MINOT, N.D. — This week, the Senate takes up impeachment articles for disgraced former President Donald Trump as approved last month by the House of Representatives.

As you know, this is a kinda-sorta criminal proceeding that is initiated by the House issuing an indictment and the Senate serving as judge and jury.

The outcome of the Senate's deliberations is all but assured. Not that long ago, Sen. Rand Paul introduced a motion declaring a trial unconstitutional because Trump is now out of office. It's a ridiculous argument on its face because Trump needn't be a sitting President for Congress to convict, but it was good political cover for Republicans. All but five of them voted for Paul's motion, which ultimately failed thanks to the Democratic majority and the GOP defectors, making it unlikely any of them would now vote for conviction.

Still, it's a necessary proceeding. But not according to Sen. Kevin Cramer, who called the trial "stupid" in a news release today:

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Congress does many stupid things, but calling this trial the "stupidest" might be the stupidest thing Cramer has ever said.

Let's remember what all of this folderol is about.

Trump's supporters, after listening to the man himself rant nonsense about a stolen election at a rally, marched directly from that event to the U.S. Capitol and attacked Congress, injuring many and killing one.

An attack on Congress inspired by a sitting president is nothing to shrug off.

Even if rank partisanship from Republicans, not to mention the pandering to Trump's movement of bullies and cranks, has already dictated the outcome of this trial, it's still worth the time and effort.

Congress was attacked by the supporters of the man who was, at the time, the President, and their goal was to stop Congress from accepting the results of the national election that removed Trump from office.

Trump should be convicted and barred from ever seeking federal office again. But even short of that, we should absolutely be having this trial.

I understand that it's uncomfortable for Republicans. After all, this proceeding will remind the American public again of the awful attack Trump inspired his supporters to perpetrate. But Republicans made their deal with this devil. They catered to his whims. They've made excuses for his excesses.

They should be embarrassed by that.

If they had more integrity, they'd admit the mistake and work on moving the GOP and the conservative movement past the Trump era as quickly as possible. Instead, what they're giving us are denunciations of a legitimate process aimed at holding a president who, perhaps more than any other in our history, is deserving of every bit of accountability Congress can deliver.

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Rob Port, founder of SayAnythingBlog.com, is a Forum Communications commentator. Reach him on Twitter at @robport or via email at rport@forumcomm.com.