The first week of the second impeachment trial of Donald Trump concludes today and if the United States had a functioning Republican Party the disgraced former president’s fate would be sealed in favor of conviction.
The case laid out by the Democratic impeachment managers has been concrete and undeniable. They have demonstrated that Trump incited the January 6th insurrection through his rhetoric by telling his supporters that the election had been stolen from him, that democracy itself was at stake, and then directed them towards the Capitol while the Senate was certifying the electoral count. As a result, people died and our tradition of a peaceful transfer of power between presidencies was shattered.
Unfortunately, the United States does not have a functioning Republican Party. It has a Democratic Party on one side and an anti-democratic cult of personality on the other side. Over the past four years, the GOP has abandoned all of the principles it once claimed to hold in order to embrace Donald Trump, a man with no interest in anything other than his own animal instincts. Now, Republican politicians are terrified of appearing anti-Trump because they know his unhinged base might vote them out of the office or even take violent action against them. Under this state of affairs, it seems unlikely that enough Republican senators will manifest the spine to vote to convict.
That said, the ex-president’s bumbling impeachment lawyers aren’t making the Republican imperative to acquit Trump any easier. So far they have failed to produce even one coherent argument as to why Trump shouldn’t be impeached and are instead rhetorically flailing around every time they step up to the microphone.
Today, Trump’s attorney David Schoen beclowned himself by accusing Democratic impeachment managers of “manipulating evidence.” He alleged that the managers may have created “false representations of tweets.”
His proof of this ridiculous allegation was a photograph from a New York Times article about lead impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) which shows Raskin at a computer reviewing tweets. Schoen insisted that Raskin’s screen shows Trump’s Twitter account retweeting something about January 6th. Schoen then showed blown-up versions of the screen to prove that the tweets were “doctored.” Which begs the question: who cares?
What does it matter if a photograph in a Times article showed Raskin looking at tweets that had been altered? The image of his computer screen has nothing to do with the actual impeachment trial itself. The allegedly altered tweets have not been entered into evidence on the Senate floor and Times articles are irrelevant to the proceedings. Schoen may as well have held up a random page from Sports Illustrated or Playboy. And we’re supposed to take these people seriously?
It’s frankly hilarious that a lawyer for the formerly most powerful man in the world would conduct himself this way during a trial. When Trump sends his lawyers he’s not sending his best. He’s sending people without a clue as to how to conduct this case. They’re bringing stupid arguments. They’re bringing unrelated photographs. And some, I assume, are good people.
Schoen accuses House managers of presenting “manipulated evidence” — but his evidence for this is a photo from a New York Times piece that is in no way central to the case and wasn’t even presented during the trial pic.twitter.com/EGVedolQvd
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) February 12, 2021
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