facing such an insurrection in the wake of either the Constitutional Convention or the Civil War. How would the VP and Speaker of the House — the first two in the line of succession, have acted? Would they have drafted articles of impeachment from their bunkers, or an arrest warrant to be executed immediately by the Sergeants at Arms?

They would’ve had the rogue President in shackles before the smoke had cleared, and before they resumed the reading of the electoral college ballots. And they would’ve voted immediately to expel Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, and anyone who dared take the side of the insurrectionists after the fact by objecting to unanimous consent to accept the certified results of the electoral process.

Where is our moral center? Are we not Americans first?

You want to heal this nation? There is an established process for that. It’s called Truth & Reconciliation — and never has there been a country more in need of a thorough Truth & Reconciliation process to address not only the orchestrated delusions that infect at least a third of our population, but also to bring to light, resolve and recover from the unresolved traumas of slavery, civil war, and the genocide of our First Peoples who had a pretty good thing going here before we all came along and “progressed” to the point where we find ourselves now.

Not just a nation coming apart at the seams during a pandemic. But in the climate of a mass extinction event when the natural world, too, is unravelling at an accelerating pace.

THESE ARE NOT UNRELATED TRAUMAS!

The unravelling of the natural world of which we are an integral part is the most profound trauma on the largest scale that has ever been experienced. And this biospheric trauma is triggering all of our related and unresolved generational and cultural traumas.

And it stands to reason that the most traumatized among us are also the most triggered, because they don’t have adequate psycho-defense mechanisms to feel safe right now. And they are triggered to such an extent that they’re forcing us all to deal with all of our original sins — the slow-motion Holocaust that we called slavery, and the genocidal campaign against those who had lived in harmony with the natural world for at least 15,000 years before we tried to exterminate them.

Placing most of our public lands under the stewardship of a strong Native American woman like Deb Haaland of the Laguna Pueblo tribe in New Mexico is an important step in our recovery process. As would be passing Rep. Barbara Lee’s bill Urging the establishment of a United States Commission on Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation.

But if our government leaders really wanted to demonstrate that the continuation of separate systems of justice for BIPOC and white people is unacceptable, the best way to do that would be to simply arrest Donald Trump for the crime we all, as a nation, witnessed him commit.

As the House Speaker herself has stated for the record, he is a clear and present danger, and we are not out of the woods here.

What is the plan for neutralizing this clear and present danger?

The delusional thinking of the militiamen and their women is that if they create enough chaos in the coming days with attacks likely focused on black churches, mosques and synagogues, rather than empty state houses, their fearless leader can finally implement General Flynn’s plan of declaring martial law — and in their minds, while the military may be against them, their local police forces are on their side.

The only way to defeat that thinking in advance is to arrest Donald Trump for sedition, and remove him to a military base to await his trial.

Cut off the head, neutralizing the clear and present danger, and we could avoid civil war.

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