Trump Impeachment #2 Trial

Go4Broke

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Lead House impeachment manager says their case is "based on cold, hard facts"

Senate TV
Senate TV

As part of his opening remarks in the Senate impeachment trial, lead impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Raskin showed footage from the day pro-Trump rioters stormed the US Capitol building.

Videos from the deadly attack were interweaved with footage of President Trump addressing a rally of supporters just moments before the surge.

"We fight like hell," President Trump is heard saying at the rally. "We're going to the Capitol," he said at another point.

Videos from the Capitol showed supporters clashing with police and scaling the building's walls before breaching the doors of the Capitol. Footage from inside the Capitol showed members of Congress evacuating before rioters stormed the Senate floor and members' offices. One video showed the moment was rioter was shot and killed.
 
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Go4Broke

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Katie Benner
Department of Justice Reporter

While some lawmakers have argued about whether Trump broke the law, the Democrats in their impeachment papers emphasized that an impeachable offense does not have to violate the criminal code. They noted that impeachable offenses are political acts that are an attack on society and democracy. “Whether President Trump’s conduct violated the criminal law is a question for prosecutors and courts; ‘offenses against the Constitution are different than offenses against the criminal code.’”
 
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Some guy

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Both of these speakers sound smarter than the people last time TBH
 

Go4Broke

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  • Maggie Haberman
    White House Correspondent
    Carl, the lack of interest in witnesses is striking, particularly as the Trump legal team attempts to revise history by claiming he wasn’t enjoying watching the mob take over the Capitol and delay certification of the electoral college votes, and that he moved swiftly to intercede. Neither of those claims is true.
    12:53 PM ET
  • Carl Hulse
    Carl Hulse
    Chief Washington correspondent
    Witnesses would be very time consuming, requiring depositions, and could open the door to a very long process. Democrats definitely don’t want that. They think their case is self-evident and that the senators who are sitting in judgment were witnesses themselves to what happened. That is their approach.
  • Another reason they want to move fast is that the trial is coming at the start of Mr. Biden’s tenure and immediately after Democrats won control of the Senate. Democrats are very sensitive to the idea that moving forward is sapping some of their legislative momentum and running counter to the Biden theme of unity.
 

Go4Broke

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Charlie Savage
Washington Correspondent

Here’s the letter from over 170 legal scholars, arguing that a Senate trial of officials who have left office is lawful. It is signed by some well-known conservatives like Steve Calabresi (co-founder of the Federalist Society, whom Neguse just mentioned) along with Charles Fried (Reagan’s solicitor general), and prominent constitutional scholars like Laurence Tribe and Martha Minow.
Constitutional Law Scholars on Impeaching Former Officers, January 21, 2021 (via Politico)

Carl Hulse
Chief Washington correspondent

Neguse drawing in the Federalist Society, the conservative legal organization that carries a lot of weight with Republicans. The group was instrumental in vetting and promoting the more than 200 conservative judges that Republicans placed on the federal courts between 2017 and 2020.
1:54 PM ET


Alan Rappeport
Economic Policy Reporter

Raskin suggests that the rules of impeachment were written precisely for cases such as this: “President Trump may not know a lot about the framers, but they sure knew a lot about him,”
1:42 PM ET


  • Maggie Haberman
    White House Correspondent
    The case of William Belknap is now being discussed.
  • Belknap, the war secretary under President Ulysses S. Grant, was accused of corruption. He rushed to the White House to submit his resignation minutes before the House impeached him. Lawmakers proceeded anyway and the Senate went ahead and put him on trial, although it acquitted him.
    1:49 PM ET
 
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Go4Broke

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Katie Benner
Department of Justice Reporter

Neguse’s emphasis that prominent conservative legal scholars believe that Trump can be impeached does a couple of things. It casts Trump, his legal team and the Republican senators who support them as out of step with mainstream conservatism. In turn, it underscores the G.O.P.’s current struggle to wrest itself from Trump’s grip. That means not just rejecting Trump’s America First outlook, but also Trumpism – his belief that facts and accountability literally do not matter; his embrace of conspiracy theories; and his willingness to support violence in order to maintain power.
 

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  • Maggie Haberman
    White House Correspondent
    The argument being made right now underscores that Trump’s legal team could not get away with making these arguments in a court of law.
  • Neguse says, “Like every one of you, I was in the Capitol on Jan. 6.”
    “What you experienced that day, what we experienced that day, what our country experienced that day, is the framers’ worst nightmare come to life,” he says. “Presidents can’t inflame insurrection in their final weeks and then walk away like nothing happened. And yet,” he says, that’s what Trump “asks you to adopt.”
    2:12 PM ET
 

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  • Carl Hulse
    Chief Washington correspondent
    This is David Cicilline from Rhode Island as the third Democratic manager. He is the former mayor of Providence.
    2:13 PM ET
  • Alan Rappeport
    Alan Rappeport
    Economic Policy Reporter
    Our colleague Zach Montague reported last month that Cicilline has been a member of the Judiciary Committee since 2014. A former public defender, he has made a name for himself in Congress for scrutinizing big technology companies.
    David Cicilline: Impeachment Manager Has Already Taken on Big Tech
    David Cicilline: Impeachment Manager Has Already Taken on Big Tech
    2:13 PM ET
  • Carl Hulse
    Carl Hulse
    Chief Washington correspondent
    Cicilline hitting a theme that many members of Congress share – the assault on the Capitol could have been far worse and that many deaths of lawmakers and police officers and extensive damage were only narrowly avoided.
    2:15 PM ET
  • Maggie Haberman
    Maggie Haberman
    White House Correspondent
    Cicilline is also hitting again at the 6 p.m. tweet from Trump telling his supporters, “Remember this day forever.”
    2:16 PM ET

  • Charlie Savage
    Washington Correspondent
    Cicilline argues that Trump’s incendiary remarks have to be interpreted in the context of what he said and did leading up to Jan. 6, and then what he said as the riot was underway (including attacking Pence as the mob was hunting for him). He says it is not the same as a politician saying “let’s fight harder” in generic contexts.
    Incitement to Riot? What Trump Told Supporters Before Mob Stormed Capitol
    Incitement to Riot? What Trump Told Supporters Before Mob Stormed Capitol
  • Cicilline asks: Does anyone really believe that the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol would have happened, but for the actions of Trump?
    2:31 PM ET
  • Carl Hulse
    Carl Hulse
    Chief Washington correspondent
    Representative Cicilline notes that the impeachment vote in the House was bipartisan with 10 Republicans voting for the one count. They have faced significant political blowback but have also reaffirmed that they thought they did the right thing.
    2:33 PM ET
 
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Broke updating..... Broke.
 

Go4Broke

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Charlie Savage
Washington Correspondent

Bruce Castor, who is speaking now, is most famous for refusing to prosecute Bill Cosby, and continuing to defend that decision. The Cosby defense team called him as a witness when they tried to overturn his successor’s decision to charge Cosby.
Who Are David Schoen and Bruce Castor, Trump’s Impeachment Trial Lawyers?
Who Are David Schoen and Bruce Castor, Trump’s Impeachment Trial Lawyers?

Alan Rappeport
Economic Policy Reporter

This could be a good time to remind people that Trump had a difficult time cobbling a legal team together for these proceedings.
3:15 PM ET


Charlie Savage
Washington Correspondent

The outcome is foreordained by the math of who are the 100 senators. Still will some of the Senate Republicans who are naturally tempted to take refuge in the position that there is no jurisdiction (due to their desire to not face primary challenges by Trump supporters but also to appeal to moderates in their states) be shamed out of it?
3:11 PM ET
 
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Go4Broke

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  • Carl Hulse
    Chief Washington correspondent
    First mention of Everett Dirksen, the former Senate Republican leader and orator from Illinois. Castor notes he had an unforgettable voice, which I can attest to as a native Illinoisian.
  • Like Dirsken’s style, this seems like a long windup from Castor.
    3:12 PM ET
  • Charlie Savage
    Charlie Savage
    Washington Correspondent
    They have, what two hours to fill? Not going to be showing much dramatic video. And they don’t want to not use their time, which could suggest they don’t have much to say.
    3:14 PM ET

 
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Some guy

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I don’t care what side you are on. You could be communist, nazi, Republican, democrat, anarchist, etc

This is one of the worst speeches in the history of American politics
 

Go4Broke

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  • Katie Benner
    Department of Justice Reporter
    It’s notable that we’re well into the Trump defense, and we have not heard any defense of Trump.
    3:17 PM ET
  • Maggie Haberman
    Maggie Haberman
    White House Correspondent
    I’ll say it - I’m having trouble following his argument.
    3:18 PM ET
  • Charlie Savage
    Charlie Savage
    Washington Correspondent
    This is a very meandering ramble. I can extract from it only the theme that the the Senate should be calm and rational.
    3:18 PM ET
  • Carl Hulse
    Carl Hulse
    Chief Washington correspondent
    Maggie, if Trump is watching, what is he thinking right now?
    3:18 PM ET
  • Maggie Haberman
    Maggie Haberman
    White House Correspondent
    Carl, there is a non-zero chance that Trump isn’t happy with this languid manner that Castor has.
  • I’m eager to see how David Schoen, Trump’s other main lawyer, compares to Castor.
    3:20 PM ET

  • Carl Hulse
    Chief Washington correspondent
    Yes, I would presume the president would want a very aggressive defense and destruction of the House case.
    3:20 PM ET
  • Charlie Savage
    Charlie Savage
    Washington Correspondent
    I spoke at length with Schoen over the past few days as I worked on that profile of the two of them. (Castor didn’t call me back.) The two of them have never worked together before Trump randomly threw them together. They are a very odd bedfellows pair.
    3:21 PM ET
  • Maggie Haberman
    Maggie Haberman
    White House Correspondent
    Carl, even if the words themselves were not dismantling of the House case, Trump tends to like his defenders to have more energy than this.
    3:21 PM ET
  • Katie Benner
    Katie Benner
    Department of Justice Reporter
    So far we are not even getting an acknowledgment of the existence of the House case.
    3:21 PM ET
  • Maggie Haberman
    Maggie Haberman
    White House Correspondent
    He has talked about himself….a lot.
  • Trump and his allies are counting on the idea that Republican senators mostly won’t break with Trump. Because this defense is likely not what they’re counting on to convince Republicans that the House argument is not valid.
    3:23 PM ET

Charlie Savage
Washington Correspondent

Schoen is an extremely accomplished civil rights and criminal defense lawyer who has worked on numerous very interesting cases over the past few decades. I am surprised that Castor is going first here. Maybe they are saving Schoen for the main event, tomorrow.
 

saintpaulguy

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I don’t care what side you are on. You could be communist, nazi, Republican, democrat, anarchist, etc

This is one of the worst speeches in the history of American politics
He's trying to set up a First Amendment defense, with a bonus of buttering up every Senator with a vanity appeal.
It's also boring AF.
 

Some guy

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He's trying to set up a First Amendment defense, with a bonus of buttering up every Senator with a vanity appeal.
It's also boring AF.
He sounds like an 8th grader

just say random statements and hope you win
 

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  • Maggie Haberman
    White House Correspondent
    Castor is now making an argument that was made during Trump’s first impeachment, that the process is becoming partisan in nature.
    3:28 PM ET
  • Katie Benner
    Katie Benner
    Department of Justice Reporter
    Castor used the idea that Trump himself is not named in the charging documents against those charged as part of the Capitol assault investigation as a way to defend him — that Trump can’t be held responsible for the things that other people do after he speaks.
    3:28 PM ET
  • Maggie Haberman
    Maggie Haberman
    White House Correspondent
    “Now most of us have lived through three” impeachments, he says, including the Bill Clinton impeachment trial.
    3:29 PM ET
  • Carl Hulse
    Carl Hulse
    Chief Washington correspondent
    The “political pendulum will shift one day” seems to be a warning to Democrats that Republicans will seek revenge when they are in power.
    3:29 PM ET
  • Charlie Savage
    Charlie Savage
    Washington Correspondent
    Aha, a point for all that rambling about how Senators should be calm and reflective: he’s saying we’re on a slippery slope to routine partisan impeachments.

Katie Benner
Department of Justice Reporter

Of course, Raskin has already said that a high crime or misdemeanor need not violate the U.S. criminal code.
3:29 PM ET
 

Go4Broke

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Carl Hulse
Chief Washington correspondent

I’m reminded by this presentation that the filibuster is a favorite tool of the Senate.
3:38 PM ET


Charlie Savage
Washington Correspondent

Castor is making an argument for why senators should vote to acquit Trump – saying the wording of the impeachment charge is flawed – which is the topic for tomorrow. Today is supposed to be about why there is no Senate trial jurisdiction over former officials; if that is true, then the wording of the charge doesn’t matter.
3:42 PM ET
 

Go4Broke

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Charlie Savage
Washington Correspondent

Castor wrapped up by selectively (mis)quoting the constitution, emphasizing that it says “Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office” – what’s so hard to understand about that sentence and the fact that Trump is not in office. Of course, that sentence actually keeps going with another potential consequence that is not moot for an ex-official: “and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States.”
3:54 PM ET


  • Carl Hulse
    Chief Washington correspondent
    As Castor wraps up, I have to say that didn’t feel all that persuasive on the constitutionality question.
    3:52 PM ET
  • Maggie Haberman
    Maggie Haberman
    White House Correspondent
    Why no, Carl, it did not. Or really any question.
  • Schoen begins with more energy than Castor did.
 
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