Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial began Tuesday with harrowing video footage of his supporters’ assault on Congress, but Republican senators made clear with a first key vote late in the afternoon how difficult it will be to win a conviction.
Senators voted 56-44 in favor of the constitutionality of the historic trial, rejecting a bid by Trump’s lawyers to throw it out on grounds that a former president cannot be tried by lawmakers.
The vote, held before the main part of the trial was to get underway Wednesday, saw six Republicans join all 50 Democrats in the evenly divided Senate.
Despite this modest show of bipartisanship, the result highlighted the nearly impossible task of getting the two thirds majority — requiring 17 Republicans to join the Democrats — that would be needed to convict Trump of inciting insurrection.
Earlier, both sides presented their opening cases, with Democrats arguing that Trump broke his oath in a naked bid to retain power after losing the November election to Joe Biden.
Refusing to accept his defeat, they argued, Trump spread lies about vote rigging and repeatedly pressured officials, including then-Vice President Mike Pence, to try and stop the transfer of power.
Finally, on Jan. 6, Trump held a rally not far from the Capitol building, telling enraged Republican supporters near the White House to “fight like hell” to save the democracy. The crowd, chanting “stop the steal,” then attacked Congress, where Pence and lawmakers were in the process of certifying Biden’s Electoral College victory.
“If Congress were to just stand completely aside in the face of such an extraordinary crime against the Republic, it would invite future presidents to use their power without any fear of accountability,” Democratic impeachment manager Joe Neguse said.
Video from the Jan. 6 mayhem played back inside the ornate Senate packed the biggest punch.
Senators — who witnessed the events firsthand when they had to be rushed to safety that day — watched raw footage of Trump’s speech and the crowd’s ensuing assault on the Capitol.
The video montage showed the mob chanting pro-Trump slogans as it smashed through the doors, swarmed over police, and managed for the first time in history to disrupt the congressional vote certifying the election.
“If that’s not an impeachable offense, then there is no such thing,” lead impeachment manager Jamie Raskin said.
Fighting tears, Raskin recounted how he and his family — who were visiting to watch the certification — had been trapped, listening to “the sound of pounding on the door like a battering ram, the most haunting sound I have ever heard.”
“This cannot be the future of America,” he implored senators.
Trump laywer David Schoen, however, had a vastly different story to tell. He said the Senate had no jurisdiction to try Trump once he had left office and warned that the impeachment threatened to “tear this country apart.”
It will leave the United States “far more divided and our standing around the world will be badly broken,” he argued.
– Trump sets record –
Trump is the first president ever to face two impeachment trials — he was already acquitted in 2020 of abuse of power — as well as the first in history to be tried after leaving the White House.
His team is basing its case largely on the procedural argument that a former president cannot be tried, calling the Senate trial “absurd.”
They also argue that whatever Trump said during his Jan. 6 rally is protected by the constitutional right to free speech and did not come close to ordering the assault on Congress.
The trial is clearly uncomfortable for many Republican senators, who, like their Democratic colleagues, had to flee to safety during the violence. Reminders of the mayhem are everywhere around them, with thousands of National Guard troops still deployed around the newly fortified, fenced-in Capitol building.
Despite this, a second acquittal is all but certain for Trump.
Huge numbers of Republican voters continue to support the ex-president.
Polls show that a small majority of the country overall believes Trump deserves conviction. An Ipsos/ABC News poll found 56 percent back this, while a Gallup poll found 52 percent support. Among Republicans, however, an overwhelming majority opposes convicting Trump.
This ABC News/Ipsos poll was conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs‘ KnowledgePanel® Feb. 5 to 6, 2021, in English and Spanish, among a random national sample of 508 adults. Results have a margin of sampling error of 4.8 points, including the design effect. Partisan divisions are 31%-26%-36%, Democrats-Republicans-independents.
As you can see, this was , as are the majority of the nationals polls, a poll with a sample weighted toward a Democrat-favorable response.
Typically, when a poll identifies some of its sample as “Independents”, they are usually Liberal Democrats who purposefully hide their true political ideology.
If I was one of them, I would be embarrassed, too.
But, I digress.
While still at home from work, recovering from COVID-19, I followed the Twitter responses to Shampeachment 2: TDS Boogaloo on my phone.
The same Democrat Operatives, like the idiotic Jennifer Rubin, Proclaimed that the deceptively-edited Democrat Video of the “Capitol Hill Riot” on January 6th was the greatest thing since sliced bread.
They also made fun of David Shoen for holding the top of his head while taking a sip of water.
Evidently, they were too ignorant to realize that Shoen is Jewish and is used to having to hold his yarmulke on his head while tilting back to drink.
Jedidiah Bila and Bret Baier of cellar-dwelling Fox News joined in with the other Liberals concerning how wonderful the Democrats opening presentation was, neglecting to mention that President Trump called for a “peaceful protest” during his speech and the fact that evidence has been coming in that the “riot” not only was pre-planned, but one of the rioters was an FBI Veteran and possible Deep State Operative.
As the Newsmax article points out, all Shampeachment 2 is, is a waste of time and our money.
The Democrats do not have the votes in this unconstitutional attempt to keep President Trump from running in 2024.
Trump will be acquitted for a second time, even with Democrat Senator Patrick “Leaky” Leahy acting as “judge” and juror.
And, the 74 million Americans who voted for Donald J. Trump on November 3, 2020, will laugh their butts off at “The Smartest People in the Room” as their “Brilliant” Plan to shame Donald J. Trump and those of us who voted for him blows up in their smug elite faces.
Until He Comes,