Impeachment Trial–Day 4

I try to avoid the “news of the day” on weekends but sometimes there are reports that need exposure and this is one of this situations.

Sorry guys put I try to be brief yet informative and this subject prohibits me from brevity.

A long read but packed with information, please take the time to educate yourself…..some may say that it is TMI….but this situations calls for TMI.

The House has wrapped up their portion of the case…..it is time for the rambling babbling defense team to stand up and make the case that Trump has committed no crime against the country.

Not to worry for any Trumpites that remain here….matters not the evidence….the GOP Senators for the most part are not unbiased and open to the facts.

Why do I say this?

Former President Trump’s second impeachment trial appears destined to end the same way his first did: with an acquittal. House managers rested their case Thursday, day No. 3 of trial No. 2, and the New York Times reports most Republican senators appeared to remain unconvinced. The paper deems it unlikely that the required two-thirds of the Senate will vote to convict. Only a few GOP senators are seen as likely to vote against Trump (Vox has the six to watch here; the Hill has its own look at them here), and even Democratic senators were starting to signal it was time to wrap things up. Both parties appear to support a plan that would quickly end it, with Trump’s lawyers planning a three- to four-hour presentation Friday with Q&A following, and a final vote then coming as early as Saturday.

Technically, as CNN reports, his defense team has 16 hours over two days to present its case, after which senators are allowed to ask questions of both teams. Then the teams debate over whether to subpoena witnesses and documents, after which a vote is taken on that matter, but the House managers don’t appear likely to ask for that. Four hours of closing arguments are allowed before senators deliberate and then vote. Republican senators are largely explaining their votes to acquit via their reasoning that the trial itself is unconstitutional; in the Washington Post, Georgetown law professor and former DC prosecutor Paul Butler explains why even senators who voted against holding the trial on those grounds should still vote to convict or acquit based on the merits of the case itself. Trump, who is confident he will be acquitted, was seen golfing in Florida Thursday

This is just typical these days….if the party tells you what to do then by God you had better do it.

Another example where party politics outweighs the Constitution…..

First here is the brief filed by lawyers for former President Donald Trump filed a 78-page brief

Onto the Trump defense….

Defense lawyers for former President Trump wrapped up their arguments in his impeachment trial Friday, making the case that Trump cannot be held responsible for the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol. Senators then had a question-and-answer session with lawyers from both sides, and they are now on track to vote on Saturday. Highlights from the Trump team’s defense:

  • Attorney Michael van der Veen dismissed the trial as a “blatantly unconstitutional act of political vengeance,” per the Washington Post. He also used the phrases “appalling abuse of the Constitution” and “constitutional cancel culture,” per the AP.
  • Trump didn’t incite the rioters, he insisted. Yes, the former president urged supporters to “fight like hell,” but that was metaphorical, said van der Deen, per the Hill. “Countless politicians have spoken of fighting for our principles,” he added. “Joe Biden’s slogan was ‘battle for the soul’ of America. No one believes that the use of this political terminology was incitement of political violence.”
  • He also played video clips of Democrats urging on protesters during the civil unrest over the summer. For example, Democratic Rep. Ayanna Presley was shown saying, “There needs to be unrest in the streets for as long as there is unrest in our lives.” Said van der Deen: “Democratic politicians endorsed and encouraged the riots that destroyed vast swaths of American cities last summer.”
  • Trump’s team also showed clips of Democratic lawmakers using the word “fight” repeatedly, though without context, per the AP. “You didn’t do anything wrong” in using the word, Trump attorney David Schoen told the senators. “But, please, stop the hypocrisy.” A separate AP story notes that Democrats mostly chuckled and whispered to themselves at the video attempting to equate what they said to Trump’s statements. “Donald Trump was warned, if you don’t stop talking about a stolen election, people will be killed,” said Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine during a break. “He was specifically warned that. He kept talking about it, and a violent mob attacked the Capitol and seven people are dead who would be alive today, had he just followed their advice. That’s what I thought about those videos.”
  • Attorney Bruce Castor says what happened at the Capitol was not an insurrection. “Insurrection is a term of art defined in the law,” he said. “It involves taking over a country, a shadow government, taking the TV stations over and having some playing what you’re going to do when you finally take power. Clearly, this is not that.” The impeachment charge alleges “incitement of insurrection.”
  • Castor’s closing pitch: “All of these facts make clear the January 6th speech did not cause the riots. The president did not cause the riots. He neither explicitly or implicitly encouraged the use of violence or lawless action.” Instead, Castor he noted that Trump told supporters to “peacefully and patriotically” march to the Capitol.

Trump’s lawyers admonished the Dems for taking videos out of context then they set about doing the same thing.

My worry is that the Dems left out all the GOPers that have been enabling Trump for years…..why do they get a free ride?

Okay let’s look at the points of the case….the main point is that Trump is no longer president and therefore the trial is unconstitutional…..but wait!  There is a precedent….

The year is 1876 and the former Secretary of War Belknap was tried in the Senate after he had left office….a little background will be helpful right?

An impeachment trial for a secretary of war occupied much of the Senate’s time during May 1876.

At issue was the behavior of William Belknap, war secretary in the administration of President Ulysses Grant. A former Iowa state legislator and Civil War general, Belknap had held his cabinet post for nearly eight years. In the rollicking era that Mark Twain dubbed the Gilded Age, Belknap was famous for his extravagant Washington parties and his elegantly attired first and second wives. Many questioned how he managed such a grand lifestyle on his $8,000 government salary.

By early 1876, answers began to surface. A House of Representatives committee uncovered evidence supporting a pattern of corruption blatant even by the standards of the scandal-tarnished Grant administration.

The trail of evidence extended back to 1870. In that year, Belknap’s luxury-loving first wife assisted a wheeler-dealer named Caleb Marsh by getting her husband to select one of Marsh’s associates to operate the lucrative military trading post at Fort Sill in Indian territory. Marsh’s promise of generous kickbacks prompted Secretary Belknap to make the appointment. Over the next five years, the associate funneled thousands of dollars to Marsh, who provided Belknap regular quarterly payments totaling over $20,000.

On March 2, 1876, just minutes before the House of Representatives was scheduled to vote on articles of impeachment, Belknap raced to the White House, handed Grant his resignation, and burst into tears.

This failed to stop the House. Later that day, members voted unanimously to send the Senate five articles of impeachment, charging Belknap with “criminally disregarding his duty as Secretary of War and basely prostituting his high office to his lust for private gain.”

The Senate convened its trial in early April, with Belknap present, after agreeing that it retained impeachment jurisdiction over former government officials. During May, the Senate heard more than 40 witnesses, as House managers argued that Belknap should not be allowed to escape from justice simply by resigning his office.

On August 1, 1876, the Senate rendered a majority vote against Belknap on all five articles. As each vote fell short of the necessary two-thirds, however, he won acquittal. Belknap was not prosecuted further; he died in 1890.

But if that is not enough then here is more info for those that pretend this is unconstitutional….

https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/GPO-HPREC-HINDS-V3/html/GPO-HPREC-HINDS-V3-26.htm

So yes he, Trump, can be tried.

Next the incitement thing….or as they want us to believe the First Amendment thing…..Free speech to be exact…..

Freedom of speech does not mean the freedom to have “all” speech.
The concept behind the freedom of speech is that you should be able to express anything in a way that does not create legal consequences for you. Even if your opinion is unsavory, rude, or unpopular, this right gives you the option to express it. In the United States, there are four forms of speech which are not protected under the First Amendment.

Freedom of speech can incite violence against other people.
People must be held responsible for the personal choices that they make. When someone commits an act of violence against another because they were incited by hate speech to do so, then they made the choice to break the law. The person who created the outcome through the encouragement of their language holds some responsibility here as well. If online radicalization causes people to join ISIS, then shouldn’t political radicalization that causes individuals to attack journalists be treated in the same way?

Freedom of speech can incite violence against other people.
People must be held responsible for the personal choices that they make. When someone commits an act of violence against another because they were incited by hate speech to do so, then they made the choice to break the law. The person who created the outcome through the encouragement of their language holds some responsibility here as well. If online radicalization causes people to join ISIS, then shouldn’t political radicalization that causes individuals to attack journalists be treated in the same way?

Freedom of speech creates a paradox.
When we look at the modern idea that creates the foundation for freedom of speech, it really isn’t free. The government is still dictating some of the things that we can or cannot say. This freedom, and this writer, cannot exist if people are not allowed to make assertions that are distasteful to the majority, even if the statements are hurtful to other people.

Does any of that look familiar?

We now await the vote.

Any takers om whether he is acquitted?

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