The argument that a president who is already out of office cannot be tried for impeachment is ludicrous. Do we really believe that the framers of the Constitution intended that a president who commits high crimes and misdemeanors in the last days of his [or her] term would not be subject to being barred from holding future office — a penalty that is only available through an impeachment trial?
The former president’s counsel would have us believe that the framers would have specified that this could be done had they intended it; I suggest they found it too obvious to need to be said.
Also, is it so hard to believe that people who were told by their president day after day, in tweet after tweet, and speech after speech, that the election was fraudulent and their votes were stolen and their country was in danger, might actually do something as a result? The courts and even the attorney general found no evidence of election fraud, and yet Donald Trump continued, on Jan. 6, to tell the angry crowd that the Democrats were “illegally taking over our country” and warned that “if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.” They did fight, seven people died, and our elected representatives had to run for their lives.
To acquit a president for such egregious deeds is nothing short of complete moral cowardice. It sends a message to the world that, for the majority of Republicans in the Senate, fear of reprisals from a demagogue outweighs any devotion to our Constitution or laws. Perhaps worse, it opens the way for similar behavior from Trump or others like him in the future.