GOP senators are treating Trump's incitement to violence as one big joke
‘Democrats want a week of political theater,’ charged Sen. Ted Cruz.
On the second day of Donald Trump’s impeachment trial in the Senate, House managers presented evidence to support the charge of incitement to insurrection on which Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives on Jan. 13.
Republican lawmakers are treating the proceedings as a joke, ignoring the evidence of the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 by Trump supporters that left five dead and deriding the entire thing as a “political stunt.”
Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) on Wednesday tweeted a video of herself walking toward the Senate chamber for the second day of the trial.
“Day two of the impeachment,” she says with a smile. “I’m getting ready to head the floor. What we’re going to hear today is the House managers are going to lay out their claims about impeachment and against the president, and we hear that they have produced a Hollywood-type movie for us to see.”
Blackburn also tweeted, “The Democrats spoke of unity, but their actions have proven otherwise. This impeachment is a political stunt that will only further divide our nation.”
The deadly attack by Trump supporters on Jan. 6 killed five, including Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, and injured 140 police officers, some seriously. Two police officers have died by suicide in the wake of the attack.
During the attack, rioters chanted, “Hang Mike Pence!” and evidence has suggested that some intended to take hostages.
In his opening statement Tuesday, House impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) said that failing to hold Trump accountable for inciting the riot could lead to further violence:
President Trump has sent his lawyers here today to try to stop the Senate from hearing the facts of this case. They want to call the trial over before any evidence is even introduced. Their argument is that if you commit an impeachable offense in your last few weeks in office, you do it with constitutional impunity. You get away with it. In other words, conduct that would be a high crime and misdemeanor in your first year as president and your second year as president and your third year as president and for the vast majority of your fourth year as president, you can suddenly do in your last few weeks in office without facing any constitutional accountability at all. This would create a brand new January exception to the Constitution of the United States of America. A January exception.
And everyone can see immediately why this is so dangerous. It’s an invitation to the President to take his best shot at anything he may want to do on his way out the door, including using violent means to lock that door, to hang onto the Oval Office at all costs, and to block the peaceful transfer of power. In other words, the January exception is an invitation to our founders’ worst nightmare. And if we buy this radical argument that President Trump’s lawyers advance, we risk allowing January 6th to become our future.
“We’re one day in to the stupidest week in the Senate,” tweeted Sen. Kevin Cramer of North Dakota. He criticized President Joe Biden for somehow failing to stop the trial in another post: “Disappointing. @POTUS went from calling for unity to letting Democrats’ partisan impeachment charade continue.”
Ted Cruz of Texas was one of several Senate Republicans calling impeachment a waste of time that could be dedicated to other work, tweeting, “Democrats want a week of political theater raging at Donald Trump instead of focusing on reopening schools or getting millions of Americans back to work.”
Florida’s Marco Rubio also complained Tuesday that the trial was “a waste of our time.”
During the gripping 13-minute video Democrats played on the first day of the trial, Rubio and several other Republican senators, including his fellow Floridian Rick Scott and Arkansas’ Tom Cotton, would not even watch. Kentucky’s Rand Paul reportedly doodled his way through the trial on a pad in his lap.
In an example of how a government can do several things at once, despite Cruz’s concern, the Biden administration intends to release new guidance for reopening schools from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week, and the American Rescue Plan proposed by Biden to provide economic relief for those suffering during the coronavirus pandemic has been projected to get the economy back on track as early as the end of the year.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.
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