©Ingram Pinn/Financial Times. From “A Senate trial is not the right answer to Donald Trump,”1/15/20
Today, in its SPEAKING OUT section, the Democrat and Chronicle printed my letter, “Chilling to think Trump could run for a federal office again.” The letter notes that if not barred from future office, Trump could hold a house or senate seat, as did John Quincy Adams and Andrew Johnson after their presidencies. Trump could even join the Supreme Court as did William Howard Taft after his presidency.
Perhaps quite easily, Trump could become the Mayor of Palm Beach, Florida, ruling the roost from his Mar-a-Lago Club.
As an impeachment trial nears, many are concerned a trial could hamper the passage of Biden’s proposed “American Rescue Plan,” legislation that I believe must be enacted as soon as possible.
On the Friday PBS News Hour, Judy Woodruff asked Jonathan Capehart and David Brooks: “Is it a good thing for Joe Biden to begin his presidency, back to impeachment, with an impeachment trial in the Senate competing for attention and for time and everything, for that matter?” Disagreeing with Capehart, Brooks answered:
I completely support impeachment, think this is the right thing to do. I think it’d be a bad thing to have to trial in the Senate.
Joe Biden has to pass that legislation. We just had a horrifying report 10 minutes ago on COVID. That was horrifying. And so we need to solve that problem. We need to pass this piece of legislation; $1.9 trillion is a very complicated piece of legislation.
I think it’s got a lot of things a lot of Republicans can support, a lot of things Joe Manchin of West Virginia can support. And so you can get — I think that bill can be supported, and we can get $1.9 trillion out the door to the American people, but it’s not going to be an easy lift.
And maybe, in — a Senate trial, A, takes up a lot of time. B, it’ll stoke all the flames. The Republican Party will find it very easy just to go in opposition mode. I’d love to think that we can at least have a couple months of action before they go in opposition mode. And I’m afraid the trial will do that. (From Brooks and Capehart on Trump’s impeachment and Biden’s relief plan)
I side with Brooks. An acrimonious trial would hurt any chances that the American Rescue Plan garners bipartisan support and make passage through reconciliation more difficult. Essentially, a trial means that Biden’s honeymoon period will last less than a day — as the trial could begin as early as 1pm on January 20th, one hour after Biden’s inauguration.
Of course, no trial leaves open the possibility of a Congressman, Senator, Governor, Supreme Court Justice or Mayor Donald Trump. He could run in 2022.
According to the Greeneville (S.C.) Sun, “Remembering Andrew Johnson,” (July 2016), Johnson received a hero’s welcome from southerners when he returned to the Senate. The St. Louis Republican called Johnson’s election, “the most magnificent personal triumph which the history of American politics can show.” Like Johnson, a Senator Trump from Alabama would probably “Thank God for the vindication.”