As the full House convenes on Wednesday to vote on the two impeachment articles against President Trump, he needs to be impeached and subsequently indicted.
The evidence is clear. Donald Trump abused his power as president by “pressuring Ukraine to assist him in his re-election campaign by damaging Democrat rivals.” In addition, the evidence is also clear that Trump obstructed Congress by “blocking testimony and refusing to provide documents in response to House subpoenas in the impeachment inquiry.”
Republicans will continue to feign disgust and abhorrence for the impeachment inquiry. They will characterize the impeachment process as completely inappropriate. Trump will continue to call it a “witch hunt” and a “Star Chamber of party persecution” on the part of Democrats. Republican defenders and Trump, himself, will continue to portray Trump as a victim of the venom of a Democrat kangaroo court. Republican ire will spew in defense of who they perceive as their innocent leader, who was personally selected by God to be president of the United States. Republican abhorrence will rail against Democrats for what they are doing to Trump. However, they will not parade out any real evidence that can prove Trump’s innocence. According to Republicans, it is the impeachment process that is wrong—as they argue, “hell, Trump eventually gave Ukraine the $391 million that he was bartering, no harm, no foul!”
From the presidential campaign trail until today in his occupancy of the White House, Trump has been engaged in likely impeachable behavior with great regularity. He is a proven serial liar, lying as easily as he breathes, so much so that PolitiFact, a fact-checking site, just a couple of days ago chose Trump for his “Lie of the Year” for an unprecedented third time in a row. Trump is the little brat who cried “wolf.” Even if he was innocent, which the evidence clearly does not support, it would be difficult for a jury to find him innocent given his penchant for lying.
It is likely that the House will impeach Trump. The case then will go to the Senate where he will be tried. Without any hint in the veiling of the Republican-controlled Senate’s plan, it is evident that Republicans are waiting for instructions from the White House on the strategy that will be used in the Senate trial. Just a few days ago, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that he will be in “total coordination with the White House counsel.” Unless Republican senators suddenly wake up from their stupor, their complete disregard for evidence, and their unwavering support for Trump as their god, it is likely that the Senate trial will find Trump not guilty. The consequences of this likely scenario are immensely dire. Imagine a Trump who will see himself as “vindicated” and the horror that he undoubtedly will unleash against his enemies, including the nation’s most vulnerable inhabitants. Imagine, a corrupt evil person with keys to do as he pleases.
We, the American public, will need to make sure that Trump’s supporters who choose to be loyal to a corrupt president rather than to the American people and democracy, pay the price for their actions. Many, like Trump, will be up for re-election in 2020 and others in 2022. We must make sure that, like their corrupt leader, they be held accountable and not be re-elected. It is not hyperbole—we really are at a crucial point in our nation’s history. Trump has already destroyed many of the principles that many Americans hold dearly. We cannot allow him to ravage our country any further.
If Trump is not ousted, we certainly will need to draw from the strengths and courage of people around the world —in Chile, in Hong Kong, in India, in Nicaragua, and other locations— who are bravely protesting against anti-democratic and unjust forces impacting their lives and their countries. If Trump is not removed from office, we cannot see it as “business as usual.”
Rogelio Sáenz, a sociologist and demographer, is professor in the Department of Demography at the University of Texas at San Antonio. He regularly contributes op-ed essays to newspapers around the country. He tweets from @RogelioSaenz42.