Memo to Mitch McConnell: Reconvene Senate To Remove Trump ASAP

It’s your constitutional duty to remedy sedition by president if House sends articles of impeachment

David B. Grinberg
Jan 10 · 9 min read

Note: This article is also featured content via The Good Men Project

Dear Senate Majority Leader McConnell: the House of Representatives will soon vote to approve an article of impeachment against President Trump, as Vice President Pence refuses to invoke the 25th Amendment of the Constitution to remove him from office.

The House is ready to impeach Trump for his seditious act of inciting an insurrection against Congress to prevent a peaceful transfer of power and otherwise illegally attempting to overturn the presidential election results.

Trump’s unprecedented lawless actions — including, but not limited to, intentionally inciting violent riots outside and within the U.S. Capitol building on Wednesday— clearly demonstrate “high crimes and misdemeanors” for which impeachment, conviction and removal are appropriate constitutional remedies.

Therefore, if the House quickly sends the article of impeachment to the Senate, then you have a constitutional duty, a patriotic obligation, and a moral imperative to reconvene the chamber for a trial and vote before Trump’s term ends.

Your actions, or lack thereof, will set a significant historical precedent during a perilous period of national crisis.

There’s no time to waste in ousting Trump from the White House before he commits more egregious illegal actions to harm the country and subvert democracy during his final days in office.

GOP Loyalty Test

CNN reports that if the House moves expeditiously to impeach Trump this week then “Republicans could again be faced with a public test of their loyalty.”

You should seriously consider, as Senate majority leader, that a majority of the American people believe Trump must be removed from office immediately, according to a recent poll by Reuters/Ipsos. That’s because Trump has tried to desecrate our democracy for personal political gain.

“Nearly 70% of Americans surveyed also said they disapprove of Trump’s actions in the run-up to Wednesday’s assault,” reports Reuters

  • “The national public opinion survey, conducted Thursday and Friday, also showed that seven out of 10 of those who voted for Trump in November opposed the action of the hardcore supporters who broke into the Capitol while lawmakers were meeting to certify the election victory of Democrat Joe Biden.”

You may have to decide sooner, rather than later, whether to use your savvy legislative authority as majority leader to reconvene the Senate for an emergency session for impeachment proceedings to convict and remove Trump from office.

However, you have already said the Senate will not reconvene to consider any impeachment articles sent by the House until after Trump’s term expires. This would be a cowardly call by letting Trump off the hook too easily.

Hopefully, your statement is just a “trial balloon” to gauge public opinion and consider the views of senators without angering Trump, who appears increasingly unstable, delusional and unfit to serve.

Your letter to fellow senators stated the following:

  • “The Senate is currently in recess and is holding pro forma sessions every three days until January 19. Pursuant to the unanimously approved order setting up the recess and these pro forma sessions, the Senate may conduct no business until January 19.”
  • “Without unanimous consent, the Senate may not conduct any business of any kind during pro forma sessions, including beginning to act on received articles of impeachment from the House.”

You must recall that it’s unconscionable and unconstitutional that Trump commandeered a coup against the legislative branch of government. He must be held fully accountable for his unlawful behavior.

Incitement of Insurrection

Let us be clear for the record about what happened on Wednesday, January 6th:

A sitting President of the United States, during his waning days in office, launched an unprecedented and heinous assault on Congress to negate his defeat in a free and fair election.

Trump’s illegal and unconstitutional actions were carried out with a reckless, malicious, and lawless intent — resulting in the following:

1) Endangering the lives of his own vice president, along with you and members of the House and Senate, congressional staff, and the U.S. Capitol police — leaving one police officer and several civilians dead, plus many more wounded and traumatized.

2) Seeking to effectively overturn the will of the American people, who exercised their most fundamental constitutional rights by voting in record numbers during a pandemic.

3) Undermining the sacred peaceful transfer of presidential power that has always been the cornerstone of our constitutional republic.

4) Desecrating our democratic system of government, which serves as a beacon of hope and role model for freedom loving people worldwide.

As Professor Bryan Garsten of Yale University wrote in The New York Times:

  • “The key issue is this: One of the three branches of the federal government has just incited an armed attack against another branch.”

“ Beyond the threat to a peaceful transition, the incident was a fundamental violation of the separation of powers.”

  • “ Prompted by the chief executive, supporters laid siege to, invaded, and occupied the Capitol building, deploying weapons and subjecting members of both chambers of Congress to intimidation and violence in an effort to produce a particular decision by force.”
  • “If Congress does not utilize the constitutional means of defending itself and deterring future attacks, this moment will come to be regarded by historians as a decisive capitulation, not just to President Trump, but to a dangerous new mode of presidential action.”

The impeachment process, not the 25th Amendment, is the appropriate means for Congress to assert its constitutional authority of “checks and balances” against the executive branch led by a rogue and lawless president.

Thrown Under the Bus

Let us also remember how tyrant Trump did not hesitate to “throw you under the bus” after four years of your pandering and unwavering loyalty.

Why did Trump turn against you? Simply because you had the audacity to acknowledge the official vote of the Electoral College confirming Joe Biden as the clear winner in the 2020 presidential election, which is standard operating procedure for any congressional leader.

Yet you waited weeks to make this announcement in order to appease Trump, even though the election results had clearly been projected by the national news media, including conservative outlets like Fox News.

Trump also undercut your legislative authority and leadership credibility by delaying, and nearly nixing, the bipartisan emergency stimulus package to help the American people during the pandemic.

Trump double crossed you even after you and your colleagues had painstakingly negotiated with the House for months prior to reaching this deal, which the Trump Administration had said it would surely approve. Why did Trump’s prior green light turn red only after the legislation was agreed upon?

Trump then issued a clarion call to his rebel army of rabid supporters to wage war on your workplace, the iconic U.S. Capitol. Again, this put your life at risk, along with that of Vice President Pence, and countless other lawmakers — not to mention law enforcement personnel and innocent bystanders.

Trump’s tyranny was nothing short of a sad and surreal act of sedition.

Considering all these disturbing facts, how could you in good conscience, as majority leader, delay a Senate impeachment vote to convict and remove Trump from office until after his term expires? (assuming the House approves and sends the article(s) of impeachment to the Senate)

Refusing and/or delaying such a critically important and historic Senate vote would be nothing short of a grave disserve to the very democratic form of government you swore an oath to uphold and protect.

Delaying a Senate vote on impeachment would be a dereliction of duty to the American people and anathema to upholding the Constitution as envisioned by the framers.

Real Leadership

Senator McConnell, please ask yourself these relevant questions as you consider how and when the Senate will address impeachment:

  • Do I want my legacy to be that of an American patriot or a patsy for a deranged tyrannical president?
  • Do I want the history books to remember me for serving the will of the American people, or serving the corrupt and unlawful interests of Trump?
  • Do I want to be squarely on the side of decency and democracy, or instead side with the worst president in U.S. history?
  • Trump would be the first president impeached twice.

Waiting to reconvene the Senate to address impeachment until after Trump leaves office will fail to hold him fully accountable and set a terrible precedent.

Clear and Present Danger

Don’t forget that Trump remains a “clear and present danger” to our national security and domestic tranquility. He can still do lasting damage to our democracy and to the world (including our allies) every day and every hour he remains in office.

You are the powerful Senate majority leader until the Democrats take control shortly. And let’s not forget that Trump thrust you and the GOP into the minority — for which you cannot be happy — due to his unpopularity and negative impact on the Georgia Senate races.

So please keep this all in mind when considering the emergency resumption of legislative business in the Senate if you receive the article of impeachment from the House this week.

Real leadership means you cannot sit idly waiting for Trump to commit his next illegal act with impunity, even if he has only one week, one day or one hour remaining in his presidency.

Rather, you must reconvene the Senate immediately to address impeachment following any concurrent action by the House.

Final Thoughts

Sen. McConnell: you must contemplate the potentially grave consequences of failing to act on impeachment prior to Inauguration Day.

Inaction would leave YOU and Trump’s enablers in the Senate responsible for any more unlawful conspiratorial acts of sedition and insurrection by the president amid his last days in office

There are additional reasons for Congress to vote on impeaching, convicting and removing Trump before President-elect Biden takes office. Otherwise, the new Biden Administration could be initially hamstrung.

Biden deserves a fresh start in his first 100 days as president to act on the crucial priorities of his legislative agenda to help Americans in need.

That’s why it will be even more detrimental to America if the Senate is consumed with impeachment proceedings when Biden takes office, as laid out in your letter to senators on waiting to reconvene until Jan. 19 (for technical legislative reasons which are suspect).

This would be too little and too late for Trump to be held fully accountable, while also precluding Biden from governing from the outset in the most effective, efficient and expedient manner possible.

That would only harm the American people by exacerbating the pandemic response and economic crisis, which demand immediate presidential action once Biden is sworn in.

Sen. McConnell: you already failed to convict and remove Trump during the prior impeachment, when you shunned your patriotic responsibility and chose to do the president’s bidding instead — an immoral profile in cowardice!

That conspicuous failure by the Senate in 2019 only further emboldened Trump to continue his tyrannical reign by violating the Constitution, spreading more lies, and desecrating democracy with no legal consequences.

This failed and dangerous strategy by you and Senate Republicans of appeasing Trump, and ignoring his thousands of lies, ultimately led to last week’s siege of the U.S. Capitol.

Don’t make the same mistake again!

DBG

NOTE: The author is a former career spokesman for the U.S Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) who also served in the White House as a young political appointee for President Bill Clinton.

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