Saturday, February 13, 2021

Spineless Democrats Cave, Suddenly Surrendering To Republicans And Refusing To Call Witnesses Immediately After Winning A Vote In Favour Of Witnesses; Trial Sputters To An End, With Trump Acquitted 57-43 (Only Seven Republicans Vote To Convict)

In the end, Democrats will always Democrat.

After securing a vote on Saturday to call witnesses (55-45) in the second impeachment trial of former president Donald Trump, the House managers executed a "head-spinning" U-turn, backing down and agreeing with Republicans to not have any witness testimony.

Shortly thereafter, the Senate voted 57-43 to acquit Trump on the charge of inciting the January 6, 2021, insurrection at the US Capitol building. (Still, even without a conviction, it was the most bipartisan vote in favor of convicting a president at an impeachment trial in US history.)

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said: "There's no question — none — that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day. . . . [Trump's supporters committed the assault] because they had been fed wild falsehoods by the most powerful man on Earth, because he was angry he lost an election." . . . The two-faced McConnell, in sharp contradiction to those words, voted to acquit Trump. 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke out against "a cowardly group of Republicans who . . . were afraid to defend their job, respect the institution in which they serve. What is so important about any one of us? What is so important about the political survival of any one of us than the Constitution we have sworn to protect and defend?" . . . She could have easily been addressing herself and her own party.
While additional testimony would not have changed any Trumpist's vote (their minds were set in concrete well before the Capitol attack even happened), witnesses could have provided essential details — on the record and to the American people — about what law enforcement saw and heard that day,  what Trump did after his speech encouraging the mob to attack the Capitol (and the members certifying the electoral votes), how gleeful and excited Trump was as he watched the scenes of violence on television, and what actions he took (or refused to take) as the attack continued.

Instead, the gutless Democrats were reportedly suddenly concerned that having witnesses (which they had just finished fighting for!) would take too much time. So, in the end, despite all their talk of the threat to the republic, their main goal was to get this whole thing over with as soon as possible.
Only seven Republican Senators joined the 50 Democrats in voting for conviction: Richard Burr (North Carolina), Bill Cassidy (Louisiana), Susan Collins (Maine), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Mitt Romney (Utah), Ben Sasse (Nebraska) and Pat Toomey (Pennsylvania).

The New York Times:
Minutes after the verdict was announced, Mr. Trump sent out a statement thanking his legal team and decrying, as he did for most of his presidency, the "witch hunt" he says is being waged upon him by his enemies.

"It is a sad commentary on our times that one political party in America 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," he wrote, echoing the final arguments of his lawyers in the Senate on Saturday.

"I always have, and always will, be a champion for the unwavering rule of law, the heroes of law enforcement, and the right of Americans to peacefully and honorably debate the issues of the day without malice and without hate."

He also suggested that the Democrats' attempt to end his political career had also failed, telling his supporters, "our historic, patriotic and beautiful movement to Make America Great Again has only just begun."
Trump's "pro bono" lawyers continued their emulation of their profoundly stupid client to the bitter end, mispronouncing words (Philly-adelphia) and exhibiting no understanding of how Senate trials work (their threat to issue subpoenas was met by loud laughter from (reportedly) both sides) or the difference between a Senate impeachment trial and a civil criminal trial.

They also spewed a constant stream of lies, projections, and contradictions, stating that Trump was not granted a fair trial (Neguse's rebuttal: "You can't claim there's no due process when you won't participate in the process"), charging the House was withholding evidence when they were the ones refusing to allow their client to give testimony, claiming if Trump was so dangerous, the Senate should have held the trial in January (ignoring the fact Mitch McConnell colluded with Trump to ensure that did not happen), and admitting there was a violent insurrection on January 6 after claiming "clearly, there was no insurrection".

After the Acquittal, McConnell (R-Asshat) Repeated The January-Trial Lie


But, wait . . .

In a surprise twist on Saturday, the House managers made an abrupt demand to hear from witnesses who could testify to what Mr. Trump was doing and saying during the rampage. The Senate voted to allow it, but the prospect threatened to prolong the trial by days or weeks without changing the outcome, and in a head-spinning move, the prosecutors quickly dropped it.

After a flurry of closed-door haggling with Republicans, they agreed with Mr. Trump’s lawyers to admit as evidence a written statement by a Republican congresswoman, Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington, who has said she was told that the former president sided with the mob as rioters were attacking the Capitol.

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