Impeach Him and Lock Him Up

Impeach Him and Lock Him Up October 31, 2019

If you see in a province the poor oppressed and justice and right violently taken away, do not be amazed at the matter; for the high official is watched by a higher, and there are yet higher ones over them (Eccl. 5:8 RSV).

David Lee: Seattle Women’s March 2019 / Wikimedia Commons

In what can only be said to be both great irony and great hypocrisy at the same time, several conservative groups wrote a complaint to the Office of Congressional Ethics, suggesting that Nancy Pelosi, and the House, violated Congressional ethics by launching what they believed to be an unconstitutional impeachment process. It’s as if they think the United States has forgotten all the investigations on Hilary Clinton, Benghazi, among others, during the Obama administration, let alone the impeachment of Bill Clinton.  Complaining about the investigation process as being weaponized would make more sense if the people making the claims were not the ones who helped create the current process and weaponized it in the recent past!

The United State Constitution established the means by which President can be removed from office as a way of providing checks and balances. Impeachment is a part of the procedure that leads to the removal of a president, but before impeachment itself, there needs to be an investigation. As the Congressional Research Service explains, it is normal to have some initial inquiries before the full House is brought into the impeachment process:

Material related to the conduct of a federal official might reach the House and be referred to committee prior to the adoption of a resolution directing a committee to conduct an investigation. Historically, this has included petitions and materials from citizens. In addition, standing committees, under their general investigatory authority, can seek information and research charges against officers prior to the approval of a resolution to authorize an impeachment investigation.[1]

The current committee investigating the administration has served its purpose, and now the full House is preparing to vote on a resolution which will continue the impeachment process, establishing the rules to be used as it goes forward out of its initial stages of investigation. For many, this process has already gone on long enough; the Mueller investigation provided enough grounds to impeach President Trump (if one actually read the report, and not the misrepresentation of it by Barr, it clearly suggested the House should act upon what was discovered). But, because of the complexities of the Mueller report, many thought that something simpler, easier for the public to understand, would be necessary to further the impeachment process. That is where the revelations concerning his phone call, and his administration’s dealing with, the Ukraine come into play, because, as many witnesses have indicated, Trump used his authority to force the Ukraine to comply with his wishes to investigate a political rival purely political reasons, offering incentives if the Ukraine did so, taking them away if they did not.

Is there any surprise, then, when President Trump, who has constantly belittled and attacked his political opponents, suggesting they were criminals to be locked up, has come face to face with cries of the people to have Trump himself locked up? “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; but when the wicked rule, the people groan” (Prov. 29:2 RSV). Far from an unseemly, unpatriotic, uncivil response, it is the cry of the people which has risen up and responded to the bullying and the abuse of the Trump administration, expecting that the judgment which the Trump administration has taken out unjustly on others be shown back to it. Through the looting of the United States, from the destruction of its public lands, to the unjust redistribution of wealth, giving even more of it to the rich, to the raiding of the military budget for the sake of the border-wall, the Trump administration shows that the United States, its people, and its money, is just playthings for the rich to take and use at their whim. It is plunder, the same kind of plunder which St. Salvian decried in ancient Rome:

As for people in high places, of what does their dignity consist but in confiscating the property of the state? As regards some whose names I do not mention, what is a political position, but a kind of plunder? There is no greater pillaging of poor States than that done by those in power. For this, office is bought by the few to be paid for by ravaging the many. What can be more disgraceful and wicked than this?[2]

It is time to expose the Trump administration, and Donald Trump, for all the evil which they have done and thought they could hide from the American people. “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them” (Eph. 5:11 RSV). Many people have been corrupted by this administration, but that is to be expected: “Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company ruins good morals’” (1Cor. 15:33 RSV). How can a man whose legacy includes many of the deadly sins such as lust, avarice, and pride, be seen as good company? Those who promote Trump as a godly man to be followed and admired have allowed themselves to join in Trump’s corruption.

The diabolical madness of Trump and his administration must be stopped. The looting of the Republic must be stopped. Whatever crimes have been committed by Trump and his administration must be investigated. If all that has been revealed is as it appears to be, we can and should say, “Impeach him, remove him from office, and then lock him up.”

[1] Congressional Research Service, “The Impeachment Process in the House of Representatives” (Oct. 10, 2019).

[2] Salvian the Presbyter, “The Governance of God” in The Writings of Salvian the Presbyter. Trans. Jeremiah F. O’Sullivan (Washington, DC: CUA Press, 1962), 97.


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