One Senate Democrat just let the truth slip: beyond impeaching now-former President Donald Trump, her caucus wants to “stop him from ever seeking elected office again.”
According to Breitbart, the remarks came Saturday from Sen. Mazie Hirono, a Hawaii Democrat and member of the upper chamber’s Judicial panel.
Speaking with MSNBC’s Tiffany Cross, Hirono said Trump should be held “accountable” for inciting what she described as a “violent insurrection” at the U.S. Capitol, Breitbart reported.
The riot, perpetrated by a mob of the then-president’s supporters, left five dead earlier this month, according to The Guardian.
“Stop him from ever seeking elected office”
Pressed by Cross, Hirono admitted that she’s not convinced enough Republicans will cross the aisle to convict Trump in the Senate. (He was impeached in the House by a 232–197 margin just a week before Joe Biden’s inauguration, as the Los Angeles Times reported.) But that doesn’t mean Hirono and her fellow Dems won’t try to play their hand.
“It’s very clear, Tiffany, that we need to not only hold the president accountable through an impeachment trial, but to get on with passing a COVID relief bill,” the senator said, according to Breitbart. “And we can do both… I know we can do both. All it takes is will on the parts of the Republicans at this point.”
Under a deal reportedly struck by Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell (KY) and new Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Trump’s trial will begin next month, giving Dems time to push through their legislative agenda while the former president prepares his defense.
“Whether 17 of them [Republicans] will go along to convict this president of what we all experienced as a violent insurrection at the Capitol remains to be seen,” Hirono said Saturday, according to Breitbart. “I think a few of them will, but I don’t know that we’re going to get 17.”
The senator went on: “But that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t proceed to hold this president accountable, and that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t stop him from ever seeking elected office again, and that just takes a majority vote.”
That’s not how this works
So there you have it, folks: Trump is being impeached not to remove him from office — as he’s already left the White House — but instead, to preemptively prevent him from running for and achieving the presidency again in the future.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, however, Hirono and others on the left are sorely mistaken if they truly believe that a simple majority vote in the Senate is all that is necessary to bar Trump from holding office again; Article I, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution, which describes the process of impeachment, makes clear that punitive judgments like disqualification from holding office are entirely contingent upon first obtaining a conviction, which requires the approval of two-thirds of the members present for the trial.
Given Hirono’s own admission that it is highly unlikely that 17 Republicans will cross the aisle to join the Democrats — the minimum needed to obtain that two-thirds majority — any talk of future disqualification is nothing more than a pipe dream at this point. Who do Democrats think they’re kidding?