Senators swear to preserve, protect, and defend our country and our constitution. If the Republicans in our Senate acquit the President for inciting a riot and failing to protect our Capitol, they will betray their oath of office.Donald Trump also swore to preserve, protect, and defend the country and the Constitution. Yet, not accepting his loss in 2020, and using every means necessary to change that outcome, and after all election officials and judges found no evidence of fraud or wrongdoing, our president called upon his base to help him “Stop the Steal”. Stop the electoral college certification. His words and deeds incited a riot that became a full-fledged insurrection. He betrayed his oath of office.Nothing makes this more indisputable than his tweet, hours into the siege, where he announced that “Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our country and our Constitution…”. Trump’s message only fueled the mob’s rage. The rioters constructed a noose, chanting, “Hang Mike Pence…Hang Mike Pence.” Trump knew the danger Pence was facing and, yet, the Commander in Chief ordered no action against the mob, did not call in the National Guard or reinforcements for the besieged police. Others finally did.The police swear an oath too, and they lived up to it that day as they put their bodies and their lives, between the insurrectionists and the Capitol. When it was over, the carnage left one police officer stabbed with an American flag pole, another with a gouged-out eye, two with crushed spines, dozens beaten, and, five dead.The officers left standing were called upon to clean up the mess. Feces on the walls. Urine on the floors. Broken property. Desecrated offices. And the Republicans are going to acquit a President who did nothing to help them. Why? The Republican Senators cannot claim that the trial is unconstitutional. The Senate settled that question on Tuesday, voting, yes, it is.They cannot claim first amendment protection. Hundreds of first amendment scholars, many conservatives, called a first amendment defense “utterly frivolous” and “baseless.” No one can seriously argue that a president can engage in speech that leads people to attempt to overthrow the United States government.
They cannot claim that there is no evidence connecting Trump to the insurrection. Republican leaders themselves frantically called upon Trump to call off his supporters. They knew who had incited the mob and who had the power to turn them off.Why are these Republicans so blinded by Trump and his dereliction of duty? It boils down to raw politics, and these Republican Senators clinging to power. They know what Trump did, but to acquit him means to risk losing their 2022 election. What contempt they display for all of those who jeopardized their lives when Senate Republicans won’t even risk their seats of power.It is ignominious. It is disgraceful. It is shameful. It is embarrassing. It is inglorious.If they will not convict him, then we must convict them. We must declare those Senate Republicans guilty of a betrayal of their oath of office and remove them by voting them out of office in November, 2022