A second set of impeachment proceedings have begun against President Trump. There may not be time to complete that action before 20 January, but the desire to do so is clear. However, as liberal law professor Jonathon Turley wrote over the weekend:
“The author Franz Kafka once wrote, “My guiding principle is this. Guilt is never to be doubted.” Democrats suddenly appear close to adopting that standard into the Constitution…Congress is now seeking an impeachment for remarks covered by the First Amendment. It would create precedent for the impeachment of any president blamed for violent acts of others after using reckless language. What is worse are those few cases that would support this type of action. The most obvious is the 1918 prosecution of socialist Eugene Debs, who spoke against the draft in WW1 and led figures like Woodrow Wilson to declare him a “traitor to his country.” Debs was arrested and charged with sedition, a new favorite term for Democrats to denounce Trump and Republicans who doubted the victory of Joe Biden.”
Even so, the American Civil Liberties Union(!) is calling for “a special counsel to investigate and, if warranted, prosecute Trump, his associates and any other federal officials who may have been involved in attempts to subvert the outcome of the election, including the violence at the capitol.” (From a legal standpoint, there were repeated Democrat statements that the 2016 election was “hacked” by Russia; and verbal support for 2020 protests that saw uncalled-for violence occur.)
Meanwhile, an FBI report warns “Armed protests are being planned at all 50 state capitols from 16 January through at least 20 January, and at the US Capitol from 17 January through 20 January,” and of people “‘storming’ state, local and federal government courthouses and administrative buildings in the event POTUS is removed as President prior to Inauguration Day.” The report also alleges specific threats made against President Elect Biden, Vice-President Elect Harris, and House Speaker Pelosi. This is simply appalling.
Threats to politicians are shocking but not new: the US has had presidents assassinated or shot before, and 2020 saw Senator Paul physically attacked. Armed uprisings take matters to another level. 2020 saw similar in Seattle and Portland: yet doing so across the US with guns would mean a genuine insurrection – and not one any politician is calling for. Yet returning to a point made by Luttwak over 6 January: would this actually mean seizing power? Not at all. There would likely be terrible violence, but government and all key institutions [ … ]