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Anne Mikolay

After the opening days of Donald J. Trump’s second impeachment trial, three things are apparent: 1) Trump must have found his defense team at the dollar store;  2) Trump is guilty as charged, and 3) Republicans will disregard the overwhelming evidence of Trump’s culpability and vote to acquit.

The impeachment managers presented a compelling, detailed case, complete with substantiating documentation and never-before-seen video. The polished, focused speakers on the impeachment team were riveting, On the other hand, Donald Trump’s attorneys, Bruce L. Castor, Jr. and David Schoen, stumbled out of the gate. Both rambled, seemingly bogged down by their own excessive words and their lack of a viable defense. Though both are allegedly esteemed lawyers, apparently neither is in the same professional league as their opposition. In a righteous world, Trump’s poor representation, coupled with the impeachment team’s thorough case, would guarantee a guilty verdict. However, Republicans have made it shamefully clear this impeachment will be unsuccessful. They are not concerned with evidence or truth, and they will not convict the former president.

The Republicans’ position is mind-boggling. The facts related to January 6th are irrefutable. The insurrectionists themselves stated they invaded the Capital at Donald Trump’s invitation. They parroted Trump’s own words. They came armed and dressed for battle. Though they did not achieve their goal of eliminating Vice President Pence and Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the operation was devastating. The insurrection on January 6th led to the murder of one police officer defending the Capital. Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt was shot and killed as she charged the Capital. 140 police officers were injured. One suffered brain trauma; another sustained a crushed cervical disc. An officer was stabbed with a pole; another lost three fingers; yet another lost an eye. Days afterward, two officers committed suicide. All this because of one man’s fabricated “stop the steal” mission. As Republican Senator Mitt Romney said, “If inciting insurrection isn’t impeachable, what is?”

This tragedy of January 6th is disturbing on so many levels. Even now, with Trump’s promises unfulfilled and his lies uncovered, people are loyal to him. When will they learn allegiance to one individual is not allegiance to country? Any individual who demands personal allegiance offends the Republic. Inciting a massive riot to further one’s political agenda is not love of country. Ignoring the welfare of your own Vice President and government officials is not love of country. Perpetuating the myth that President Biden won in a “rigged election” is not love of country. Using Americans for personal benefit is not love of country. Purposefully moving your base to violence is not love of country. Voting to acquit a guilty man is not love of country.

Why, then, are Republicans clinging to the “not guilty” mindset? It’s been posited that Republicans will acquit Donald Trump to win favor with his base. This, too, is disturbing. The people we witnessed climbing the Capital’s walls and calling for the hanging of Mike Pence are not the type one should want in his/her corner! Of course, not all Trump supporters are crazed insurrectionists, but apparently the GOP is not discerning. Remaining in office and accomplishing personal agendas is far more important to Republican senators than truth and justice.

Though Trump’s second impeachment will likely be unsuccessful, he will not walk away unscathed. His “legacy,” if you can call it that, is forever tainted. Donald Trump will be known as the only American president twice impeached. History will not reflect positively on the 45th president, who faces a myriad of legal proceedings going forward, nor will history compliment the Republcan party.

All is not lost, however. Within this unsuccessful impeachment effort, truth is well noted. The Democrats’ timeline of the actual events of January 6, 2021 is now recorded for all time. The truth of this insurrection and the duplicity of the Republican party will forever be known. So, too, will the identities of the few Republicans dedicated to country rather than self.  In calling for fellow Republicans to convict Donald Trump over the Capital riot, Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger of Illinois said,, “I will continue speaking the truth no matter how angry it makes people. If I was willing to risk my life for America in the Air Force, I’m sure as hell willing to risk a job to do the same thing.”

Here’s hoping more Republicans will follow Congressman Kinzinger’s example and learn to speak the truth going forward.

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