Most Gop Senators Are Cowards But They Have Good Reason To Worry About Their Personal Safety And Their Political Future
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In a 1994 episode of The Simpsons, the bumbling patriarch Homer tries to shirk jury duty that make it look like hes wide awake during the trial while hes in fact enjoying a nap. Homer is meant to be an oaf, albeit a sometimes lovable one. But even in his buffoonery, Homer still took his responsibilities as a juror more seriously than many Republican senators, who are being singularly cavalier about the solemn duty of weighing whether to convict an impeached president.
At least Homer Simpson showed up for his jury dutyeven if he didnt stay conscious. But 15 Republican senators failed to be present in either mind or body for substantial parts of the third day of the impeachment, as members of the House of Representatives painstakingly laid out the case that Trump riled up a mob that attacked the Capitol on January 6. Thom Tillis was visible in the GOP cloakroom reading his phone, Manu Raju of CNN. Another CNN reporter, Jeremy Herb, that Senator Rick Scott had a blank map of Asia on his desk and was writing on it like he was filling in the names of the countries. According to Forbes, Many within the chamber were preoccupied with other activities: Senators Tom Cotton and Chuck Grassley were reading papers
Jamie Raskin Is Leading The Effort To Impeach Trump While Mourning The Recent Death Of His Son
A day after Representative Jamie Raskin, Democrat of Maryland, buried his 25-year-old son, he survived the mob attack on the Capitol. He is now leading the impeachment effort against President Trump for inciting the siege.
Mr. Raskins son, Tommy Raskin, a 25-year-old Harvard University law student, social justice activist, animal lover and poet, died by suicide on New Years Eve. He left his parents an apology, with instructions: Please look after each other, the animals, and the global poor for me.
As he found himself hiding with House colleagues from a violent mob, Mr. Raskin feared for the safety of a surviving daughter who had accompanied him to the Capitol to witness the counting of electoral votes to seal Joseph R. Biden Jr.s victory.
Within hours, Mr. Raskin was at work drafting an article of impeachment with the mob braying in his ear and his sons final plea on his mind.
Ill spend the rest of my life trying to live up to those instructions, the Maryland Democrat said in an interview on Monday, reading aloud the farewell note as he reflected on his familys grief and the confluence of events. But what we are doing this week is looking after our beloved republic.
The slightly rumpled former constitutional law professor has been preparing his entire life for this moment. That it should come just as he is suffering the most unimaginable loss a parent can bear has touched his colleagues on both sides of the aisle.
Stacey Plaskett Addresses Emotional Toll Of Seeing Black Women Used In Trump Defense
“Those 43 who voted to acquit the president did so because they were afraid of him, because they were more interested in party and in power than they were in our country and in duty to their Senate oath,” she added.
Plaskett said Trump “will be forever tarnished” by the impeachment.
“I think it leaves him for all history our children and my grandchildren will see in history that this was the most despicable despot attempting to become a fascist ruler over a country that was founded in democracy,” she said.
President Biden said the attack on the Capitol “has reminded us that democracy is fragile.” Above, Biden speaks during a visit Thursday to the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md. Evan Vucci/APhide caption
President Biden said the attack on the Capitol “has reminded us that democracy is fragile.” Above, Biden speaks during a visit Thursday to the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md.
President Biden responded to the Senate’s of Donald Trump on Saturday by reminding Americans that truth must be defended, saying the impeachment of the former president was a stark illustration of the danger posed to democracy by lies, misinformation and extremism.
And Biden said that although Trump was acquitted, his actions in the lead-up to the Jan. 6 insurrection were not “in dispute.”
It’s Trump’s Party Now So Much For A Fair Impeachment Trial
Donald Trump; Mitch McConnell
I believe all the reports that say Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., loathes former president Donald Trump with every fiber of his being. Apparently, he hasn’t spoken to him since the election and has made it clear to everyone who knows him that he would love to see Trump just retire to Mar-a-Lago never to be heard from again. He’s anything but a Trump true believer.
But Mitch McConnell believes in power. As he cast about trying to get a sense of where Republicans are in the wake of Trump’s disastrous performance since the election and the incitement of a violent insurrection on January 6th, he floated trial balloons about supporting impeachment and made some critical speeches. But he never had any intention of allowing Donald Trump to be convicted in a Senate trial, even if it were possible. How do we know this? As The Atlantic’s James Fallows :
-On January 13, when House voted for impeachment, McConnell said Senate could not consider it *until* Trump had left office. -From Jan 20 onward, McConnell has said Senate should not consider it *because* Trump has left office.
Similarly, McConnell’s lugubrious paean to Senatorial comity as he held the Senate hostage demanding that Democrats agree not to eliminate the filibuster is a monument to shameless hypocrisy, as Fallows also demonstrates:
Take for instance Rand Paul’s speech on Tuesday, a tour de force of brazen bad faith.
Extinguishing The Concept Of Truth
Acquittal in the Senate, when it comes, will be an example not of democratic deliberation, of the careful sifting and weighing of facts to arrive at some approximation of truth, but the exercise of raw political power.
This is not how a developed democracy should function. Rather, it has something important in common with tin-pot tyrannies in which the leader manipulates the factions and interest groups beneath him to build unbridled power.
To be sure, the political actors backing Trump in Congress are not acting lawlessly; quite the contrary. They are playing the role allotted to them by the Constitution: representing their constituents, i.e., Trumps base, which opinion polls show would want to stick with him even if he were to shoot someone on Fifth Avenue.
Yet there is nonetheless something deeply sinister about the Republicans’ behavior. They appear intent on extinguishing perhaps the most fundamental ingredient of a self-governing republic, namely, the concept of truth.
Impeachment Is An ‘act Of Political Vengeance’ Trump Lawyer Says
“At no point was the president informed the vice president was in any danger,” Michael van der Veen argued, adding that there is “nothing at all in record on this point.” Van der Veen also accused the House impeachment managers of failing to do their due diligence on this issue.
“What the president did know is that there was a violent riot happening at the Capitol,” van der Veen said. “That’s why he repeatedly called via tweet and via video for the riots to stop, to be peaceful, to respect Capitol police and law enforcement and to commit no violence and go home.”
But van der Veen’s argument left senators with additional questions.
Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., who says he is undecided on whether he’ll vote to convict Trump, asked for more details regarding Tuberville’s account of the call with Trump and his tweet railing against Pence.
“Does this show that President Trump was tolerant of the intimidation of Vice President Pence?” Cassidy asked.
But again, van der Veen disputed the sequence of events, calling discussion of Tuberville’s call “hearsay.”
“I have a problem with the facts in the question because I have no idea,” van der Veen responded.
Cassidy told reporters later that he didn’t think his question got a good answer.
Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman, hailed by many for his heroism during the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, participates in a the dress rehearsal for Inauguration Day.
“History will wait for our decision.”
Republicans Supporting Donald Trump In The 2016 Presidential Election
|Elected officials’ positions on Donald Trump|
|Federal:Republicans and their declared positions on Donald Trump Republicans supporting Donald Trump Republicans opposing Donald Trump|
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In a typical general election year, elected officials readily line up behind their party’s presidential nominee. In 2012, for example, The Hill reported that only four Republican members of Congress had declined to endorse Mitt Romney by mid-September of that year. “All other House and Senate Republicans” had already endorsed the Republican nominee.
But 2016 was not a typical general election year.
Controversial comments from the GOP’s 2016 nominee, Donald Trump, about women, Muslims, , and caused some Republican lawmakers to distance themselves from the businessman, while others outright denounced him.
This page tracked Republican lawmakers who openly declared their support for Trump during the 2016 presidential election.
Opinionthe Unfortunate Reason Republicans Like Rand Paul Are Already Attacking Biden
The callousness of lawmakers like Hawley is now a distressing image that stands beside the shouts of rioters calling for the lynching of then-Vice President Mike Pence as testaments to how far the GOP has fallen.
Republicans like Hawley may flee to the gallery when our nation needs leadership, but they wont be able to outrun their complicity in supporting the far-right radicals who raided their workplace. If they arent held accountable by voters at the ballot box, the impeachment trial will forever serve as a testament to their dark role in American history.
‘the Footage Is Horrific’: Senators React To Gripping New Video Of Capitol Riot
The video demonstrated how close rioters came to then-Vice President Mike Pence and members of Congress. And the impeachment managers argued that the video showed clearly that the mob of pro-Trump supporters was there for the president, and many believed they were there at the president’s behest.
The impeachment managers, however, made a broader case than Trump’s comments on Jan. 6. They argued that Trump laid the groundwork for false grievance on the part of his supporters with two months of baseless claims of widespread election fraud that cost him the electionand years, in fact, of tolerating, condoning and encouraging violence.
Why No Gop Senator Will Stand Up To Trump
Barry Goldwater had the power to tell Nixon it was all over. But dont expect a repeat this time.
Sen. Barry Goldwater. | Bill Allen/AP Photo
01/22/2020 05:10 AM EST
At the end for Richard Nixon, after all the mounting evidence in the Watergate scandal, after both special prosecutors, after all the White House indictments, after the guilty pleas, after the obstruction efforts fell apart, after all the court fights, after all the damaging revelations in outlets like the Washington Post, Time and the Los Angeles Times, after all the impeachment hearings, it all came down to Barry Goldwater.
Its easy, nearly 50 years after Watergate, to forget that Nixons ignominious departure from the White House was hardly a foregone conclusion. The Republican Party had stuck closely with Nixon even through the darkest days of the Watergate scandal; even as its lawmakers whispered behind closed doors about his guiltand even as public opinion polls showed Nixon dragging down their party, they had toughed it outpast the indictments of his top aides, past the courts batting back one attempt at obstruction after another, even after Nixons attacks on and ultimate firing of the special prosecutor targeting him.
Hours later, he ventured to the White House to tell Nixon to resign.
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Republicans Blame Democrats For Trumps Scandals
Second, they believe Trumps refusal to accept the election results is fair play because Democrats did it to him. Lets not have any lectures about how the president should immediately, cheerfully accept preliminary election results from the same characters who just spent four years refusing to accept the validity of the last election, proclaimed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
What on earth is McConnell talking about? Hillary Clinton, after all, graciously accepted the results of the election the morning after, once her razor-thin defeat had become clear. McConnell obviously does not have the election result itself in mind. Instead he seems to be referring to the broader pattern of resistance to Trump during his term.
Republicans blame the four-year stream of misconduct and outright criminality not on Trump but on the reporters and investigators who uncovered it. Trump faced a political insurgency that refused in practice, if not in formal fact, to accept the outcome of an election its candidate had lost, Wall StreetJournal columnist and recent editor Gerard Baker rants in his column today. The members of this resistance spent four years using every lever at their disposalbureaucracy, law enforcement, Congress, news mediato thwart, disrupt and try to bring down the duly elected president.
In His First Public Appearance Since The Capitol Siege Trump Expresses No Contrition For Inciting The Mob
President Trump on Tuesday showed no contrition or regret for instigating the mob that stormed the Capitol and threatened the lives of members of Congress and his vice president, saying that his remarks to a rally beforehand were totally appropriate and that the effort by Congress to impeach and convict him was causing tremendous anger.
Answering questions from reporters for the first time since the violence at the Capitol on Wednesday, Mr. Trump sidestepped questions about his culpability in the deadly riot that shook the nations long tradition of peaceful transfers of power.
People thought what I said was totally appropriate, Mr. Trump told reporters at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, en route to Alamo, Texas, where he was set to visit the wall along the Mexican border. Instead, Mr. Trump claimed that protests against racial injustice over the summer were a real problem.
If you look at what other people have said, politicians at a high level about the riots during the summer, the horrible riots in Portland and Seattle and various other places, that was a real problem, he said.
Mr. Trumps defiance came despite near universal condemnation of his role in stoking the assault on the Capitol, including from within his own administration and some of his closest allies on Capitol Hill.
We analyzed the alternating perspectives of President Trump at the podium, the lawmakers inside the Capitol and a growing mobs destruction and violence.
Would Impeachment Prevent Trump From Seeking Office In The Future Its Complicated
With just days remaining in his term, House Democrats have introduced an of impeachment in Congress charging President Trump for a second time with committing high crimes and misdemeanors, this time for his role in inciting a mob that stormed the Capitol last week.
Impeaching a president with less than two weeks left in his term presents an extraordinary challenge. But if Mr. Trump is impeached in the House and subsequently convicted by a two-thirds vote in the Senate and removed from office, the Senate could then vote to bar him from ever holding office again.
The Constitution says that the Senate, after voting to convict an impeached president, can consider disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust or profit under the United States. This would be determined by a second vote, requiring only a simple majority of senators to successfully disqualify him from holding office in the future. Such a vote could be appealing not just to Democrats but also possibly to many Republicans who have set their sights on the presidency.
Mr. Trump, who is said to be contemplating another run for president in 2024, has just eight days remaining in office, presenting an impeachment timeline for congressional Democrats that is tight, but not impossible. As soon as the House votes to adopt an article of impeachment, it can immediately transmit it to the Senate, which must promptly begin a trial.
Joint Chiefs Of Staff Remind Members Of Armed Forces To Reject Extremism
The Joint Chiefs of Staff issued an unusual message to the entire American armed forces on Tuesday reminding them that their job is to support and defend the Constitution, and to reject extremism.
As we have done throughout our history, the U.S. military will obey lawful orders from civilian leadership, support civil authorities to protect lives and property, ensure public safety in accordance with the law, and remain fully committed to protecting and defending the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, said the one-page internal memo signed by the eight military chiefs.
That the chiefs found it necessary to remind their rank-and-file members of the oath to the United States was extraordinary. But the memo came as federal law enforcement authorities were pursuing more than 150 suspects, including current or former service members, involved in the mob that assaulted the Capitol last week.
As service members, we must embody the values and ideals of the nation, the memo continued. We support and defend the Constitution. Any act to disrupt the constitutional process is not only against our traditions, values and oath; it is against the law.
Cruz Calls For Zero Covid Mandates As His Kids Safely Attend School Requiring Masks
It’s a dispiriting trend, to put it lightly. Sure, Republicans and right-wing media have downplayed the dangers of Covid-19 and bucked policies to contain it since the beginning of the pandemic. But initially one fact made that more explicable: 2020 was an election year, and there was a discernible political incentive for Republicans to ignore the virus to protect then-President Donald Trump’s reputation and win elections. It was morally perverse but at least intelligible as a political agenda.
This time around, as Democrats control the White House and Congress, as the delta variant causes extraordinary surges in hospitalizations and as the end of the pandemic is receding further into the future, Republicans have a perfect opportunity to go moderate on Covid-19. In fact, they have an opportunity to try to hold Democrats’ feet to the fire over containing the virus as the pandemic intensifies and use Democrats’ own Covid concerns against them.
It has become a mark of political ambition to paint basic public health protocols to prevent Covid transmission as a Trojan horse for totalitarianism.
But while some Republicans have sought to heed expert advice about Covid-19, it has become a mark of political ambition to paint basic public health protocols to prevent Covid transmission as a Trojan horse for totalitarianism.
It’s also clear that for Noem, a pointed refusal to do anything to slow the spread of Covid-19 is a way to prove her conservative bona fides.
Trump Lawyer: His Call To Georgia Officials To ‘find’ Votes Was Taken Out Of Context
Trump’s lawyers largely sidestepped Trump’s false claims of election fraud. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., asked during the question-and-answer session: “Are the prosecutors right when they claim that Trump was telling a big lie, or in your judgment did Trump actually win the election?”
Trump lawyer Michael van der Veen shot back, “My judgment? Who asked that?”
“I did,” Sanders replied.
“My judgment is irrelevant,” van der Veen said.
“You represent the president of the United States!” Sanders yelled back before Sen. Patrick Leahy, the presiding officer, gaveled the chamber back to order.
Trump’s rhetoric about widespread fraud and a stolen election was false, dismissed by many courts stemming from dozens of lawsuits filed by the Trump campaign and allies across several key states.
Why Is The Gop Still Supporting Trump
The Republicans complicity with Trump’s authoritarianism isn’t just politicsbut something far more “unholy.”
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When evidence of potential Russian interference began surfacing after last years presidential election and Donald Trump only offered praise of Vladimir Putin in response, I began to notice a trend that struck me as odd. Many people journalists, social-media users, friends were asking what amounted to the same question: Why isnt the GOP standing up to Trump or Putin? After Trump violated countless democratic norms during his first weeks in office, the questions only became more urgent: Why doesnt the GOP do something about _____?, where the blank could be filled by any of the daily onslaught of ethics violations, financial conflicts of interest, security breaches, outright , and unqualified cabinet nominees emanating from the Trump administration.
Why So Many Republicans Cling To Trump
Ben Shapiro got part of it right. A toxic mix of status anxiety, persecution fears, and echoes of the Civil War helps explain why they follow Trump into the abyss.
On September 17, 1862, over 10,000 Confederate soldiers were , wounded, or went missing in a single day at the Battle of Antietam. Very few of them came from slave-owning families, so why did they agree to give their lives in defense of human bondage?
I was reminded of this question when I noticed that Politico Playbook had recruited conservative celebrity and author Ben Shapiro to explain why the vast majority of House Republicans voted not to impeach President Trump on Wednesday for sending a murderous mob after them on January 6. Politico was slammed by liberals for opening its best-known section to a conservative whos been charged with being bigoted and intolerant. But Shapiros explanation of the rallying around Trump during his final days wasnt totally off base. He was on to something about how Republicans see the world.
With Trump leaving office within a week, defending his incitement of an insurrection doesnt seem to be in the long-term self-interest of Republican officeholders. But the Civil War example helps explain why people sometimes do very self-destructive things out of spite or insecurity.
White supremacy was such a consensus view at the time that Lincoln felt compelled to defend it.
Like the rebels at Antietam, no one wants to die for nothing.
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Senate Acquits Trump In Impeachment Trial Again
A majority of senators voted to hold Trump guilty on one charge of inciting an insurrection, but the 57-43 tally fell 10 votes short of the two-thirds majority required for conviction. In all, seven Republicans voted to convict the former president, making Saturday’s vote the most bipartisan in a presidential impeachment trial in U.S. history.
“While the final vote did not lead to a conviction, the substance of the charge is not in dispute,” Biden said. “Even those opposed to the conviction, like Senate Minority Leader McConnell, believe Donald Trump was guilty of a ‘disgraceful dereliction of duty’ and ‘practically and morally responsible for provoking’ the violence unleashed on the Capitol.”
Until his comments on Saturday, Biden had remained mostly silent about his predecessor’s impeachment, telling reporters last week that he did not even plan to watch the trial. He neither fully supported nor opposed the vote by the House of Representatives last month to impeach Trump, saying he wanted to leave the matter up to Congress. He also declined to say whether the Senate should move to convict.