Representative Adam Schiff’s closing argument at the end of Trump’s first impeachment trial was awe-inspiring. Unfortunately wasn’t enough to break the partisan gridlock that has crippled our government for a decade. Donald Trump should have been removed from office a year ago. So many lives have been lost because of the cowards in the Senate who enabled him for another year.
Tuesday was technically the beginning of Trump’s second Senate impeachment trial. It was a day was wasted debating the constitutionality of convicting an ex-President. Trump was not an ex-president when he was impeached, either time and what wasn’t mentioned on Tuesday was that this trial could have been held when Trump was still in office. It wasn’t. A certain GOP McSenator argued to delay it, saying that since Trump only had two weeks left in his term they should wait until after he was out to hold the trial. That same GOP McSenator now claims it’s unconstitutional to hold an impeachment trial for an ex-president. Let me state the obvious: our government is corrupt.
This is typical Moscow the Mitch McConnell ‘changing the time frame rules’ game that gave Trump three Supreme Court Justice picks. McConnell likes to change the rules to suit his agenda. He does it because it works.
Representative Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) is the lead impeachment officer for this trial. After an effective opening, he played the following twelve-minute video, a chronological account of the events that took place on January 6. It is a stark reminder that Trump tried to destroy our democracy, and he’s not finished.
The Senators who make up the jury are fortunate to have survived the attack. They know it could have ended differently but they’re still more afraid to hold Trump accountable than they are to face the mob when Trump incites them the next time.
What was very telling was the behavior of several Senators during the video. Senators Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, (not wearing a mask,) Ted Cruz, Rick Scott, and others, refused to watch the tape of the attempted coup.
After the video, we heard from Representative Joe Neguse (D-Colo.), who went over the history of impeachment and the precedents set with similar proceedings- trials held after the person left office.
Raskin came back to give an emotional closing argument, sharing his personal account. Watching it is worth seven minutes of your time.
Democrats wrapped up a truly flawless case with 30 minutes to spare.
Then and then it was time to hear from Trump’s two lawyers. They played good cop bad cop.
The first, Bruce Castor, who may or may not have been wearing his own suit, rambled incoherently for what seemed like a month, saying nothing. He did imply (he said it,) that Trump was “kicked out of office.” He should have said Trump was voted out of office because he was, by seven million votes.
Watching Castor was like watching a kid (who didn’t do the homework) give an endless report that has nothing to do with the subject. In this case, the subject is a dangerous man who would kill every member of Congress to stay in power.
“I saw a headline, ‘representative so and so seeks to walk back comments about’— I forget what it was. Something that bothered her. I was devastated when I saw that she thought it was necessary to go on television yesterday or the day before.” ~Bruce Castor
As I was slipping into a coma, Castor handed the baton to Trump’s other attorney, David Schoen, who was angry, (bad cop,) and yelled most of his argument. He warned that convicting Trump anger thousands of people. He also insisted that convicting Trump now could result in the impeachment of every former president. Schoen had a notable habit of holding onto the top of his head when he drank water. He drank often. Shouting makes a person thirsty.
I was transported back in time to when my middle child was only two years old. She had a habit of putting a finger in her belly button whenever she drank from her sippy cup. It was as if she thought she’d spring a leak.
I found out that Schoen is Jewish and his beliefs require him to have a head covering when he eats and drinks. Why didn’t he just wear a kippa as Jamie Raskin did? Seriously, why?
Between the two attorneys, they used every minute they were allotted.
The time finally came for Senators to vote as to whether or not a trial was constitutional and should proceed. Predictably only six Republicans agreed with the fifty Democrats that the trial was constitutional, but that was enough in this instance. And so it was decided with a vote of 56-44, the litigation will begin on Wednesday at noon eastern time. The six Republican Senators who voted with Democrats are:
Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE)
Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT)
Senator Susan Collins (R-ME)
Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA)
Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA)
Several Senators have confided to their Democratic colleagues that they would not vote to convict Trump only because they fear for their safety. They should resign, but the obvious temporary solution to their fear is to hold a secret vote. That same precaution is afforded to jurors in most trials. The catch is that the Senate would have to hold a vote on whether or not to make their ballots secret. Those who are worried about their safety are unlikely to be brave enough to openly vote for a secret ballot. But, only 51 votes are needed to make it a secret ballot, so theoretically Democrats could pass that measure alone. Without a secret ballot, the likelihood that 67 Senators will vote to convict Trump is, in my opinion, slim to none.
The problem is that the jury is made up of several co-conspirators, like Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz.
Another factor motivating some Republicans not to vote to convict Trump is that they represent states where Trump is popular. They are considering the prospect of their reelection and prioritizing their jobs over our democracy.
Our future as a democracy is on shaky ground. If Trump is not convicted he will continue his mob lord behavior, meddling with our government, until he is stopped.