House arrest for Trump?

The walls finally closed in

The media finally got its wish: the walls have closed in on Trump’s presidency.

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I have a few questions about what just happened this week, though I am not sure who to ask. Town Hall writer Julio Rosas followed the mob into the Capitol building, as a reporter embedded in their midst. His observations indicate that the Capitol police were completely unprepared for any crowd, nevermind an armed mob looking to lynch Vice President Pence.

He told the Daily Signal “I was told that people were starting to make their way into the Capitol building” from the planned speech by President Trump at the Ellipse outside the White House. Trump indicated he would “march with them” but never did. He wound up the crowd and let them loose while he returned to the White House.

And right as I started to go over there, I could see Trump supporters tearing down the inauguration construction fencing, which is not much of a fence. It’s just to section off parts of the Capitol grounds so that people don’t wander on there. So, it was very easy for them to just rip it off. And they just kept going. They just kept going on to the West Side, the side that faces the Lincoln Memorial.

The police presence, and this is something that I want people to understand, they were able to do that because the police presence was very light on the grounds. They had a few metal barricades that are used for concerts and whatnot.

Contrast this with the overwhelming police presence the night BLM protestors marched by the White House. The Capitol was completely undefended. Maybe this decision was based on experience, that Trump supporters—in the March for Life and other events—have generally been well behaved. Maybe it was the president, intentionally withholding National Guard and federal protective services.

In any case, both the House and Senate sergeant-at-arms have resigned, along with the chief of the Capitol police. A robust law enforcement presence, or the National Guard, would have avoided this entire outrage.

Why was the Capitol left so completely undefended, when everyone predicted there could be violence or a mob? We really should know the real answer, not just hot takes.

The other question is based on Rosas saying “I was told” the crowd was moving. Who told him? Who called the shots? Was it a kind of organic thing, or was someone organizing it? There were in the crowd some rather well-known (among the playtriot crowd) figures. The leaders need to be jailed, charged, convicted, and the jail buried.

Five people have died because of the president’s actions and the organizers of the mob. That’s conspiracy to murder, among a whole list of charges.

This brings me to my next topic: what about Trump now? Impeach him? Use the 25th Amendment? It seems there’s no momentum (a lot of talk) on either front right now.

CNN reported that Joe Biden has no interest in impeachment, despite what Nancy Pelosi and AOC have asked. Vice President Pence was never “as angry as he was” Tuesday night, according to Sen. Jim Inhofe. The New York Intelligencer reported that Pence, not Trump, called the Pentagon to activate the National Guard. Pence has no official authority to give that order, but apparently that didn’t matter in the moment.

Reporter Yashar Ali wrote that Pence has no appetite for using the 25th Amendment. Trump has been booted from Facebook (at least until his term ends), and Twitter suspended his account for a day, allowing him to post a contrite video admitting that Joe Biden will be president on January 20th. It was a great speech, if he had made it two months ago. Now, it’s nothing but ashes.

For the moment, Trump is almost literally under house arrest. His access to social media is severely limited, and monitored by private companies. The fact that Facebook and Twitter get to vet the President of the United States’ ability to speak to the nation on his preferred channel is abhorrent to me. But the alternative is to proceed with a terrible precedent—a “snap impeachment” or removing the president assuming he is unable to govern because he has lost touch with reality.

Nothing about this situation is simple. The more Trump is restricted, the more his followers can claim he’s a victim of conspiracy. The other options could lead to more violence.

For now, it seems Vice President Pence is the key. He has the president on a very short leash with the 25th Amendment, and for now (meaning this hour), Trump is behaving. If Pence won’t act, Pelosi can proceed with impeachment.

Some have called for impeachment simply to stop Trump from running in 2024. I don’t think that’s necessary. If he runs, I don’t see him having a chance. We’ve been there, done that, and saw what happened.

It could be that mercy is the right path. Biden wants to move on. Pence would like it to be over. Maybe Biden will pardon Trump, and we can all get on with a new administration. I might not like what President Biden will do, but I do know it won’t be nearly as damaging as what we’ve witnessed since November 3rd.

I am beginning to lean more toward mercy. But for now, it’s going to be house arrest.