Trump impeachment 2.0 came swiftly in the wake of a deadly insurrection at the capital. Political psychologist Dr. Bart Rossi, Ph.D. joins Wink News to discuss Biden’s challenges and a post-Trump GOP.
As you know by now, as the House of Representatives and the Senate were in the Capital to certify the Electoral College votes that gave Joe Biden the Presidency, President Trump was whipping up his base at a rally just outside.
Trump — who had been impeached previously for trying to leverage Ukraine to assist in the 2020 election by publicly announcing an investigation into Joe Biden) — had been telling his followers for months that the election was “stolen” from him, that “we won the election in a landslide”, and that “we” can’t let that happen. “We have to take our country back.” He also told them in the month leading up to the rally that Vice President Mike Pence could overturn the election, contrary to the facts. And he referred to that in his address the day of the insurrection — we “hope Mike has the courage” to do the right thing.
Trump’s own Attorney General Bill Barr (who has fiercely defended Trump on just about every previous conflict) and the DOJ, FBI, Federal, State, and local Republican lawmakers and election officials, and dozens of judges across the country all confirmed that there was no widespread election fraud that would have impacted the outcome of the election. Additionally, Mike Pence never had the authority to overturn the election.
But that didn’t stop Trump, his allies in Congress, or conservative the media from sounding false drumbeats for two months. Leading up to January 6, Trump had been alleging fraud. “I won in a landslide” he repeated, and “they” (the Democrats) “stole” the election. Despite a lack of any evidence, his base swallowed the narrative whole. YouTube videos popped up with video clips out of context to stiffen their belief. Rudy Guiliani showed video clips of ballot counters taking boxes out from under the table late at night as proof that they were engaged in “rigging” the election. he insisted that they were inserting fake ballots into the system. They weren’t. In plain view of the media and poll watchers from both parties, the election workers packaged up uncounted ballots, locked them in boxes, and stored them under the desks to be opened the next day. When they were then told they had to keep working, they simply took them back out and continued the counting. Rudy Guiliani had the entire video the entire time, but choose to edit it to fit his narrative.
Rudy took his election fraud roadshow to approximately 60 courts, and every judge dismissed them on the merits, or rather lack of them, or on the basis that they were suing in the wrong venue. Even the Supreme Court dismissed them. Still, the Trump base believed. So Trump kept beating the drum. High profile Senators such as Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz jumped on the Trump train too, giving fiery speeches and yelling about fraud. McConnell never claimed fraud, but he didn’t make a move to end it either — until the Electoral College validated the state certifications. When he announced Joe Biden won, the backlash from Trump and his base was swift. “Any enemy of Trump’s is an enemy of mine,” one of his supporters told me in a chat forum.
Trump Impeachment 2.0
But Trump wasn’t done. He next asked the Georgia Secretary of State to “find 11,780 votes“, which was one more than Biden had beat him with. In his phone call, Trump repeated false allegations. This included, but was not limited to, claiming that there were 5,000 votes filed under the names of dead people. The actual number was 2.
But the drumbeat continued, until January 6, 2021, after Trump told his crowd to march down to the Capital and take their country back. “You can’t take back the country with weakness,” he insisted. “you have to be strong.” Rudy Guiliani shouted that we should “have a trial by combat. Mo Brooks shouted today is the day “we take names and kick ass.” And separately, Ted Cruz equated the Trump base with soldiers from the American Revolutionary War, calling them “patriots” for challenging the results of the election.
During his speech Trump said ”
Mike Pence, I hope you’re going to stand up for the good of our Constitution and the good of our country and if you’re not, I’m going to be very disappointed in you”.
After his remarks, Trump supporters marched to Capitol Hill where they pushed past barricades and some broke into the building, which had been locked down. Pence was whisked out the Senate chamber. Not long after, Trump tweeted a rebuke of his wingman. – NPR January 2021.
When the protesters turned insurrectionists broken into the Capital, they’re on video chanting “HANG MIKE PENCE.”
When they returned to the Chamber once the rioters were moved out of the Capital, many Republicans — realizing what their actions had contributed to — reversed their positions to oppose the vote verifications. Most notable was Lyndsey Graham — who in 2015 called Trump “a jackass”, only to become one of Trump’s staunchest allies during his term. But after the insurrection, he went to the floor to say “enough is enough, count me out.”
In the impeachment document drawn up and designed this past Thursday, Trump was being impeached for inciting insurrection.
In This Episode
Dr. Rossi appears on WINK News to discuss how the Trump Impeachment 2.0 will impact the Biden administration when they take office on January 20, 2021. Also, they discuss whether “unity” is possible, and how does the GOP move forward post-Trumpism?