Some Trial, Part Two

The impeachment trial is over, and seven Republicans voted with the Democrats to convict — Sens. Susan Collins, Bill Cassidy, Richard Burr, Lisa Murkowski, Mitt Romney, Ben Sasse, and Pat Toomey. Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough. But I still say this is going to hurt the Republican Party, long term, more than it will hurt Democrats.

And there will be criminal trials ahead for Trump. District Attorney Fani Willis of Fulton County, Georgia, is looking into election fraud charges, for example. Possible civil and criminal charges could come out of New York. Just today, the Wall Street Journal reported that New York state prosecutors are investigating more than $250 million in loans Trump took out on some of his best-known Manhattan properties.

I’m sorry the Dems changed their minds about calling witnesses. David Kurtz at TPM:

Dems seemed to have seized the advantage, backed by five GOP senators, to present at least some witnesses in the second impeachment trial of Donald Trump. The fierce reaction of GOP senators to what House impeachment managers and Dem senators wanted to do testified to the the advantage Dems had taken hold of.

But just as quickly, House managers and Senate Dems entered into an agreement whereby Trump was willing to stipulate to what Rep. Herrera Beutler’s statement would be. As a result, there will be no witnesses, no documentary evidence, and no real trial.

It’s possible there’s more to this we don’t yet know about. Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler is, of course, the Republican who testified that Kevin McCarthy had described to her the phone call in which McCarthy had begged Trump to stop the riot, and Trump replied that the mob was “more upset about the election than you are.”

There’s also this:

A former Pence staffer tells CNN that on January 6, then-national security adviser Robert O’Brien was traveling. His deputy at the time, Matt Pottinger, and Gen. Keith Kellogg, Pence’s national security adviser, were both at the White House on the day of the rally and riot. Kellogg confirmed to CNN that he was in the Oval Office with Trump and the President’s children as the riot was raging, during which Pence was forced to flee the Senate chamber.
During the riot, Kellogg was in communication with Pence through the vice president’s staff, which was communicating back to the White House and getting that information to Kellogg, who was with Trump.
“Kellogg was Pence’s national security adviser, so of course they knew exactly what the circumstance was,” said the former Pence staffer.

My impression is that Pence and his former staffers were not willing to testify. How pathetic is that? And how pathetic is is that most Republicans are unwilling to stand up even after they might have been killed?

There’s a must-read at Pro Publica, “I Don’t Trust the People Above Me”: Riot Squad Cops Open Up About Disastrous Response to Capitol Insurrection by Joaquin Sapien and Joshua Kaplan. The writers interviewed police who defended the Capitol. Do read the whole thing. I want to call out a couple of bits.

The interviews also revealed officers’ concerns about disparities in the way the force prepared for Black Lives Matter demonstrations versus the pro-Trump protests on Jan. 6. Officers said the Capitol Police force usually plans intensively for protests, even if they are deemed unlikely to grow violent. Officers said they spent weeks working 12- or 16-hour days, poised to fight off a riot, after George Floyd was killed by Minneapolis police — even though intelligence suggested there was not much danger from protesters.

“We had intel that nothing was going to happen — literally nothing,” said one former official with direct knowledge of planning for the Black Lives Matter demonstrations. “The response was, ‘We don’t trust the intel.’”

By contrast, for much of the force, Jan. 6 began like any other day.

“We normally have pretty good information regarding where these people are and how far they are from the Capitol,” said Keith McFaden, a former Capitol Police officer and union leader who retired from the force following the riot. “We heard nothing that day.”

We know there was intelligence; it just wan’t acted on, or passed on. How much of this was from Trump operatives supressing the intelligence, or how much of it was from the old double standard that says only Black/leftist demonstrations are “mobs” or “rioters,” I do not know. But then there’s this:

On the morning of Jan. 4, members of a civil disturbance unit gathered in a briefing room. A small group of officers were shown a document from Capitol intelligence officials that projected as many as 20,000 people arriving in Washington that week. The crowd would include members of several militia and right-wing extremist groups, including the Proud Boys, the Boogaloo Bois and the white supremacist Patriot Front. Some were expected to be armed, according to one officer who attended the briefing. The document anticipated that there could be violence.

For some reason, this information didn’t leave the room and was not shared with other officers.

At lot of details like this:

One officer in the middle of the scrum, a combat veteran, thought the rioters were so vicious, so relentless, that they seemed fueled by methamphetamine. To his left, he watched a chunk of steel strike a fellow officer above the eye, setting off a geyser of blood. A pepper ball tore through the air over his shoulder and exploded against the jaw of a man in front of him. The round, filled with chemical irritant, ripped the rioter’s face open. His teeth were now visible through a hole in his cheek. Blood poured out, puddling on the pavement surrounding the building. But the man kept coming.

So now the Senate has effectively given future losing candidates permission to attempt a coup.

Politico is reporting that Lindsey Graham will be meeting with Trump to talk about the future of the GOP. If those two represent the future of the GOP, we’re all in for a buttload of hurt.  I take it Miz Lindsey will be trying to get Trump to be a better team player. Good luck with that.

Unfortunately, the impeachment was not widely watched, according to CNN business. We cannot let this drop. I agree with David Atkins that there must be House investigations of the attack on the Capitol and Trump’s role in it.

There is still so much that we don’t know about the President’s actions in the lead-up to and the events of January 6th. We don’t know exactly what he knew about how violent it would become. We don’t know exactly why he and his appointees refused to allow more help to the Capitol Police both before the insurrection and during the sacking the Capitol. We don’t know the details of what he said on the phone with legislators before, during and afterward. And crucially we don’t know the timeline of exactly what Trump did, hour by hour, in consultation with his closest aides. … The House must initiate investigations, making liberal use of its subpoena power to force witnesses to Trump’s behavior and state of mind to go on the public record.

Trump, and Trumpism, must be destroyed.

Pro-Trump protesters storm into the U.S. Capitol during clashes with police, during a rally to contest the certification of the 2020 U.S. presidential election results by the U.S. Congress, in Washington, U.S, January 6, 2021. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton – RC2P2L9YHHVX

17 thoughts on “Some Trial, Part Two

  1. I'm concerned about one cabinet position in particular – Attorney General. We haven't even started hearings. No one knows where Garland stands on prosecution for crimes in the previous admin, but nobody in the DOJ can (or should) set policy about that until he shows up. So a big deal is in a holding pattern. Getting the statement introduced that Trump told McCarthy (essentially) that he wasn't calling off the dogs is crucial for history – the direct testimony would have changed zero minds. The only shot we ever had for conviction was a secret ballot. 

    The GOP is trying to save the party Trump took to destruction. Nobody in the GOP ever discouraged the lies from Limbaugh or Fox. Now the majority of delusional Republican voters have signed on to the big lie. Trump won't ever repudiate the big lie. Most Senators will try to thread the needle of "not sure" if the election was rigged and acquittal by technicality. 

    Agreed, we need House investigations, and I want a Grand Jury convened with federal subpoena power. Was Trump behind the Pentagon decision to freeze the National Guard out of DC? Was there coordination between the WH and the Proud Boys? Did insurrection tours on the 5th happen? If so, who conducted them? Was there a link between Ted Cruz and some of the rioters? This can't BEGIN until Garland is in his office!

    I'd like to see a class-action suit for every member of the Capitol Police who was on duty for the riot. Emotional trauma, or whatever the legal term is. Medical insurance won't compensate for the PTSD they are experiencing – it's bad enough two cops have suicided. But the big win of that suit is that it's from and for a group who has been made 'heros' by both sides. They have credibility with voters. An attack by Trump on cops will hurt Trump with cops nationwide. And the first move from Trump if a suit is even mentioned is to attack them. Trump has STILL not expressed his condolences to the Officer Sicknick family. This is potentially huge in terms of demonstrating Trump's character.

  2. As for the decision not to call for witnesses, the reason given by Rep. Raskin (D – Hero) at the press gathering after today's trial, was that tRUMP's 3rd-string legal-clowns threatened to call 100 witnesses themselves – beginning with SotH Pelosi.

    And it's not like the House prosecutors were worried about Pelosi being called – because she would have tied tRUMP's legal lumps into human knots – it's that any call for witnesses would turn their already excellent case into an absolute circus, populated with freaks.

    And knowing Half-Man/Half-Turtle Mitch's familiarity with circuses and freaks, the House prosecutors decided to stick with what they already had.  IMO, a wise move.

    And Raskin further added that they all knew that no matter how many witnesses they called, they wouldn't get even one more vote to convict – so why waste everyone's time?  The Covid relief bill was the priority!

    And so, yeah, the result was ok: We got the most bipartisan impeachment, and conviction total, in history. 

    But in the end, tRUMP was acquited.

    And so now, like in a great serial-killer novel, or monster comicbook, or a shark attack beach flick, all seems to be finished.

    It's quiet.

    Too quiet?

    In the book, comic, or flick, the source of evil – be it man, monster, or beast – seems to be defeated.  Dead.

    But in truth, the killer, monster, or beast, is just gathering its resources, getting ready for its next ATTACKATTACKATTACKATTACK!!!!!!!!!!

    AAAAAAAAARGH!!!!

    tRUMP STILL LIVES!!!!!!!!!

    We can't rest.

    Ever…

     

  3. From what I've read of the witness fiasco, despite appearances, the Dems got as much as they could out of the Rs, no more Rs were ever going to vote to convict, and it is important to get moving on Biden's agenda.  Two years is going to fly by fast.

    I'm sure all the other prosecutions awaiting Trump have been on hold until the impeachment finished. These other legal arenas aren't going to be so forgiving.

    • Not to split hairs, but primary season starts in a year. The Republicans in the House have to hug Trump so tight… a very unsanitary metaphor comes to mind. Or they get primaried. That means the GOP will have a FULL menu of bat-shit crazy Q-blabbin' loonies on their side. 

      The GOP is bleeding voters. They are re-registering as independents. The flippin' Chamber of Commerce is opening their wallet to Democrats. Deep-pocket special interests are going cold on the party of insurrection. (IMO, that's where McConnell got religion and blasted Trump.) Traditional Republicans may run against the Q-cultist splitting the vote. I see the potential to pick up seats in the House and the Senate in 2022. 

      Biden has to score a TD on Covid and demonstrate improvement on the economy. He knows it, so there may have been pressure today to shut down the trial and move on real business. 

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    • Two years is going to fly by fast.

      Really, less than two years. It's only 21 months until Election Day, but the campaigns will be starting long before then. I think President Biden made a terrible mistake promising that "$2,000 checks will be going out immediately." He's in denial about how obstructive the Republicans are going to be, but he should have known that funds have to be appropriated before the checks can go out, and that's not going to happen this month. Then the fool Democrats decide to start pinching pennies, bald-faced bad faith. Trying to take credit for the checks that came from ex-President* Trump is stupid, adding new means testing is stupid, and now they're also suggesting that, hey!, maybe $1,000 is all anybody really wants, is stupid. This is going to leave a large residue of resentment, although I admit that (a) American voters have the attention span of a fruit fly, and (b) lots more really, really bad things can happen.

  4. Wordsmith Maureen Dowd, Trump’s Taste for Blood: if Republicans won’t convict, bring on the handcuffs

    …But once Trump got into politics, he realized, with growing intoxication, that the more incendiary he was, the more his fans would cheer. He found that he could really play with the emotions of the crowd, and that turned him on. Now he had the chance to command a mob, so his words could be linked to their actions.

    Trump never cared about law and order or the cops. He was thrilled that he could unleash his mob on the Capitol and its guardians, with rioters smearing blood and feces and yelling Trump’s words and going after his targets — Nancy Pelosi and Mike Pence.

    It was Manson family-chilling to watch the House impeachment managers’ video with a rioter hunting for the House speaker, calling out: “Where are you, Nancy? We’re looking for you, Na-a-ncy. Oh, Na-a-ncy.”

    It was like watching his vicious Twitter feed come alive. Others were chanting “Hang Mike Pence!” even as a gallows, complete with noose, was erected on the lawn. Watching those shivery videos, it hit home how Pelosi and Pence could have been killed and the melee could have turned into a far worse blood bath.

    Trump not caring about the fate of his vice president was the inevitable sick end of the pairing of the Sociopath and the Sycophant.

  5. America:   land of those free to be cruel and hateful, home of those brave enough to face them down. Who would have thought that Trump would teach us so much about our freedom and courage?

    It's getting harder to face that the fix is already in.

    3
    • Indeed, this "trial" was fixed from the beginning.  Some of the worst lawyering in history will result in a victory; even though the "jurors" agreed that the House Managers brilliantly made their case. Even still, no one, not even the House Managers, seriously believed they'd get 17 Trump sycophants to leave the cult and come into the light in one weekend.  Its disappointing but not surprising.  The "win" though is a bipartisan majority voted to convict, and its set the GOP careening down a path to self immolation, McConnell's machinations be damned.

      1
  6. Great writing tends to produce great comments and great links. Same Trial II did both. Both the capital police and the D.C. police worked with apparent administrative malpractice probably caused by political interference. They could have been better prepared if they would have read and headed this blog in their preparation for Jan. 6th. and headed it's forebodings than relying on information from their superiors it appears.

    Moonbat's link to Maureen Dowd provided this comment treasure from Sam in Los Angeles:

    I remember reading Profiles in Courage by JFK when I was a young man, and asking myself, how much courage does it take for a Senator to do what they feel is right when the only downside is that you lose the next election and go back to whatever privileged position you had before the election. It wasn't until a few years later that I realized that, with a few exceptions, the people who end up as Senators are so enamored by their power and privilege, that the idea of doing what is right is unthinkable if it means the loss of that added status. I decided then and there that I had no interest in being a politician.

    It would not hurt if we e-mailed our red state Senators Sam's words. I expect they will continue to reject doing what is right because that would mean the loss of that added status. They prefer a spot in the National Hall of Shame. I am nominating Jerry Moran and Roger Marshall. I thank Sam for his sagacious insight into the reason for their moral backsliding.

    Roger Stone is back on the front page, with a bodyguard escort of Oath Keepers who also invaded the Capitol on Jan.6. I would suspect T**** and Stone collaborated, but the truth will never be fully known. It sure looks suspicious though.

    First They Guarded Roger Stone. Then They Joined the Capitol Attack. – The New York Times (nytimes.com)

     

    • I read that Stone may be hauled before a judge for his involvement on Jan 6. What's delicious about this, is that Trump's pardon relates to everything Stone did BEFORE the pardon, but doesn't excuse anything AFTER. My money is on Stone going to prison before long. He can show off his Nixon tattoo to his bubba pals in the shower.

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  7. The most sickening was McConnell's , yea Trump did it and you should prosecute him,  garbage garbage garbage. Not one republican is worth a rat's ass. Not one. someone should send Moscow Mitch some pearls to clutch.

    As bad as my senators are, he and Rand Paul are the absolute pits of the senate. I will never even drive through Kentucky if I can help it. 

    5
    • Unfortunately, even this elevated emotional level of discourse will not get through to even the "good people" in the district.  He does make a very good point, white privilege should also say his emotional intelligence is as valid and protected as the bubba's rants who voted for Greene.  OK, valid point.  I think you and I both  know this will not be acceptable to the Greene voters.  Once you take even a tiny step to the left of the Q-nuts, you lose white privilege in their minds and you are not one of them even though you look and sound like them but are not a total ditto head. I hope he has solid friends watching his back.  

      T**** has set the rules of engagement, and look how fast he set the  mob on loyal Pence.  My guess is that Pence had a plan B and C.  He knows that he lived in a snake den and had prepared for the worst in my estimation.  Otherwise he would have never got to and stayed on the ticket.  These are risky times for even the most venomous ones. 

      Even Stone knows that and traveled in the insurrection mob with his own personal body guards. 

       

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