Trump attempted a coup and must be removed
Call me old-fashioned, but when the president of the United States encourages armed insurgents to breach the Capitol and threaten the physical safety of Congress in order to remain in power, I call it an attempted coup.
Last week’s rampage left five dead, including a Capitol police officer who tangled with the pro-Trump mob. We’re fortunate the carnage wasn’t greater.
That the attempted coup failed shouldn’t blind us to its significance or the stain it has left on America. Nor to the importance of holding those responsible fully accountable.
Trump’s culpability is beyond dispute.
“There’s no question the president formed the mob, the president incited the mob, the president addressed the mob. He lit the flame,” said Rep. Liz Cheney, the third-highest-ranking Republican in the House.
He should be impeached, convicted and removed from office — immediately.
To let the clock run out on his presidency and allow Trump to seek the presidency again would signal that attempted coups are part of the American system. If Senate Republicans can install a new Supreme Court justice in eight days, Trump can be removed from office within 10.
He should then be arrested and tried for inciting violence and for sedition (along with son Donald Trump Jr. and personal attorney Rudy “trial-by-combat” Giuliani).
Those who attacked the Capitol should also be prosecuted. They have no First Amendment right to try to overthrow the U.S. government.
Trump’s accomplices on Capitol Hill, most notably Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley, should be forced to resign. Knowing Trump’s allegations of voting fraud were false, Cruz and Hawley nonetheless led an attempt to exclude Biden electors, even after the storming of the Capitol.