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The 2021 Impeachment, Trial and Acquittal of Donald John Trump

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  • #91
    Trump left some pecker tracks.

    Trump left some evidence of his state of mind, some evidence of his intent in his actions and inactions during the insurrection while he was already aware that his supporters were violently engaged in the forced invasion of the Capitol to prevent the counting and affirmation of the Electoral votes delivered from the States.

    Originally posted by CNN

    New details emerge in McCarthy's call with Trump on January 6
    Published on Feb 12, 2021

    In an expletive-laced phone call with House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy while the Capitol was under attack, then-President Donald Trump said the rioters cared more about the election results than McCarthy did.

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    Originally posted by CNN

    Senators ask impeachment lawyers what Trump did during riot
    Published on 12 February 2021

    Senators from both sides of the aisle asked the impeachment managers and former President Donald Trump's defense lawyers to account for Trump's actions while the insurrection at the US capitol was in progress.

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    Last edited by JRT; 13 Feb 21,, 10:09.
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    • #92
      Originally posted by JRT View Post
      ...some pecker tracks...
      Click image for larger version

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      Last edited by JRT; 13 Feb 21,, 09:53.
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      • #93
        Originally posted by JRT View Post
        Trump left some pecker tracks...
        Originally posted by CNN

        New details about Trump-McCarthy shouting match show Trump refused to call off the rioters

        by Jamie Gangel, Kevin Liptak, Michael Warren and Marshall Cohen
        12 February 2021

        (Washington, D.C.) - In an expletive-laced phone call with House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy while the Capitol was under attack, then-President Donald Trump said the rioters cared more about the election results than McCarthy did.

        "Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are," Trump said, according to lawmakers who were briefed on the call afterward by McCarthy.

        McCarthy insisted that the rioters were Trump's supporters and begged Trump to call them off.

        Trump's comment set off what Republican lawmakers familiar with the call described as a shouting match between the two men. A furious McCarthy told the then-President the rioters were breaking into his office through the windows, and asked Trump, "Who the f--k do you think you are talking to?" according to a Republican lawmaker familiar with the call.

        The newly revealed details of the call, described to CNN by multiple Republicans briefed on it, provide critical insight into the President's state of mind as rioters were overrunning the Capitol. The existence of the call and some of its details were first reported by Punchbowl News and discussed publicly by McCarthy.

        The Republican members of Congress said the exchange showed Trump had no intention of calling off the rioters even as lawmakers were pleading with him to intervene. Several said it amounted to a dereliction of his presidential duty.

        "He is not a blameless observer, he was rooting for them," a Republican member of Congress said. "On January 13, Kevin McCarthy said on the floor of the House that the President bears responsibility and he does."

        Speaking to the President from inside the besieged Capitol, McCarthy pressed Trump to call off his supporters and engaged in a heated disagreement about who comprised the crowd. Trump's comment about the would-be insurrectionists caring more about the election results than McCarthy did was first mentioned by Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, a Republican from Washington state, in a town hall earlier this week, and was confirmed to CNN by Herrera Beutler and other Republicans briefed on the conversation.

        "You have to look at what he did during the insurrection to confirm where his mind was at," Herrera Beutler, one of 10 House Republicans who voted last month to impeach Trump, told CNN. "That line right there demonstrates to me that either he didn't care, which is impeachable, because you cannot allow an attack on your soil, or he wanted it to happen and was OK with it, which makes me so angry."

        "We should never stand for that, for any reason, under any party flag," she added, voicing her extreme frustration: "I'm trying really hard not to say the F-word."

        Herrera Beutler went a step further on Friday night, calling on others to speak up about any other details they might know regarding conversations Trump and Pence had on January 6.

        "To the patriots who were standing next to the former president as these conversations were happening, or even to the former vice president: if you have something to add here, now would be the time," she said in a statement.

        Another Republican member of Congress said the call was problematic for Trump.

        "I think it speaks to the former President's mindset," said Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, an Ohio Republican who also voted to impeach Trump last month. "He was not sorry to see his unyieldingly loyal vice president or the Congress under attack by the mob he inspired. In fact, it seems he was happy about it or at the least enjoyed the scenes that were horrifying to most Americans across the country."

        As senators prepare to determine Trump's fate, multiple Republicans thought the details of the call were important to the proceedings because they believe it paints a damning portrait of Trump's lack of action during the attack. At least one of the sources who spoke to CNN took detailed notes of McCarthy's recounting of the call.

        Trump and McCarthy did not respond to requests for comment.

        It took Trump several hours after the attack began to eventually encourage his supporters to "go home in peace" -- a tweet that came at the urging of his top aides.

        At Trump's impeachment trial Friday, his lawyers argued that Trump did in fact try to calm the rioters with a series of tweets while the attack unfolded. But his lawyers cherry-picked his tweets, focusing on his request for supporters to "remain peaceful" without mentioning that he also attacked then-Vice President Mike Pence and waited hours to explicitly urge rioters to leave the Capitol.

        A source close to Pence said Trump's legal team was not telling the truth when attorney Michael van der Veen said at the trial that "at no point" did the then-President know his vice president was in danger.

        Asked whether van der Veen was lying, the source said, "Yes." Former Pence aides are still fuming over Trump's actions on January 6, insisting he never checked on the vice president as Pence was being rushed from danger by his US Secret Service detail.

        It's unclear to what extent these new details were known by the House Democratic impeachment managers or whether the team considered calling McCarthy as a witness. The managers have preserved the option to call witnesses in the ongoing impeachment trial, although that option remains unlikely as the trial winds down.

        The House Republican leader had been forthcoming with his conference about details of his conversations with Trump on and after January 6.

        Trump himself has not taken any responsibility in public.

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        Last edited by JRT; 13 Feb 21,, 09:50.
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        • #94
          Impeachment trial surprise as Senate approves move to call witnesses

          House impeachment managers threw a curveball on Saturday morning, asking that they be allowed to call witnesses on what was expected to be a final day of closing arguments.

          The motion was approved by the Senate, meaning the impeachment trial, which had been expected to end Saturday, may now be extended for an unforeseeable period of time.

          Lead manager Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., just after 10 a.m., said the managers wanted to subpoena Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Wash., to testify via Zoom call. The Senate then voted on a motion regarding whether to call witnesses at all, and the Senate approved the motion 55 to 45, with five Republicans joining all the Democrats in supporting the measure.

          A separate vote is needed for each witness requested.

          Herrera Beutler, who was one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump last month, released a statement on Friday night saying that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., had related to her that when he spoke to Trump by phone on Jan. 6, while rioters were assaulting the Capitol and lawmakers’ lives were in danger, the president refused to do anything to stop the violence.

          “The president initially repeated the falsehood that it was antifa that had breached the Capitol,” Herrera Beutler said. “McCarthy refuted that and told the president that these were Trump supporters. That’s when, according to McCarthy, the president said: ‘Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are.’”

          Herrera Beutler had already related this call in a statement before the House impeachment vote, but she added this exhortation Friday to others who might have information about the president’s state of mind before or during the insurrection.

          “To the patriots who were standing next to the former president as these conversations were happening, or even to the former vice president: If you have something to add here, now would be the time,” she said.

          The relevance of this goes to whether it can be proved that Trump intentionally incited the violence at the Capitol and intentionally sought to stop the process of certifying the 2020 election results in an attempt to hold on to power.

          The decision to call witnesses was not expected but was made after senators from both parties began to signal on Saturday morning that they supported the idea.

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          FINALLY! Yeah yeah, distracting from Biden's agenda, whatever. Know what's far more important than Biden's agenda? Getting these people on the stand and ON THE RECORD!

          Witness #1 to be subpoenaed should be Donald John Trump, if only to watch him throw up all manner of obstructions to keep him saying anything under oath.
          Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value

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          • #95
            Senate reaches deal to skip witnesses

            Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Saturday that a deal has been reached to skip witnesses in the impeachment trial of former President Trump, not long after a vote to call witnesses threw the Senate into chaos.A statement from Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler that led to the call for witnesses was read into the record rather than calling her to testify.

            The 55-45 vote for witnesses included four Republicans who could vote to convict Mr. Trump: Senators Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Mitt Romney and Ben Sasse.And a fifth senator's position came as a surprise. Senator Lindsey Graham, a close Trump ally, changedhis vote from "nay" to "yea" because he wanted the defense to call witnesses.

            The former president is facing a charge of incitement of insurrection over the deadly assault by pro-Trump rioters on the U.S. Capitol on January 6.

            Democratic House impeachment manager Jamie Raskin had said Saturday that Herrera Beutler should be called to testify.

            Herrera Beutler came forward on Friday night and recalled that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told her about a phone call with Mr. Trump. According to Herrera Beutler, McCarthy told her that when he spoke to Mr. Trump that day and asked him to "publicly and forcefully" call off the Capitol assault, "the president initially repeated the falsehood that it was antifa that had breached the Capitol."

            "McCarthy refuted that and told the president that these were Trump supporters," Beutler's statement said. "That's when, according to McCarthy, the president said: 'Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are.'"

            A Senate staffer said Saturday morning that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said in an email to GOP colleagues he'll vote to acquit Mr. Trump, according to a Senate staffer who was read the email by a Republican senator.

            McConnell cited constitutional grounds for his reasoning. McConnell voted that the trial was unconstitutional before it began.
            __________

            Un-fucking-believable....

            I don't care if I sound like a broken record, the Democrats could fuck up a wet dream
            Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value

            Comment


            • #96
              from what I see, looks like the Republicans were threatening to burn all the bridges if the witness thing went through -- ie trying to drag the trial on as long as possible, then actively work to block legislation and run out the clock. Dems only have until 2022 to play, after all.

              Democrats would have a much stronger hand to counter that by threatening the nuclear option if it wasn't for Manchin and Sinema talking about how the filibuster was inviolable.
              There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

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              • #97
                Click image for larger version  Name:	trump-el-paso-baby.jpg Views:	0 Size:	198.0 KB ID:	1572059

                As I think most of us seemed to expect, regardless his disadvantage of not having his troop of Florida monkeys defending him at his trial, not enough of the Republicans joined with Democrats to form a 2/3 majority in the vote to convict, so Trump won his acquittal.

                His red hatted niwits are still sending millions in donations into his Save America leadership PAC slushfund. So he is making money at this hand over fist, and the acquittal helps in that. He will claim that it proved his innocence, proved that he was right in everything that he said. He will continue to claim that the election was stolen from him, and his cult will continue to believe him in that.

                He will have Secret Service protection for life, and they will be renting expensive space from him at his properties where he maintains his primary and secondary residences in Mar-a-Lago in Florida and in Trump Tower in NY.

                He will receive ~$1M/annum in travel budget allowance.

                He will get funding for a fulltime personal secretary and presidential library, including a computer server. He does not read or write much, so maybe he might be able to use some of that for a small studio setup for recording video podcasts, and hire a secretary capable of producing, editing and publishing those to his server, copying those to hosting sites such as YouTube. The federal government will pay the bill.

                He will also receive a pension and medical benefits, which may be trivial in monetary value to him, but might be a continued source of amusement to him, knowing that he won in the end, in his thinking.

                Originally posted by NPR_News

                Senate Acquits Trump In Impeachment Trial — Again
                13 February 202
                by Domenico Montanaro

                Former President Donald Trump was impeached for inciting the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 while lawmakers were certifying the Electoral College votes in his election loss.
                Jon Cherry/Getty Images
                The U.S. Senate on Saturday acquitted former President Donald Trump on an impeachment charge of inciting an insurrection.

                The acquittal comes more than a month after a mob of Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol as lawmakers were counting the electoral results that certified Trump's loss. Five people died in the riot, including a police officer. Two other officers later killed themselves.

                A majority of senators voted to convict Trump — 57 to 43, including seven Republicans. But two-thirds, or 67 votes, was needed to convict. It was the second time Trump was acquitted in an impeachment trial.

                The seven GOP senators who voted to convict Trump on Saturday were: Richard Burr of North Carolina, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Mitt Romney of Utah, Ben Sasse of Nebraska and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania.

                Trump is the first president in U.S. history to be impeached by the House twice, and the first to be tried for impeachment after leaving office.

                The verdict closes the book on this Trump presidency, though the Senate, by not convicting and barring him from holding public office in the future, left open the possibility that Trump, a 74-year-old Republican, could run again for president.


                The impeachment managers argued that beyond Trump's comments on Jan. 6, he laid the groundwork with two months of false claims of widespread election fraud and years of tolerating, condoning and encouraging violence.
                Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images
                In a narrowly divided Senate, the outcome of the trial, which lasted a little less than a week, was largely expected, though it very nearly was extended potentially by weeks. Impeachment managers began Saturday with a surprise, saying they had decided to call a witness, Washington Republican Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler.

                After the defense rested Friday, Herrera Beutler issued a statement detailing — again — that Trump had gotten into a shouting match with Republican House leader Kevin McCarthy during the riot, telling him, "Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are."

                The Senate then voted to allow witnesses, and Trump's lawyers threatened to call dozens. Both sides eventually agreed to enter Herrera Beutler's statement into the record and move on.

                Agreement Reached To Avoid Witnesses In Trump's Impeachment Trial
                TRUMP IMPEACHMENT TRIAL: LIVE UPDATES
                Agreement Reached To Avoid Witnesses In Trump's Impeachment Trial
                The heart of Trump's legal team's argument was supposed to be that the Senate did not have jurisdiction to take up the trial of a former federal official. That was certainly part of it and was a message that resonated with the overwhelming majority of GOP senators.

                In a vote on the first day of the trial, for example, 44 Republicans voted to say it was unconstitutional for the Senate to try a president after he left office. That's despite a 145-year-old precedent in which the Senate voted that it was constitutional to try a former Cabinet official for impeachment.

                The constitutionality argument allowed many Republican senators to sidestep the merits of the case against Trump. That's even though the lead impeachment manager, Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., on Thursday closed his side's arguments by imploring senators that the constitutionality of the trial had been resolved by the earlier vote.

                5 Takeaways From The Trump Impeachment Trial After Defense Wraps Up
                TRUMP IMPEACHMENT TRIAL: LIVE UPDATES
                5 Takeaways From The Trump Impeachment Trial After Defense Wraps Up
                Trump's lawyers, however, did not stick to a narrow constitutional argument. Instead, they accused Democrats of using the impeachment process for partisan gain and of trying to disenfranchise the people who voted for Trump's reelection. The defense declined to provide evidence of what the president knew about the violence, when he knew it and what he did about it.

                The Democratic House impeachment managers argued that the former president, who addressed a rally outside the White House ahead of the insurrection, was "singularly responsible" for the violence on Jan. 6.

                They relied, in large measure, on video to prove their case, including never-before-seen Capitol security footage. The videos showed on the Senate floor during what was an, at times, emotional trial brought back the vivid images of the Capitol violence to the very place it happened.

                'The Footage Is Horrific': Senators React To Gripping New Video Of Capitol Riot
                TRUMP IMPEACHMENT TRIAL: LIVE UPDATES
                'The Footage Is Horrific': Senators React To Gripping New Video Of Capitol Riot
                The video demonstrated how close rioters came to then-Vice President Mike Pence and members of Congress. And the impeachment managers argued that the video showed clearly that the mob of pro-Trump supporters was there for the president, and many believed they were there at the president's behest.

                The impeachment managers, however, made a broader case than Trump's comments on Jan. 6. They argued that Trump laid the groundwork for false grievance on the part of his supporters with two months of baseless claims of widespread election fraud that cost him the election and years, in fact, of tolerating, condoning and encouraging violence.

                Trump Lawyer: His Call To Georgia Officials To 'Find' Votes Was Taken Out Of Context
                TRUMP IMPEACHMENT TRIAL: LIVE UPDATES
                Trump Lawyer: His Call To Georgia Officials To 'Find' Votes Was Taken Out Of Context
                Trump's lawyers largely sidestepped Trump's false claims of election fraud. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., asked during the question-and-answer session: "Are the prosecutors right when they claim that Trump was telling a big lie, or in your judgment did Trump actually win the election?"

                Trump lawyer Michael van der Veen shot back, "My judgment? Who asked that?"

                "I did," Sanders replied.

                "My judgment is irrelevant," van der Veen said.

                "You represent the president of the United States!" Sanders yelled back before Sen. Patrick Leahy, the presiding officer, gaveled the chamber back to order.

                Trump's rhetoric about widespread fraud and a stolen was false, dismissed by many courts stemming from dozens of lawsuits filed by the Trump campaign and allies across several key states.

                House Impeachment Managers Say Trump's 'Incitement' Is Not Protected Speech
                TRUMP IMPEACHMENT TRIAL: LIVE UPDATES
                House Impeachment Managers Say Trump's 'Incitement' Is Not Protected Speech
                Trump's legal team also argued that his Jan. 6 rally speech was protected by the First Amendment, a contention that impeachment managers labeled ludicrous. This, after all was an impeachment trial, not a criminal proceeding. An impeachment trial is a political process intended to judge whether an official was upholding their oath of office and a standard of conduct.

                With his second acquittal, Trump now plots his next steps in political and public life. Yet he is also contending with potential legal trouble stemming from a New York grand jury investigation and a newly announced criminal probe in Georgia.

                That's in addition to Trump's mounting debt and devalued assets. The former president's net worth also dropped $1 billion in early 2020, according to Forbes.

                Trump has been able to spin difficulties in his business and personal life before, and the country waits to see if has a next, and perhaps final, act.

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                Last edited by JRT; 13 Feb 21,, 23:58.
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                • #98
                  Originally posted by Bloomberg_Quicktake

                  "What We Saw Today Was a Cowardly Group Of Republicans" - Speaker Pelosi
                  Published on 13 February 2021



                  “What we saw today was a cowardly group of Republicans,” Speaker Pelosi said of the final vote to acquit former President Trump.

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                  • #99
                    Republicans have been pointing to the courts as the proper way to deal with Trump.

                    Tomorrow, as Trump's legal problems continue to unfold, they'll begin screaming about "victor's justice".

                    And Cult 45 marches on
                    Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value

                    Comment


                    • Tomorrow, 14 February 2021, the Sunday TV news-ertainment shows and their various talking heads will discuss Trump's second impeachment, trial and acquittal.

                      I suspect that by next Sunday, 21 February, the producers of those same TV programs will shift focus to something else. They already realize that short focused American public are weary of the subject.

                      Trump will be playing golf in Florida, without a mask.
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                      • Going forward, it's going to be interesting to watch how the Democrats try to defend democracy in the US against this rising anti-democratic movement within the GOP, while navigating their policies around disenfranchised Conservatives and the progressive wing. I don't think any of us expect the Democrats to pull out the hard ball tactics of reducing the GOP's power, like ridding the filibuster or adding SC judges. But they have to figure out how to navigate electorally, and determine if former Republicans constitute a large enough bloc to make it worth their time to court, or if they ignore them completely out of fear of losing progressive turnout.

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                        • I have not been a big fan of hard-ball tactics; if those in congress remember why they're there, who they represent, and what was in that oath they took, the rest is just policy issues.

                          That's changed, so there need to be responses that effectively confront those who no longer consider honesty to be a strong character trait.
                          Trust me?
                          I'm an economist!

                          Comment


                          • if those in congress remember why they're there, who they represent, and what was in that oath they took, the rest is just policy issues.
                            the GOP has not been about "policy issues" for a -long- time now.

                            State GOP across 28 states have already filed 106 bills for the 2021 legislative session seeking to limit voting access. those state bills, combined with the expected gerrymandering, is about to screw Dems over the way REDMAP did since 2010.

                            HR1 and S1 need to be passed immediately, at least before 2022.


                            There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

                            Comment


                            • For Trump, an Escape, Not an Exoneration

                              Once again, former President Donald Trump beat the rap and once again he wasted no time claiming victory. He released a statement one minute before the presiding officer in the Senate even officially declared that he had been acquitted Saturday, denouncing his impeachment as “yet another phase of the greatest witch hunt in the history of our country.”

                              But this one was still different. This one will come with an asterisk in the history books if not a dark stain. This time Trump did not have the East Room of the White House to summon allies for a celebration to crow about eluding conviction. This was the most bipartisan impeachment in history, and even the Republican leader castigated him. This was an escape, not an exoneration.

                              The president, who emerged from last year’s impeachment trial feeling emboldened and used his office to take revenge against those he blamed for the charges against him, emerges from this one defeated after one term and secluded behind closed doors in Florida with no government power and an uncertain political and legal future. He forced most Republican senators to stick with him in the trial, but few of them defended his actions, citing constitutional reasons for their votes.

                              No one condemned him in more forceful terms Saturday than one of those who voted to acquit him, Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader who for four years held his tongue and worked in tandem with Trump but has since washed his hands of him. McConnell accused Trump of a “disgraceful, disgraceful dereliction of duty” in trying to overturn an election and setting a mob loose on Congress to block the formalization of his defeat, and he methodically demolished the former president’s defense point by point.

                              “There’s no question, none, that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day,” McConnell said. “No question about it. The people who stormed this building believed they were acting on the wishes and instructions of their president. And having that belief was a foreseeable consequence of the growing crescendo of false statements, conspiracy theories and reckless hyperbole which the defeated president kept shouting into the largest megaphone on planet Earth.”

                              But the sting of his rebuke was tempered by his vote, which McConnell explained as an unavoidable consequence of his belief that a Senate cannot put a president on trial after he leaves office. Democrats excoriated him for trying to have it both ways, stiff-arming a toxic leader of his own party only when he was out of office without actually holding him accountable. But he also validated the Democrats’ case against Trump.

                              Nor was he the only Republican to do so. Seven Senate Republicans voted to convict Trump, the most senators of a president’s own party to turn against him in an impeachment trial in American history, following the 10 House Republicans who did so in the original vote a month ago.

                              And some of the other Republicans who voted for acquittal Saturday echoed McConnell’s reproval. “The actions and reactions of President Trump were disgraceful, and history will judge him harshly,” said Sen. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia. Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio added, “President Trump said and did things that were reckless and encouraged the mob.”

                              Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., the lead House impeachment manager, pointed out that the 57-43 vote was the highest total for conviction of a president since Andrew Johnson was acquitted by a single vote in 1868 even if it did not reach the two-thirds required for conviction.

                              And Raskin argued that if only 10 of the Republican senators who voted for acquittal justified their decisions strictly on the same constitutional grounds that McConnell did, that would mean functionally two-thirds of the Senate concluded that Trump was guilty on the facts.

                              “The defendant, Donald John Trump, was let off on a technicality,” declared Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, another manager.

                              But Democrats were not entirely sure whether to emphasize the result as a moral victory or condemn it as a shameful betrayal by Republicans.

                              Even as Raskin was citing McConnell’s comments as vindication of the managers’ case, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi unexpectedly showed up at the managers’ post-trial news conference to upbraid McConnell for “a very disingenuous speech” in which he tried “to have it every which way,” presumably to assuage Republican donors.

                              Wary of losing McConnell, who almost certainly could have brought several votes with him and perhaps even enough to secure conviction, Trump uncharacteristically avoided antagonizing Republican senators during the trial. While he was forced to scramble to find lawyers willing to defend him and ended up putting his case in the hands of a personal injury lawyer from Philadelphia, Trump knew going in that he most likely had the votes for acquittal as long as he kept quiet.

                              His lawyers misstated facts and at times aggravated Republicans and Trump himself with their presentations, but they focused on rallying the party’s senators to stick with him by characterizing the trial as a hypocritical scam by Democrats out to get a political opponent — an argument that some Republicans were willing to embrace even if they did not want to defend Trump’s specific actions.

                              “The Democrats’ vindictive and divisive political impeachment is over,” Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., wrote on Twitter afterward. “While there are still many questions that remain unanswered, I do know neither the Capitol breach nor this trial should have ever occurred. Hopefully, true healing can now begin.”

                              Trump, of course, has rarely if ever been in the healing business. Now that he is off the hook in the Senate, he presumably will shed his reticence to speak out. His statement Saturday was another hint about a return to public life. “We have so much work ahead of us, and soon we will emerge with a vision for a bright, radiant and limitless American future,” he wrote.

                              Having failed to convict, Democrats hope that the trial nonetheless made it implausible if not impossible for Trump to ever run for president again as he has hinted he might do and that the images of the riot he encouraged will be seared into the pages of posterity. “He deserves to be permanently discredited — and I believe he has been discredited — in the eyes of the American people and in the judgment of history,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic majority leader.

                              But the final judgments on the events of Jan. 6 and his presidency have yet to be issued. Trump retains powerful support among the Republican base, as demonstrated when state party organs condemned and even censured their own representatives and senators who have broken with him since Jan. 6. For many in the core Republican constituency, personal loyalty to Trump clearly matters more than party loyalty.

                              On the other hand, while he is free of the impeachment threat, Trump still faces possible legal jeopardy stemming from his efforts to subvert the election through false claims of fraud. Among other things, there are criminal investigations in Washington about the riot and in Georgia about Trump’s efforts to pressure state election officials to overturn the results of the state’s vote. Legal experts said the former president could likewise be exposed to civil litigation from victims of the Capitol rampage. And there are continuing investigations of his finances in New York.

                              McConnell seemed to encourage the authorities to pursue Trump with criminal prosecution, which he said was the constitutionally appropriate means for holding a former president responsible for his actions. Accountability, he said, was still possible.

                              “He didn’t get away with anything — yet,” McConnell said. “Yet.”
                              ___________
                              Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value

                              Comment


                              • It's like the OJ verdict. Everyone knows he committed the crime, but the verdict didn't confirm it. Good reminder that the justice system isn't about finding out what's true.

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