Politics Trump base dominates Senate impeachment vote, threatens GOP in 2022
‘Loaded cannon’: House prosecutors file written argument in Trump impeachment trial - live politics updates
Trump's defense team will give its first formal response to the impeachment article charging him with "incitement" of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.The House article of impeachment charged that Trump incited the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol Jan. 6 with a fiery speech before a violent mob invaded the Capitol and left multiple dead. The riot came after Trump spent months questioning the legitimacy of the election and pleaded with Georgia officials to “find” votes to allow him to win that state, the article charged.
As the Senate begins its great debate about conviction or acquittal on the matter of impeachment, the deck is stacked, the game is fixed, and the outcome will almost certainly be that former President Donald Trump will be acquitted.
While this in my view is not the best outcome, it is important to understand why this will happen and what the implications are for the future of American democracy.
First, Trump will almost certainly be acquitted because the Trump base ferociously supports him, and Senate Republicans are so terrified by the Trump base ousting them in GOP primaries in 2022 that few of them will summon the courage to vote to convict him.
Opinion: The Senate should do everything it can to avoid a zombie impeachment trial
Tim Naftali writes that with almost 6 in 10 Americans saying they blame President Trump for the January 6 insurrection, is it really inevitable that this dark episode will lead to a zombie Senate trial that mindlessly sleepwalks to an acquittal? Many historians don't like the idea of inevitability, since it denies the important role of individuals and institutions in bucking perceived trends. In that spirit, I believe there are three potential outcomes, not all of which are mutually exclusive, that would be better than where we seemed to be headed now. The Senate trial could be short-circuited now without a verdict.
Second, the 2022 midterms elections effectively began when almost all Republicans in the House of Representatives voted not to impeach Trump, or to sanction Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) for matters that most of them privately hold in complete and utter contempt.
There is of course a small chance that some statement by Trump, or some dramatic new revelation, could be so shocking and extreme that even fearful Senate Republicans feel compelled to vote to convict. But don't bet on it.
It is important for members of both parties to fully understand why the 2022 midterm election campaigns have already begun, why that virtually guarantees a Trump acquittal in the Senate, and how that affects the political interests of Democrats and Republicans for 2022.
Impeachment trial puts Trump back in the spotlight. That might not be a good thing for him
Prosecutors want to bar Trump from future office and render his support radioactive; backers say impeachment is likely to help him politically.The historic second impeachment trial, which began Tuesday, focuses on accusations that he incited a violent insurrection Jan. 6 with his actions and words before the assault on the Capitol by pro-Trump rioters seeking to overturn the presidential election.
My view is that while both parties have major dangers to worry about in 2022, a Trump acquittal would create major dangers especially to House and Senate Republicans.
What many Republicans feel they must do to win primaries in 2022 significantly increase the danger they lose general elections in that year. And the "Trump factor" will almost certainly guarantee a large number of ugly GOP primaries in 2022 for members who vote to acquit or convict Trump.
I spent almost the entire year of 2018 suggesting that the midterms that year were one of the most important midterms in American history, because it was the only way to end Republican control of the House, Senate and presidency in Washington. It was not hard to predict the Democrats would win control of the House in 2018 because of the majority public backlash against Trump.
Similarly, it was not hard to predict that President Biden would defeat Trump in the 2020 presidential campaign, because a majority of voters clearly wanted to move beyond the bitter divisiveness of the Trump years.
LIVE COVERAGE: Democrats focus on Trump remarks before attack on Capitol
The Senate kicks off day two of the second impeachment trial of former President Trump on Wednesday.While the first day focused on the constitutional question of whether the Senate could hold a trial for a former president, the actual oral arguments begin today.The historic trial centers on whether Trump incited a mob that attacked the Capitol on Jan. 6, sending lawmakers fleeing for safety and temporarily halting Congress's certification ofWhile the first day focused on the constitutional question of whether the Senate could hold a trial for a former president, the actual oral arguments begin today.
Where I was wrong-and this is a serious warning to Democrats-is that I believed we would do much better in Senate and House elections in 2020.
The Trump base probably has the power to defeat the effort to convict Trump, with the effect that this dramatically endangers Republicans and advantages Democrats in the 2022 midterms. Republicans who fell into the "Trump trap" of defending what many voters view as indefensible are risking a sizable amount of campaign donations from corporate and large individual donors.
A solid majority of Americans were sickened by Trump's incendiary words which incited a mob to attack the Capitol, while he repeated the ludicrous lie that he won the election. Many voters and GOP donors are astounded that more than 150 Republicans in the House and Senate, who were victims of the crime at the Capitol, voted in support of the man who incited it, giving him license to dominate the party going into the 2022 midterms. This gravely endangers Republicans and significantly helps Democrats in those elections.
Brent Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) and former Rep. Bill Alexander (D-Ark.), who was chief deputy majority whip of the House of Representatives. He holds an LLM in international financial law from the London School of Economics.
“We got what we wanted”: Democrats defend the decision not to call impeachment witnesses .
Del. Stacey Plaskett told CNN that “we didn’t need more witnesses, we needed more senators with spines.”Witnesses initially were not expected to be called during the trial, but that expectation was upended Saturday morning when lead House impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) called for Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA) to be deposed.