Several Republican members of Congress said on Wednesday that instead of impeaching President Donald Trump for the second time, Democrats should simply step back and allow a peaceful transition of power to President-elect Joe Biden.
“In seven days there will be a peaceful transfer of power, as there has been every other time in our country, but Democrats will once again impeach President Trump,” Representative Jim Jordan (R-Ohio ) during the debate on the floor of the House of Representatives.
Jordan was one of the Republicans who spoke as if an impeachment resolution would interfere with this transition. After all, Biden is supposed to be inaugurated in just a week.
The only problem is that the peaceful transition of power has already been ruined. Trump prompted a crowd to attack Capitol Hill last week as lawmakers certified the November election result, which the president and his Republican backers in Congress falsely claim Biden did not win fairly.
Rioters stormed the House and Senate, interrupting debates and killing a policeman. Law enforcement officials have warned of even worse violence to come, and the capital is inundated with members of the National Guard in hopes of quelling more unrest over the next seven days.
Lawmakers should steps over sleeping soldiers to arrive in the House on Wednesday, yet Republicans have repeatedly said there would be a peaceful transition if only Democrats abstained from impeachment.
“This action will only serve to further offend the 75 million people who voted for President Trump, and further deepen the division within our nation as we attempt to move forward with a peaceful transition of power,” he said. said Rep. Bob Good (R-Va.).
“Let’s celebrate the peaceful transition of power to a new president, rather than removing a former president,” said Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.).
In higher terms, Minority House Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), Suggested the impeachment would go against the kind of peaceful transition envisioned by the founders.
“We have to take this opportunity and heal and become stronger,” said McCarthy. “United, we can bring the peace, strength and prosperity our country desperately needs. Divided, we will fail.
Last week, even after the riot, Good, Cole, McCarthy and 144 other Republicans voted to reject the election results, citing the same false allegations of fraud that inspired the insurgency.
“We’ve already missed the boat on a smooth transition to a new president,” said Eric Rauchway, professor of history and presidential transition expert at the University of California at Davis, in an interview.
Trump’s refusal to cooperate with the peaceful transition of power is the basis of the impeachment resolution, which says that by inciting violence the president “threatened the integrity of the democratic system, interfered with the peaceful transition of power and endangered an equal branch of government. “
In a video last week telling his supporters to stop occupying Capitol Hill, Trump has consistently said the election was “stolen” from them. In another video statement acknowledging that a new administration will be inaugurated on January 20, the president did not congratulate Biden and said he would not attend the inauguration.
“We have no evidence that the president is committed to a peaceful transition of power to his successor,” Rauchway said.
Rauchway is the author of a book on the acrimonious presidential transition from Herbert Hoover to Franklin Roosevelt in the early 1930s. He stated that the transfer from Hoover to Roosevelt and the current disorder, where the insurgents still have a week left to sabotage the transition, suggest that the nearly three-month gap between elections and inauguration is far too long.
“Nobody looks at this and says, ‘I can see why this makes perfect sense,” Rauchway said.
Calling all HuffPost superfans!
Sign up to become a founding member and help shape the next chapter of HuffPost