Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Senate Banana Republicans Will Let Trump Go Free, And In The Process, Damage Themselves

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, February 8, 2021

Banana Republicans in the United States Senate do NOT, and will NOT need, “smoking gun evidence” to convict Donald Trump of Insurrection, because in their warped imaginations, he did nothing wrong.

Those feckless individuals have not merely bowed the knee to Trump, or fallen prostate at his feet to lick his boots and the ground he walks upon, but by so doing, they have unambiguously signaled that they are not merely corrupted, but are traitorously and treasonously aligned, as well.

Allan Lichtman

Their fealty, their loyalty, their oath, though it may have appeared so, is NOT to the Constitution, but to some other nation, some other government, one that is NOT the United States of America – The Cult of Trump.

The benighted Moscow Mitch McConnell and his equally benighted Kooky Kentucky Klown pal Rand Paul are still up to no good.

Here Is The Smoking Gun Evidence To Back Impeachment Of Donald Trump

By Dr. Allan Lichtman, PhD, opinion contributor
02/08/21 10:00 AM EST

Allan Lichtman is a Distinguished Professor of History at American University, and an election forecaster. He is the author of “The Embattled Vote in America: From the Founding to the Present.” He tweets @AllanLichtman.

While the House impeachment managers have focused on events leading up to the Capitol breach, it was the real time response from Donald Trump to the rioters which yields smoking gun evidence of his intent to incite the insurrection. Trump failed to promptly call off his followers or to summon timely assistance for the police, despite pleas from his fellow Republicans caught up in the mayhem. His final words that day connect his incendiary statements about a “stolen election” to the storming of the Capitol.

As he watched the insurrection unfold on television, with some delight according to witnesses, Trump made no immediate demand that the rioters leave the Capitol. He failed to heed the pleas of Republicans in Congress, who desperately tried to call him with no response. “We are begging essentially, and he was nowhere to be found,” Representative Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio said. We know Trump did call Senator Tommy Tuberville of Alabama after mistakenly dialing Senator Mike Lee of Utah. Trump called Tuberville not to ask about his safety or to offer assistance, but to discuss a strategy for objecting to the count of electoral votes.

When rioters breached the Capitol in full view of cameras, Trump did not appear on television to denounce them or tell his followers to cease and desist. Instead, he stoked the incitement with a tweet to attack his vice president and double down on claims about a stolen election. He wrote, “Mike Pence did not have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our country and our Constitution, giving states a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones.”

Trump later sent a tweet in the passive voice, “Stay peaceful!” He sent a similar message more than half an hour later. He still had not appeared in person on any medium at this point. Trump eventually released a video that told his supporters, “You have to go home now.” But he prefaced that with another incitement, “I know your pain. I know you are hurt. We had an election that was stolen from us. It was a landslide election and everyone knows it.” He praised the rioters, “We love you. You are very special.”

However, the smoking gun tweet came that evening but was later deleted. Trump wrote, “These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously and viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly and unfairly treated for so long. Go home with love and in peace. Remember this day forever!”

Trump admitted in his own words that violent protest was a likely moment of grievances over an election that thwarted the will of his supporters. But it was Trump himself who ginned up these grievances for two months with a drumbeat of lies about the election that culminated in the fiery rhetoric of his rally. In his tweet, Trump further assured rioters with love that they had acted as patriots rather than insurrectionists. Their storming of the Capitol, he implied, should be forever cherished instead of reviled.

The rioters themselves understood they were summoned by him. Video of the mayhem shows them shouting at the police their claims of legitimacy, “We were invited by the president of the United States.” The Trump loyalist Jenna Ryan declared after the Capitol breach, “We were going in solidarity with President Trump. This was our way of going and stopping the steal.” Meanwhile, Trump has yet to acknowledge the victory of Joe Biden or to retract his claims of a landslide win snatched away by massive fraud.


There’s No Constitutional Question: The Senate Can Try Trump

By Allan J. Lichtman
New York Daily News
Feb 08, 2021 at 4:00 PM

Senate Republicans, unwilling to confront the substantive charges against Donald Trump, are claiming that the Constitution prohibits the trial of a former president. They are wrong. In addition to the vote already taken this year, the Senate previously affirmed in 1876 the constitutionality of trying an official who has left office, the former secretary of war, William W. Belknap, an appointee of Republican President Ulysses S. Grant. The Senate provided further precedent in the little-known trial of former federal judge West H. Humphreys in 1862.

In 1876, Belknap presented to the Senate a stronger case than Donald Trump that the Constitution barred his impeachment trial. Belknap insisted on exemption from coverage under the Constitution’s impeachment clauses because he had resigned his office, not just before trial, but before impeachment (Trump, of course, was impeached while still president). By a bipartisan vote of 37 to 29, senators rejected his claim and voted to uphold constitutional jurisdiction. Without jurisdiction, said Democratic Sen. Thomas Bayard of Delaware, we should add to the Constitution, “provided the party accused is willing to be impeached.” A dozen Republicans joined opposition party Democrats in voting for jurisdiction.

In upholding Belknap’s impeachment and trial, senators turned to an 1846 analysis by the erudite former president, John Quincy Adams, who noted that the Constitution imposed two distinct punishments for Senate consideration, and that second penalty of barring future office-holding is “a punishment much greater than removal from office. It clings to a man as long as he lives.” Adams shouldered responsibility for his own conduct as a former president. “I hold myself, so long as I have the breath of life in my body, amenable to impeachment by this House for anything I did during the time I held any public office.”

The Senate voted closely along party lines, 37 to 25, for convicting Belknap, falling short of the necessary two-thirds. All Democrats but one voted for conviction and Republicans split 15 guilty and 24 not guilty. Despite the earlier affirmative vote on jurisdiction, 23 of the 24 Republican not-guilty voters claimed constitutional justification, not Belknap’s innocence, for their decision.

This technical justification meant that “a civil officer may be corrupt in his office, and escape the penalty fixed by the Constitution by hastening to resign as soon as his deeds are disclosed,” the New York Times observed. “The framers of the Constitution,” the editorial added, “would have regarded such a result with regret and humiliation, were they living to witness it.” Two dozen senators instead “ma[d]e up their minds to give us a wholly new version of the Constitution.”

That’s not the end of the matter. After southern secession, many U.S. officials resigned to join the Confederate government. West H. Humphreys, a federal district court judge in Tennessee, abandoned his position to assume appointment as a judge in the Confederacy, but did not formally resign. In 1862, the U.S. House impeached Humphreys and the Senate convicted him, brushing aside the question of whether by accepting a Confederate appointment he had in effect abandoned his federal judgeship and was no longer a U.S. official.

During the trial, senators debated whether removal from office and prohibition from future office-holding were distinct issues requiring separate votes. Republican Sen. Jacob Collamer of Vermont argued for severability. “Let the first be decided as it may. That is the criterion; that, if after you have voted ‘yea’ or ‘nay’ upon the first article of division, there is still a question to be decided.”

The presiding officer, president pro-tempore, Republican Solomon Foot of Vermont, agreed. “In the judgment of the chair these are separate and divisible propositions,” he ruled without objection. The Senate then proceeded by unanimous vote to bar Humphreys from holding any future federal office. He became the first U.S. official to suffer to this second constitutional penalty.

Republicans have a crucial choice to make in the trial of Donald Trump. They can decide, like Republicans with Belknap in 1876, to wash away Trump’s misdeeds on a dubious, rejected interpretation of the Constitution. Or they can vote their conscience on whether the House’s allegation of incitement of insurrection arises to a high crime and misdemeanor. They then must decide whether to bar him from life from holding federal office, a much more relevant vote than in the case of the traitorous Humphreys, who had no hope of ever again serving in the government of the United States.

Lichtman is a history professor at American University.

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