What Trump’s Impeachment Lawyer Should Have Said

On February 9, 2021, the Senate heard arguments on whether the impeachment trial should go forward against former president Donald Trump. I watched them, and the lawyers for President Trump were bad, as in REALLY bad. The first was by Bruce Castor:

The second argument was given by David Schoen:

This was an extremely bad presentation, especially in light of the good presentation by the House Impeachment managers. The first was Rep. Jamie Raskin (who taught at American University when I attended there):

The second was by Rep. Joe Neguse:

Trump’s lawyers lost that procedural vote 56 to 44. It would take an entire series to explain how weak these argument were. They were SO BAD. So instead of explaining why they were bad, I will simply show you the result. After that dumpster-fire of a presentation, some otherwise very conservative Senators CHANGED THEIR MIND and voted that the trial should go forward.

That’s a pretty strong vote of “You guys just didn’t do a good job.” We should note that this was not a vote to convict on the evidence. It was merely a vote about whether the trial is constitutional.

The President’s lawyers spent more time about “dividing the country” than he did about Constitutionality. That’s a big problem, for the following reason:

THE ONLY QUESTION HERE WAS ABOUT CONSTITUTIONALITY.

It was so, SOOO bad. All of their arguments about “due process” were complete bunk. They said that the lack of due process was that the House “delayed” in sending over the articles of Impeachment and that not enough time was given before the vote. Now that the articles of Impeachment have been delivered, they claim that the president is no longer entitled to that procedural guarantee. They said it’s “not fair.”

Um… SO WHAT if it is not fair. The question isn’t about “fairness.” It’s about “due process.” What process is DUE? The House voted to impeach. The articles were sent over. THAT IS the due process that the President is entitled to get. And he got it.

Not only that, there was a serious argument about “due process” on which they completely punted. There IS a good question about impeaching a former president. However, the key issue of due process was COMPLETELY MISSED, and it was so, SOOO bad. They almost ignored the fact that the Chief Justice isn’t presiding. But when they brought it up, note what David Schoen said in the 44th minute of his argument:

In this case, as we’ve stated, the Chief Justice is not presiding. The Senate president pro tempore is presiding. It appears that in the leader’s view, undoubtedly joined by other Senators, this is permitted by the Constitution, because the subject of the trial is a non-president. As such, it is conceded, as it must be, that for constitutional purposes of the trial, the accused is a non-president.

Wait… WHAT!? What do you mean it MUST BE conceded? No good lawyer would throw out a good defense, except to concentrate on a single dispositive issue that deserves ALL attention. What these guys did was “conceded” a single dispositive issue that deserves ALL attention, and talked for hours about NOTHING.

That is UTTERLY RIDICULOUS.

Full Disclosure on My Position on Impeachment

In the spirit of openness and full disclosure, the reader should know that I actually approve of impeachment based on the information I’ve seen. The January 6, 2021 riot at the Capitol was a national disgrace. That is not a controversial thing to say. The question for impeachment is this: What did Trump have to do with it? To me, that’s a good question.

For instance, with this interview of a senior Trump administration official (and someone I actually knew before she was in that position), it seems that the Trump administration knew ALL ALONG that they lost the election fair and square, and that it matched internal polling that the Trump campaign had. Regardless, there was a HUGE “stop the steal” movement that the president ACTIVELY SUPPORTED. And part of the motivations behind that movement were ABSOLUTELY BONKERS. (See this Axios story if you don’t believe me.)

So…. …do I KNOW that the president planned what happened on January 6, 2021, actively supported it, or instigated the riot at the Capitol? No. I don’t KNOW that.

But does the evidence so far look good? No. Not at all. That’s because it isn’t merely the President’s speech on January 6, 2021 that is at issue. It is the entire backstory before then that is implicated, and that backstory doesn’t look good.

I have seen enough to make me highly, HIGHLY suspicious that there was some presidential involvement in that incident. It is entirely possible that Trump — or individuals acting on his behalf — organized a political power-move that ended in violence. It is entirely possible that this effort culminated when Trump told a large crowd of people (who assembled with the help of his campaign organization) to “fight like hell” to stop the “steal” of the election — EVEN THOUGH THE ELECTION WAS CLOSE AND PRECISELY MATCHED THE WHITE HOUSE’S INTERNAL POLLING.

What EXACTLY happened? I don’t know. But I do know it is quite possible that Trump committed impeachable offenses. Only evidence and a precise timeline can show. I haven’t seen that evidence or timeline. But that is what the impeachment trial is for. That’s why I want a trial.

What the Trump Impeachment Lawyer Should Have Said

However, that being said, the present issue is rather complicated. Yes, there was a good line and point about “January Exception” to the lawful exercise of powers. There was a lot of good history and precedent about the impeachment of former officials (but not former presidents). But they ignored the key aspect of the trial. That’s where the issue gets more complicated.

However, the lawyers for Trump did a TERRIBLE job of pointing out this flaw. I am struggling to find it even mentioned, and it should have been the headline. The issue is who is presiding over the trial.

Therefore, because if you want something done right, you’ve got to do it yourself, here is what I think the Trump Lawyer should have said. It is what I would have said if I would have :

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Senate. Thank you for the opportunity to speak to you today. I will be brief, because the issue is rather simple. I will also be quite dispassionate, because we can save the emotion for the closing arguments of the trial. Right now, this is a legal issue. It is a technical issue. It is a Constitutional issue. It is a question about whether it is proper to move forward with this trial.

As a laywer, I know this is a pretty difficult place to win. If my client were a criminal defendant, I may be able to say that there was a flaw in the warrant. If my client were a civil defendant, I may be able to say my client was not served with process correctly. On any matter, I could say that the complaint or charging document does not properly state a ground upon which the case can go forward. Those are the procedural due process guarantees that all citizens of the United States are entitled to before they stand trial. Even though it is difficult to win in those cases, sometimes it happens.

However, this case is an even more difficult place to win. My client is a former president of the United States. We know what he is charged with. It is right here in the Articles of Impeachment. It has a heading “Incietment of Insurrection.” It reads:

“In his conduct while President of the United States — and in violation of his constitutional oath faithfully to execute the office of President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, provide, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States and in violation of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed — Donald John Trump engaged in high Crimes and Misdemeanors by inciting violence against the Government of the United States”

That sounds pretty clear to me. That sounds like an allegation of a high crime and misdemeanor to me.

Additionally, unlike a normal citizen, who needs a warrant of arrest from a magistrate, and certain protections against unlawful arrest, the Constitution is pretty clear on the process that is due the president in case of Impeachment. It says right there in Article I, Section 2:

“The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.”

Well, that sounds pretty clear, too. The House of Representatives chose their speaker. Her name is Nancy Pelosi. They have the sole power of impeachment; not me, not you, and not anybody else. As we have learned from the first impeachment against my client, no matter how vague or dumb or nonsensical the claims of that impeachment are, the House of Representatives still has the power to impeach, and that impeachment must go forward, because the Constitution says it goes forward. [Note: This was the DUMBEST and LONGEST part of the stupid argument on “due process.” There is only one requirement of “due process” in impeachment, which is an inherently political act: The house impeaches through a vote. They did that. The President is IMPEACHED. He gets a trial. OBVIOUSLY. That’s it.]

And as opposed to the last impeachment of this president, the current allegation allegation isn’t vague or subtle or confusing. It certainly isn’t dumb or nonsensical. No one thinks that what happened on January 6, 2021 was normal or a small affair or anything to be dismissed or brushed aside. It was serious, deadly serious. This body and our government should make sure that it doesn’t happen again.

Therefore, it looks like I have a pretty hard argument to make that this trial shouldn’t go forward. However, as strange as it may seem, the argument against this impeachment trial is quite strong.

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Senate, we have heard a great deal of precedent on the impeachments of former officials. However, there have only been a grand total of three impeachments of presidents in this nation’s history. Four if you count the present impeachment. Five if you count the impeachment proceedings that led to the resignation of Richard Nixon. There are valuable lessons to be learned from this history.

I would like to start with the issue of Richard Nixon. The first article of impeachment against Richard Nixon was related to the arrest of five men on June 17, 1972. These men broke into the Democratic National Headquarters at the Watergate Hotel and Office Building. The arrested men were employed by the Committee to Re-Elect the President (CRP), a campaign organization formed to support President Nixon’s reelection. After President Nixon fired various staff members who were involved in covering up the incident, he claimed his lack of any knowledge. He spoke on national television of his innocence. However, investigations by the House revealed that President Nixon WAS involved, that he was NOT innocent, and that he tried to influence the presidential election of 1972 through illegal means.

This was obviously an impeachable offense. If powerful people in the United States are able to influence national elections by underhandedly acquiring information, secretly capturing that information for their own purposes, and underhandedly using that information to effect the electoral process, then we do not have a democracy at all. We can all recognize that all officials — whether state or federal, public or private, partisan or non-partisan — who have significant influence over our election MUST preserve the impartiality, openness, and fairness of our electoral process. If we lose that, we lose everything. As such, we can all agree that it was right and good that Richard Nixon was impeached on this account. No matter who interferes with our elections — whether they be “Plumbers” operating on behalf of the President or programmers operating on behalf of political parties — we must be clear that manipulating MANIPULATING AN ELECTION IN AMERICA IS UNACCEPTABLE. [Note: This obviously doesn’t have anything to do with the issue at hand, but any good lawyer should know that it is not merely the jury that is watching in a high-profile case.]

However, let’s notice what happened right before Richard Nixon was impeached by the house. When he saw that he would be impeached by the house and likely convicted by the Senate, Richard Nixon resigned on August 9, 1974.

You would think that the precedent you just heard impeachment would allow that matter to go forward, would it not? You would think that the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives and the Democratic Speaker of the House Carl Albert would have impeached Richard Nixon to ensure — as the current House is supposedly trying to ensure against Donald Trump — that our norms of democracy are protected. You would think that the Democrat-controlled Senate would institute the penalty of Article I, Section 3, namely:

“removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States”

But instead, something strange happened. — NOTHING happened. Richard Nixon was never impeached. Why? Because Richard Nixon resigned before he could be impeached, and at the time, everyone agreed that you can only impeach a sitting president.

Think of what happens if this is not the case. The House Impeachment managers have noted in their view that ANY former civil officer can be impeached for ANYTHING in the past, regardless of whether the individual is in office or not. Did that include Secretary of State Hillary Clinton? Does that include Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg? Does that include Secretary of State Nikki Haley? Are parties able to politically assassinate future office-holders through their control of the legislature? Surely not. But that is what this question implicates. [Note: This was the only good point I saw in the entire arguments. The reasonable idea is “the doctrine of latches” which is the common law doctrine that is similar to a statute of limitations. It means there is a time limit on charging someone with a civil case, criminal case, or — in this case — impeachment trial if a party sits on an issue beyond what is reasonable. In this case, newly discovered bad conduct — like skillful embezzlement — can still be impeachable, but not for all time in the future.]

When an official leaves office — not by resignation to avoid impeachment, but because of the ordinary processes of an election — there are different precedents than what the House Impeachment Managers have claimed. [Note: because their precedent argument was STRONG, the only way to fight it is to avoid it.] When an official is a private citizen, the proper way to exercise authority is to arrest, indict, and convict them through the ordinary criminal and civil process. This is why President Gerald Ford pardoned Richard Nixon for any crimes committed while President. We should also note that President Gerald Ford did NOT have the ability to protect Richard Nixon from impeachment with his pardon, because the Constitution says in Article II:

The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.

And yet, this long-held tradition on impeaching FORMER presidents was just as relevant back then, right? Why didn’t the impeachment trial of Nixon go forward? What happened? What changed?

Now, of course the House impeachment managers may note that the Congress in 1974 was not perfect. And I would agree. Of course the House impeachment managers can note how the rules and procedures of the Congress can evolve to address unique situations like the current one. That argument may convince some, but it does not convince me. [Note: Actually, that argument DOES convince me, but I’m writing as a lawyer for a client. It’s not my personal belief that matters. What matters is what is legally plausible for the situation. Anyway, moving on.]

However, let’s pretend that our procedures and standards have evolved. Let’s pretend that we need to ensure that the President — the former president — must be held to account. Not by ordinary criminal matters — but through impeachment. Fair enough. We must hold the President to account, even if we cannot do so before he leaves office.

But this brings up the second constitutional issue, one that is controlling in this matter. [Pointing and the President Pro Tempore Patrick Leahy] That man is presiding over this impeachment. He is a very nice man. I’m sure he is very kind and a good friend of many or all of you. However, HE IS NOT THE CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

This is important because the Constitution speaks directly on this fact. I note that Article 1, Section 3 states the following:

The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.

Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.

Now I know as well as you do that federal judges can be impeached, and that the Chief Justice does not need to preside. I know that high officials in the Cabinet can be impeached, and that the Chief Justice does not need to preside. I know that the Senate and House, pursuant to Article 1, Section 5, can remove members with the concurrence of two thirds of each respective body, and the Chief Justice does not need to preside.

This is the thin facade that this body is hiding behind, and we saw it in the Press Release from Senator Leahy’s office on January 25, 2021. It said the following:

“The president pro tempore has historically presided over Senate impeachment trials of non-presidents.  When presiding over an impeachment trial, the president pro tempore takes an additional special oath to do impartial justice according to the Constitution and the laws.  It is an oath that I take extraordinarily seriously. 

I consider holding the office of the president pro tempore and the responsibilities that come with it to be one of the highest honors and most serious responsibilities of my career.  When I preside over the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump, I will not waver from my constitutional and sworn obligations to administer the trial with fairness, in accordance with the Constitution and the laws.”

But there’s a problem with this statement. The reason the president pro tempore presides over impeachments of non-presidents is because the Chief Justice is only called to preside over the impeachments of PRESIDENTS. Isn’t this an impeachment of a President? Aren’t the acts in the articles of impeachment the acts of a President?

“But it’s different, because this is an impeachment of a FORMER president,” you may say.

Fine– “Where is the article for the impeachment of FORMER presidents?”

There isn’t one.

“What office other than President” did Donald Trump ever occupy?”

There isn’t one.

The Chief Justice is not required to preside over the impeachment of judges, cabinet members, or the removal of legislators. The President Pro Tempore is perfectly enabled to preside over those proceedings.

But are we impeaching a judge? Are we impeaching a cabinet member? Are we removing a legislator? Or are we impeaching a President? I thought we were impeaching a President.

We may say that the Constitution must adapt to situations like the current one. Fine. Believe that if you will. But an impeachment of a Former President is still an impeachment of a President. The power the Constitution gives us to impeach former President Donald Trump is ONLY the clause that allows us to impeach PRESIDENTS. There is no power to enact punishment on private citizens. If the Constitution does not provide a power for the legislature to issue punishment on an individual through impeachment, then an action doing so is called a Bill of Attainder. Bills of Attainder are unconstitutional. We all know that.

So note again what the Constitution clearly says:

The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.

Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.

Additionally, I will note that it has previously been accepted that felons and former felons are not allowed to vote or run for office, by operation of statutes. However, the recent trend is to restore these rights to former felons to allow them to re-enter society on good terms. Laws of this Congress can allow that to happen. But the Constitution is superior to all other laws. Therefore, if this body convicts Donald Trump, he will be forever disqualified to hold any Office of honor, Trust, or Profit” under the United States. No future act of Congress can change that.

Is this the precedent we want to create? This punishment will have greater staying power than a felony conviction before a federal judge. It cannot be pardoned. It cannot be appealed. It cannot be overturned.

Further, it will not be done before an “impartial jury” — despite how hard I know you will all be trying to be “impartial” in this impeachment proceeding — but will instead be instituted by a political body that is trying to make a political point through political words on the grandest political stage. Impeachment is a political act, but that is by necessity.

Political trials are not desirable. The only security we have in political trials is the explicit authority of the Constitution, an authority this Senate will break if it moves forward.

Is that an acceptable process? Is that how we institute punishments on citizens of the United States — whether or not they are former presidents? How is this legitimate?

Why isn’t there an ordinary trial for “incitement of violence”? Last time I checked, that was a crime in the District of Columbia. I note that DC ST § 22-1321 makes it illegal to:

(a) In any place open to the general public, and in the communal areas of multi-unit housing, it is unlawful for a person to:
(1) Intentionally or recklessly act in such a manner as to cause another person to be in reasonable fear that a person or property in a person’s immediate possession is likely to be harmed or taken; 
(2) Incite or provoke violence where there is a likelihood that such violence will ensue; or
(3) Direct abusive or offensive language or gestures at another person (other than a law enforcement officer while acting in his or her official capacity) in a manner likely to provoke immediate physical retaliation or violence by that person or another person.
(b) It is unlawful for a person to engage in loud, threatening, or abusive language, or disruptive conduct, with the intent and effect of impeding or disrupting the orderly conduct of a lawful public gathering, or of a congregation of people engaged in any religious service or in worship, a funeral, or similar proceeding.
(c) It is unlawful for a person to engage in loud, threatening, or abusive language, or disruptive conduct with the intent and effect of impeding or disrupting the lawful use of a public conveyance by one or more other persons.

Does that not apply here? If not, perhaps DC ST § 22-1322 “Rioting or Inciting a Riot”? Why not any other law? I’m sure one applies. There is a process for that. Why don’t we arrest the former president, as the Constitution allows? Some of your staffers — if they live in the District of Columbia — may even be called to be on the jury. Furthermore, I believe you may all rest in confidence that the current president will pardon the former president as President Gerald Ford did to President Richard Nixon.

We may say that we are not arresting President Trump, because we are Impeaching President Trump. Fair enough. But the problem is [Pointing to President Pro Tempore Patrick Leahy] THAT MAN is NOT the Chief Justice of the United States of America. The Constitution says that if it’s not the Chief Justice of the United States of America, this is not a proper impeachment trial. That is why this can’t go forward.

Additionally, I think it speaks volumes that the Chief Justice of the United States is not here. The Chief Justice does not live under a rock. I’m sure that the House Impeachment Managers did not neglect to inform the Chief Justice of this solemn occasion.

Some may say that it is difficult to force the Chief Justice to be here on such a sensitive and “political” occasion. NONSENSE! The Constitution explicitly states that he SHALL preside! It does not say that he MAY preside if he WANTS to preside. If the Chief Justice does not do his job, the impeach the Chief Justice! If the Constitution says the Chief Justice must act, and the Chief Justice does not do his job, then he has broken his duty to the Constitution and this separate branch of government! He cannot continue in his office! Article III, Section 1 states:

The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour, and shall, at stated Times, receive for their Services, a Compensation, which shall not be diminished during their Continuance in Office.

If the Chief Justice does not perform the duty he is explicitly required to do, then he cannot be said to have “good behaviour,” nor can he receive “a Compensation” because he is not offering his “services” and he has a failure to “continue” in his office! In THAT trial this man [Pointing to President Pro Tempore Patrick Leahy] CAN preside, and President Biden can appoint the replacement. THEN we can proceed with an impeachment.

But that did not happen, and that will not happen. And the reason is evident. It is not an “accident” that the Chief Justice is not here. It is not for the sake of “efficiency” that the Chief Justice is not here. Instead, the Chief Justice is not here because the Chief Justice knows something is wrong. The Congress has not required the Chief Justice to be here, because the House Impeachment managers agree with the Chief Justice. The Chief Justice is not here, because this is not a proper process, and his absence speaks volumes. [Note: I actually don’t know why the Chief Justice isn’t there, and as a lawyer, I would never say something like this without knowing the story. Regardless, his absence is a significant issue that should have been vociferously pointed out by any competent lawyer.]

For that reason, ladies and gentlemen of the Senate, this trial should not go forward. It is improper.

If this impropriety seems minor to you, fair enough. But let me challenge that idea and show you how important this is. Note that in this Country, we do not allow federal criminal trials of accused terrorists to go forward without a federal judge. That is because the Constitution requires it. Dylan Roof who unquestionably and intentionally shot up a church in South Carolina had a hearing before a judge. He pled guilty. But now, his death penalty conviction is now being challenged on Constitutional grounds before a federal judge. That is because the Constitution requires it. This is process we give to terrorists and murderers — that we KNOW are terrorists and murderers — because of the directions the Constitution gives.

But for some reason that I have not heard explained, in a trial of a former President, where the CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE UNITED STATES is supposed to preside, we are only given that man [Pointing the President Pro Tempore Patrick Leahy] — who is not the Chief Justice of the United States — even though the Constitution requires otherwise.

If you wish to investigate, rectify, and heal our nation after what happened on January 6, 2021, then you should do that.

If you wish to hold the guilty accountable, then you should do that.

If you wish to bind this nation’s wounds and build a stronger union, then you should do that.

But the only way to do these things is with DUE PROCESS. The only way to establish justice is to FOLLOW THE LAW. The only way to follow the law is to look to the Constitution, SUPPORT it, DEFEND it, and ACT accordingly — even when it is terribly inconvenient to do so.

For that reason, you must vote against this trial, because THAT MAN [Pointing to President Pro Tempore Patrick Leahy] is not the Chief Justice, and therefore, there is NO WAY that this trial can be proper.

If the Senate continues with this trial now, I believe we are setting our country up for a Constitutional Crisis. The House managers have cited the remarks of former President John Quincy Adams to support the impeachment of a former president. However, imagine this: The Senate tries and successfully convicts President Trump, based on the precedent of John Quincy Adams and the impeachment of former presidents.

Now, Donald Trump is forever barred from serving in any federal office.

But suppose that former President Trump uses the precedent of John Quincy Adams for his own purposes. Suppose he runs for office in the House of Representatives in Florida. Suppose he wins the election. Suppose his opponent cites the Constitution to say that Donald Trump is not authorized to hold that office because he was impeached and convicted as President.

But won’t Donald Trump be able to correctly state that the impeachment was illegitimate because the Chief Justice did not preside? Won’t he be able to challenge his removal from the legislature on Constitutional grounds, just as Adam Clayton Powell Jr. did in the Powell v. McCormack, 395 U.S. 486 (1969)?

If he did, Donald Trump would have a very strong case. And we would be right back in the same mess we are in today.

And while I am no prophet, I have a general sense of my client. He just might do something like that. He just might do something like that because you told him he couldn’t do it, just like he was told five years ago that he would never be President.

He just might do that for the express purpose of signaling yet another failure of Washington D.C. to the citizens of this nation. If that happens, it would be a mess of a Constitutional crisis. But it will not be Donald Trump’s fault. That crisis will be the fault of THIS BODY, because THIS BODY did not clearly follow the text of the Constitution when it mattered. [Note: This is not me being “lawyerly.” I actually think this is the biggest problem with the impeachment trial. I simply do not understand why it is not being widely discussed.]

When impeaching a President, the Constitution is unambiguous:

The Chief Justice SHALL preside.

We are not impeaching a judge. We are not impeaching a cabinet official. We are not removing a legislator. We are impeaching a PRESIDENT. If we don’t have the Chief Justice, then we do not have the PROCESS that is DUE because that process is explicitly ordered in the Constitution. And that is why the motion must fail.

If you believe we need to see a clear presentation of the evidence regarding what happened on January 2, 2021, that is understandable. I look forward to exploring this evidence on behalf of my client.

If you want accountability to follow what happened on January 6, 2021, that is understandable. I join you in your desire that the law be followed.

If you believe that Donald Trump is responsible for what happened on January 6, 2021, that is understandable. I have seen the same news reports you have seen, and I can understand why many believe that.

However, as I said at the beginning, the trial is the next step. This first step is quite simple. The trial comes next. This is a legal issue. This is a technical issue. It is a Constitutional issue. It is a question about whether it is proper to move forward with this trial.

And because THAT MAN [Pointing to President Pro Tempore Patrick Leahy] is presiding, we must vote “No.”

Conclusion

Would that argument have worked? I don’t know. It worked for Senator Rand Paul, and that was before the issue was even argued. However, that’s no guarantee that it would have worked.

All I know is that the argument above would have been WAAAAY better than the two hours of JUNK that I just watched in the Senate chamber.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. So, I think you’re begging the question for us curious people. Why aren’t the Dems having the Chief Justice preside? Their must be some reason.

    Like

    1. The Jones says:

      I literally have no idea. It is possible that the Democrats think that it will give them a tactical advantage, but honestly, the Chief Justices doesn’t do much. So that seems like not a very good explanation.

      My best guess is that the Chief Justice simply didn’t want to do it, and that he communicated that to the house leaders somehow (as to do so publicly is just not a SCOTUS thing to do). Therefore, to avoid a fiasco, the Democrats just avoided the subject and came up with this “he’s a FORMER president, not THE president” excuse.

      But honestly, in light of the presentation the House Impeachment managers gave on Impeachment after resignation or removal, I literally have NO IDEA why he isn’t there.

      If it really is true that Robert’s has communicated his resistance, then it is TOTALLY appropriate to MAKE HIM do his job. It’s literally explicitly stated in the Constitution.

      I agree that there is SOME reason. I just don’t know what it is.

      Like

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