The House’s articles of impeachment need to focus on the fact that Trump suborned Pence and Republicans in Congress to act unlawfully to overturn the election

Rubio: “The people who stormed the U.S. Capitol were ‘lied to by politicians who were telling them that the vice president had the power to change the election results.’” 1/15

Rubio waited until after Capitol attack to say politicians lied to Trump rioters

But the lie isn’t the crucial thing. (Trump’s defenders and enablers can always bring out the old chestnut that “all politicians lie.”) 2/15

The essential point is that the lie was used as the basis of the attempt by Trump and a majority of House Republicans and a minority of Senate Republicans to unlawfully overturn the 2020 election to keep Trump in power. 3/15

This was the lie that Trump used on January 6 to incite the mob that invaded the Capitol.

The lie itself should be put right, front, and center in a re-draft of the House’s articles of impeachment, which might be voted on as early as Monday. 4/15

As it stands, the draft isn’t bad, but (unlike the House’s Ukraine impeachment articles) isn’t sufficiently focused — and “incitement of insurrection” (Article I) isn’t really the essential thing — and could be harder to prove as well. 5/15

(I note that there are no draft Articles after “Article I”, suggesting that this might be a very rough draft.) 6/15

Let’s not miss the essential point and overthink this, as I’m afraid I might have done in my post yesterday, where I suggested that the obstruction of justice statute — 18 U.S.C. § 1512 — should be emphasized in the articles of impeachment. 7/15

For the moment, anyway, forget about “insurrection.”The evidence is mounting that what we witnessed yesterday was an attempted coup (related terms are “insurrection” and “sedition”). 1/10

The essential thing — the streamlined silver bullet — for impeachment and removal is simply that Trump applied pressure on Republicans in Congress and on VP Pence to violate the law by refusing to certify the Electoral College ballots. 8/15

In case you missed it, here is a POLITICO article showing why it would have been unlawful for Pence to do that. 9/15

Trump pressures Pence to throw out election results — even though he can’t “The Vice President has the power to reject fraudulently chosen electors,” Trump tweeted Tuesday.

The great advantage of making this the centerpiece of the articles of impeachment is that it makes what Trump may or may not have believed about what he was doing irrelevant — and this for several reasons. 10/15

Trump took an oath of office to uphold the Constitution and the laws — not what he may or may not have believed about the Constitution and those laws. (As they say: ignorance of the law — or in this case, denial of the law — is no excuse.) 11/15

To be sure, what Trump may or may not have believed, or may or may not have intended when he sent the mob down Pennsylvania Ave to the Capitol on January 6, are highly relevant to the issue of his egregious abuse of power and violation of his oath of office — 12/15

but intention is a far more debatable matter (and harder to prove in court) than the simple fact that Trump suborned Pence and Congressional Republicans to violate the law. 13/15

Furthermore, everyone in Congress knew that this was what Trump wanted to achieve, as Rubio — very belatedly — has acknowledged. 14/15

The House’s draft of the articles of impeachment tries to capture some of the horror and humiliation the country endured on Jan 6, and that’s okay, but only as the backdrop of the essential thing — Trump’s attempted coup, which is a fact. 15/15



The Resistance. Vote Blue: True Blue American. We look forward, they look back. We’re progressive, they’re regressive. @twoodiac

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Thomas Wood

The Resistance. Vote Blue: True Blue American. We look forward, they look back. We’re progressive, they’re regressive. @twoodiac