or "The REAL Show is About to Begin."
by Gary Stamper, CPC, MSIP, DSPS
Let's cut the bullshit.
Trump may have been acquitted, but everyone knows he did the crimes and more. McConnell knows (he said as much), the GOP Senators who voted for acquittal know, the Capitol rioters know (they were there), his supporters know, you know... everyone knows.
And yet, he was acquitted, not once, but twice.
Even though I knew what the outcome was going to be (everyone knew, including the Democrats), when the vote was completed and Trump acquitted, I needed to take some time to let it - and what it meant - sink in. I decided not to write about it until today, the day after.
He was acquitted by an incredibly broken system consisting of self-serving politicians on both sides of the aisle, many of whom care nothing about Democracy or justice, others who are also cowards (many are both), and by ordinary citizens who are incapable or unwilling to exhibit the slightest bit of critical thinking. But mostly by an entire nation of people who make up The Shadow of America, who are, in spite of glimmers of brilliance, caught up in the lie of American Exceptionalism that we never quite seem to live up to, primarily because we still believe that some Americans are more exceptional than others - especially if they're not white or at least rich, preferably both.
So where do we go from here?
In spite of the Senate voting that they had the right to complete the impeachment process that began while Trump was still President, the 43 GOP Senators abandoned their oaths of office in order to defend Trump and voted "no" to convict on a constitutional technicality that doesn't exist: that trump was supposedly ineligible for impeachment as an ex-officeholder, as opposed to not guilty of the crime — as one of Trump's lawyers graciously and conspicuously pointed toward the court system as a venue for further prosecution.
In other words, Trump was not found "guilty or not guilty." He was acquitted on a multi-faceted lie.
The ultimate accountability is through our criminal justice system where political passions are checked,” said Republican senator Thom Tillis, who voted not guilty, “No president is above the law or immune from criminal prosecution, and that includes former president Trump.”
Mitch McConnell, who likewise voted to acquit, announced, “Impeachment was never meant to be the final forum for American justice. … We have a criminal justice system in this country. We have civil litigation. And former Presidents are not immune from being held accountable by either one.” - NY Mag Intellgencer
So the only recourse left is the judicial system and the GOP opened the door to it, no matter how hypocritical.
Of course, we already knew this. Brutus just doesn't want to be holding the knife that kills Caesar, as McConnell and Trump wrestle for control of what's left of the GOP.
The GOP's failure to show true faith and allegiance to the Constitution was not the only failure that occurred on Saturday.
"With their decision to shut down an effort by House impeachment managers to call witnesses in the trial of Donald John Trump, senators of both parties chose political pragmatism over constitutional duty."
“The decision not to call witnesses [was] indeed a victory for Trump,” said constitutional lawyer and presidential accountability advocate John Bonifaz, the co-author of the book, The Constitution Demands It: The Case for the Impeachment of Donald Trump. “It makes absolutely no sense.” - The Nation
Trump is already the subject of two ongoing investigations in the state of New York. The first, by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, is criminal. The second, by Attorney General Letitia James, is currently civil, but could easily become a criminal case.
Third, both Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and Fulton County prosecutor Fani Willis are investigating Trump’s campaign to pressure state officials to flip the vote there. Willis has suggested Trump might have committed either criminal solicitation to commit election fraud, or racketeering, by demanding they “find 11,780 votes,” an almost comically corrupt request he was caught making on tape.
Last for now, Trump’s role in inciting the riot, or refusing to take action to halt it once underway, could also be the subject of criminal investigation. There’s no known probe of this matter, which would require a Department of Justice that is no longer controlled by his lackey, Bill Barr. Testimony could easily produce more incriminating evidence that Trump not only incited a mob but refused entreaties by fellow republicans to call a halt to it, instead using the violent pressure to force them to participate in his scheme to overturn the election.
"But even as the trial spared Mr. Trump a conviction, the criminal cases against his supporters for their roles in the riot are building. Already, more than 200 people have been charged with federal crimes related to the attack, and investigators are only getting started." - The Washington Post
There will undoubtedly be more information that comes from the prosecution of the riot defendants and their desires to minimize their own prosecution.
So keep your eyes and ears open, folks. This is far from over. Trumps' biggest fears revolve around hundreds of civil suits already in progress and a growing number of criminal charges over the next few months. Civil and criminal prosecutors don't have the same kind of political axes either hanging over their heads or to grind, but you can already hear those axes being sharpened on stone wheels.
The potential trials have the possibility of being the best things on TV in those coming months.
Shall I make popcorn?
Addendum, same day, 1pm
Yesterday, House managers for Donald Trump's impeachment trial tried to introduce witnesses based on revelations late last week that members of Congress heard Trump side with the rioters at the Capitol Building.
In retaliation, Senate Republicans threatened to block Joe Biden's entire agenda, with one saying, "They won't get their nom[ination]s, they won't get anything" (like we were getting something from them already...).
Yesterday's vote laid bare one irrefutable fact: Senate Republicans continue to put party loyalty above our democracy, no matter what the threat to our Constitution or the American people.
However, Democrats continue to ignore the easy way around this. The constitution says that the VP is the President of the Senate and that carries the power of presiding over the Senate, taking away McConnell's non-constitutional tradition of presiding over the Senate.
Using this constitutional power, the President of the Senate (Harris), can determine what get's called to the Senate floor or not, and who gets recognized, or not, thereby ensuring what comes to the floor and forcing the GOP Senators to go public with their votes and taking away their ability to hide behind McConnell by forcing transparency.
Why are Harris and other Dems ignoring this? By not even threatening to use this power against GOP Senate members, they are repeating Obama's mistake of taking single-payer health care off the table before negotiations even begin.
Democrats now control Congress (the house and Senate) and the Executive Branch. What are they afraid of?
What are they hiding and why are they wimping out again?