[Opinion] Donald Trump should have been convicted during his second impeachment trial

Travis Newbery, Editor-in-Chief

After definitively losing his reelection in Nov. 2020, former President Donald Trump perpetuated outrageous claims of voter fraud and election manipulation. These lies peaked on Jan. 6, the day when legions of his supporters invaded the United States Capitol Building in an effort to stop the counting of the electoral votes that would secure Joe Biden’s presidency.

Immediately following that disgusting stain on American history, articles of impeachment were filed against Trump, leading to a historic second impeachment in the House of Representatives and yet another acquittal in the Senate, an act of treachery and treason on the same level as the events of Jan. 6. 

The fact that Trump wasn’t indicted in the Senate after months of unbelievable slander against the integrity of national voting infrastructure and inciting an insurrection against not only Congress but also his own vice president, is appalling. The events of Jan. 6 were clearly and unequivocally caused by a buildup of lies by the Sore-Loser-in-Chief, and ended with a quaint rally and a call to storm the Capitol, coincidentally, the same day the electoral votes were being counted. 

“We fight. We fight like hell. If you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore,” Trump said at the rally proceeding the insurrection, totally not meaning to send his swarms of untamed worshipers to attack our nation’s lawmakers. 

After thousands of claims of election fraud, probably hundreds of legal challenges to election results from the Trump campaign team and a sharp dissociation from reality, Trump’s red hat army gathered down the street from the Capitol on the morning of Jan. 6 and were once again fed the same feast of mistruths, finger-pointing and crybaby whining that they had been since Nov. 7. 

Finally, after hearing from the full band of lunatics commonly known as Trump’s inner circle, the Trumpies heard from the Big Kahuna himself, who put on his best big boy voice and insisted that he won the “rigged” election. Trump further said to “march down Pennsylvania Avenue,” supposedly meaning it in a “peaceful” way. Five people, including a police officer, suffered lethal consequences because of that “peaceful” stroll down the street.

I could continuously remind you of the events surrounding that fateful day, like when Trump openly attacked Vice President Pence for refusing to reject the electoral college results, or how Trump watched his minions breach the most important government building in America on television instead of stopping them. Or maybe even how he repeatedly called his violent supporters “patriots” and reminded them how much he loved them.

The fact that only seven Republicans voted to convict Trump is completely outrageous. Whether the 43 not guilty voters are worried about reelection chances or are just known for kissing The Donald’s rear end, the overwhelming evidence of a coordinated insurrection is clear, and one would have to be plain delusional to ignore it. There’s only one word for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who blasted Trump for the deadly riot shortly after voting to exonerate him: spineless.

To those who had cried about the legal basis for convicting a former president: boo-hoo, get over it, the 230-year-old document holding our country together has more than one way to look at it, believe it or not. The man tried to overthrow his own government; it doesn’t matter if he’s not in office anymore, the trial was about not letting him into any public office ever again. Additionally, it was about setting a precedent about punishing traitors – a precedent that, sadly, rested on the shoulders of 43 disgraces to American politics. 

Trump’s acquittal is a national travesty, one that will be looked back upon for generations as a shameful mistake in American history. The United States has never been great, and never will be with the possibility of an unfit former president being re-elected. There is no doubt this man should be prevented from ever doing so in the future. The citizens of the United States were severely let down when our government let a traitor walk away from his insurrection unscathed.