On Saturday, the overall second Senate impeachment trial of ex-President Donald Trump drew to a close, with seven Republicans voting in favor of conviction on a charge of incitement of insurrection. Because of the current party breakdown in the Senate, in order to actually enact a conviction, a full 17 Republican votes were needed to bring the total up to the required 67 votes. Nevertheless, the rebuke is clear — seven Republican Senators who represent millions and millions of people between them voted in favor of the conviction of a de facto leader of their own political party.
Before the trial drew to a close, House impeachment case managers including lead manager Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) offered compelling closing arguments against the former president. On January 6, a mob of frenzied rioters at the U.S. Capitol building operated under the explicit pretense of lies from Donald Trump about the integrity of the 2020 presidential election, which he delusionally claimed was rigged for Joe Biden.
Addressing Senators on Saturday afternoon, Raskin commented as follows:
‘We have offered you overwhelming and irrefutable and certainly un-refuted evidence that former President Trump incited this insurrection against us… I have no doubt that you all noticed that despite the various propaganda reels and so on, President Trump’s lawyers have said almost nothing to contest or overcome the actual evidence of former President Trump’s conduct that we presented.’
Indeed — contesting the fact that, on the day of the rioting, Trump tweeted a justification for the violence isn’t exactly feasible. Trump’s remarks in which he characterized the rioting as a sensible consequence of the imaginary nationwide election fraud were public.
Raskin added the following:
‘How did Donald Trump react when he learned of the violent storming of the Capitol and the threats to Senators, members of the House, and his own Vice President as well as the images he saw on TV or the pummeling and beating and harassment of our police officers? Did he spring into action to stop the violence and save us?.. No. He delighted in it. He reveled in it… He could not understand why the people around him did not share his delight. And then a long period of silence ensued while the mob beat the daylights out of police officers and invaded this building… and proceeded to hunt down Vice President Mike Pence as a traitor.’
Raskin referenced comments from Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), who voted to convict Trump over the weekend. Sasse told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt that he heard from White House staffers that, on January 6, Trump “was walking around the White House confused about why other people on his team weren’t as excited as he was as you had rioters pushing against Capitol Police trying to get into the building.” Trump “was delighted,” Sasse added.
Raskin concluded on Saturday, in part, by noting as follows:
‘Through his acts of omission and commission that day, he abused his office by siding with the insurrectionists at almost every point rather than with the Congress of the United States, rather than with the Constitution.’
Watch Raskin below:
Although seven Republican Senators voted to convict Trump, the fact that 43 Republican Senators subsequently voted to give him a free pass remains troubling.