In November of 2019, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi had voted President Donald Trump “guilty of obstruction of Congress.” As a result, America had voted to impeach the President for his wrongdoings. Fourteen months later, Pelosi had again impeached Trump, this time for “inciting violence against the government of the United States.” With only one week left in his Presidency, many Americans have questioned the true gravity behind this impeachment at the conclusion of his term in office. Here is why Trump’s recent impeachment is, in fact, worthwhile.
According to political analyst Catie Edmonson, Democrats have argued that “inciting an insurrection against the legislative branch would set a dangerous precedent for impunity among future Presidents”. In other words, letting this behavior go unpunished would lead to the belief that future Presidents could commit impeachable offences and get away with it, which is not what the framers of the Constitution intended. Democrats further argue that the impeachment was deserved after Trump’s utterance of the words “fight like hell to protect your Capitol”, even leading a protest movement on the building.
Furthermore, if the impeachment trial were to start so late in the month, it would be unfair to President-elect Joe Biden. This is because, according to the Constitution, impeachment is the only issue that the Senate can consider while a trial is underway; it cannot deal with other legislative business. While Biden has asked to alter this rule, the subject matter was turned down by the House of Representatives. “Given the rules, procedures, and Senate precedents that govern Presidential impeachment trials, there is simply no chance that a fair or serious trial could conclude before Biden is sworn in next week”, says U.S Senator Mitch McConnell. “In light of this fact, I believe it will best serve our nation if Congress and the Executive Branch spend the next seven days completely focused on facilitating a safe inauguration and an orderly transfer of power to the incoming Biden administration”.
While impeaching a President within the last week of their administration may seem a bit ridiculous to some, others may argue that the importance of these trials severely outweigh the rushed nature of the event. All Presidents, whether Democrat or Republican, should be held accountable for their actions, and their impeachment trials should not be at the expense of other Presidents. “Is there little time left?”, asked Representative Steny H. Hoyer during the debate, “Yes. But, it is never too late to do the right thing.”