Impeachment Trial–The Vote

First I would like to wish all my readers a very Happy Valentine’s Day…..

Surprise! Surprise!

Former Pres. Trump has been acquitted in the Senate.

I am aghast!

Who could have seen this coming? (BTW that is sarcasm in case you missed it)

Whiz Bang!

57-43 (a predictable outcome days ago)

The Senate voted Saturday to acquit Donald Trump of inciting insurrection, ending the effort to hold the former president responsible for the Jan. 6 attack on the US Capitol. Seven Republicans voted with Democrats to convict, the AP reports, providing the largest show of bipartisan support for conviction of any of the four times a president has been impeached. But a two-thirds vote was required for conviction. Without a conviction, per New York Times, Senate Democrats were unable to move to what would have been the next step: voting on whether to disqualify Trump from holding office in the future.

House managers wrapped up their case before the vote by arguing that Trump sparked the Capitol riot in a desperate attempt to stay in office after arguing he lost the November election because of fraud. “If that is not ground for conviction, if that is not a high crime and misdemeanor against the republic and the United States of America, than nothing is,” Rep. Jamie Raskin told his colleagues. Defense lawyer Bruce Castor said Trump didn’t intend to turn loose the rioters: “He wanted them to support primary challenges” to bring about “sweeping election reforms.”

What a complete farce this was.

The Leader of the Senate GOP had something to say about the whole thing…

Minority Leader Mitch McConnell delivered a stinging indictment of former President Trump from the Senate floor on Saturday, but not until minutes after the impeachment trial ended in acquittal. Trump was charged with inciting an insurrection in connection with the attack on the US Capitol on Jan. 6. “Former President Trump’s actions that preceded the riot were a disgraceful, disgraceful dereliction of duty,” McConnell said, CNN reports. “Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day.” The Republican’s attack was more forceful than many of the floor speeches calling for conviction, the New York Times points out. In what appeared an internal compromise, he basically argued that Trump is guilty, but that the Senate can’t do anything about it because he’s out of office. “A mob was assaulting a Capitol in his name,” McConnell said. “These criminals were carrying his banners, hanging his flags and screaming their loyalty to him.” He pointed out that Trump remains subject to actions in criminal and civil court, per the AP. “He didn’t get away with anything yet,” McConnell said.

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Remember these names!

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Then it was Pelosi’s turn to mouth off….

At a press conference after the trial, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi attacked the 43 of 50 GOP senators who voted to acquit Trump. “What we saw in that Senate today was a cowardly group of Republicans who apparently have no options, because they were afraid to defend their job, respect the institution in which they serve,” she said, per the Washington Post. The Democrat said she was unimpressed with the minority leader’s speech after the vote, saying it was McConnell who ensured the trial wouldn’t begin until Trump had left the White House. Democrats defended the House managers’ back-and-forth on whether to call witnesses. “We could have had 5,000 witnesses, and Mitch McConnell would be giving the same speech,” said Rep. Jamie Raskin, the lead manager. As the trial ended, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer also criticized the other party. “Just look at what Republicans have been forced to defend,” he said, per the AP. “Look at what Republicans have chosen to forgive.”

AS one would think….the King Snake came out of his hidey hole and thump his chest like some sex crazed baboon….

Former President Trump welcomed victory in his Senate impeachment trial on Saturday, suggesting he’s not finished politically. “This has been yet another phase of the greatest witch hunt in the history of our Country,” Trump said in a statement. “No president has ever gone through anything like it.” He did not include a condemnation of the Jan. 6 Capitol attack that prompted his impeachment or apolotize for anything, the Washington Post reports. The Senate acquitted Trump of one article of impeachment, inciting insurrection, on a 57-43 vote. Seven Republican senators voted to convict. In his statement, Trump blamed Democrats, per Politico, calling it “a sad commentary” that one party “is given a free pass to denigrate the rule of law, defame law enforcement, cheer mobs, excuse rioters, and transform justice into a tool of political vengeance, and persecute, blacklist, cancel and suppress all people and viewpoints with whom or which they disagree.”

 

With the impeachment trial over, Trump hinted at a return to the political spotlight in his statement, issued shortly after the Senate’s vote. “Our historic, patriotic and beautiful movement to make America Great Again has only just begun,” he said. “In the months ahead, I have much to share with you, and I look forward to continuing our incredible journey together to achieve American greatness for all our people. There has never been anything like it!” Trump didn’t say anything specific about his plans. He also thanked his lawyers, after being critical of them earlier in the week.

It is mercifully over except for the endless analysis by the media.

Move On!

Turn The Page!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

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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“lego ergo scribo”

Impeachment Trial–Day 3

And the beat goes on…..

More evidence presentation by the House……

Once again the House managers presented a compelling case….compelling to anyone with a spine and half a mind……

The House impeachment managers wrapped up their case against former President Trump on Thursday, arguing that rioters who descended on the Capitol did so because they were obeying the president. One repeated sentiment from the day is expressed in this quote from Rep. Joe Neguse: “We humbly, humbly ask you to convict President Trump for the crime for which he is overwhelmingly guilty of. Because if you don’t, if we pretend this didn’t happen, or worse, if we let it go unanswered, who’s to say it won’t happen again?” Trump’s defense team will begin its defense on Friday. Some highlights from Thursday:

  • Rep. Diana DeGette said the rioters on Jan. 6 were following Trump’s directives. “Their own statements before, during and after the attack make clear the attack was done for Donald Trump, at his instructions and to fulfill his wishes,” she said, per USA Today. “Donald Trump had sent them there.” DeGette displayed quotes and interviews from those who participated to that effect. “They said so,” she said, per Politico. “They were invited here. They were invited by the president of the United States.”
  • Rep. Jamie Raskin, the lead manager, warned senators that if Trump is not impeached, the US could see a repeat of the Jan. 6 violence, reports the Washington Post. “Is there any political leader in this room who believes that if he is ever allowed by the Senate to get back into the Oval Office, Donald Trump would stop inciting violence to get his way?” he asked. “Would you bet the lives of more police officers on that? Would you bet the safety of your family on that? Would you bet the future of your democracy on that?”
  • Raskin also asserted that Trump has a history of inciting violence that predates the riot. He used clips of Trump encouraging backers to rough up anti-Trump protesters at rallies and accused Trump of rhetoric that contributed to an alleged plot to kidnap Michigan’s governor. Managers frequently cited Trump’s own words and tweets to make similar points. DeGette, for instance, said Trump inflamed domestic extremist groups. “This must be our wake-up call,” she said. “We must condemn it, because the threat is not over. President Trump refused to condemn this type of violence. Instead, over and over again, he’s encouraged it. Our response must be different this time.”
  • Rep. Ted Lieu faulted Trump for a “lack of remorse” in the aftermath of the riot, per the Hill. He also echoed a point made by Raskin. “You know, I’m not afraid of Donald Trump running again in four years,” Lieu said, per the New York Times. “I’m afraid he’s going to run again and lose, because he can do this again.”
  • Raskin said Trump can’t use the First Amendment for protection. “President Trump is not even close to the proverbial citizen who falsely shouted fire in a crowded theater,” he said, per the Wall Street Journal. “He is like the now-proverbial municipal fire chief who incites a mob to go set the theater on fire, and not only refuses to put out the fire, but encourages the mob to keep going as the blaze spreads.”

That wrapped up the House case…..now it will move on to the defense team…..

But before they present their case the Trump lawyers met with some senators in private before they begin (think about that for a moment)…..

Dismissing the appearance of conflict—and again demonstrating that an impeachment trial is unlike any other—President Trump’s lawyers met with three of his jurors Thursday afternoon to plan strategy. The meeting was “just very nice,” said David Schoen, one of the lawyers, the Washington Post reports. Trump supporters and Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham, Mike Lee, and Ted Cruz huddled in a room in the Capitol with the lawyers after the trial adjourned for the day. Calling the senators “friendly guys,” Schoen said the group was “talking about procedure.” Republicans have been critical of the Trump lawyers’ performance so far. Schoen said the senators didn’t tell him what questions they’ll ask during the trial. The discussion was about “just how this format goes, you know, the question-and-answer period, all that,” he said.

On the other hand, Cruz said after the meeting that they were “discussing their legal strategy and sharing our thoughts.” Few senators of either party appear to be undecided, but when they’re sworn in as jurors, they vow to administer “impartial justice” in the case. The three senators were following the example of their leader, Sen. Mitch McConnell, who had promised Senate Republicans’ “total cooperation” with the defense team during Trump’s first impeachment trial. Schoen said the meeting Thursday was appropriate, per CNN. “I think it’s the best practice here in impeachment,” he said, suggesting the bar is low. “There’s nothing about this thing that has any semblance of due process whatsoever.” Cruz said: “I think the end result of this impeachment trial is crystal clear to everybody. Donald Trump will be acquitted.”

This is a perfect example of just what a sham this trial is turning into…..when do jurors tutor the lawyers?

Minds are made up….evidence means nothing to these spineless slugs.

Friday will be the day that we get to see just what the defense has to say…..the first amendment will be front and center.  (We can talk about that later)

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“lego ergo scribo”

Questions Not Asked

The impeachment trial of Donald Trump is a sham…..a sham because most Senators have made up their minds and no amount of evidence will change that.

The outcome of acquittal is not in question.

Speaking of questions….there are some around the insurrection that need to be asked….

There are a number of obvious questions that relate to the operation of the conspiracy that must be answered, including:

  • How was it possible that the Capitol Police, the DC National Guard, the FBI and other federal security forces were so completely unprepared for what was known in advance to be a violent attack?
  • Why was there a virtual stand-down of Capitol security forces despite well documented plans for violence, involving fascistic militias like the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers?
  • With whom were the leaders of the mob in contact during the assault? Who visited the Trump White House in the days leading up to the attempted coup? How did the fascists know the layout of the Capitol building?

But there are more fundamental questions that no one is asking, let alone answering. First and foremost: If the coup succeeded, what was the plan?

The Democrats’ own indictment lays out in extensive detail the months-long conspiracy to overturn the results of the election that culminated on January 6. Trump organized a mob to storm the Capitol and stop the congressional certification of the results of the election. This is precisely true. But if they succeeded in seizing hostages, what were they going to do?

And what were the forces within the state involved in this operation? In the months before the coup, Trump made critical changes to the military aimed at facilitating it. The military has just initiated a “stand-down” supposedly aimed at addressing the proliferation of “domestic extremism” within its ranks. Who within the military supported the operation, and what were their roles?

Who, moreover, was providing the financial backing? As is well known, in order to uncover the roots of a criminal conspiracy, it is necessary to “follow the money.” Trump’s own cabinet was stocked with billionaires, including individuals like his former education secretary, Betsy DeVos, the sister of Blackwater founder Erik Prince. The DeVos family is known to have provided funding for right-wing demonstrations in Michigan to demand an end to restrictions on the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. What is the connection between the fascistic mob on January 6 and high-level support within the ruling class?

Since very of this will be brought up….the conclusion of the trial is a forgone conclusion.

Was this trial necessary or just political theater?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Impeachment Trial–Day 2

On the second day of Trump’s day in the Senate….the Dem managers were a 1000 times better and more articulate than the two baboons that Trump had pleading his case on Tuesday.

That babbling idiot that was pleading now says that his inept handling of the opening argument was on purpose….

“That was by design,” Castor said. “I don’t like reading bad stuff about me in the newspaper any more than anyone else does, or my legal colleagues around the country saying I’m stupid, but the reason I made the change was precisely so that in lowering the temperature in the room, the public coverage would be more about what I said than about what the House Managers said.”

Read the full report.

 

 

This whole trial thing just proves one thing….it is as always party over country….

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I say this because evidence means nothing….and the minds of the GOP are already decided the outcome…it is not a trial it is theater of the absurd.

I step down off my soap box and go to Day 2…..

“We are having a trial on the facts.” More:

  • The “inciter-in-chief.” Raskin said Trump was “no innocent bystander” in the Jan. 6 attack. “There was method in the madness that day,” Raskin said, per the BBC. “This was an organized attack.” Raskin said Trump “surrendered his role as commander-in-chief” to become the “inciter-in-chief.” “This was the greatest betrayal of the presidential oath in the history of the United States,” he said.
  • First Amendment argument targeted. Raskin targeted arguments made by Trump lawyers Tuesday that Trump’s fiery speech before the attack was protected free speech. “This case is much worse than someone who falsely shouts fire in a crowded theater,” Raskin said, per the Guardian. “It’s more like like a case where the town fire chief, who’s paid to put out fires, sends a mob not to yell fire in a crowded theater, but to actually set the theater on fire.”
  • “The provocation.” Rep. Joe Neguse, another impeachment manager, said the prosecution’s case would be broken down into “the provocation,” “the attack,” and “the harm.” He started the “provocation” segment by playing clips of Trump urging supporters to challenge the results of the November election. “People listened. Armed supporters surrounded election officials’ homes. The secretary of state for Georgia got death threats,” Neguse said, per Politico. “Officials warned the president that his rhetoric was dangerous and it was going to result in deadly violence,” Neguse said. “He didn’t stop it. He didn’t condemn the violence. He incited it further.”
  • “Deliberate, planned, and premeditated.” Impeachment manager Rep. Eric Swalwell displayed Trump tweets and speeches that he said showed Trump built the “rigged” election claim for months before and after the election, the Post reports. He showed a “save the date” tweet from December, in which Trump said of Jan. 6: “Be there. Will be wild.” “The evidence here is overwhelming,” Swalwell said. “President Trump’s conduct leading up to Jan. 6 was deliberate, planned, and premeditated.”
  • “The actions of a desperate president.” Rep. Madeline Dean, another impeachment manager, described Trump’s attempt to overturn the election result as “the actions of a desperate president” and played recordings of Trump pressuring officials, including a call in which he urged Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find” enough votes to change the result.
  • Trump “ran out of nonviolent options.” Impeachment manager Rep. Ted Lieu told senators that Trump turned to the “violent mob” after he “ran out of nonviolent options to maintain power,” the Hill reports. Another impeachment manager, Del. Stacey Plaskett, looked at other violent actions by Trump supporters, including an October incident in Texas where Trump supporters tried to force a Biden campaign bus off the road. She noted that Trump tweeted video of the incident with added music and the comment “I LOVE TEXAS!”
  • Impeachment managers also showed video of then-Vice President Mike Pence and his family being evacuated from the Senate chamber after rioters had already breached the building, the Guardian reports. Plaskett said rioters at one point came within 100 feet of the room where Pence was sheltering before Goodman led them away.
  • Other footage showed rioters using wooden beams to smash their way into the Capitol, coming close to the Senate chamber where the trial is now taking place, the Los Angeles Times reports. “They were just feet away from one of the doors of this chamber, where many of you remained at that time,” Plaskett told senators. Footage from security cameras inside the Capitol showed a lone police officer quickly being overwhelmed by rioters.Plaskett also showed the trial new footage of rioters hunting for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, shouting “Where are you Nancy” as they make their way through the Capitol, the BBC reports. She also showed video of Pelosi’s staffers barricading themselves in an office minutes before rioters arrive. “You can hear the terror in their voices as they describe what’s happening as they are barricaded inside,” Plaskett said. She said Pelosi was rushed to a secure location offsite because some rioters had declared their intention to kill her.
  • Impeachment manager Rep. Eric Swalwell showed security footage of Capitol police officers blocking a hallway to illustrate how close to danger senators had come. “You know how close you came to the mob. Some of you, I understand, could hear them,” Swalwell said. “But most of the public does not know how close these rioters came to you. As you were moving through that hallway, I paced it off. You were just 58 steps away.” Swalwell also showed video of violence against law enforcement, including graphic footage of an officer being crushed in a set of doors, and of the shooting of Ashli Babbitt as she tried to climb through a broken window to the House lobby.
  • Swalwell also showed previously unreleased security footage of Sen. Chuck Schumer, who is now Senate Majority Leader, and his security detail walking up a ramp and then running back down after encountering rioters, CNN reports. “They came within just yards of rioters,” Swalwell said.

The evidence was compelling…..well compelling to anyone with an open mind…..that omits the Senate GOP for the most part.

Day Three will be more evidence.

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Impeachment Trial–Day 1

The forthcoming posts are for all those that did not take in the doings in this trial…..or for those that had important things to do like watch the Kardashians…..

Yesterday the Senate trial of Donald Trump and his part in the insurrection of 06 January……but how will all this play out for the cameras and nation….

It’s impeachment, take II. The Senate on Tuesday begins the second impeachment trial of Donald Trump. Barring surprises, the smart money points to a short trial, maybe lasting a week, that results in Trump’s acquittal. Democrats (and a few Republicans) accuse Trump of inciting the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, but Trump’s lawyers say he didn’t encourage violence, was just exercising his First Amendment rights about the election results, and can’t be impeached anyway because he’s out of office. How things are expected to play out:

  • Tuesday: At 1pm Eastern, the Senate will begin a four-hour debate on whether the trial is constitutional given that Trump is a former president. As Vox notes, this holds little suspense because Democrats have the numbers to prevail. The vote will set the stage for Wednesday’s opening arguments.
  • Arguments: House impeachment managers will go first, beginning at noon Wednesday, and their arguments are expected to last into Thursday. The House team is led this time by Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland, per USA Today, which has a look at him and the eight other impeachment managers.
  • The defense: Trump’s legal team is expected to begin their arguments on Friday and run into Saturday, per the AP. Originally, the Senate was going to skip Saturday to honor the Jewish Sabbath, as requested by one of Trump’s lawyers, but that request has been withdrawn, reports CNN. This late development was throwing the weekend schedule into flux.
  • Questions: After the arguments wrap up, senators get four hours of questions, a big reduction from the allotted two days in the first trial, notes the Hill.
  • Wild card: Will witnesses be called? If so, this could delay the trial beyond a week. As of Tuesday morning, however, witnesses looked unlikely. Instead, the final vote is expected to happen early next week, after closing arguments.
  • Biden: As all this is happening, don’t expect to hear much from President Biden, reports Politico. The White House strategy approceedings…pears to be to keep Biden as far removed from the developments as possible. His spokesperson isn’t even saying whether he will receive daily updates.

It all began with the Constitutionality of the trial….

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Holy crap!

Trump’s lawyer rambled and babbled….contradicting himself over and over…..here are some of the big lines from day one……..

Trump’s lawyers argue that it is unconstitutional to put a former president on trial, while the House impeachment managers say there is no “January exception” that permits an outgoing president to commit offenses, the Guardian reports. Some big lines:

  • “The framers’ worst nightmare.” Rep. Joe Neguse, a House impeachment manager, argued that historical precedent existed for the trial and that Trump’s conduct made it necessary, the New York Times reports. “Like every one of you, I was evacuated as this violent mob stormed the Capitol’s gates,” he told senators. “What you experienced that day, what we experienced that day, what our country experienced that day, is the framers’ worst nightmare.” He added: “Presidents can’t inflame insurrection in their final weeks and then walk away like nothing happened.”
  • Every time I read that tweet, it chills me to the core.” Another impeachment manager, Rep. David Cicilline, displayed a Trump tweet that described the rioters as “great patriots,” the Hill reports. “Every time I read that tweet, it chills me to my core,” Cicilline said. “The president of the United States sided with the insurrectionists, he celebrated their cause, he validated their attack, he told them ‘remember this day forever.'”
  • “This cannot be the future of America.” Rep. Jamie Raskin, the leading impeachment manager, choked up as he recounted his experiences on Jan. 6. A day before the riot, Raskin buried his son, who took his own life on Dec. 31. Raskin told senators that his daughter and son-in-law were barricaded in an office during the attack and thought they were going to die, the Washington Post reports. He said he was on the House floor, unable to reach them, and could hear lawmakers around him calling their loved ones to say their goodbyes. “Senators, this cannot be our future,” he said. “This cannot be the future of America.”
  • “The floodgates will open.” In an opening statement described by Politico as “meandering,” Trump lawyer Bruce Castor warned the the impeachment trial was a “slippery slope” and said the “floodgates will open” if Trump was convicted. He also described the Capitol riot as “repugnant” and acknowledged that Biden won the election.
  • “This trial will tear this country apart.” David Schoen, another Trump lawyer, said trying an ex-president on an impeachment charge was a “radical constitutional theory” and an “affront to the Constitution, the AP reports. “This trial will tear this country apart, perhaps like we have only seen once before in our history,” said Schoen, per the Post. He accused the House impeachment managers of “pure, raw, misguided partisanship.”

But the best line was on Twitter….”I could eat a bowl of alphabet soup and crap out  more coherent sentence than Trump’s lawyer”…well said and very observant.

After all the rhetoric the Senate had it’s vote…..

A day of debate on whether it is constitutional to put a former president on trial in the Senate succeeded in changing the mind of one senator. Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial was declared constitutional in a 56-44 vote, with six Republican senators voting with the chamber’s 50 Democrats. Last month, five Republicans voted against dismissing the trial. On Tuesday, GOP Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana flipped and said he believes the trial is constitutional, the Hill reports. He was joined by Republican Sens. Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Mitt Romney, Ben Sasse, and Pat Toomey, who voted the same way last month. “I have always said I was approaching this with an open mind,” Cassidy said, per the AP. He said the House impeachment managers delivered “strong arguments.”

I said before that Trump’s lawyers spoke and spoke and had very little to actually say…..even the ‘accused’ thought his lawyers were a joke…..

After the first day of Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial, his lawyers are getting bad reviews from Republicans—and the former president himself, according to Politico. Sources say Trump, who spent the day at Mar-a-Lago watching the Senate trial, was not impressed by the dry, technical arguments made by lead attorney Bruce Castor. The sources tell Politico that Trump was frustrated by the contrast between the contrast between his attorneys’ performance and the effective opening arguments made by House impeachment managers, who showed a graphic video of the Jan.6 Capitol riot. GOP Sen. John Cornyn also criticized Castor, saying he’s seen “a lot of lawyers and a lot of arguments,” and Castor’s “was not one of the finest,” the Washington Post reports.

Castor, who spoke for 48 minutes, “just rambled on and on and on and didn’t really address the constitutional argument,” Cornyn said, adding that second lawyer David Schoen did a better job. Sen. Ted Cruz, another Trump ally, said he didn’t the former president’s lawyers did “the most effective job,” while lead House impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Rankin was “impressive,” the AP reports. Sen. Bill Cassidy—one of six Republicans to vote with Democrats in favor of proceeding with the trial, and the only one to flip after the previous vote on its constitutionality—told reporters that Trump’s lawyers were “disorganized” and “random,” while House impeachment managers made a “compelling, cogent case.” When asked about the criticism from Republicans, Castor said, “We had a good day.

I understand why some think this is necessary….but the final tally is already set.

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Let The Games Begin!

As Biden prepares for his ceremony crowning him as the president of the United States…..the Right has prepared to make life silly when the Congress convenes….

Remember the impeachments (notice that is plural) of Trump…well as a revenge for his loss in November there is to bring the impeachment thing up again….

A freshman GOP lawmaker wants to get the ball rolling on impeaching Joe Biden on the president-elect’s first full day in office. After President Trump was impeached for a second time Wednesday, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene told Newsmax that she plans to file articles of impeachment against Biden on Jan. 21. The Georgia lawmaker has expressed support for QAnon conspiracy theories, but she’s not planning to accuse Biden of being part of a cabal of Satan-worshipping pedophiles. Instead, she is attacking the president-elect over remarks he made in 2018 about threatening to withhold $1 billion in loan guarantees to Ukraine if prosecutor general Viktor Shokin wasn’t replaced, the Hill reports. “I’m proud to be the voice of Republican voters who have been ignored,” she tweeted.

The Obama administration called for Shokin’s firing over corruption allegations in 2015, as did the EU and the IMF. When Biden, as vice president, raised the issue with Ukrainian officials, Shokin was investigating the energy firm Burisma. Biden’s son Hunter was a board member at the time, though he was not accused of wrongdoing. “We cannot have a president of the United States who is willing to abuse the power of the office of the presidency and be easily bought off by foreign governments, foreign Chinese energy companies, Ukrainian energy companies,” said Greene, who didn’t specify what she wants to charge Biden with. Trump’s first impeachment stemmed from a call to Ukraine’s leader in which he pushed for an investigation of the Bidens.

Oh goody the games will begin and the obstruction will rage on for the next 4 years.

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Impeachment Drama (Again)

Since Americans do not seem to give a crap about things since Donald the Orange was removed from office in the 2020 election….the impeachment process that is ongoing has not generated much interests……I thought I would bring my readers up to date on the process….for the second time…..

On the House side, 10 Republicans voted with Democrats to impeach. But Senate Republicans have been sounding reluctant lately to convict after their strong initial reaction to the Capitol riot, per the New York Times. Many of the GOP senators aren’t defending Trump’s behavior so much as citing objections to the trial process, with some of them saying it’s not constitutional to convict a former president. Others have been saying a trial will be too divisive for the country. The Senate is scheduled to formally ask Trump to respond to the charge Tuesday afternoon. The trial schedule also is to be agreed to then, and senators will take an impeachment oath to carry out “impartial justice” in the case.

Now that the articles have been delivered to the Senate from the House…..the drama brings again…..

Senate Republicans voted overwhelmingly Tuesday against moving forward with Donald Trump’s historic second impeachment trial, making clear a conviction of the former president for “incitement of insurrection” is unlikely. In a 55-45 procedural vote, the Senate set aside an objection from Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul that would have declared the impeachment proceedings unconstitutional, the AP reports. That means the trial on Trump’s impeachment, the first ever of a former president, will begin as scheduled the week of Feb. 8. Democrats rejected GOP arguments that the trial is not legitimate, pointing to an 1876 impeachment of a secretary of war who had already resigned and to opinions by many legal scholars.

The senators took oaths Tuesday to ensure “impartial justice” as jurors in the trial. Yet the support of 45 Republicans for declaring the trial invalid indicates that there are long odds for Trump’s conviction, which would require the support of all Democrats and 17 Republicans, or two-thirds of the Senate. While most Republicans criticized Trump shortly after the attack, many of them have rushed to defend him in the trial, showing the former president’s enduring sway over the GOP. The Hill reports that the five Republicans who voted against declaring the proceedings unconstitutional were Sens. Mitt Romney, Lisa Murkowski, Ben Sasse, Pat Toomey, and Susan Collins.

This whole early drama shows me that this about party politics and not the Constitution……this helps make my case that the GOP is loaded with cowards and spineless politicians.

What the vote count means….

Former President Trump’s impeachment trial begins Feb. 9, but a vote Tuesday in the Senate revealed a mostly partisan split over the validity of having the trial in the first place. It was a win for the Democrats, only in that they, and five Republicans who joined them, quashed an objection by Republican Sen. Rand Paul, who insisted impeaching an ex-president would violate the Constitution. The vote that killed Paul’s objection was 55-45, but it’s a vote count the Washington Post says signals a “likely acquittal” of Trump, as 67 senators would need to agree to convict him. If a conviction does come to pass, Trump could be banned from future office with a second vote by a simple majority. The five Republican senators who joined their Democratic colleagues in the vote: Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Mitt Romney, Ben Sasse, and Pat Toomey. Reaction:

  • Agreed: Mark Meadows, the White House’s former chief of staff, aligns with the notion that this vote is a signifier of the bigger picture, per the Hill. “If today’s Senate vote is any sign, the Democrats’ ridiculous impeachment of former President Trump will fail—again—by a long shot. Dead on arrival,” he tweeted Tuesday.
  • Constitutionality: That’s the issue many Republicans are citing, and some of them met Tuesday before the vote with law professor Jonathan Turley, who testified for the GOP during Trump’s first impeachment trial. At the luncheon, per the Wall Street Journal, Turley pushed the idea that it’s unconstitutional to try a former president, and that Trump “might be best served by simply not participating in the trial.”
  • Top Dem pushes back: “The theory that the Senate can’t try former officials would amount to a constitutional ‘Get Out of Jail Free’ card for any president who commits an impeachable offense,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said in response, per NPR.
  • And another: Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin, who’s serving as one of the impeachment managers for the trial, concurs: “If we had a rule that you can’t be tried for anything that you did in your last three or four or five weeks in office, that would basically be sending an extremely dangerous signal to future presidents that they could try to incite or execute a coup or an armed insurrection against the government and say, ‘La-di-da, it’s too late to prosecute me.”
  • Historical precedence: The New York Times offers an example of when this type of impeachment trial has happened before—in 1876, when William Belknap, the secretary of war under Ulysses Grant, resigned “in tears,” but was impeached by the House soon after anyway. The Senate in that case agreed it had the jurisdiction to hear Belknap’s case, though it ended up acquitting him.
  • A crack in the firmament? An acquittal isn’t completely out of reach. GOP Sen. John Thune tells CNN, “I don’t think [this vote] binds anybody once the trial starts.” Sen. Rob Portman, meanwhile, who recently announced he won’t run for reelection, says he just wants a debate on the matter, but is similarly open: “I’ve not made my mind up. I’m a juror.”

The big point is that since Trump is no longer president he is a private citizen and cannot be impeached.

My thought is why not?

He was still president when he instigated that insurrection so he is still available for impeachment….the Senate trial should go forward.

In a real trial the judge would not allow someone that has already decided the outcome to become on a jury…..but yet it is perfectly okay for the Senate to do so.

If they have made up their mind then they should be dismissed.

Time for the Senate to start acting like lawmakers and not a pack of political twats.

But this may be an exercise in futility for the Repubs have made up their minds in advance and NO amount of evidence will change those minds.

For me this makes the entire GOP co-conspirators and should be handled as such.

Since they have made up their minds on this they should be denied committee assignments for they have proven that the rule of debate and evidence is a moot point with them.

This proves my assertion that the Senate is nothing but a club for old white guys…..that have NO interest in doing the work of the country.

They are a worthless pack and time to maybe considering a unicameral system (more on this soon) maybe then we could actually enact laws and the business of the nation.

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Second Time A Charm?

Yep it is impeachment time again.

A good place to start…..

The federal criminal code (18 USC 373) makes it a crime to solicit, command, induce or “endeavor to persuade” another person to commit a felony that includes the threat or use of physical force. Simply put, it is a crime to persuade another person, or a mob of several thousand, to commit a violent felony.

The federal criminal code makes it a crime for “two or more persons … to oppose by force the authority [of the United States] or by force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States” (18 USC 2384). That felony, including the use of force, clearly was committed by the mob after being encouraged by the president.

Now act!

After the breaching of the Capitol by protesters the Congress is taking it very seriously and is blaming the president for the instigation of violence and destruction.

For the second time in a couple of years there is a vote in the Congress to impeach the president of the United States….

There were 130 years between the first and second presidential impeachments in American history—and 13 months between the third and fourth. A majority of House members on Wednesday voted to support a a single article of impeachment charging President Trump with “incitement of insurrection,” making Trump the first president to be impeached twice, the AP reports. Roll Call points out the second impeachment differed from the first in that it had bipartisan support, with 10 Republicans, including No. 3 House Republican Rep. Liz Cheney, joining House Democrats. In Trump’s first impeachment, three Democrats broke with their party, but Democrats were unified this time. The final vote Wednesday was 232 to 197.

 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi—the first speaker to oversee two impeachment efforts—said in a floor speech before the vote that Trump is a “clear and present danger to the nation we all love.” “We know we experienced the insurrection that violated the sanctity of the people’s Capitol,” Pelosi said, per the Hill. “And we know that the president of the United States incited this insurrection, this armed rebellion, against our common country.” House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy argued that while Trump should “accept responsibility” for his role in the violence, a “vote to impeach would further divide this nation,” Politico reports. The next step will be a trial in the Senate, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he won’t bring senators back early for a trial before Trump’s term ends next week.

Why will McConnell NOT convene the SEnate for a vote?

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) office told Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer’s (D-N.Y.) staff on Wednesday that the GOP will not agree to reconvene the Senate before Jan. 19 to allow an impeachment trial while President Trump is still in office.

A senior Senate Republican aide confirmed that McConnell’s office reached out to Schumer’s office to relay the message that Republicans will not agree to a Friday session to enable House Democrats to present an article of impeachment to the Senate while Trump is in office.

McConnell said in a memo circulated to colleagues last week that the Senate will not be able to handle business on the floor until senators are scheduled to return to Washington on Jan. 19 unless all 100 senators agree to reconvene sooner.

https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/534053-mcconnell-wont-agree-to-reconvene-senate-early-for-impeachment-trial

Only mere days left int the imperial presidency and the Senate will not vote…..

Keep that in mind when they once again ask your support.

Tell them to go f*ck themselves.

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Impeachment–2021

The votes are counted and the outcome was anything but a surprise…if anything it was a bit pathetic.

What about tomorrow?

This is a bit of ‘What If” sort of thing……

My friend John of Lines by Liming…..https://linesbyliming.com/ (visit him sometime)….recently John made a comment here on IST about the possibility of an impeachment process if another person is elected……

And the possibility is there…..let’s say it is Biden that gets elected….according to Sen. Joni Ernst the retaliation will begin immediately……it will be as predicted…..a tit for tat……

“I think this door of impeachable whatever has been opened,” said Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst—and it wasn’t just a statement, but a warning. In Sunday comments to Bloomberg News, the Republican suggested that should Joe Biden end up winning the presidency, a GOP effort to impeach him in connection with the Ukraine could begin on his first day in the White House. Specifically, “for being assigned [by then-President Obama] to take on Ukrainian corruption yet turning a blind eye to Burisma because his son was on the board making over a million dollars a year,” she said.

In comments to the Des Moines Register, Biden said that Ernst’s comments—that one and ones she made earlier in the week about Biden and Trump’s impeachment—back his case that the crux of Trump’s interaction with the Ukraine was centered on the possibility of a Trump vs. Biden race. Ernst “just reinforces everything that was the reason why the president was being impeached: They very much don’t want to face me obviously,” said Biden. “I’ve never seen a sitting president and his allies this frightened about who may be the nominee.”

All this tit for tat started in earnest in the 1990s with a House controlled by the GOP and Newt….and it has been brewing ever since……

But maybe Joni should keep in mind that Impeachment begins in the House…..she is just another GOPer trying to sound like they know stuff when they can scratch their butt without asking Google for directions.

Why do the jog of governing when this type of game is so much easier and more profitable for the players?

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“lego ergo scribo”