Here’s why we shouldn’t blame Democrats for ‘botching’ Trump impeachment?
Sunday is my day of rest, but there’s no rest for the weary in the wake of Donald Trump’s acquittal by the Senate on the charge of inciting insurrection against the United States. Seven Republicans sided with the prosecution, making the former president’s second impeachment trial the most bipartisan in US history. The vote was 57-43, but not enough to reach the two-thirds supermajority needed to convict him.
Trump got off on a “technicality” invented out of thin air by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and endorsed by most of the rest of his conference. That’s what Stacey Plaskett told CNN’s Jake Tapper this morning. She’s one of the Democratic impeachment managers with a bright future ahead of her. And Plaskett was right.
Well, mostly right. I wouldn’t call it a technicality. I’d call it a Big Lie. After the vote, McConnell said during a floor speech the Senate could not prosecute and convict a former president. If the article of impeachment were delivered before Joe Biden’s inauguration, well, that would’ve been different, he said. As it was, it was too late. So, he said, prosecuting and convicting Donald Trump would have been unconstitutional.
The Big Lie has two parts, actually. One, McConnell refused to accept delivery of the article of impeachment before Inauguration Day. This is well known, and he failed to mention that in a floor speech blaming the Democrats for failing to get the article to the Senate on time. The other part of the lie is that the question of constitutionality had been settled by a bipartisan vote in the United States Senate. Before Inauguration Day or after—timing of delivery was irrelevant. But McConnell make-believed it was.
“I know that people are feeling a lot of angst and believe that maybe if we had (a witness) the senators would have done what we wanted,” Plaskett told Tapper. “But, listen, we didn’t need more witnesses. We needed more senators with spines.”
Here’s what happened with witnesses.
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