UND Political Scientist Bo Wood calls the argument that Congress has more important things to do right now, a "fake argument."
He says with just a week to go in the Trump administration there is no way they could pass any meaningful policy, even Covid relief, especially with the Senate not in session until next week.
Professor Wood says there are two big reasons why Congress is pushing to remove the president from office now. Some feel he incited the riots at the Capitol last week, and this holds him accountable. The other, mainly democrats, who control the House want to remain faithful to their constituents at home.
"Just waiting out the clock is the cowards way out," said professor Wood explaining the perception democrats may get from their constituents during the next election cycle if they don't do anything.
That sentiment was in stark contrast to remarks made by North Dakota's lone representative Kelly Armstrong on the House floor Wednesday, Jan. 13.
"I'm going to vote against impeachment, and that's going to give me credibility at home with my base," Armstrong said. "You're going to vote for impeachment, and that's going to give you credibility at home with your base. So use that credibility. Go back and talk some hard truths to your people. I'm going to do it, and we need to do a better job."
With Democrats preparing to take control of the Senate, it would seem like there would be support to convict the President. However, Professor Wood thinks that may not be the case.
"The first 100 days of any new president's administration are really important, you have the most support, ambitious, policies get introduced, and does the Senate really want to spend time on this?" Wood explained.
With it being nearly impossible to remove the president from office by next week, the Senate could still vote to convict him after he leaves the White House. Republicans may support that for another reason. While being impeached can't stop you from running again, the Senate could then bring a separate vote to ban President Trump from ever running for office again. Professor Wood thinks will happen if they get the two-thirds majority to convict.
"That would give some space, some oxygen to other 2024 hopefuls who would not be so divisive, who could attract the middle voters that went for Biden this time around," said Wood.