Tuesday was the first day of Trump's second impeachment trial. And honestly, I was torn.
On the one hand, the day featured a gripping account of one of the most grievous abuses of power in the history of the United States. If you didn't see the ten-minute video that the impeachment managers played near the beginning of their presentation, I recommend you watch it.
On the other hand, the outcome of the trial appears preordained. To convict Trump, at least 17 Republican Senators need to vote to convict. On Tuesday, 44 out of the 50 Republican Senators ignored the plain language of the Constitution and voted to declare the entire trial unconstitutional.
So today, I'd like to hear from you. What do you think of Trump's second impeachment trial? What do you think can be accomplished?
You can leave your thoughts in the discussion thread linked below, starting now. I’ll be dropping by to participate in the discussion and answer your questions at 8:30 AM Eastern, for about an hour.
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This is about more than just impeaching Trump. This is about setting the national narrative and ensuring that Republicans are exposed and held to account for their complicity. Every single one of them will be on record, and there will be no escape from history’s judgement. They will either put the country first, or put themselves first. So while Trump himself may escape being impeached, it’s not all about him. And there’s nothing in the world that he hates more than that!
The video was a damning summary of the facts, and Jamie Raskin’s presentation was deeply moving. Some fights you just can’t walk away from, and this is one of them.
It will be interesting to see if the trial has any impact on public perception of the Republican Party. The trends are not good for the GOP, according to this new Gallup poll: https://news.gallup.com/poll/329561/gop-image-slides-giving-democrats-strong-advantage.aspx
Without corporate funding, many of the insurrection supporting senators are in trouble. Judd's important work in spotlighting funding by big corporations will ultimately prove more effective than the impeachment confirmation hearing. Hit them where it hurts, in the pocket.
Well, on the one hand the defense was a hot mess and the prosecution was impeccable. Raskin is a 'serious' lawyer as one of the senators said. I hope what the WAPO reported is correct and McConnell is not whipping the vote and asking people to listen to the arguments and vote their conscience. That being said, the 44 that voted that this was not constitutional are craven and just seeking cover from distancing themselves from Trump, Trump supporters and the millions of dollars in the Trump PAC. That's politics inside the Beltway. I don't think it will work well for them. I think Sasse, Cassidy, Collins and the other GOP who are being independent and correct have chosen the right path. GOP is notoriously short sighted at times.
It’s important for all of us to understand that trump (no capitalization deliberate) and his insanity could never have happened without the assistance and support of many greedy, power hungry people and corporations who supported him. We must own this knowledge and work hard to dismantle it. First, get money out of our politics and have TAX DOLLARS ONLY support people running for office. Second, get rid of the Electorate College which was founded by racist southerners to maintain control. Third, undo ALL gerrymandering (also a tool set up by racists). And fourth, change over to mail-in ballots to discourage intimidation at the polls as well as forcing voters to go to extreme lengths to vote because there are not enough places to vote or the hours and days they are open are extremely inconvenient (another ploy to discourage voters in certain districts ie racist tactic). One person, one vote and THAT’S IT! Problem solved. However, until ALL three things happen we are going to be hard pressed to maintain anything like a democracy and must expect more ‘trumps’ in our future...HORRIFYING!
I think what will ultimately happen is Trump will be treated like OJ Simpson. Whether convicted or not, all will know he was guilty. He will be shunned personally and professionally. That will matter greatly to him and his very fragile ego. His favorite business strategy - law suits - will not be so readily available to him because he will not have access to quality counsel. Real lawyers cannot afford to be associated with him. Therefore his business will suffer from not having the ability to bully through deals. In all new ventures and renegotiation of old deals, he will be negotiating from a position of weakness. And major banks will not lend to him, not only because he is tainted, but also because he is now a very bad credit risk. And like all the people that worked at the Madoff business that had nothing to do with Bernie, just having the word Trump on your resume is going to make it tough to move socially and professionally in many quarters. Maybe in politics he will still have standing, but in the business community he is cooked.
We live in an America where 74 million people think actual fascism is patriotism. Notice how quiet Tom Cotton is lately? I believe it's because he thinks he'll be next up for that putrid party, and he is a far smarter fascist than Trump.
I do think the Dems are smart enough to know that any and all messaging in 2022 and 2024 will be what craven garbage these GOP are, and with close to 60% (so far) wanting conviction, the GOP are seriously miscalculating this.
They need to pass a national fair election law to stop the 33 states that are currently proposing 165 voting law restrictions (guess who!), and I say reinstate The Fairness Doctrine ASAP.
Whatever the results of the second impeachment trial of Donald J. Trump, we must endure this process for the sake of the Constitution so that history will properly judge us.
It is extremely important to document what happened for future generations, to show we won’t tolerate such abuse of power and lies, and to show how corrupt many of our politicians are that they will ignore the truth-promote lies - not do the right thing...to simply further their political careers. It should be a huge wake up call that our political system needs an overhaul.
You can't move forward without accountability. If this is not an impeachable offense then almost nothing is.
It's important to create a record of how beholden the republican party--the house and senate--are to Trump. We should know, and remember, each vote and each name.
This is an important exercise. First, yesterday’s presentations were a stark contrast between competence and incompetence; an important lesson as we try and rebuild government. Secondly, the senators are not the only audience. The public will more fully comprehend the insurrection and Trump’s role in it. The public now clearly understands this trial is constitutional. If senators choose to ignore the obvious, the public will be be better prepared to hold them accountable. We must remember in 2022 and 2024.
I know there is little hope that Trump will be convicted, but the impeachment trial is important for more reasons than just its ultimate outcome. The evidence that will be introduced will create an official record of what happened. History will be the ultimate judge. And coverage of the trial, itself, can help dispel common misconceptions about the constitution and its meaning. For example, Republicans are fond of raising distractions such as a lack of “due process” (they argue technicalities when there is no plausible substantive defense). Due process applies to criminal proceedings, when prison or fines are at risk. No such consequence is available to an impeached official. The only potential consequences are removal from office and a bar to holding further office. It is ridiculous to suggest that this impeachment trial is “unconstitutional” - in fact, under the constitution, the trial and resulting consequences are the only remedies available. The trial is an opportunity to explain that to our ignorant electorate, with full media coverage, so that by the time the trial ends the voters will agree with the trial and its allegations, even if the cowardly senators do not. And then we can all remember who voted to acquit when they run for re-election.
It's critically important for Americans to see a detailed accounting of exactly what happened on January 6th. As Heather Cox Richardson said, it is the 50 Republican Senators who really are on trial here. Will they allow Trumpism to take over the Republican Party, and put our democracy in jeopardy, or will they stop Trump.
My take is similar to that espoused by Heather Cox Richardson in her latest FB post. Not only is Trump on trial, but also the Senate Republicans. Yes, he will likely be acquitted by the Senate, but the trial is none the less necessary. Trump incited insurrection. He has still not repudiated the Big Lie that the election was stolen from him. He has still not conceded defeat. He still calls himself the 45th President, not the former President. As such, he remains a danger to the Republic.
Is there a process here for the Dems to force the recusal of Hawley and Cruz in the impeachment trial.
For example, Schumer could make a motion. Grassley, as chair, could approve. It would go to a full Senate vote where Harris breaks the tie.
With Hawley and Cruz out, the other Reps will think very hard about their votes.
Should Trump be convicted, the door would be open to impeach a half dozen, or so, of his jurors, on the exact same charges. They know that, and are, therefore, very less likely to convict.
Simply self preservation!
If a mob-boss was sure-as-hell guilty of all the things mob-bosses are likely guilty of, but you thought there was a poor chance of conviction because of juror-intimidation, what would you do? Drop the case and shrug your shoulders? That's what's happening here in a nutshell.
I'm concerned about the precedent set by acquittal - - the "January Exception", if you will. If no actions committed or discovered between election and inauguration are deemed impeachable, then I fear the next leader with bad intentions will be even more dangerous.
Judd, SHAME on you. You should not be "torn" AT ALL. Everything needs to be logged for the sake of history. The impeachment trial should last for MUCH longer than this week. We should get personal testimony from Police that day - the names they were called over and over and over, how they were denied helmets, their concussions. That guy who had his eye deliberately guaged out intentionally at the hands of another man. The true ugliness, the violence. It all needs to played over and over until everyone sees it. All Americans need to see this horror. Trump-drunk insurrectionists used American flags to beat police officers, for God's sake. It is horrifying that you would publically claim to be "torn."
If it were Biden on trial instead, the republicans would be tripping over themselves to convict him. Republicans don't care about the constitution, they'd rewrite it tomorrow in their ideas and theory if they could (not saying Dems wouldn't but you know). Trump must be convicted and barred from serving for ALL future public servants otherwise the precedent is set, the last few weeks of a term a person can do as they please with no repercussions or they can just resign once the impeachment process is started because they'll be a private citizen. This is important and will effect our democracy
I find it unconscionable that a majority of Republican senators can, by all present indications, vote against condemning the actions of the former president before and during the interregnum and on January 6. My bottom line: Donald Trump deserves to be permanently banned from holding future office and the loss of the usual post-presidency benefits. If there's a way to do this that doesn't include impeachment, I'd like to know about it.
The Senate trial is about accountability and making sure he is not allowed to participate in the future because of his egregious crimes against the country. It will fail because Republican Senators need the votes from his base in the future. But Trump is about to be indicted in NY State, in Georgia, and in DC for criminal activity that could put him in jail until he is dead. Once Merrick Garland is Attorney General there will be a Commission to investigate all that led to the January 6 coup. There will be no ducking the outcome in a court of law. Because Justice Matters.
Do I expect Donald Trump to be convicted? No. Do I think Democrats should move to hold him accountable, though? Yes. If we can't hold our leaders to certain standards, what's the point of having standards in the first place?
The trial is a necessary effort despite its unfortunate predetermined outcome. The money is the key and the work that you are doing is an inspiring beginning. My biggest confusion always stems from how the true majority (those who recognize the truth and hear the voices of our often oppressed citizens) can not gain more momentum or control. I want to live where civility can rule.
I can’t think of a more blatant way for these elected officials to slap their constituents and all of Americans in the face by ignoring this sedition and insurrection that amounts to nothing short of treasonous in its momentum and feeding frenzy by our own government. This act of absolute terror will be seared in our minds forever and will be a plague on a horrible plague the US is already so burdened with. I fear we will become numb to this behavior, these acts of hatred and treachery there will no longer be an America the beautiful. And that’s exactly what Trump, Bannon, Miller and his cronies wanted. They even said so. Out loud.
We can’t let them win.
Trump will be held accountable in state and federal courts for crimes he has committed. This trial is about holding the GOP accountable. These Senators will be on record with their votes and their weak arguments and will forever link themselves with seditionists. That might be enough for them to win their primaries. But independents will not go along.
I'm honestly torn about this. On one hand, I have zero doubt that Trump incited the horror of January 6 and should be punished severely for it. On the other, I also have zero doubt that the current crop of Republican Senators are are at best craven cowards and at worst power-hungry sociopaths who see Trump's base as their best way to keep/regain power. So, there is more or less zero chance that they will ever convict him, and when he does so, he will emerge even stronger. That is really scary.
At this point I wonder if the plan is simply to get all the details of the plot out in the open to show true incitement, collaboration (in the case of some executives, donators, and politicians), and fealty, as a way to get Senators and Congressional Reps on records defending the behavior in hopes that this pressures donors to continue withholding funding. But that would be giving Democrats too much credit for thinking.
It is a shocking indictment of the GOP that most of them are such spineless amoral cowards that they cowtow to Trump no matter what he does but although it seems that the result of the trial is a foregone conclusion, Trump had to be tried and those who do not vote to condemn him for his actions will go down on record for the traitors that they are.
Even if Trump is not convicted, he will be the gift that keeps on giving...to the Republicans. Like it or not, they own Trump and Trump owns them. He will continue his civil war with the party for as long as someone will listen to him, and the Trumpies will listen as long as Trump says what they want to hear. Mitch McConnell created this monster, and he can’t kill it. If I were a (rational) Republican I’d be making phone calls to New York legal authorities asking if they ca use some help locking up Trump.
Just because the outcome is preordained doesn't mean the Democrats should avoid making the case to the Public and counter the misinformation and the Big Lie. Wish the Senate could make the vote be anonymous. I bet it would be entirely different than one where each Senator's vote is out in the public.
When Corporations were allowed as financiers of politicians our system developed a hole that has gotten bigger and more corrupt over time creating a country of the corporation, by the corporations, for the dollars. The People have very little say and we have learned that with gerrymandering. We must End Citizens United and progress so far as to have term limits in both our government and the judiciary including the Supreme Court. Money pushes Fascism whenever and wherever it can-total control is the goal and Trump is a prime example.
I'm not convinced it IS preordained. I think the "no" votes were generally from Senators who don't want to be placed in the precarious situation of deciding between Trump's supporters and the eventual scathing Dem ad campaigns against them. Not to mention the possibility of corporations stopping their donations to Senators who vote "no" on conviction.
Voting "no" on constitutionality gave them hope that they wouldn't have to eventually be on the record either supporting what happened at the Capitol or pushing away from the new "Trump GOP." It's a lose-lose in these cowards' eyes, so why not try to avoid it altogether?
Napolean once said "when your enemy is losing, stay out of the way"
While I agree with these sentiments--the video was jarring, testimony moving, and I personally emailed Senator Cassidy to thank him for his courage--the end is inevitable. However, the donors are now spooked, many people have had their eyes opened and by exposing this chasm within the party, the Republicans will have to figure out how to move forward effectively. That will be difficult, if not impossible. They are leaving the party in droves.
President Biden is doing the right thing, focusing on the problems of everyday people, and not railing against this clearly biased process.
Think long-game perspective.
The lock-step senators voting against this process are playing the short game.
As the perspective of time and rising marginalized groups and young voters begins to march on, all those senators will be on the conveyor belt of increasing vulnerability -- some closer and some farther, but in 2, 4, 8 years, they will all be seen with increasingly democratic eyes.
What I am frightened reading all the posts in this group, as well as on other media, is the fact that the conclusions of posters ends up with the admission that nothing will happen after the show is closed, and that history will maybe remember, but not electors or generations. Politics needs to be rained and be placed back where it belongs, at the service of the people!
Well! As I follow from the South of France, having been living in LA for 32 years, I am very amazed of how political attitude has evolved toward partisanship, ego centrism and moral decrepitude.
Some of the business partners I was working with, and did create a great company called Modern Cartoons, were Republican, others were Democrats. Never had we conflicting situation in our group coming from political divergences. When discussions on the subject of ideology or people's need, including people working for us, always pragmatism and realism drove the discussions and conclusions. Nobody had interest in flawing the company's processes or standing for its own interest like we can witness today. I knew very well Mr. Schwarzenegger as I worked on setting up his data bases services during the election for Sacramento. He was honorable in his relation with all other parties and was refusing to use injurious arguments towards other politicians during the campaign as it is currently the norm.
I still have many friends and relations in the US and I get very disturbing echos from what they are exposed to or involved in because politics.
Politics has become a cancer, because power, money and ideology.
Very sorry for that because I love US and respect deeply what it stands for.
Where in the United States of America, can Jurists, being presented evidence, turn their heads, read papers, outwardly ignore the testimony, and not be removed as a juror? With all due respect to members of the G.O.P., putting your fingers in your ears, covering your eyes, I wish you would also just cover your mouths and stop speaking, because you refuse to speak the truth. You are the reason that most Americans have lost faith in the Government. You are the reason that several million more Americans showed up at the polls to vote for Biden/Harris.
On, second thought, I wish you people to keep it up. Its working to enhance the position(s) of the other team!
I just finished reading Red Notice which was about among other story lines how the Magnitsky Act came to be. In 2009 Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian tax lawyer died horribly through torture because he refused to support tax fraud in Russia. Read the book. We still have rule of law in this country. Many of us can still recognize truth. In Russia, there is only lies- truth is rare. I support the impeachment and conviction of Trump even if his Republican enablers do not. This trial is not a waste of time. In America, we take for granted our democratic norms that protect us and this trial is a reminder of what we might lose.
We are still on the brink of the right wing destroying the country. That so many republican senators are afraid of their own base, lets you know just how deep the White Supremacy goes in the GOP. None of them like tRump, I would venture to say most despise him, but they are afraid of the monster THEY created. The terrifying part is that most of the rest of the country is ok with it.
Doing nothing is not an option the ex President tried to upend an election by initiating and encouraging an insurrection. Despite the outcome Congress can not let that go unchecked , the American people deserve nothing less.
Second, how many retiring Republicans are still voting to protect Trump? Quite a few have announced, like Toomey. What’s HIS rationale if fear of political retribution is off the table?
Speaking as one from an alien country (the UK) - whilst I remain deeply troubled by the events of January 6th the fact is that those persons who indulged in the attack believed that they were actually defending their democracy. Pursuing Trump in this way will not help them change their mind. He should be ignored and forgotten - Biden needs to get on with his policies and congress as a whole needs to support those policies.That's the way to heal the US democracy.
Hopefully one or more of the upcoming criminal trials will end Trump's political career, because the outcome of his second impeachment trial is pre-ordained. Arguing the need to have Impeachment included in the Constitution, Hamilton describes a hypothetical president who might as well be Trump in its uncanny likeness. What he didn't foresee was the likes of the Republican Party today, who care less about justice and accountability, and more about retaining favor from a would be dictator and his rabid base.
I doubt it would have made any difference, but I believe the democrats should have finished the debate on constitutionality by saying this: If one is to make a claim, constitutional or not, then one needs to provide evidence to support that claim. In this case, there is not really research that can be presented to answer this question. Rather, the best evidence would be the careful opinions of the leading constitutional law experts on this question. Given that surveys of such experts has found that a vast majority of them clearly view this impeachment as constitutional, then the evidence quite clearly favors the position of constitutionality. Sometimes it is difficult to tell if a politician's vote is based on the prevailing evidence or is primarily a partisan take. In this case, given the strength of the evidence, it will be quite clear. If you vote that this impeachment is constitutional you are siding with the evidence, but if you vote that it is unconstitutional, and say that you know more than all of these constitutional experts, you are making a purely partisan vote, and that will be abundantly clear to the American public.
these republican senators need to be hounded daily for the rest of their lives for their cowardice
Following from abroad, I may be simplifying things but it seems to me that if Trump is not held accountable then that would allow others to do whatever they please in the last days of their position, as they know that once they leave the role they can be absolved of all sins. And in order to establish whether Trump is guilty he needs to be trialled so the process should continue.
However, I echo others' in thinking that this all seems a little futile and he will be cleared. But that is more due to self-preservation and self-interest in most Republicans, so essentially it will all be about politics and not justice.
I think those 44 Republican Senators should be persuaded to stay home the day of the vote. Conviction only requires 2/3rds of those present, not 2/3rds of the Senate.
Watching that video, listening to trump and his followers, made me literally ill. All last night I couldn't shake the feeling of hopelessness.. Living through the last 4 years, watching the attacks on women, people of color, the LGBTQ community which I am part of, made me more political than I wanted to be. I always thought the silver lining of a trump administration was that it showed us who are friends, family, and neighbors really were, but that so many people still support him just saddens me. Is it because the *white* way of life is threatened?
Is that why all of these white privileged, in so many ways, people lust after him? I have no great hope that he will be impeached, conservatives will stand by him, enable him, make excuses for him, like they have the last 4 years. I guess the people who oppose him just need to go down in history showing that they tried to hold him and Cruz, Cawthorne, Greene, Rubio, Walker and all the rest accountable.
I think the best way to control this is by holding corporations, companies, wealthy people publicly accountable for supporting trump and all of his supporters connected to the DC protest..Just as your previous reporting and posts have shown, money talks!