Impeachment case closure leave clean plate for return of productive politics

Lanthorn Editorial Board

On Saturday, former President Donald Trump was acquitted of a second impeachment attempt by House and Senate Democrats. The acquittal saved him from the fate of the first-ever conviction of a current or former U.S. president, but it doesn’t save him from the countless lawsuits and criminal trials that could be in his future as a private citizen. 

The trial spelled out in clear terms what led to the Jan. 6 Capitol riots by thousands of angry Trump supporters. Following rebuttals of Republicans highlighting the Democrats’ many uses of the word “fight” in defense of Trump’s use of it, they voted and reached a verdict. 57-43, the outcome was plainly the largest number of senators to ever vote to find a president in their own party guilty of an impeachment count of high crimes and misdemeanors, with a total of seven, including former president and current senator Mitt Romney. 

The two-day trial was the second attempt by House and Senate Democrats to indict the reality-star-turned-president on his crimes, but they were only the first in a long list of people looking to sue and defame the now-former president Trump. Several of Trump’s enemies he’s made in the financial and real estate sectors have been preparing lawsuits. To us, it seems as though this man’s troubles are just beginning. 

The newest resident leader of the country, President Joe Biden, has been markedly silent about the recent proceedings. Citing a laser focus on the COVID-19 pandemic relief plan, Biden has consistently dodged questions about Trump’s impeachment trial. 

Biden’s silence, while disappointing to some, is not necessarily unexpected. In November of last year, it was rumored that he was hesitant to pursue investigations into Trump’s behavior, worried that it would further polarize the country. Biden has been openly pushing for unity and reconciliation since the beginning of his campaign, and not intervening in attempts to hold Trump accountable might be what that looks like. 

However, Biden has been productive in his first 100 days thus far, and better liked than his predecessor, according to early surveys. Nearly a month after President Biden’s inauguration, he’s signed 30 executive orders – 14 more than President Obama in 2009, and 18 more than Trump in 2017

Notably, these executive orders have been fairly popular, with his orders prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, committing to a focus on racial equity, and requiring masks on federal property all being supported by the majority of Republicans

We’ve reached a crucial point where a busy Biden presidency meets Congress finally past the final remnants of Trump’s time in office. Congress has a clear plate now and it seems Biden intends to fill it.

What happens in the coming weeks may be more impactful to a hurting America – a country in need of financial aid and pandemic relief – than Trump’s impeachment proceedings. 

This is when work gets done, so while the enticing drama of a trial may be over, keep paying attention to current events. There are no excuses in the way of productive politics.