“There’s a reason that the people’s branch is in Article One. Of course, we have the power to impeach a lawless president. He does not have the power to impeach us,” Representative Jamie Raskin, the Maryland Democrat who will serve as the lead impeachment manager for the Senate trial of Donald Trump, tells The Nation. “Now is the moment for us to stand up and to strongly reassert Congress as the dominant branch of the US government.”
The House asserted itself on January 13, when a bipartisan majority voted to impeach Trump for inciting the insurrection that saw a deadly mob attack the US Capitol a week before. Now, the question is whether the Senate will rally round the Constitution in the trial that begins Tuesday. Raskin and his fellow House impeachment managers have crafted a compelling brief, which is reproduced here.
A former constitutional law professor and a veteran legislator, the congressman has no illusions about the difficulty of securing a two-thirds vote to convict Trump from a Senate where half the members are aligned with Trump’s Republican Party. Yet he is prepared to counter the arguments against impeaching a former president, in particular, and against accountability in general. Raskin will give no quarter to those who “essentially would want to turn the other cheek” and once more neglect the high crimes and misdemeanors of the 45th president. “One wonders,” he says, “how many Americans would have to be killed, how much destruction would have to occur, how much of our governmental process must be destroyed, before they’re willing to stand up against Donald Trump.” — John Nichols