If the second Trump impeachment trial has a “Witness for the Prosecution,” it is Donald Trump. The House impeachment managers have established how Trump spent months before the election, and 77 days after, spreading a big lie that the contest was rigged. The President’s followers believed him, witness words of one insurrectionist at the U.S. Capitol: “We were invited by the President of the United States.”
The impeachment managers delivered a chilling case, not only in dramatic videos but in the logic holding it together. They drove to a prediction that should cause chills: If acquitted, Trump may try an encore in 2024. “I’m not afraid of Donald Trump running in four years,” said Rep. Ted Lieu, R-Calif., “I’m afraid he’s going to run again and lose. Because he can do this again.”
A majority of Republican Senators seem intent on ducking what they know and witnessed, in memorable words of Rep. Liz Cheney: “The President of the United States summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack.” Eleven seats were vacant on the Republican side of the Senate chamber, according to the pool reporter. Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., spent Wednesday sitting in the gallery with his feet up on the seat in front, reviewing paperwork. Such indifference and cowardice of the GOP will likely rescue Trump’s political life. — a crying shame, giving the brilliance of the House team and the overpowering case they presented.
Hawley, the wannabee in waiting….
The impeachment video is a historical document, and will soon be the principle, succinct, lasting narrative of this episode. That is an achievement not to be overlooked and makes the impeachment far from a fruitless exercise.