Despite the ongoing insistence by many pundits and regular folks – including in the Tahlequah Daily Press – the claim that the post-impeachment conviction of former President Donald Trump would have been unconstitutional is not accurate.
Armchair constitutionalists have been multiplying like rabbits, and their assessment of issues largely depends not on whether they are liberal or conservative, but on whether they are Democrat or Republican. And those two respective categories can no longer be considered hand-in-glove, since most ardent Trump fans are anything but conservative. Their personal beliefs bely their claim to the label. Merely being "anti-abortion" doesn't make one conservative, and the support of rampant government spending isn't even close to fitting that bill. Similarly, "liberal" has taken on the anarchy mantle in some areas.
No one knows whether it would be "constitutional" to convict a president after he's left office, especially when he was impeached while still in. Perhaps that could have been established had Trump been convicted, because he would surely have taken the matter to the Supreme Court – and many observers seem to think the justices were bracing to get the case. The Constitution is vague on the matter, and since the Court has never addressed this specific issue, the uneducated and politically charged opinion of someone with no legal background is not only irrelevant, it's laughable.
It's ironic that many people hollering the loudest about the unconstitutionality and moral impropriety of impeaching Trump for inciting the Jan. 6 Capitol riot continue to chant "Lock her up!" in regard to Hillary Clinton. The hypocrisy is breathtaking. Ms. Clinton has been out of "public service" for several years, and the likelihood that she'll ever hold an elected position again is virtually nill, so her detractors need not worry. The same cannot be said about Trump, who may very well score the GOP nomination in 2024.
All that being said, the failure to convict Trump is also irrelevant, and Trump haters upset by this expected turn of events need to move on. It's true that the "butter emails" drumbeat continues unabated by the hypocrites, but pressing further for punitive measures against Trump not only will be fruitless, it will continue to widen the gap between people in this country. And after all, failure to convict doesn't mean Trump is innocent of the accusations, as a number of Republican senators pointed out. The videos speak for themselves; trouble is, people see and hear different things on the same tape.
The Jan. 6 riot wasn't a fantasy, and blame will be assigned according to political bent. But as individual cases continue to unfold and defenses are mounted, more evidence will come to light – at least, as to whom the rioters themselves think is responsible. One thing is for sure: The claim that "antifa" conducted the riot is ridiculous – unless we want to call the FBI or the rioters themselves liars. Wishing something were true doesn't make it so, nor does it absolve the guilty from their crimes.