Today was the the fourth day of former president Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial. The president’s legal team attempted to answer the arguments of the House impeachment managers, who outlined the horrific events of January 6, 2021, when a violent mob stormed the U.S. Capitol while a joint session of Congress was counting the certified electoral votes to make Democrat Joe Biden president and blamed the former president for inciting the insurrectionists.
Once again, thank you Heather! Although I watched several hours of the first three days of the impeachment proceedings, I was unwilling to watch Friday’s shenanigans. As a result, tonight’s analysis is all the more appreciated.
I just happened upon an opinion piece I think you and this community will appreciate, so I’m sharing it here.
In his 2/10/2021 tweet, David Rothkoph urges us to “Never forget the bloody Capitol insurrection. Never forget his attempt to end democracy in America. But don't forget the rest either. Each of his abuses compounds and colors and explains and worsens the others. We must never forget any of it.”
The thread in its entirety:
“Many commentators are saying that the House impeachment managers case is so compelling and that it lays out the truth so clearly, that it will become the defining legacy of the Trump presidency. And face it, a president orchestrating a deadly coup attempt is a big deal.
But is it a bigger deal than the half a million who died of COVID, hundreds of thousands of whom would have lived had Trump not put his political interests before the public health of the US? Bigger than the massive economic crisis that accompanied that public health catastrophe?
Is it bigger than the fact that Trump was a traitor who sold out the country to Russia? Bigger than the fact that he was impeached twice? Bigger than the fact he separated families and put babies in cages? Bigger than his corruption, and nepotism?
Is it more defining of Trump than his history as a rapist, a serial abuser of women, a tax fraud, a racist, a misogynist? More defining than his serial obstruction of justice and efforts to undermine the rule of law in the United States?
The answer is, of course, it does not have to be bigger than these things and we should not want it to supplant them in our memories. Trump was the totality of all his crimes and betrayals, all his character defects and all the damage he did to others.
Never forget the bloody Capitol insurrection. Never forget his attempt to end democracy in America. But don't forget the rest either. Each of his abuses compounds and colors and explains and worsens the others. We must never forget any of it.
And we must be absolutely clear that every single enabler and defender of Trump is a co-author of the tragic travesty that was his disastrous presidency. We must never forget them or their role in this either.”
Happy Lincoln's Birthday, everyone.
"It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us-that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion-that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain-that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom-and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth."
-- The Gettysburg Address, 1863
This is a Letter-to-the-Editor I have ready to send, if my worst fears are realized by the Senators' votes today: The Die is Cast
The privileged class of the US Congress has spoken. What kind of America will we be ? Republican Senators who just voted to acquit ex-president Trump have just steered our country toward the rocky reefs of an Autocracy, where their oaths of office mean nothing but the means to hold power. By their votes, they have proclaimed America no longer stands for the values and principles encoded in the lives and writings of our Founding Fathers (and Mothers) in 1787, nor the brave women and men who have fought and died for those principles and values throughout our history.
To the Republican wing of the US Senate, Facts and Truth will continue to be irrelevant. The enduring shame of it is that those Republican Senators, unlike the House Managers, had the opportunity to provide America with a "Master Class" in Democracy. THEY FAILED MISERABLY!
To add insult to injury, those who voted to acquit revealed their true cynicism and disdain for our country's values and principles when they rose and applauded the Congressional Gold Medal given to true hero and Capitol Police Officer, Eugene Goodman. Goodman represented all of the bravery and honor shown by his "blue" brothers and sisters who risked, and in one case gave, their lives in service of protecting those same Republicans who had now stained themselves and our country. This was a real, missed opportunity.
It remains to be seen how much more hate, malevolence, and cowardice will be displayed by those segments of America who just applauded that missed opportunity…. the votes to acquit Donald John Trump just cast by Republicans.
Hopefully the McCarthy/Trump phone call gains traction and is fully investigated. As for van deer Veen, he behaved like a low rent ambulance chaser. Thanks, Heather, as always, for your insight.
Thank you Heather. I appreciate your recap of the day. I wasn't able to watch the proceedings.
From what I have read, it sounded like a damning day for the GOP, but then that would hold for a not fairly well determined case. The more I hear, the more it disgusts me that the outcome may not be fact based. I continually feel like the abused spouse that goes through the motions of trying to get a protection order and getting blamed for asking for it.
I suppose we will find out soon enough if we have to look for cover from the next insurrection or not. If he isn't convicted, this Nation will pay for his Impeachment in spades.
Be safe, be well.
“Political cover to vote to acquit”
A veil so thin anyone but a Trumpista can see through it.
One can only hope that enough citizens represented by Republican senators will burn up the phone lines screaming to convict to provide the political heat, feet to the fire, to motivate enough Republican votes to preserve American democracy.
Because the preservation of American democracy is what is really at stake in this impeachment trial.
In essence the defense's case was "Ya got nuthin'" All of the evidence in the phone calls by McCarthy and Tuberville are easily verified.
What I want to know is what the hell went on down in Florida between McCarthy and Trump on Jan 28th? Did they really discuss the 2022 elections or was someone blackmailed. Guess we'll find out today.
Good morning all! HCR, I really do admire your optimism, but I doubt very much that today will be all that "interesting" unless Drumpf's lawyers are charged with perjury and obstruction and marched away to await indictment. The morally bankrupt deplorables who occupy half the Senate--and the 6 or 7 who might vote with the Dems have abetted their Capo for four long years because it suited their purposes to do so--have permanently extracted their ethics, their moral fiber, their empathy in order to promote a policy of guaranteeing (so they think) unimpeded power at all times for themselves. Whatever it takes, in their minds, is appropriate. There is a chasm between humanity and these specimens of execrable scum.
The only way that any relief can be had is through indictment. But that process, since Drumpf has padded his legal defense fund and bribed the RNC with contributions from his rabid mob of followers, will be long and complicated.
I am very very very tired of Trump and his whole revolting collection of spawn.
In contrast, Dr. Jill Biden's decision to engage in a bit of fun with dogs and hubby on the south lawn by erecting valentines everywhere--and the Prez, in his jeans and bareheaded wandering around talking to reporters, giving his coffee to one who had teased him about not bringing coffee and donuts out to them, talking with such emotion about his 14 year old pooch who was hobbling around (as old dogs do) clearly enjoying the day--is the image of February 12th I want to remember. Not the piles of excrement playing on their phones in order not to have to listen to reality and facts.
You captured the essence of a complex day of hearings. My takeaways include:
1. Trump is a runaway locomotive that will not stop until it utterly disintegrates in a rusty heap of iron. If given the opportunity, the Trump locomotive will, if momentarily blockaded, merely pause momentarily, and then head off hellbent in a new destructive direction.
2. Trump liked the presentation his attorneys presented today because it channeled his own belligerent and pugilistic style. Trump's mentors (spiritual/actual) -- former U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy (of Wisconsin) and former attorney Roy Cohn -- spoke through Trump, and through Trump's current attorneys. The message was, inevitably, ruthless and ugly.
3. Trump, even now, cares about nothing other than maintaining his base, building his base, and preparing himself for the next campaign.
4. Congressman Jamie Raskin's team of attorneys drawn from the the U.S. House, did an admirable job of presenting their case. I am eternally indebted to them for their wisdom, their clarity, and (particularly with Raskin), an engaging sense of humor.
5. I hope that Raskin, on Saturday, plays the Kevin McCarthy card. McCarthy revealed today to the general public that he had talked to Trump in the middle of the insurrection, asked Trump to call it off, at which point Trump scornfully laughed at him and terminated the conversation. CNN picked up on this exchange this afternoon. I hope it has some legs. It seems quite clear that Trump has no a commitment only to the pursuit of his next pinnacle of power.
A fact reported January 7, 2021, was that it Pence not POTUS who gave the approval for the National Guard to be activated. From the information given at the time, I was led to believe that only POTUS had the authority to activate the National Guard. The impeachment managers have skirted around the issue by saying POTUS was not on the list of people called. But it was reported that as the calls kept going out to get approval, POTUS was not answering the phone and Pence gave the order.
How sad that it’s taken this long for the R Senators to finally pay attention to the ransacking of our country. Their lives were threatened. THEIR lives. Not those of the nearly 500K who have died from Covid (barely mentioned in the news these days), not the families separated at the border, not the soldiers with Russian bounties on their heads, etc, etc. Let’s hope it’s not too little too late.
Gosh and golly. Tho old monkey wrench scenario. It’s like a Perry Mason episode. Paul Drake finds some essential evidence and the court gasps. In my best Della Street mode I am nodding my head...hoping this will make the difference to history.
My letter to Republican senators this morning:
Vote YES to Convict
Hatred. It is an uncontrollable force. You don’t take the lid off the box and stir it up for your own personal or political gain. As a person of faith, as an involved citizen, I have known and held this knowledge within my core way of being in the world.
My knowledge of this goes to my bones. You are aware of the Bataan Death March and Japanese prison camps in WW2. My father was a survivor of this 3.5 years of brutality. I guess survivor is the right word, but truthfully the psyche never recovers from witnessing and experiencing this level of unspeakable hatred and non-understandable violence.
There are many of us survivors and family of survivors who have seen and been appalled by the use of this animus by one Donald J Trump.
The Republican party’s hesitancy to call this out for what it is has allowed the monstrousness of hatred to grow into repeated attacks of mob violence.
Perhaps you didn’t know that you were enabling the president to give permission and protection to haters. But when it comes to hatred, I really advise listening to those who became experts the hard way.
Sen John McCain was experienced in two ways: one as a tortured POW, and secondly as the candidate who unleashed the unvarnished social media voice in his VP selection. His regret of this decision was humbling. He saw where it led.
The truth is now known. The events have unfolded. You are now required to remove the scales from your eyes and answer truthfully — from every level of your being — that unleashing hatred for the sake of personal political gain is wrong and will not be tolerated in the halls of government here in the United States of America.
Please do your part to stand against the destruction and division that DJT has unleashed for his own financial and populist gain. You and I know equally well that his words are not a political movement. He has used his voice to stir up a discontent that is beyond policy solutions. You know where it leads.
May God bless the souls and lives of those who have suffered. Be strong and speak for generations and generations of them today.
Whew! Please remember this:
No matter how the Senate votes, the trial convicted Trump.
Also, the trial has now permanently documented the events of 1/6 and trump's role in them. His record as a president will forever be attached to 1/6. He's ruined.
Finally, the trial will ultimately do the same for individual Republicans and the party as a whole. They have attached themselves to 1/6, the Big Lie, and domestic terror.
Have a nice day.
Yippee. I’ve never been first here. I don’t get up in the night to read these. I get up and wait for it to arrive. Addictive.
I thought the highlight of yesterday’s presentation by Trump’s defense team was that seemingly endless video of Democrats using the word “fight”. /s. When you have nothing, why not play to your audience of one in hopes that you will not be stiffed when it comes time to have your fees paid.