I Do Not Consent To These Lies
I do not believe that U.S. President Donald Trump committed insurrection, nor incitement to insurrection, nor do I believe that he in any way incited the violence that occurred in and at the Capitol building. The politicians and the media are speaking as if these false claims are facts. I do not consent to these lies.
Please read this article by Glenn Greenwald. He has written much more eloquently and insightfully than I on this subject. I agree with what he is saying. (Note that Greenwald lost his job at TheIntercept.org when he tried to publish a piece criticizing Biden, just before the election. The powers-that-be at Intercept intercepted his article and, on the pretext of editing it, attempted to whittle it down from a support post to a tooth pick. He was forced out of the publication he helped found.)
Most persons assembled to exercise their right to peaceful protest. Unfortunately, violence broke out and a small portion of the crowd committed acts of violence. Five persons died and at least several more were injured. I do not believe it was an insurrection or a coup. Violence has broken out in many other protests in the recent past. The persons who committed these acts of violence are the ones who are to blame, not the President. He at no time called for violence, nor insurrection, nor a coup.
President Trump’s complaints about the election process and his claim that he really won or would have won, if only licit votes were counted is similar to the election in which Al Gore ran against George W. Bush. After Bush was handed a victory by the Supreme Court during a contested recount, Democrats widely claimed that Al Gore really won and that Gore was really President. Disputing an election result is not insurrection, nor is it any kind of crime. Seeking redress in an election in which one believes the results were tainted is not a violation of democracy, but an important part of the democratic process. In the end, it was clear that Joe Biden won the election, and Donald Trump lost. But controversy over the election is not a crime, nor is it the basis for exercise of the 25th Amendment or use of Impeachment powers.
The claim that Trump incited an insurrection is false for two reasons. He did not incite, and the violence was spontaneous and criminal, but not an insurrection or a coup. What will happen in future national elections? Will it become impossible to ask for a recount or to investigate claims of election fraud? Will anyone who questions an election outcome be charged with insurrection or treason? This does not bode well for the future of our nation. And I have to point out that if a democratic President were in office, and he behaved similarly to Trump, the media and the Congress would not be evaluating events in the same manner. This false claim of incitement to insurrection, I said incitement, is a continuation of anti-Trump bias and hatred which is unbecoming of an enlightened democracy.
The media and politicians are speaking as if these claims of incitement to insurrection are a fact. Yet everyone acknowledges that the President did not call for violence, and told the protesters to go home.
Use of the 25th Amendment
Speaker Pelosi openly stated that the motivation for impeachment and alternately for use of the 25th Amendment was political, to keep Trump from being reelected by the people. This attempt to thwart what may be the will of the people in the next presidential election is more like a coup or insurrection than anything Trump has said or done. Pelosi clearly admits that she and other members of Congress are acting in an attempt to keep the people from reelecting Donald Trump in a future election. That is not a proper basis for an impeachment, nor for an exercise of the 25th amendment.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a “60 Minutes” interview that aired Sunday night that one of the motivating factors for some in the new effort to impeach President Trump and remove him from office is to eliminate any chance he has of being elected again. Fox news
The 25th Amendment is exercised when the President is unable to exercise his office.
“Section 4. Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.
Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that no inability exists, he shall resume the powers and duties of his office unless the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive department or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit within four days to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. Thereupon Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within forty-eight hours for that purpose if not in session. If the Congress, within twenty-one days after receipt of the latter written declaration, or, if Congress is not in session, within twenty-one days after Congress is required to assemble, determines by two-thirds vote of both Houses that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall continue to discharge the same as Acting President; otherwise, the President shall resume the powers and duties of his office.” Wikipedia
The process is this. Pence and a majority of the cabinet officials would have to decide Trump is “unable” to exercise his office. That is simply a lie. Trump is able to continue in office for the next less than 10 days, until Biden is sworn in. Upon receipt of that lie by Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Grassley, Pence immediately becomes acting President.
However, Trump can then submit a written declaration that no inability exists, and then he resumes as President. Then Pence and a majority of the cabinet (actually, “the principal officers of the executive department or of such other body as Congress may by law provide”) can again transmit a written declaration of inability, in which case Congress decides the issue by a 2/3rds vote of both Houses. Failing that supermajority of both Houses, Trump remains as President.
Use of impeachment for political purposes is reprehensible and literally an act of treason. Pelosi’s plain statement that the 25th amendment and/or impeachment would be used to ensure that Trump cannot run for office again is a crime against this democracy. It prevent the voters from choosing whomever they wish to be President of the United States, and it gives the Speaker the unconstitutional power to unlawfully prevent someone from being elected, when the constitution allows that possible election. Pelosi and her supporters are attempting to remove President Trump for reasons of political power and bias, not because he has committed any high crime.
The U.S. President cannot be impeached for misdemeanors alone. The text says “high crimes and misdemeanors”, not “or”. So at least one high crime must be alleged for an impeachment, though misdemeanors may also be considered.
The 25th Amendment is not a viable way to remove President Trump, as it is unlikely that 2/3rds of both Houses will claim that Trump is unable to exercise his office. This is sought as a way to be able, in a future presidential election, to claim that Trump is unfit to run for office.
An impeachment is likely to succeed, as the Democrats control the House, and the House alone votes for impeachment. However, conviction is in the hands of the Senate. A 2/3rds majority is required. I wonder whether the pressures from the media and the internet might result in an actual successful impeachment, for political reasons, only days before a President is set to leave office.
If Trump is convicted after impeachment, he cannot run for office again.
And that is the main goal of this impeachment procedure. Pelosi and her supporters are seeking to prevent the possible reelection of Trump in 2024. And given that this is the only goal, and that incitement to insurrection is merely a false claim, it is a violation of the constitution to impeach someone for political reasons.
What will happen in future years, when the Republicans control the House and the Senate. Will they impeach a President merely because he or she is a Democrat? Will it become impossible for the people to elect anyone without also giving their party a majority of both Houses? Democrats and Republicans used to be able to work together. But now, in this post-truth society, we are pressured to consent to lies under threat of retaliation from employers, social media companies, and who knows what is next.
I do not consent to these lies. President Trump is not unable to exercise his office. Any use of the 25th Amendment is a lie. President Trump did not commit any high crimes during his term in office. Any impeachment of him, the first one and the proposed second one, are also lies.
I do not agree with President Trump’s exaggerated rhetoric and his claims of massive voter fraud. But he has the same first amendment rights of freedom of speech that we all have — or used to have before large media companies aggregated to themselves the power to decide what is or is not truth. Trump should not be removed or impeached or convicted. Simply waiting 10 or fewer days will result in a peaceful transition of power to Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.
Ronald L Conte Jr