The Reluctant Trump Critics
Shelley Moore Capito, West VirginiaI think the president does own this, Capito told reporters. I did support the president, and I did support the policies, and I think the policies were good for West Virginia. But this is inexcusable. The president was convincing people all along that it was stolen, Capito said today. The facts didnt bear that out. He was using his power to convince them of a result that was never going to happen, which was to overturn the election and to force us into accepting that, into breaking our constitutional duties. She also said that on a personal level, the experience that day had been horrifying.
Richard Burr, North CarolinaToday, Americas core principles were threatened by those seeking to forcibly stop our electoral process and overturn the results of a presidential election with which they disagreed, Burr said in a statement after the riot. The President bears responsibility for todays events by promoting the unfounded conspiracy theories that have led to this point. Burr will not seek reelection in 2022.
Mike Lee, UtahIts unlike anything Ive seen in 10 years in the Senate, Lee said. He called the rioters an angry, lawless mob who should rot in prison for the rest of your lives. He also said he was not pleased by the presidents words.
They’ll Stand By Their Man Even When Doing So Is Bad For Democracy
Former President Trump will once again make the kind of history you do not want your name associated with on Tuesday when his second impeachment trial commences in the U.S. Senate. As with Trump’s first trial , the outcome is not in doubt. But just because we know how it will end doesn’t mean the trial won’t be gripping. Members of Congress narrating their terrifying Insurrection Day ordeals will be a riveting spectacle. And just as we did in the House last month, Americans will get a quick and dirty head count of how many Republicans value democracy itself more than their own political fates.
Don’t get your hopes up on that score. While the political and evidentiary cases for GOP senators to convict Trump and bar him from ever holding federal office again are straightforward, the path to 67 votes is not. Instead, viewers should brace themselves for torturous arguments about how it is unconstitutional to impeach a former president, and some extremely “It depends on what the meaning of ‘is’ is” galaxy logic about how Trump did not incite the crowd to insurrection because he did not literally say the words “please go and lay violent siege to our national legislature.” Gathering more than one Republican in a room these days is a plain invitation to this kind of sophistry.
That they still refuse to do so says more about them than it does about Trump.
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Boebert live-tweeted about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s location during the Capitol insurrection Jan. 6 as Pelosi, second in line to the presidency, was being rushed to a secure location. Greene, among other offenses, made in 2018 and 2019 suggesting that she supported executing prominent Democrats.
Some of the senators who endorsed Paul’s motion Tuesday might be tempted to think they can simply move on from Trump and therefore want to avoid an impeachment trial so his entire shameful presidency can be forgotten as quickly as possible.
But they’ve helped to create a disaster much bigger than Trump. By giving in to him at every turn, Republicans helped create the epidemic of conspiracy theories and alternative facts rampant in the Republican Party.
Perhaps most consequentially, they endorsed his Big Lie about the election. It wasn’t just Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Josh Hawley of Missouri who propagated fantasies about widespread voter fraud, irregularities and a “steal.” Fourteen Senate Republicans announced before the attack on the Capitol that they planned to object to counting at least one state’s electoral votes, even though Trump had won none of his more than 60 lawsuits trying to overturn the results and even though no evidence of widespread voter fraud was found by election officials in any state regardless of party.
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The Situation In Wisconsin Looks A Bit Different Than The National Polls
A of Wisconsin released yesterday is a reminder that the national poll results were seeing are a bit different than the attitudes in top battleground states for 2020.
In the poll, 46 percent of registered voters in Wisconsin say there is enough cause for Congress to hold impeachment hearings on Trump, versus 49 percent who disagree. That 46 percent is lower than the majorities weve seen in most national polls supporting the impeachment inquiry.
The poll also finds 44 percent of Wisconsin supporting Trumps impeachment/removal from office, versus 51 percent who oppose it.
Trumps job rating in Wisconsin is 46 percent in the poll slightly higher than his national average in the low 40s.
And in hypothetical general-election matchups, Biden leads Trump by 6 points in the state, 50 percent to 44 percent. Thats compared with Bernie Sanders 2-point lead , Elizabeth Warrens 1-point lead , and Pete Buttigiegs 2-point deficit .
Most national polling shows all of these Democrats ahead of Trump by double digits or high-single digits.
Senate Trial To Restart At Noon Wednesday
Donald Trump’s impeachment trial will reconvene at noon ET on Wednesday after a day of arguments about the constitutionality of trying a former president for high crimes and misdemeanors.
The Senate voted by a 56-44 margin that the proceedings are constitutional, as only six Republicans joined with all Democrats.
On Wednesday, the nine House impeachment managers prosecuting the case against Trump and the former president’s defense team will start arguments about whether Trump incited an insurrection when a mob of his supporters attacked the Capitol on Jan. 6. Each side will have up to 16 hours over no more than two days to make their case.
The House managers are expected to start Wednesday by rebutting the arguments Trump’s lawyers made before the constitutionality vote. Jacob Pramuk
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Republican Rep Offers Two Good Reasons Why Joe Biden Should Be Impeached
Joe Biden should be impeached, and Texas Republican Rep. Chip Roy has offered two excellent reasons why it should happen.
Remember the flimsy reasons Democrats used to impeach Trump? This is nothing like that. This is real.
If Republicans take the House and Senate in 2022, they should make Chip Roy the point man on making this a reality.
GOP Rep Says Biden Comment on Constitutionality of Eviction Moratorium Is Impeachable
President Joe Biden is under fire for comments about the constitutionality of the eviction moratorium, after he bucked the Supreme Courts deadline of July 31. Biden caved to progressives who asked him to extend the moratorium after Congress failed to legislate an extension.
I cant guarantee you the court wont rule that we dont have that authority but at least well have the ability to, if we have to appeal, to keep this going for a month-at least. I hope longer, Biden said in response to a question about the moratoriums constitutionality:
Why is the eviction moratorium constitutional, I asked the president. Biden told me I cant guarantee you the court wont rule that we dont have that authority but at least well have the ability to, if we have to appeal, to keep this going for a month-at least. I hope longer.
Philip Melanchthon Wegmann
The Senate Had No Business Voting On Whether A Former President Could Be Impeached Its Only Role Is To Determine If An Impeached Person Is Guilty
Forty-five Republican senators;voted this week to dismiss former President Donald Trumps impeachment trial before it even started. Although their maneuver failed, it focused the spotlight on a question of constitutional procedure the Senates ability to try a former official. Senate Republicans wishing to duck their constitutional obligation and avoid giving offense to Trump and his loyal supporters;would like nothing more than to engage in debates about process. That way they can avoid talking about the actual insurrection Trump incited;and the damage and death it caused. But like so many legal arguments Trump intimidates GOP officials;into making, the question isnt a close one.
The Senate concluded long ago that it had jurisdiction to try a former officer, expressly voting on the question after the House of Representatives impeached former Secretary of War William Belknap in 1876.;They did so because the Constitution makes clear that impeachment serves two important goals removing a bad actor from office and forever disqualifying him or her from holding or enjoying any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States. That is clear not only from the plain text of the Constitution, but also from the precedents the framers drew upon, such as the 18th century trial of Warren Hastings;in England. He left office in 1785, was impeached in 1787, and was acquitted in 1795 after a seven-year trial.;
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Trump Impeachment Lawyer Castor’s Drawn
Political watchers covering the impeachment trial on social media quickly lost patience with Bruce Castor Jr., the first lawyer on former President Donald Trump’s legal team to deliver arguments in the Senate.
Castor, a former district attorney in Pennsylvania, took the chamber floor to argue that the impeachment trial is unconstitutional because Trump is no longer president.
But viewers quickly got lost trying to follow Castor’s rhetoric and took to Twitter to mock the speech as confusing, rambling and at times incoherent.
Even some of Trump’s supporters gave Castor’s performance dismal reviews.
“There is no argument. I have no idea what he’s doing. I have no idea why he’s saying what he’s saying,” said Alan Dershowitz, who previously said he would be willing to defend Trump in the trial.
Donald Trumps Second Impeachment Trial Rests In The Hands Of Republican Senators
With a two-thirds majority of senators required to convict the former president, 17 GOP lawmakers would have to join the Democrats
Democratic control of the US Senate could create problems for Donald Trump in the weeks ahead when the former president likely faces his second impeachment trial but not because Democrats by themselves would be able to convict Trump on the charge at hand: incitement of insurrection.
A two-thirds majority of voting senators 67 if all 100 members vote is still required to convict the president, and the Democratic caucus will number only 50 senators. Thus they would need 17 Republicans to join them to convict Trump.
If convicted, Trump could be banned from ever again holding public office. If not, Trump, who won the votes of 74 million Americans just two months ago, might simply run for president again in 2024.
Late Thursday it emerged that Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell is proposing to push back the start of the Senate trial to give Trump time to prepare. He said he is suggesting the impeachment charge be presented to the Senate on 28 January and the trial to start two weeks after that.
Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer said he was negotiating on timing but added make no mistake about it. There will be a trial, there will be a vote, up or down or whether to convict the president.
I suspect this is the kind of thing that the Senate parliamentarian is hunkered down with somebody figuring out, Bowman said.
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The Latest From California
Theres been a sharp decline in support for Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Melanie Mason reported. The latest UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies poll finds 35% of voters in the state approve of Feinsteins work. Thats the first time that her job approval has turned negative. The poll also gives early readings on Harris and newly appointed Sen. Alex Padilla.
For the record: Wednesdays newsletter said Fox Business had filled Lou Dobbs slot on the network with former Trump economic advisor Larry Kudlow. The new program with Kudlow is not taking Dobbs time slot.
And a quick programming note: Essential Politics will take Monday off for the holiday. Well be back in your inbox on Wednesday, Feb. 17.
Stay in touch
Trump Attorney Schoen Accuses Lawmakers Of ‘insatiable Lust For Impeachment’
Trump’s second defense attorney to speak on Tuesday, David Schoen, delivered a scathing critique of the impeachment process in a speech that accused Democrats of seeking to go after the ex-president in any way they could.
“The denial of due process in this case of course starts with the House of Representatives,” Schoen, a former lawyer to Trump ally Roger Stone, said from the Senate floor.
Schoen’s remarks, which he at times read from prepared notes, were more direct than those made by Castor, who assumed a folksy persona and appeared to ramble.
“In this unprecedented snap impeachment process, the House of Representatives denied every attribute of fundamental constitutional due process that Americans have correctly come to believe is what makes this country so great,” Schoen said. “How and why did that happen? It is a function of the insatiable lust for impeachment in the House for the last four years.”
Schoen played a video montage of Democrats, including the lead impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., calling for Trump’s impeachment as far back as 2017.
Other Democrats shown in the video included Keith Ellison, the former Minnesota congressman who now serves as that state’s attorney general, Rep. Maxine Waters of California, Rep. Alexandria-Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., and Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.
The Republican Senators Who Are Being Asked To Judge Trump Are Guilty Of The Very Same High Crime For Which The Former President Has Been Impeached
Senator Lindsey Graham speaks at his press conference on Capitol Hill a day after Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol in Washington on January 7, 2021.
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To Lindsey Graham, who said Donald Trump could count me out after the Capitol attack on January 6 but has spent the last month scurrying back to him, is apparently offended by the impeachment case presented by the House managers. I think most Republicans found the presentation by the House Managers offensive and absurd, he tweeted. And hes probably right: Reporters in the Senate chamber are saying that some Republicans are engaging in performative disinterest, reading books or refusing to look at the videos of the violence, like theyre a bunch of Judd Nelsons who are too cool for school. Some are even refusing to sit in the chamber, as they are required to do.
Why Would They Do This
We know the Democrats and most of the Republicans hate President Trump.; He stood for the average American.; ;He stood up for Americans and didnt go to Washington to enrich himself but to enrich the average American and bring pride back to America.
President Trump hoped to drain the swamp but he and America never knew how corrupt the cesspool in Washington really was.; Now after doing all he can to help America protect its citizens, increase the economy, allow Americans to keep more of their own money, protect its borders, create peace deals and bring its soldiers home, the globalists and deep state scum despise him.; He was successful and too popular for standing up to the corruption and for Americans.
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So they are going to impeach him with 11 days left in his Presidency:
Democrats Release Latest Draft of Articles of Impeachment Will Formally Introduce Documents on Monday Via Bannon War Room
Why would they do this?
The President just won the 2020 election with the most legitimate votes of any US president in history.; More than 74 million Americans voted for President Trump.; But the Democrats and the Biden campaign stole it.; Weve pointed out millions of votes that were fraudulent and when addressed would easily give the election to President Trump.; The fraud in three states alone when properly if ever addressed would give the win to President Trump:
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Senate Republicans Don’t Want Trump To Testify In Impeachment Trial
Senate Republicans on Thursday said they don’t want former President TrumpDonald TrumpIran president: Country ready to resume nuclear talks without Western ‘pressure’ Trump in advanced talks to sell DC hotel: reportMORE to testify as part of a second impeachment trial after House impeachment managers formally requested the former president;testify under oath next week.
The public pushback comes as his legal team appears to be shooting down the request from the House impeachment managers, dismissing it as a “publicity stunt.”
GOP senators say there’s no reason for Trump to testify after the House impeached him for a historic second time without calling any witnesses,;a move that was different than the 2019 impeachment effort.;
House;Democrats argued they could move more quickly this time because lawmakers experienced the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol firsthand and had witnessed Trump’s speech;just prior;to the riot, where he urged supporters;to march to the Capitol building.
Lindsey Olin GrahamMcConnell: Biden ‘is not going to be removed from office’Biden’s Afghanistan exit: A decision for the long termHeavy fighting reported in last Afghanistan province not under Taliban controlMORE , a close Trump ally who said he spoke to the former president “a couple of days ago,” dismissed the House impeachment managers’ request as a “political ploy.”