Any reasonable leader would see the writing on the wall in the wake of the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol. Yet it’s no surprise that President Trump is remorseless over his seditious comments that led to the desecration of the seat of our nation’s democracy and the death of a police officer. That’s true to form for a president who always places his self-interest above that of the nation.

It’s also unsurprising that Vice President Pence would remain servile, despite a House resolution calling on him to declare Trump unfit.

Now, it’s up to Congress to use every legal means to protect the country from the president in his final days in office. That means impeachment, which likely will come before the House today.

We applaud Maine’s Sen. King and Reps. Pingree and Golden for supporting impeachment, especially Golden, who represents a conservative district and who split his vote of two impeachment articles following the 2019 Ukraine scandal.

That leaves Sen. Susan Collins, who, during Trump’s 2020 impeachment trial, sided with her Republican colleagues, acquitting the president without ever hearing from witnesses.

“I believe that the president has learned from this case,” Collins explained at the time, using words that have come back to haunt her.

We hope that Collins has learned from the riots. We hope she has learned that Trump believes he can act with impunity, even when those actions lead to chaos.

True to form, Collins hasn’t indicated how she’ll vote.

But all legislators must set a precedent that condemns sedition and insurrection. They must give meaning to the phrase “this is not who we are.” They must strip Trump of the benefits that come post-presidency. Most importantly, they must vote to ensure that Trump never sits behind the Resolute desk in the Oval Office again. They must vote to impeach and to convict.

The alternative is a country burdened by a divisive wound for years to come

filed under: