Former President Donald Trump Survives again!
By James Osolo
These were the final votes on the Senate board after 5 days of the intensive trial of President Donald J. Trump. This was his second Acquittal. The first acquittal ended at 49-51; and this made him the first president in American history to be impeached and acquitted twice.
But what were the issues at hand in this second impeachment and how did Donald Trump survive for the second time?
Among the questions the senators had to grapple with was whether it’s constitutional to impeach a former president and on whether a president is above the law and whether he can do anything and get out without any punishment hiding behind unconstitutionality of the process.
The house managers lead by the impeccable Representative Jamie Raskin who had an impressive record of prosecuting such cases though he recently suffered a tragedy when his 25 years old son died by suicide on the New Year’s Eve. However, this did not affect his participation in this crucial process. The house tried their case effectively showing massive evidence on the involvement of Donald Trump in the Capitol hill insurrection on 6th January 2021; they showed scary videos of how close the senators were to facing the mob face to face; at one point they showed officer Eugene Goodman saving Senator Mitt Romney by directing him away from the mob.
They went ahead and showed Trump’s speech advising his supporters to go to Capitol hill and protect their democracy; they also showed his Tweets encouraging the mob and saying they’re good people with good intentions; they also showed evidence of Trump refusing to concede defeat and doing everything he could to try to change the results of the elections, but were these enough to convict?
Trump’s lawyers presented that it’s unconstitutional to try a former president and that the president didn’t encourage the mob; they explained that contrary to what the house managers we saying; President Trump had discouraged it; they showed the Video of Trump recorded at the Rose Gardens encouraging his supporters to be peaceful. They also claimed that he did all he could to help the situation including mobilizing the national guard in “record time.”
But what actually were the issues at hand? Why did the Republican party stood by the former president despite the overwhelming evidence showing that he was guilty?
President Trump for the last 6 years has created an army of loyal supporters who are not going anywhere anytime soon; they strongly believe the election was stolen from him and would not listen to anyone with any contrary opinion. He has also a collection massive donor list of loyal financials who are willing to provide funds to him at any given time; Trump himself raise USD 250 Million after the election and though he is restricted by how he can spend them, the money remains at his (and His party’s disposal). He therefore has a strong financial muscle. Money, like in many cases, is a very important asset in American politics.
With all these moneys he can influence election results in almost all Republican states. Some of the house Republican like Liz Cheney who voted to impeach him are already facing massive challenges; in fact, she has just survived a vote of no confidence last week on her position as the House republican conference chair, the third highest position in the house Republican leadership.
Few people can challenge Donald Trump in the Republican party; anyone who dares is at automatically lose his seat in the next election; the MAGA (Make America Great Again) army is still as strong as ever and they only listen to one person and that’s is Donald Trump and he is not about to retire anytime soon. Fortunately, or unfortunately, Donald is here to stay, and you can’t blame politicians for being selfish, can you?
And with the dynamism in politics, it remains interesting to see how the hand of Trump will be felt after his exit.
James Osolo is a writer on International Affairs. He is currently pursuing Write Your Passion Program.