The insurrection that took place on Capitol Hill on Jan. 6 brought chaos and havoc to what already was a tumultuous presidential election. Although Donald Trump was not convicted by the Senate in the resulting impeachment trial, there is no doubt that the former president had major influence over his supporters and the reckless protests that left five people dead and more than 140 injured.
Despite Trump’s acquittal, he should still be held responsible for the events that occurred at Capitol Hill and barred from holding a U.S government position in the future.
The Senate’s 57-43 vote against him was the largest bipartisan majority for conviction in the history of presidential impeachment trials. But it still wasn’t enough to be effective, thanks to the Senate’s filibuster rules, which required 67 votes. With only seven Republican votes to impeach him, Trump was able to slip away this time. But this is far from over yet.
Although the 14th amendment is known for granting citizenship and equal civil and legal rights to African Americans and slaves after the American Civil War, section 3 of the amendment states something vital to the future conviction of Trump. Section 3 states, “No person shall hold any United States or state office who, having previously taken an oath as an officer of the United States, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.”
Trump is not immune from being held accountable by the criminal justice system or civil litigation.
Even though there will need to be extensive investigations made to find concrete evidence between Trump and his influence over the Capitol Hill attack, we must not forget he addressed those insurrectionists by publicly stating “We love you, you’re very special” after they stormed the Capitol building, obstructed the certification of the presidential election results and put the lives of Congressional leaders in danger.
On Monday, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D–California) announced plans for a 9/11-style commission to investigate the “facts and causes” related to the attack on the U.S Capitol. Sen.Chris Coons (D–Delaware) stated his support for the commission during ABC’s “This Week.”
It may seem absurd to think that Congress should be able to keep someone from the presidential seat, but the Capitol Hill insurrection was a monumental attack on democracy and deserves a firm response. Still, a combination between legislation and litigation will be needed to keep Trump from holding office again.
The original version of this editorial incorrectly stated the Senate filibuster threshold as 60 votes. It is actually 67 votes. The Campus Times regrets the error.