The old chestnut is, when the law is on your side, argue the facts; when the facts are against you, argue the law. I mention this only because as twice-impeached loser Lord Damp Nut’s lawyers are already signaling that they will be arguing the law in his impeachment trial starting tomorrow.
Tiger Beat on the Potomac (thanks Charlie!) email thingie (new!, improved!, lemon-scented! with extra gossip!):
Republicans have, for weeks now, latched onto the procedural argument that a former president cannot be impeached as a private citizen, allowing them to avoid passing judgment on Trump’s conduct.
It’s also a view that legal experts across the political spectrum have shot down. Most recently, well-known conservative lawyer Charles Cooper dunked on their position in a Sunday WSJ Op-Ed, arguing that the provision in the Constitution that allows the Senate to bar a president from running for office again “cuts against their interpretation” and “defies logic” because the president is already removed from office for this next step.
Our pals over at Electoral Vote have this to say:
What will Trump’s lawyers say?: In the their brief filed last week, Trump’s lawyers, Bruce Castor and David Schoen, suggested that their case will not rest on whether Trump did or did not incite an insurrection, but whether the trial itself is constitutional. That is probably the best argument, since the evidence clearly shows that Trump did incite an insurrection and the defense “that doesn’t matter because the trial is not legitimate” avoids having to deal with the insurrection itself. They may also argue “process,” saying that the lack of hearings in the House was mean because without them Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Trump) couldn’t furiously defend his Dear Leader. Nevertheless, the lawyers are likely going to have to address the insurrection at some point because the impeachment managers are going to put it front and center. The defense’s case, when and if they have to make it, there will be that the rioters are responsible for the riot, and no one else.
And as we noted yesterday, it looks like the Dim-o-Crats are already giving up and not going to call witnesses, Tiger Beat, again:
Several of the House impeachment managers wanted firsthand testimony to help prove their case that Trump incited the Jan. 6 riot, our sources tell us. But Senate Majority Leader CHUCK SCHUMER, Speaker NANCY PELOSI and Biden administration officials have been eager for the process to move quickly, we’re told.
It’s been a source of frustration for some Democrats privately. Trump, these people have noticed, is already on the rebound politically, at least among Republicans. The GOP base has rallied to his defense, and many Republican lawmakers who witnessed the terror of the Capitol invasion are back in Trump’s corner.
That’s why there had been talk among the managers about calling individuals who could change minds — if not the minds of 17 GOP senators needed to convict, then perhaps a slice of the GOP electorate that still supports Trump. Some of the ideas floated: having Capitol Police officers tell their stories about fighting the mob, or inviting Republican officials in Georgia who were pressured by Trump to overturn the state’s election tally.
There’s also been chatter about bringing in former White House officials who observed Trump on the day of the riots.
56% of Americans say Donald Trump should be convicted and barred from holding office again. This trial needs to be held in the court of public opinion. Get witnesses, get video, get the Mango-hued hate goblin hisself (you know, Know, KNOW his infamous gut is telling him to appear, even if his mobsters-for-clients lawyers are telling him not to. As that 56% climbs up, some of those senators will notice.
The betting windows are open, and the Quatloos are burning in your pockets, Scissorheads, I can smell it from here! Going by precedent (past performance is the best indicator of future performance) the house bets that 1) Schumer will fold on witnesses; B) Lord Damp Nut’s lawyers will argue process; and iii) The Coup Klux Klan will let Hair Füror get away with it.
UPDATE 1 – NYTimes
Chuck Schumer and amply bechinned Mitch McConnell are closing in on rules for Donald Trump’s impeachment trial:
- Up to 4 hours of debate and vote on the constitutionality of the trial on Tuesday.
- Up to 16 hours per side for presentations starting Wednesday at 12 p.m. ET.
- Impeachment managers can request a debate and vote on whether to allow witnesses.
- Working on a Sunday session. (One of the lawyers is devoutely Jewish and will not work Saturdays, and I bet some Y’all Qaeda Senator(s — looking at you, Ayatollah Ted) will demand equal treatment OR will claim discrimination. We’ll take wagers on that, too.)