U.S. House Democrats, joined by 10 Republicans, impeached President Donald Trump for a second time on Wednesday. The political indictment stemmed from Trump’s comments before the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol, a result of which five people died.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats repeatedly claimed that Trump must be held accountable for the words he spoke at a rally before the riot – even though Trump did not make any direct, specific call for violence.
That’s because the mob was motivated by his bogus insinuations of election fraud, including Trump’s support for rejecting votes of the Electoral College.
But here’s a bit of trivia that succinctly illustrates the hypocrisy that’s been on display in the nation’s capital over the past week — as many of those same Democrats have refused to take responsibility for their own words in tacitly or expressly voicing solidarity with racial-justice protesters in demonstrations that turned violent.
Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., led the House managers who shepherded the impeachment charges through today’s debate.
Raskin, it turns out, objected to recognizing one-third of Florida’s electors as the House certified Trump’s victory in January 2017.
With then-Vice President Joe Biden managing the process, Raskin formally objected to 10 of Florida’s 29 electors because, he claimed, they “were not lawfully certified.”
“They violated Florida’s prohibition against dual office-holding,” Raskin said at the time.
Biden overruled Raskin’s challenge because it did not meet legal criteria.
Biden noted that the objection must be submitted in writing and must be endorsed by at least one U.S. senator.
Raskin acknowledged that he had the document, but not the sponsor.
Democrats four years ago were happy to participate in a process they now criticize.
As Reuters reported, Democratic “members of the House of Representatives objected to the electoral tally in states including Alabama, Florida, Michigan, Texas, Mississippi and the Carolinas in a symbolic move that exposed lingering dismay over a contentious election campaign.”
An article at AlterNet filled in the blanks: “More than 50 Electoral College members who voted for Donald Trump were ineligible to serve as presidential electors because they did not live in the congressional districts they represented or held elective office in states legally barring dual officeholders.”
The latter condition applied to Florida’s 10 electors. Florida’s Constitution bars people from holding more than one office. Then-Attorney General Pam Bondi was cited as an example of the issue with those trump electors because she was an elected official and voted for Trump on behalf of the state.
Those challenges went nowhere in 2017 because no Democratic senator signed on.
Yet Raskin, who was first elected in 2016, came into office with a chip on his shoulder against Trump, and talking impeachment.
After his unsuccessful objection, and just a few days before Trump was sworn in, Raskin reneged on a pledge to attend the new president’s inauguration.
“I just know that if I’m going to vote to impeach the man at some point, I would like to be able to look him in the eye on Inauguration Day,” Raskin explained as to why he would attend, according to the Baltimore Sun.
After he changed his mind, Raskin said, “As the hour approaches, I realize that I cannot bring myself to go”
“I do not rejoice in this decision or take pride in it, any more than I would rejoice or take pride in going; the inauguration ceremony is just a fact of life now, and we must all deal with it as best we can,” he added.
That same month, before Trump took office, Raskin also told the radical Young Turks program that Trump should be impeached for violating the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause.
That referenced the Trump Organization’s overseas business ties.
“It says that no elected official, either member of Congress or the President of the United States, can accept a gift, an emolument or any payment at all from a foreign government,” Raskin said in the interview.
“He just simply refuses to accept that reality. So if he goes into office and he refuses to divest himself, the moment that the first conflict comes up, that’s going to look like an impeachable offense.”
Later in 2017 Raskin was among 58 Democrats who voted to actually move forward with impeachment – again over words he spoke.
On that occasion, the issue was Trump’s comments about the riot following a gathering of white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia. One woman, a counterprotester, died at the event.