President Donald Trump deserved to be impeached, again – this time for his sustained and unprecedented attempt to invalidate the results of the election and incite the worst assault on the peaceful transition of power our country has ever seen. The most important thing now is for a Senate vote to happen as quickly as possible, so that the specter of this president and all the ugly division he represents does not hang over the new Biden administration.
We must wash our hands of the Trump presidency and be done with it – the sooner the better.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who is reportedly open to convicting Trump in an impeachment trial, has said that he will not bring the chamber back into session until Jan. 19 – perhaps because he believes the extra time will lead more Republicans to join him. Regardless, the next day – come hell or high water – Trump will no longer be president, so the outcome of a trial is actually less important than the vote, for two reasons.
First: The Biden administration must have the chance to start with a clean slate. That can’t happen until we put the vote behind us.
Second: The public deserves to know where their representatives stand on this historic matter – with the Constitution or the con man who subverts it? With democracy and the rule of law, or with dictatorship and mob rule? Let’s call the roll, without delay, and let the public serve as the final jury in 2022.
Make no mistake: We are in the final throes of the most reckless presidency in history, defended to the end by some of the most craven partisans the world has ever known, violating the oath they took to honor a Constitution that has sustained the world’s greatest country for more than two centuries, a Constitution that so many Americans have died defending, a Constitution that has done more for human freedom and equality than any document ever penned. Their cowardice in the face of Trump’s attempt to overrule the people’s vote is a permanent stain on our generation that will not soon be removed.
I ran for president because I knew Donald Trump represents an existential threat to our country and the values that have sustained our Constitution, including respect for the will of the people. I so strongly supported Joe Biden and Kamala Harris last fall not because I agree with everything they do, though there is much I do support, but because America may not have survived four more years of Donald Trump.
The incoming Biden administration will face enormous challenges on Day One: the pandemic and its economic fallout; public schools that are failing; infrastructure that is crumbling; racial inequalities that are worsening; climate changes that are hurting farms and factories, homeowners and consumers; and global alliances that must be rebuilt in order to protect America’s interests around the world.
Nothing should distract from that work come Jan. 20. When Biden and Harris are sworn in, they deserve a fresh start, and a chance to do what they have promised: to bring people together, in Congress and across the country, and revive the spirit of cooperation that we so urgently need to reclaim.
So let’s get the vote over with and get on with it – and for God’s sake, let’s be done with this.
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Michael R. Bloomberg is the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News, and served as mayor of New York City from 2002 to 2013. For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion