The Traitor-in-Chief Must Be Removed
Reading Time: 3 minutes
When right-wing terrorists breached the Capitol—that’s what the day January 6, 2021, will always be remembered for. They stood at the daises and occupied the House and Senate chambers. Guns were drawn on the House floor. Five people died in the stronghold of our Republic. This unprecedented siege on the core of American democracy is notable less for the astounding nature of what occured, but for the unprecedented nature of what inspired it. President Trump is responsible for encouraging this attack, and thus should be impeached to prevent such an event from happening again.
The date for the attack was not randomly chosen. That day, Congress engaged in a joint session on the House floor, certifying Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’s victory in November’s presidential election. Though this certification is a mere rubber stamp and Congress must legally certify the results, President Trump pressured Vice President Pence to overturn the election results, due to unevidenced claims of fraud. The president tweeted: “Never give up. See everyone in D.C. on January 6th” on December 26, 2020. Trump forebodingly tweeted: “Statistically impossible to have lost the 2020 Election. Big protest in D.C. on January 6th. Be there, will be wild!” on December 19. He tweeted: “The Vice President has the power to reject fraudulently chosen electors,” on January 5. With these statements, Trump gave his supporters false hope that this irrelevant procedure held great influence and that his reelection was within their grasp. This effort was the culmination of months of false allegations of election fraud that began before the election had even occurred. The events that transpired were their logical conclusion.
In the days leading up to the coup attempt, right-wing extremists converged on the nation’s capital and prepared themselves for anything. One group of white supremacist extremists, known as the Proud Boys, had recently engaged in violent protests in Washington D.C. and was planning to do so again at the inauguration. Given the stakes and the groups involved, violence was likely.
President Trump did nothing to prevent this attack. He gave a speech to the crowd hours before they began their attack, having instructed supporters to “walk down to the Capitol.” He said, “And we are going to have to fight much harder. And Mike Pence is going to have to come through for us, and if he doesn’t, that will be a sad day for our country. Because you’re sworn to uphold our Constitution.” If Trump’s speech had not been enough to incite anger and protest in the soon-to-be violent mob, Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Gulianni stirred up the crowd even further, calling for “trial by combat” against Democrats. Moments after Trump’s speech, his supporters followed his orders and walked en masse to the Capitol, determined to show their disapproval with the Senators and Representatives who would not affirm their supposed victory.
The MAGA clad marchers forced past the barricade and occupied the area within and around the Capitol for hours, forcing the Congressmen and women to evacuate. Eventually, they were forced out and despite the attempts of the terrorists, Congress certified President-elect Biden that day. While the attack failed its purpose, its impact will remain horrifying and historic.
Though his supporters attempted the coup, President Trump is to blame for it. For months, he supplied the lies of electoral fraud, now believed by 77 percent of Republicans. For weeks, he encouraged a rally in Washington D.C. That day, he incited an attack on America’s Capitol and democracy. Subverting its processes was finalizing his departure from office. This act of sedition—a high crime—must not go unpunished. Though Trump will officially leave office on January 20, he must be removed beforehand. It seems unlikely that Vice President Pence will take the avenue of invoking the 25th Amendment, which states that the vice president will take over if the president is incapable of doing his job.
Even so, impeachment and removal are still possible and necessary. Even though Trump may not have much time left in office, his waning days may continue to be violent. Furthermore, though removal would only shorten his term by around one week, it would prevent him from being allowed to run for president again and set a precedent so that something like this doesn’t happen in the future. The Capitol has been attacked and besieged before (by foreigners and traitors), but never has the president himself supported the mob. In order to ensure that American democracy isn’t threatened once more, it is imperative that the president be prevented from holding office ever again.