422 Comments
Feb 10, 2021Liked by Judd Legum

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.

Expand full comment
author

This is an important perspective.

Expand full comment

Ultimately, irrespective of the final vote, Trumpism has reached its zenith. Yes, the state legislatures are attempting to replicate Trumpism, and they will succeed to some degree in disenfranchising voters but will inadvertently galvanize Democratic activists. The irony is that Trump is the only one who can galvanize the strange loyalty of his base. We've already seen a waning of support by Republicans, which will grow over time. The pure base will not be fooled by the anemic faux-Trumpism of Cruz, Hawley, Rubio, or Johnson. Their delusions can only be fed by true extremists--the Marjorie Greenes of the party--which in turn will drive even true conservatives from the GOP. Democracy is on the knife's edge of survival, but the GOP has issued its own death knell.

Expand full comment

I completely agree. Just look at their response to the Big Lie; over a hundred voter suppression laws are being proposed.

Expand full comment

That is in response to losing.

Expand full comment

There are more and more fights like this. Wish we could all work together like President Biden says but at the state level, representatives in swing states (and others) are making it harder to vote and censoring anyone who speaks for democracy. I don’t see a peaceful way out.

Expand full comment

Well said..Totally Agree!

Expand full comment
author

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

Expand full comment

I think the impeachment managers should explore the extent of Trump benefiting financially from his Big Lie.

Expand full comment

Yes! Follow the money seems the best bet for taking down the Trump machine...on this & most else during his presidency. Nothing else (such as ethics) will do it seems & at least this absurd siphoning will be on display. To build some consciousness for the underlying narrative he & the GOP distract & hide away from people who actually think they’ve their economic interests in mind.

Expand full comment

As well as the Trump Org and his kids

Expand full comment

The GOP is consuming itself from the inside out. Our focus on 2022 is essential now.

Expand full comment

It will be interesting to watch if those trends lead to better outcomes. The article ends with a big IF "if bruising GOP primaries between Trump loyalists and non-loyalists and weaken the party nominees in the general election" I'll believe it when I see it, I'm hoping it's true. Still important to get out the Dem vote for 2022. Get back to volunteering people!

Expand full comment
Feb 10, 2021Liked by Judd Legum

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.

Expand full comment

I love Judd's work on exposing how money flows, but I'm worried that there are so many dark channels that, in the end, corporations will fund whatever donkey or elephant - or both - whom they think will serve their economic interests. Listen to the Brennan Center: "There was $100 million in dark money reported to the Federal Election Commission, which is trending downwards compared with previous presidential election years. The bad news is that this figure likely underreports the problem by over 600 percent." https://www.brennancenter.org/our-work/analysis-opinion/dark-money-2020-election

Expand full comment

I think the impact of corporate money is overstated. FEC limits for corp PAC donations is $5k. That doesn't buy a whole lot. Go look at the FEC records for Congress. I actually think most of Congress would be happy to get off the corp PAC hamster wheel as it's low value. The big money is in the Super PACs and most of their money is coming from high net worth individuals not corporates.

Expand full comment

This is a big truth here.

Expand full comment
Comment deleted
Expand full comment

We CAN fix it. We must work to pass HR 1 - which means that Dems must get rid of "filibuster" rule or carve out democracy bills like the GOP carved out judicial appointments. AND we must pass a Democracy Amendment to the U.S. Constitution like H.J.Res 48 (Jayapal).

Expand full comment

Yes. HR 1 is BY FAR the most important piece of legislation that any of these legislators will consider in the next few years. I understand giving urgency to the covid relief bill first, but then this legislation MUST be pushed through for the sake of the democracy. No legislation requires the removal of the filibuster more than this one.

Expand full comment

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.

Expand full comment
author

I think you are hitting on something important which is that, regardless of outcome, there is value in getting every Senator on the record about this.

Expand full comment

Yes of course. But here is something else to think about. Cutting off corporate funding may be having unintended consequences and driving these GOP senators to the Trump and GOP PACS which were able to raise about $70 million off this election fraud nonsense. They see this narrative worked and they are pursuing like narratives - the Mace/AOC fight comes to mind. Mace fundraised off that. As Jared Kushner told Bob Woodward (from the book 'Rage') "Controversy elevates message." The GOP is leveraging that hate for the 'radical left' into a fundraising machine. The only solutions for this are A) campaign finance reform <haha> 2) get out the vote efforts and 3) aggressive legal action against both efforts to suppress the vote and defamation. More work needs to be done in state houses also to get the representation more balanced.

Expand full comment

You have a point about the unintended consequences but if those senators *aren't* driven to Trumpist PACs, won't they vote the Trumpist line anyway? Isn't it better to *limit them* to Trumpist PACs? While we're still trapped in this campaign finance nightmare of a country, wouldn't it be better to get corporate donors' money to non-Trumpists vs. Trumpists?

Expand full comment

Indeed - some of them will, but not all I don't believe. It is very difficult to parse out the thinking/logic of the GOP these days. I am not saying that the "unintended consequences" are likely or unlikely, it just came to mind as I was writing. I wholeheartedly agree that brands need to watch where their money is going politically!

Expand full comment

Term limits and campaign finance reform! And Ted Cruz has an unfortunate emergency and has to quit Congress

Expand full comment

Neither will fix gerrymandering or the consequent radicalization of the Gop base.

Expand full comment

Surely, if much of the Corporate funding is withdrawn, and it should be for all the 147 who voted not to accept the election result 6th January, the Trump supporters can't make up the funding for all 147, there must be a limit to their willingness to donate again and again. Unless it is thought enough has already been raised?

Expand full comment

Go read Edward Snowden’s book, your light bulb will come on so you can see clearly....

Expand full comment

Snowden used to work for Hugo Chavez, right?

Expand full comment

Snowden works for Vladimir Putin.

Expand full comment

2022

Expand full comment

Yes. RECEIPTS!

Expand full comment

Is it short-sightedness? Or is it the fact that many GOP are as guilty as Trump is... ?

Expand full comment

More guilty! They know and knew better! You can't expect a serial narcissist to change its spots - they knew he would make them rich, get them cushy corp jobs, and potential Governorships, etc - you watch all these people who supported him, the Huckabees of the world, they are all going to start getting very big money positions very quietly! So that's what they did, back very sick man for their own gain. AND I blame us The American People are to blame - we are the ones who put these people in their Congressional seats and put a crazy person in the driver's seat.

Expand full comment

Correct!

Expand full comment

Most are co.conspirators.

Expand full comment

Yes...I agree. I also wonder about how Georgia will follow up on Trumps recorded phone call asking for 11plus votes votes.

Expand full comment

Approval for that investigation to go through as a criminal case just reported.

Expand full comment

Your talking about all the impropriety by the far left, whom insisted riots in the streets and burned down businesses and destroyed thousands of lively hoods, along with killing and injuring hundreds of police trying to do the right and honest honorable thing which was protect the people from the criminals. Couldn’t have been Maxine Watter pants, and the numb nuts that follow them double standard jag offs.

Expand full comment

Bless your heart...

Expand full comment

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!

Expand full comment
author

Some interesting ideas here!

Expand full comment

I agree mostly but having ONLY mail-in voting makes it hard for some of our lowest-income citizens who have frequent evictions and lower access to mail service.

Expand full comment

Good point! I hadn’t thought of that. Then we need to think of a way to help these people; first, by slowing or stopping evictions and second, to make sure they have opportunities to vote!

Expand full comment

I agre with you on the fact that money is the key to regulate politics

Expand full comment
founding

Judd,

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.

Expand full comment
author

This could be true and I think the bigger the vote to convict the more likely it will be true.

Expand full comment

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.

Expand full comment

Stopping the attacks on voting rights, reinstating the Fairness Doctrine to address the lies, and limiting the money are the big three areas in which change must happen that can directly affect the maga misery.

Expand full comment

I think so, too. It’s all about money. He who has the gold, makes the rules. (Even if the gold is chocolate covered coins...why else would one file for bankruptcy so many times?)

Expand full comment

Those three are crucial, but I think several other things have a part to play, such as the removal of some SCOTUS judges, and/or expansion of the Court (and term limits, while we are at it). Resintating strict limits to campaign contributions, and perhaps limiting how campaigning is carried out will require either/both a legislative supermajority or a differently-focused Supreme Court. Creating new majorities is a grassroots task, and ensuring voting rights is part of that, but so is mobilising people to run as progressives, and reaffirming what the rule of law means, and what the limits to speech are, aside from not shouting fire in a crowded theater. Tackling media misrepresentation goes well beyond dealing with outright lies. Breaking up monopoly news outlets is one way, but breaking up internet monoplies is also as crucial now as it was in the days of Microsoft dominance. A huge f*ing challenge!

Expand full comment

Yes. I absolutely agree.

Expand full comment

YES.

Expand full comment
Feb 10, 2021Liked by Judd Legum

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.

Expand full comment
Feb 10, 2021Liked by Judd Legum

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.

Expand full comment

Totally agree!

Expand full comment

You can't move forward without accountability. If this is not an impeachable offense then almost nothing is.

Expand full comment
author

I think that's true but will an acquittal be viewed as accountability? Arguing against myself: Holding a trial confers more accountability than the alternative.

Expand full comment

I have to compare the GOP reaction to Bill Clinton’s offense to this unbelievable treason. This is not something new. It’s been going on for decades, culminating in behavior more craven than imaginable from those who spout patriotism and religion like a mantra.

Expand full comment

America: where you get impeached for lying about a blowjob, but not for inciting violent insurrection at the Capitol... right.

Expand full comment

That's vague and inaccurate. State the facts, ie America: where Republicans will impeach you for lying about a blowjob, but not for inciting violent insurrection at the Capitol.

Expand full comment

Well, it isn't inaccurate just because adding the term 'Republicans' makes it more detailed. And either way - it's a Federal impeachment.

Expand full comment

Clinton like Trump was impeached but not convicted by the Senate.

Expand full comment

Let's be clear. It wasn't just a blow job. It was an abuse of power just like colluding with Russia was an abuse of power for Trump last year. They seem like political theater now compared to incitement of a riot though. Trump was impeached for incitement by the House last month just like Clinton. Clinton was never convicted in the Senate though and Trump could be.

Expand full comment

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.

Expand full comment
Feb 10, 2021Liked by Judd Legum

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.

Expand full comment

It was really something to have Bruce Castor defend Trump by saying in so many words "Let the Justice Department handle him!" I guess Castor figured he won't actually get paid anyway.

Expand full comment
Feb 10, 2021Liked by Judd Legum

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.

Expand full comment

While Trump's atty's were incompetent, Schoen laid out the talking points for the right wing media so depending on where you get your 'news' will determine what misconceptions are dispelled.

Expand full comment
Feb 10, 2021Liked by Judd Legum

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.

Expand full comment

The majority of the Republican Senators care about dark money and how to get it. They want to keep their jobs and all the perks that come with it. By the way- Mr. Koch has been too quiet.

Whether Trump is acquitted or not, this is why truthful history and civics need to be curriculum in our schools.

I'm also waiting to see how the Justice Department handles these subversive voting measures happening in some states. Chief Justice Roberts' ruling in the Shelby County case sealed his legacy.

My last thought is Republicans don't know how to govern the country. The other major party(Democrats) is voted in to clean up their mess- the great recession and now this!

I'm wondering if Term Limits may be necessary for the other 2 branches of government.

Expand full comment

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.

Expand full comment

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.

Expand full comment
author

I don't think there is any process for recusal but, even if there was, it wouldn't change the math much.

Expand full comment

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!

Expand full comment

Exactly. That’s why Hawley and Cruz must recuse - or be forced to do so

Expand full comment

See...I don't think so. They weren't there at the rally. An argument could be made that they were simply objecting just as a few Democrats audibly did when Trump's votes were being processed four years ago.

Expand full comment

Not an invalid point......

Expand full comment

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.

Expand full comment

Put another way, we wouldn't allow a get-away driver to be a juror in the trial of the thieves they were working for, would we?

Expand full comment

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.

Expand full comment
author

That's quite possible. Of course, no Senate actually has to abide by precedent. That's why some claiming a trial for a former impeachment is unconstitutional even though its been done before.

Expand full comment

We are all judges and juries when it comes to judging the character of a political candidate. Something in our inner consciousness wanted to prefer smooth talking but angry Donald to screechy but rational Hillary 4-1/2 years ago. But when you have seen four years of this lack of character and still vote for him, your moral compass "ain't screwed on right." Raskin is making the case now that all his character flaws led to his final desperate attempt to hold on to power, but 50-70 million Americans "don't get it" so essentially all us "rational" Americans are screwed if that mostly white, mostly racist minority gets to dictate their will to us.

Expand full comment

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."

Expand full comment
author

I was expressing my actual feelings about the utility of the trial. Not sure why I should be ashamed of that. It's also why I solicited other views because I'm interested in how other people feel about the topic.

Expand full comment

Being torn makes sense to me. I am of two minds about this myself. After the first day however I am leaning towards thinking this is the correct measure. Just because Sisyphus knows the boulder will come down doesn't mean he stops the work. The work, especially from Rep. Raskin was noble, emotional, and important because it is an example of what politicians can be when they are at their best and truly using their own experience to represent the people.

Expand full comment

I feel so let down by The Repulicans voting to let this slide, after losing 60 lawsuits what is true becomes clear. I struggle with those that continue to support such big lies. I worry about the new voter laws being proposed. I fret about Republicans censoring Republicans, political censoring is not democratic debate.....allowing only one way loyalty no matter the behavior is dictatorship. I wish voting laws allowed more freedoms for more success of other parties, because 2 parties demonizing each other for power has created such extremists to be at the forefront.....rather than a focus on the moderate points of view the majority of voters hold.

Expand full comment

You need to read Edward Snowden’s book, then your out take on things will change dramatically...PS check out the latest release of James Clappers telling all......wow, lends so much credence to Snowden, it’s nuts!

Expand full comment

You are an influencer and if you make it sound that we shouldn't even bother speaking the truth in the form of an impeachment, then you are influencing silencing the truth. Sunlight is the best disinfectant. Silence helps the people doing harm

Expand full comment

I totally agree

.I'm outraged

Expand full comment

Not doing the impeachment trial would be burying the truth

Expand full comment

The impeachment trial gives Republicans the choice to reject trump and relieve the party of that albatross. But they know the consequence of doing so will to split the Republican Party, relegating it to minority status for the foreseeable future, so they're torn between losing power and losing trump. The trial will also put them on the record as being anti-democratic or not.

Expand full comment

You should not - you do so much good I'm proud of you as you I hope you are of yourself! Great work!

Expand full comment

Don't come at a journalist for expressing his freedom of thought. Read my comment above in support. I too, am torn.

Expand full comment

You mean don't disagree? How Trumpian.

Expand full comment

If you were referring to my defense of Judd Legum, I wasn't telling anyone not to disagree with him. I was defending him against people who disagreed with him. We all have the freedom to agree or disagree with anyone. That's what makes a democracy.

Expand full comment

Being torn about the utility of the trial does not make me Trumpian. Giving up on the fight makes me a coward, as Seth Abramson put it. I'm not giving up. Visit my Twitter @melyanstory if you need convincing.

Expand full comment

Take a deep breath, because it’s obvious that the FBI whom is along with some CIA, tracking down hundreds of people, for prosecution, leads into the pipe bombs, etc that will in my opinion never be used to show it was well preplanned via Antifa, and anarchists that are heralded by the far left, and just let the dog and pony show from the major distracters that clearly have double standards, continue covering up things with this BS impeachment effort.

Expand full comment

I'd like you to be a part of my study on mass psychosis. How can I reach you?

Expand full comment

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

Expand full comment

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.

Expand full comment
author

Impeachment is the only way.

Expand full comment

We must move forward and all of us should be putting the pressure on our elected Senators, no matter their party, to vote to impeach. Even more than Trump certainly deserves it, it sets a precedent moving forward for potential action by a bad actor of either party. Additionally, as I've been reading and listening, it appears that even if he survives the impeachment trial, there is Article 14 which can still be utilized to keep him from running for office again.

Expand full comment

Based on this article, invoking Article 14 does not sound like a certainty in preventing him from holding office again. Plus it requires on the same cohort of senators who will likely vote against impeaching him. https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/535467-democrats-float-14th-amendment-to-bar-trump-from-office

Expand full comment

A criminal felony conviction ought to take care of that. Maybe he keeps the pension? Anything it misses, well maybe that's not a bad trade off to see Trump behind bars.

Expand full comment

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.

Expand full comment
author

I'm as confident all of those things are imminent but time will tell!

Expand full comment

I am hopeful these cases will lead to several indictments as well. Curious where the status of them can be found? Does that even happen? (Know it was announced just today that the Georgia case is being investigated.)

Expand full comment

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?

Expand full comment
Feb 10, 2021Liked by Judd Legum

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.

Expand full comment

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.

Expand full comment
Feb 10, 2021Liked by Judd Legum

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.

Expand full comment

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.

Expand full comment

Obviously, I meant to write "when he escapes conviction". Hey, I'm really tired this morning!

Expand full comment

But will he emerge stronger?

Since Imprachment 1, he’s lost his an election, the Senate and his Twitter and Facebook lifelines.

Expand full comment

He will be stronger because the victim narrative is fortified. The only saving grace right now is the Twitter ban.

Expand full comment

And look at all the voting law Shenanigans going on right now.

Expand full comment

Sadly and scarily, I think that he will. There was a period--a brief window of hope--right after the 1/6 insurrection where it appeared as though his hold over the Republican Party had been shaken, but now it is clear that his hold is stronger than ever. Party leaders are clearly terrified of him.

Expand full comment

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.

Expand full comment

Yeah I don't think Dems think that far ahead

Expand full comment

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.

Expand full comment

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.

Expand full comment

Oh, They’re working on that. AG Letitia James is Fierce & has been on this Even before Trump became President. She Will get him Again...Many times & his family too.

Expand full comment

I just hope they take their time. The longer Trump is around destroying the GOP, the better for the country.

Expand full comment

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.

Expand full comment

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.

Expand full comment

Excellent point, and I'm disappointed there aren't more of this type of analytical analyses. It's not just corporations. Today, any billionaire can take up the hobby of literally making a POTUS and/or a Senator, or whatever they choose. This is what happened with Trump, who was losing by double digits and selling stock (in an upmarket) to try to stay in the race before the Robert Mercer Family took an interest in his candidacy along with Russia and the FBI's misplaced obsession with Hillary's emails. Four years of incompetency, corruption, and neglecting our most critical challenges followed, including maintaining our "democracy":

https://www.cbc.ca/news2/interactives/sh/wex94ODaUs/trump-robert-mercer-billionaire/

Moreover, the Mercer Family has no interest in even the facade of democracy, including the peaceful transfer of power. They want to have their say in how our country is run regardless of our democratic republic:

https://www.salon.com/2021/02/04/how-one-billionaire-family-bankrolled-election-lies-white-nationalism--and-the-capitol-riot/

https://theintercept.com/2021/01/27/rebekah-mercer-book-capitol-riot/

Their hobby of being a kingmaker is also part of why Republican Senators like Cruz and Hawley won't vote to convict Trump. That's a no-no to the Mercers. It's not Trump's base but Trump's sponsors who are running the R party:

https://www.politico.com/story/2017/10/05/josh-hawley-steve-bannon-senate-243511

Expand full comment

Yes, yes, yes. The two greatest threats to our country are campaign finance and gerrymandering.

Expand full comment

Yes!

Expand full comment

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?

Expand full comment
author

I agree that it is possible for a Senator to vote that it was unconstitutional to hold the trial and then vote to convict. They could view it as two separate questions and since the trial took place judge it on the merits. But I think there is virtually no chance 11 Republican Senators take that approach. I would honestly be surprised if even one did. More likely is that some of the six Republicans who said the trial is constitutional vote to acquit.

Expand full comment

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.

Expand full comment

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.

Expand full comment

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!

Expand full comment

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.

Expand full comment

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!

Expand full comment

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.

Expand full comment

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.

Expand full comment

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.

Expand full comment

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?

Expand full comment
author

I don't think it's the case that all Republicans want to convict Trump but fear political retribution. That's a narrative we hear a lot. But some Republican Senators really like Trump and don't think he's done anything wrong.

Expand full comment

Some, I expect, fear *personal* retribution. Insurrection Day demonstrated that Trump has or at least had the ability to whip up an armed crowd and send them after Pence in particular; had the timing gone a bit differently, Pence would have gotten treated like Qaddafi was and there's no telling how many Congresspeople would have met the same fate. We came this -->| |<-- close to having that happen.

Expand full comment

Toomey might be planning to run for PA governor and would have to gain statewide support.

Expand full comment

That’s a thought. But remember that Jeff Flake became more rational after he declared he wasn’t running again.

Expand full comment

Toomey will vote to impeach.

Expand full comment

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.

Expand full comment
author

Unfortunately, this was tried when Trump first emerged as a potential presidential candidate. We were constantly told he wasn't a "serious" candidate. First, we were told he would never run. Then we were told he wouldn't win the nomination. Then we were told that he would not win the general election. It was all wishful thinking.

Expand full comment

There was clear evidence of incitement to riot by the President of the U.S. which constitutes criminal behavior. The Constitution states clearly how a prosecution should go forward....in the Senate. There is no other judicial venue for his trial, regardless of whether he is in office or out. Because the crimes were committed WHILE he was in office. What we’re seeing is the result of electing GOP officials (and let’s be honest there are a lot of Dems who fall in this category too) who have not a single “public servant bone” in their body. The more time passes, the easier it is for 44+ senators to forget or not care about what really happened on Jan 6, and to safeguard their own political ambitions. I would also like the media to continue to pull back the curtains of Trump support PACS fundraising dollars going directly to the Trump organization, to shore it up amidst growing indebtedness, not to mention legal bills. All these senators who refuse to do their civic duty are aiding the cash flow straight to the Trump family. Trump is a criminal. He was a criminal when he tried to blackmail a foreign head of state by withholding arms sales, he was a criminal when he gave away classified information to Russian diplomats that scarpered an ongoing undercover operation. The GOP is now the party of cowards and sycophants

Expand full comment

Sadly it isn't me you have to convince. It's the millions who think he's a hero! When I saw the suicide statistics for males in their 50's and the opiate figures I knew there was something seriously wrong. Many of those most directly affected by those statistics believe he was working for them; we might know different but that fact still needs to be understood. Dealing with him doesn't deal with the problems he exploited.

Expand full comment

It’s only the GOP senators who need to be convinced to do the right thing. I have no control over people who support Trump. He’s the worse kind of charlatan ever seen in history. He’s never changed from the self serving mental midget he was in the 70s to the present. Trump lives for himself. If his family members ever got in the way of his ambition he plow over them. Trump says or does in the moment whatever he needs to say or do in order to have his way. He is mean, inhuman, and totally uncaring of how his actions affect others. Truly. He. Does. Not. Care. He never did. If these people want to kill them selves over that man, no one can help them.

Expand full comment

It is essential that he be prevented from running again now.

Expand full comment

No - that's not essential. What is essential is that he LOSES big time! Preferably, he should know he would lse and not even try again. Suppport better policies that help all the people.

Expand full comment

Agree but conviction unlikely.

Expand full comment

You too need to read Edward Snowden’s book, then your one sided thoughts will change instantly!,, Check out James Clappers latest released vid.....

Expand full comment

If “forgotten and ignored” were only possible at this point. If there are not material consequences for this, the sentiments will continue to fester, and the next would-be autocrat is going to be that much more effective after seeing all the vulnerabilities in US democracy. Wishful thinking won’t get us out of this.

Expand full comment

It's not wishful thinking! Wishful thinking is that there will be consequences for him from January 6th. There wont. If it can be shown that he / his businesses has directly benefited from government money or other personal fraudulent activities, then that will help break the myth. Sadly I know many Americans who I had always thought as being sane and balanced, who believe Trump. Politicians voting against him wont change their mind, not even Republican politicians. On the other hand a grand jury might help change their mind.

Expand full comment

Whether Impeachment or a grand jury, the head of the seditious snake whose only goal is to kill American Democracy, MUST be cut off!

Expand full comment

Whatever the motivation Trump had identified a significant constituency who believed that their interest were being entirely ignored. Unless the interests of that constituency are addressed, the problem will persist. We in the UK had (have?) a similar difficulty, which has led to Brexit. Fortunately, our politics are less partisan than yours and Brexit ran through both main parties (as did non-Brexit). However, ironically, in both the US and the UK the outcome has been that the relatively deprived 'natural' democrats - have turned to the right to solve their problems Republicans in the US, Conservatives in the UK!

Expand full comment

Trump identified a constituency that believe his bullshit. He then whipped them into a frenzy with his lies, telling them that their duty was to keep him in office...and then he gave them a day and time to do it: January 6. I don't feel sorry for anyone who doesn't take the time to learn the truth of a matter. These people want to be led by a authoritarian figure...because many of them believe that their white country is not white enough. Trump is responsible for the insurrection and should be convicted - and denied the ability to run again for federal office.

Expand full comment

This will never happen until the disinfo propaganda machine is properly squelched

Expand full comment

My God. Its racism. Hate

White supremacy fueled by Fox News lies.

Expand full comment

White supremacy fueled by Donald Trump for Donald Trump.

Expand full comment

That seems to be exactly what Biden is doing. He has no time to waste on this trial. Good for him!

Expand full comment

Biden deserves everyone's support. The wishful thinking Judd refers to in 2016 was by the media supported by opinion polls and believed by gullible people like myself. Although I became worried when Hilary Clinton referred to Trump's supporters as a "basket of deplorables". No politician should ever disrespect any part of the electorate. Disagree yes, disrespect NO.

Expand full comment

She said that at a private fund raiser. And she was and is correct.

Expand full comment

Private became public. I had a number of friends who (to my astonishment) supported Trump and they were NOT examples of a basket of deplorables. He may have been they were not.

Expand full comment

They were okay with the racism and white nationalism. That makes them racist as well.

Expand full comment

Lots of non racist persons supported him, Wrongly, yes - but they did - and still do.

Expand full comment

He is ignoring not because he thinks it's a waste. Hes busy and is not going to interfere.

Expand full comment

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.

Expand full comment

It defies reason! I wonder what are these people thinking the future of the country is? Do they want to live in a fascist society? Cant they see where this is all leading? Our weak education system, the abundance of food, the lack of ethics...have all contributed to our current situation. So many problems, kicked down the road over and over. Looks to me the end of road is in sight.

Expand full comment

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.

Expand full comment
author

Well, regardless whether anyone said it I think that's exactly what happened. There really is no reasonably interpretation that the trial is unconstitutional. There is an interesting debate about whether you can impeach a former official but Trump was president when he was impeached and the Constitution confers jurisdiction to try ALL impeachments. The Democrats said that yesterday and then made a bunch of other fancy arguments but the other arguments were not really necessary.

Expand full comment

And you have explained that very well in your newsletter, Judd. But most Americans won't be really listening to the arguments. So, it needs to be made as stark as possible what each vote means.

Expand full comment

Honestly, there *have* to be 3-20 million of that "solid" (or "soiled") 74 million voters that changed their minds after 1/6/21 and think T**** is a baseless failed businessman turned mafia Don?

Expand full comment

Yes! This is one of the key aspect of the Trumpism.. Accusation without evidence! Facing such an assertion means that the other party has no ground to argument on. So the fallacy of unfounded accusation stay and become the reference for successive opposed arguments.. It's a losing game.

Expand full comment

my humble opinion is that since the meteoric rise of social media, opinion quickly becomes evidence. Just ask Dobbs/Hannity/Carlson/OAN/Newsmax/PillowFart where their "sources" mainly come from. One of Adolf's bunch once said "a lie repeated three times becomes the truth!"

Expand full comment

Yes! Cannot add to that evidence.

Expand full comment

these republican senators need to be hounded daily for the rest of their lives for their cowardice

Expand full comment

Graham especially

Expand full comment

I'll never understand how SC could re-elect him. Mind boggling.

Expand full comment

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.

Expand full comment

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.

Expand full comment

That's a point!

Expand full comment

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!

Expand full comment

This whole 4 years has made me feel sick. Starting the morning I realized trump was going to be our president, then learning my own family members voted for him, and it just continues to this day with the ongoing politicized pandemic.

I too was thrilled to see corporate America weigh in. If only they would work together to rid our politics of lies. But capitalism depends on slanted truths so not much hope. 😥

Expand full comment