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The day after Chief Justice John Roberts told both sides in Donald Trump's impeachment trial to behaaave themselves and remember they're speaking before the World's Greatest Deliberative Body, several Republican senators decided Wednesday they found the whole thing tedious, so they left their seats, ducked out to the cloakrooms, nodded off, and generally behaved like they were being forced to listen to a mandatory school assembly on railroad safety, only without even the prospect of some gory accident footage. Decorum is for losers, man. We suspect that by midafternoon today they were openly lighting their farts.

We suppose it only makes sense they'd make a great show of performing just how bored they are, like a common Fox News host would. That seems in keeping with Trump's defense team's presenting a load of Fox News talking points Tuesday, instead of any attempt to defend Trump's actual behavior.


Since Trump has a defense team filled with Fox News guests, it only makes sense his "defense" would be more aimed at riling up Trump's base than actually explaining why his pressuring Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden was simply "perfect." Instead, Tuesday's arguments were a rehash of Republicans' Greatest Hits, as interpreted by the Fox Family Singers. Let us count the fibs!

Pat Cipollone insisted Republicans had been barred from House investigative hearings, claiming they "took place in a basement of the House of Representatives" (scary!) and that "not even [Intel chair Adam] Schiff's Republican colleagues were allowed into the SCIF." It must be true, because House Republicans had a whole fake storm-the-SCIF demonstration, which was of course bullshit, since committee members were already allowed in.

Cipollone also whined that poor Donald Trump "was forbidden from attending" those closed-door depositions, and wasn't even allowed to have his lawyer there, although, as has been endlessly explained, depositions to gather testimony are not hearings or a trial, and they were closed to prevent witnesses comparing stories.

And so on. Jay Sekulow complained that at the public impeachment hearings, Trump "was denied the right" to cross-examine witnesses, look at documentary evidence, or even have a lawyer present, when of course he'd been offered all that but noped out.

Did we get a lie about Adam Schiff's mocking paraphrase of TRJNSCRASDTP? We did! Cipollone again:

When Mr. Schiff saw that his allegations were false, and he knew it anyway, what did he do? He went to the House and he manufactured a fraudulent version of that call. He manufactured a false version of that call; he read it to the American people, and he didn't tell them it was a complete fake.

Nobody thought Adam Schiff was reading the notes of the call, which had already been released. But at least now a lie about it is part of the official record!

Jay Sekulow even lied about the Mueller Report, just plain lying like a common Donald Trump, because this isn't a trial, it's a performance for Fox News and its number-one viewer.

There was no obstruction. In fact, the Mueller report — to the contrary of what these managers say today — came to the exact opposite conclusions of what they say.

Nope. Do we even need to say it again? Bullshit. Mueller never said there was no obstruction of justice.

Then later Tuesday, Democrat Jerold Nader said it would be nice if Senate Republicans found some spine and actually allowed evidence and witnesses:

Will you choose to be complicit in the president's coverup? [...] So far, I'm sad to say I see a lot of senators voting for a coverup, voting to deny witnesses — an absolutely indefensible vote, obviously a treacherous vote.

Cipollone called Nadler a dirty spreader of besmirch statements, because look at his libel on the Senate, and on the American people, and on America itself!

Said Cipollone,

Mr. Nadler came up here and made false allegations against our team. He made false allegations against all of you [...]

You owe an apology to the president of the United States and his family. You owe an apology to the Senate. But most of all, you owe an apology to the American people.

Here's the video:

youtu.be


Chief Justice John Roberts then told everyone to settle down and remember to have some goddamned decorum please:

youtu.be


Following that stern rebuke, Republicans got all squirmy just a short way into Wednesday's opening arguments. When Adam Schiff closed his summary of the first article of impeachment and said "Now let me turn to the second article," a number of Republicans decided they needed to pee or make important phone calls from the cloakroom, despite fussy ol' impeachment rules saying "Senators should plan to be in attendance at all times during the proceedings." It only got worse when less-senior members of the House impeachment manager team had the floor. CNN counted

17 empty seats across the entire chamber, including on both the GOP and Democratic side, though most were on the Republican side.

Not to worry, though, because BOTH SIDES:

Some senators were out of their seats but still visibly in the chamber, standing at the back of the room, including Republican Sens. Roy Blunt of Missouri and Barrasso and Democratic Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey, Chris Murphy of Connecticut and Richard Blumenthal, also of Connecticut.

No word on whether any senators were observed listlessly kicking the backs of the seats in front of them, then hissing "what?!" when their colleagues turned around to glare at them.

The very BEST maverick who wouldn't be bound by dumb fake-news "rules" appears to have been Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee), who apparently left her seat during the session to go do an interview with Fox News. The rules, duh, only allow senators to do that during breaks, but rules are for little people.

No big deal though, since as a public service, Fox News wasn't following the boring trial either.

As of yet, we haven't seen Blackburn attempt to explain her behavior, which as a UCLA political scientist pointed out in a respected law journal, could land her in jail. Technically. If anyone cared.

Blackburn did at least take time yesterday to tweet something very relevant about Donald Trump's own adherence to the law:

We imagine Blackburn, who's already said no witnesses or documents are needed in a "trial," will eventually explain the trial was lame, and rules are for the Deep State, and also OBAMA CLINTON.

Oops, too late.

But at least it's your OPEN THREAD.

[Vox / Factcheck / AP / CNN / Newsweek / Fox News]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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