The result of the Senate trial of twice impeached United States President Donald Trump was a foregone conclusion.
The vast majority of Republicans in the upper house were too scared of Trump’s violent mob to vote their consciences.
Only seven broke ranks. That meant a majority 57-43 of Senators found Trump guilty of inciting insurrection.
That is ten votes short of constitutionally required two thirds majority – a bar that has never been reached in US history.
Republic leader in the Senate Mitch Mc Connell found Trump guilty of a disgraceful dereliction of duty and declared him practically and morally responsible for provoking the shocking events of January 6 when his followers breached Congressional security, vandalized the premises and wandered the corridors of power yelling death threats against members both Republican and Democrat in a vain attempt to stop certification of the Presidential election.
Booted off social media sites for repeatedly lying about a fraudulent election and inciting violence by his followers, Trump has been mercifully silent.
He may remain a force within the Republican Party, but it will be a diminishing one.
Analysts concur that the majority of Republicans now want to see the back of him.
A guilty vote by the Senate would have prevented him from running again as President.
Political reality will see to that.
A Trump candidacy in 2004 would effectively guarantee a Democratic win.
This will become increasingly apparent in the weeks and months ahead when, as McConnell says, the criminal justice system can deal with Trump.
So moving him aside could have been achieved without impeaching him.
Why then go through the time-consuming process exactly when President Joe Biden needed to complete setting up his administration and deal with the pressing issues of fighting the COVID pandemic and fixing the economic ruin left by Trump?
It was a moral and legal imperative. As members on both sides of the aisle said, if Trump’s inciting insurrection is not grounds for impeachment, what is?
It is also a radically important historic step to take after such unprecedented evil.
Some Republicans made theatrical shows of disregarding the case being made against Trump.
Nevertheless they were obliged to be in the Senate to hear it.
Like the Nuremberg Trials in Germany and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission proceedings in South Africa, it was uncomfortable and painful to hear.
But it ensured that the people cannot plead ignorance.
They know exactly what happened.
The difference is that Nuremberg happened after the Nazi defeat and the TRC was a logical consequence of apartheid being vanquished.
The Trump impeachment happened with his violent supporters still menacing his opponents.
They pose an existential threat to democracy in the world’s most powerful country.
It means they must be pursued with greater vigilance.No