On Being Judged by the Guilty

Or: Day 1 of the Trump Impeachment Trial

Running Thoughts on Day 1 of the Trump Impeachment Trial

Day one of the Trump Impeachment trial before the US Senate has wrapped up. The House Democrats, led by Representative Jamie Raskin, laid out their case, charging President Trump with inciting a “violent insurrection” and seeking to disqualify him from future US office.

The accusations made by Democrats during the openings are consistent with the Articles of Impeachment: that Trump “gravely endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of Government.” That Trump has demonstrated he is “a threat to national security, democracy, and the Constitution.”

What High Crimes and Misdemeanors?

For all those concerns about our institutions and our Democracy, what is Trump actually charged with? Take a step back and think of the Articles of Impeachment as an indictment by a grand jury. A document that lays out the facts concerning an individual’s conduct and how that conduct violates the law. At least in theory.

For all the accusations of “high crimes and misdemeanors,” the Articles of Impeachment don’t cite to a specific statutory violation. Certainly no high crimes and no misdemeanors.

A Moral Argument

Perhaps it’s better to say that the Democrats are making a moral argument. That Trump’s conduct, while not technically a statutory violation, cross over some other type of moral line which necessitates impeachment and a banishment from holding federal public office in the future.

This brings us to a couple questions.

Who are the Democrats, the party of late-term abortion and those who incited violence during the Summer of 2020, to lecture us on morals?

And who is Congress, perhaps the most corrupt institution in the United States, to pass judgment on anyone?

On Being Judged by the Guilty

Dare I say it, but I don’t believe Congress is concerned with justice.

What I do believe is that Congress is interested in a perverted standard of justice that holds some accountable while allowing others guilty of more egregious offenses, including those they see in their halls and committees, to pass freely.

If that is the aim of the impeachment trial, then how should it be judged?

It should be rejected and held in contempt, for those trying the case against Trump don’t seek justice in equal measure. Rather, they apportion punishment with partiality. In doing so, they are using immoral means to achieve political ends. By rejecting their partiality - and this “trial” as a whole - we affirm justice.