Webb: GOP political war footing

Donald Trump
Getty Images

This is the Republican Party’s chance to prove that they can fight, and fight with a unified front. The reality in politics especially in Washington, D.C., is that you don’t always win and when in the minority in all three branches of government you won’t likely win.

This fight is not only inside the Beltway but about Americans whether on the coast or in flyover country as it’s often referred to. If the Republican Party doesn’t stand and fight against a sham impeachment trial in the Senate which is unconstitutional and does not reflect the intent of our Founding Fathers, then the voting base which grew in the 2020 elections by over 11 million under former President Trump will not sit idly by.

The Trump legal team’s impeachment response has points that the Democrats cannot overcome from a legal perspective. Impeachment is a political process that relied on a clever misdirection of what would be a weak legal charge against any individual.

The single article of impeachment in the House and in the Senate is based on a fraudulent analysis of spoken words by the former president to a crowd on Jan. 6. Also important is that Democratic members of the House drafted the article of impeachment before any investigation into the riot had started. Law enforcement had reports of a potential attack on the Capital several days before President Trump spoke at the Ellipse.

The impeachment clauses in the Constitution are clear no matter the public narrative. The Senate lacks constitutional jurisdiction to conduct an impeachment trial of a former president. Textualists read the Constitution as written and Democrats interpret as they see fit for the political moment.

Article I, Section 2, Clause 5:

“The House of Representatives shall choose their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment;”

Article I, Section 3, Clauses 6 and 7:

“The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two-thirds of the Members present. Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States; but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law;”

Article II, Section 4:

“The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

Without conviction “Judgment in cases of impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from office” and with removal from office, which again Trump does not hold, there cannot be “and disqualification to hold any office of honor, trust or profit under the United States;”

In 2007 the Supreme Court confirmed that “The word ‘shall’ generally indicates a command that admits of no discretion on the part of the person instructed to carry out the directive”; Black’s Law Dictionary 1375 (6th ed. 1990) (“As used in statutes … this word is generally imperative or mandatory”). Think of the Second Amendment “shall not be infringed.” Democrats abuse the Second Amendment with ideology and lawfare at every level.

In spite of this, the sham of an impeachment trial in the Senate for removal from an office that Trump no longer holds will continue. This is pure politics and Democratic payback.

Think of the precedent being set as you read this. Democrats have made impeachment a political payback tool. When the GOP takes control of the House of Representatives, they can file articles of impeachment against former President Obama for the Fast and Furious scandal and/or Benghazi etc. In Washington, D.C., or in this case Banana Republic, D.C., always take revenge when it’s your turn.

This is a sad commentary on a polluted political environment. I expect no less from the Democrats, but it’s wrong for Republicans to consider impeachment. President Trump, personality aside, led an effective administration to address and fix many of the issues negatively affecting America: He led the party and grew the base over 11 million voters and with multiple voting blocks in the 2020 election.

The expanded base may rebel but not in the way the Republican establishment bosses think. Just like the ongoing results of the tea party movement, the base will continue to organize and grow at all levels. The challenge to the Republican Party establishment is to incorporate, not co-opt as they’ve often done in the new generations. Take heed, tens of millions of Americans are watching. Millions more Republicans will vote and in part make decisions based on the party leadership’s actions.

Webb is host of “The David Webb Show” on SiriusXM Patriot 125, a Fox Nation host, Fox News contributor and a frequent television commentator. His column appears twice a month in The Hill.


Tags constitutional Donald Trump Impeachment Republican Party unconstitutional trial

The Hill has removed its comment section, as there are many other forums for readers to participate in the conversation. We invite you to join the discussion on Facebook and Twitter.

Most Popular

Load more


See all Video