Here’s Why Republicans Should Support Impeachment of Donald Trump

Donald Trump's first impeachment trial didn't convict him. A second one might.Consolidated News Photos/CNP/ZUMA

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Should we impeach Donald Trump? Yes. It’s true that an impeachment trial can’t be finished before January 20, which makes it seem sort of pointless. But for two reasons, it’s not.

First, trying to overturn an election violently and illegally in order to stay in power is, by definition, something that a president can only do during his last month or so in power. Doing nothing about it sends a message that lame duck presidents can basically do anything with impunity. I hardly need to explain why this is a very bad precedent to set.

Second, an impeachment trial might be curiously attractive to Republicans, whose support will be needed. They would obviously be reluctant to support an impeachment that would toss one of their own out of office. But this one wouldn’t. Instead, a conviction would do two things. First, it gives the Senate the authority to prevent Trump from ever running again for federal office. Second, it would rescind some of Trump’s perks of retirement, including his pension, office space, and government-paid staff.

There are at least a handful of Republicans who believe that Trump’s actions are indeed impeachable, and these folks might believe that it’s quite fitting for Trump to pay a price for his actions that’s short of removal from office. Are there 17 of them? It’s worth finding out.

UPDATE: Josh Blackman argues convincingly that the Senate could prevent Trump from holding future office, but he’ll get his perks regardless. Too bad.

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REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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