At around 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., presided over the darkest day in democracy within recent memory, attempting to impeach President Donald Trump for a second time with only a week left in his presidency.
The effort came exactly a week after mostly peaceful, Trump-backing demonstrators stormed the US Capitol, with some leftist Antifa radicals who had infiltrated the crowd believed to have helped instigate violence and vandalism.
Radical Democrats drafted two articles: one related to the protest, and another related to a phone call between Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger that was later leaked to the Washington Post.
In it, Trump laid out the case for vote fraud in the state and emphatically urged Raffensperger to investigate it while noting that even a minimal effort to do so could flip the outcome of the Nov. 3 election.
The first measure passed with 232 votes total, which included 10 GOP defectors; 197 opposed, and four Republicans did not vote. House members were expected to pass the second measure—with presumably similar tallies—later in the evening.
The rush to impeach Trump for allegedly inciting the violence forced the House to begin its legislative session early.
However, out-going Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., signaled that he had no intention of calling the upper body into session for the occasion, despite dubious reports in left-wing media outlets suggesting that McConnell had celebrated the impeachment effort.
While the incoming Biden administration had quietly been negotiating with senators the possibility of a dual track to allow the trial to take place concurrent with hearings to approve Cabinet appointments, it is unclear how compliant McConnell will be.
It also remains unclear how much may be left to the discretion of the next Senate majority leader, presumably Sen. Charles Schumer, D-NY, following Democrat victories in two special runoff elections in Georgia last week.
While the Constitution initially envisioned impeachment as a means of recourse against a sitting president or leader to allow for his removal from office, the Senate’s move to hold a trial after the end of Trump’s term takes his presidency—and the Left’s deranged backlash against it—once again into uncharted waters.
However, any action may be more than symbolic if the Senate were to decide to bar the president from holding federal office again, which would appear to be a potentially unconstitutional legislative effort to advance a distinct political agenda.
Some key senators have doubted that the two-thirds majority needed to convict the soon-to-be-former president would materialize, particularly since it poses the prospect of coming back to haunt faithless Republicans who had previously supported Trump.
Although images of the Capitol protest, which resulted in two killings and three additional “medical-related” deaths shocked many, emboldened Democrats’ alarming rhetoric in response to them has been all the more jarring.
Several times during Trump’s presidency, Democrat activists—supported by politicians—stormed the halls of Congress, including a notable incident during the confirmation hearings for Justice Brett Kavanaugh in which paid activists cornered then-Sen. Jeff Flake in an elevator and menacingly confronted him.
The Nazi regime rose to power in a similar fashion after Adolf Hitler was able to use a fire at the parliamentary building, the Reichstag, to turn public sentiment against dissidents, according to Smithsonian magazine.
A brutal censorship crackdown, similar to that being waged by powerful social media companies, quickly followed.