Trump's argument against impeachment is 'our Founders' worst nightmare,' Rep. Raskin argues
Former President Donald Trump's second impeachment trial got underway on Tuesday, as he faced a charge of "incitement to insurrection." Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin served as the lead House impeachment manager. The Maryland Democrat offered some insights on the historic basis for impeachment during a speech, emphasizing that Trump is exactly the type of "opportunist" and "demagogue" the United States' Founding Fathers were worried about many years ago. And he warned that the claim that Trump can't be tried for impeachment now that he's out of office creates an untenable "January exception."
"The 'January exception' is an invitation to our founders' worst nightmare," raskin said.
Raskin noted that according to Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, "The greatest danger to republics and the liberties of the people comes from political opportunists who begin as demagogues and end as tyrants — and the people who are encouraged to follow them. President Trump may not know a lot about the Framers, but they certainly knew a lot about him."
Rep. Jamie Raskin quotes Alexander Hamilton on "political opportunists who begin as demagogues and end as tyrants."… https://t.co/Bisvyn1zWR— ABC News (@ABC News)1612896435.0
Along with the other impeachment managers, Raskin is arguing that when a violent mob attacked the U.S. Capitol Building on Jan. 6 and tried to stop Congress from certifying Joe Biden's Electoral College victory, it did so with Trump's encouragement. Some Senate Republicans have been making procedural arguments against the impeachment trial, saying that Trump was impeached too late in his presidency and that it is unconstitutional to hold an impeachment trial for someone who is no longer president. But Raskin flatly rejects those claims.
Raskin, during his speech, explained, "Their argument is that if you commit an impeachable offense in your last few weeks in office, you do it with constitutional impunity. You get away with it."
The congressman went on to say, "Given the Framers' intense focus on danger to elections and the peaceful transfer of power, it is inconceivable that they designed impeachment to be a dead letter in the president's final days in office — when opportunities to interfere with the peaceful transfer of power would be most tempting and most dangerous, as we just saw."
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