By Mohammad Mazhari

Trump isolated America and divided the nation: professor

January 29, 2021 - 10:25

The U.S. House of Representatives on Monday presented to the Senate a single article of impeachment accusing former President Donald Trump of inciting insurrection in a speech to his supporters before the deadly attack on the Capitol, setting in motion his second impeachment trial.

In a solemn procession, the nine House impeachment managers silently walked the article through the same ornate halls of Congress overrun by Trump supporters on January 6 and delivered it to the Senate.

In a related context, sources told CNN on Monday that Trump is still working on forming a full legal team for the trial in the Senate, although he began drafting a defense strategy with Butch Bowers, a South Carolina attorney who agreed to represent him at the historical trial. 

Two sources familiar with the matter added that former South Carolina Attorney General Charlie Condon had been approached to join the legal team.

But in a brief statement to CNN on Monday evening, he said: "I will not represent former President Trump. Thank you."

A spokesman for the former president declined to comment on any additional information about his legal team.

People familiar with the matter said that with only two weeks left of the core of the trial, Trump was still struggling to find other lawyers to join his team.

However, there are two questions that must be answered: Will the Democrats call witnesses and how long will the trial take?

David Schultz, a professor from Hamline University, tells the Tehran Times that “Democrats are being driven by a political base that hates Trump and they want to punish him.”

When asked about the advantages of the second impeachment of Trump for the Democrats, Schultz argues, “They want him to stand out as the worst president in history who was the only one twice impeached and perhaps maybe convicted.”

Although some other observers believe that this move may lead to undermining the reputation of Democrats if the move fails, Schultz says, “They are angry at his refusal to work in good faith with Congress and with his words and deeds that led to the insurrection of the Capitol on January 6.”

‘Among the worst presidents in U.S. history’

It is widely believed that Trump’s presidency was a catastrophe for the U.S. and the world at large. 

According to the Washington Post, Trump made 30,573 false or misleading claims as president. The newspaper said nearly half of his false or misleading claims came in his final year.

“Trump will probably rank among the worst presidents in U.S. history.  He will be noted for isolating America from its allies and dividing a nation already divided.  His policies did little to help his supporters and it is possible Trump helped accelerate the decline of the U.S. internationally,” Professor Schultz notes.

Nevertheless, this time Republicans are divided over Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial.

In the first impeachment trial in January 2020, Republicans supported Trump and Democrats failed to remove him from office. In fact, the Republican-led Senate killed the impeachment move.

Donald Trump’s hopes of avoiding conviction by the U.S. Senate received a boost on Tuesday when 45 Republicans tried to dismiss his impeachment trial before it even began.

The procedural vote was not enough to prevent the trial from going ahead since 55 senators voted that it should, but it did suggest that Democrats face an uphill battle to get the 67 senators they will need for a conviction on a two-thirds majority vote.

Such moves convince everybody that politics is prioritized over the law in the United States. 

As the American professor says “In this case yes.  This impeachment and Senate trial is really about politics, but in the end, all impeachments are political.”

Regarding Trump’s efforts to launch a campaign against ruling institutions and challenge American democracy and values, Schultz emphasizes that Trump tried this and failed. “We had an election, he lost, and Biden is president.  Trump tried to change the election results and failed.  On one level political democracy survived in the U.S.”

President Biden, besides these political tensions, must be prepared to face serious challenges. It is not easy to reverse Trump’s policies with an undo bottom.

“The Democrats are not a united party in what they wish to do and the Republicans will put up a fight,” the American academic notes.  “Democrats have a very thin majority and Biden himself is not by instinct one who is going to make a radical change.”
The U.S. political system is set up in a way that makes any change difficult without a lot of political consensus or agreement. 

 “These factors will limit what Democrats can do to reverse Trump politics.  However, a lot of what Trump did was by executive order which will be easy to reverse.  Fixing U.S. global standing will take time,” Schultz concludes.