The House Managers' presentations in the second impeachment of Donald J. Trump are done. They did a great job and reminded us of just how bad January 6 was, and how much worse it could have been.

Donald Trump purposefully incited an insurrection. He is the reason this happened. Anyone with half a brain knows this.

And yet ...

Sigh. Let's go to more of the dumb arguments we'll hear from Trump's lawyers, some of the "impartial jurors" in the Senate, and rightwing lawyers who would like regular gigs on Fox News.

While you enjoy day four of Trump's second impeachment, here are a few more stupid things we can expect to hear before this is all over.


1. "It doesn't count because John Roberts isn't there!"

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts was constitutionally required to preside over Trump's first impeachment trial, and he did. The Constitution says that when "the President" is tried, "the Chief Justice shall preside[.]"

But because Trump was uniquely terrible in oh so many ways, he is the first former president to be tried by the Senate — and the Constitution doesn't say anything about former presidents.

Apparently Roberts, who prefers to stay out of the political spotlight and hated presiding over the last Trump impeachment trial, was like, "Nah, bro" this time around. According to Chuck Schumer, "it was up to John Roberts whether he wanted to preside with a president who's no longer sitting. [...] And he doesn't want to do it."

Instead, Vermont Dem Patrick Leahy, as Senate president pro tem, is presiding over the trial. In the past, the Senate president pro tempore, a post determined based on seniority, has presided over impeachment trials of people who aren't the president, including cabinet members and federal judges. And let's not forget that it was apparently Roberts, himself, who opted out of presiding.

But silly things like "facts" don't matter, and people keep bringing this up. It's dumb. It has nothing to do with anything. And NO COURT is getting involved in this. They're just not. So kindly STFU.

2. "dUe pRoCeSs!"

Shockingly, a lot of the same assholes who are screeching about due process, as well as the former president's lawyer RIGHT NOW, over at Liz's liveblog.

Yelling incoherently about due process seems to be a favorite tactic when we're having Trump impeachment trials. One of the dumber arguments in Trump Impeachment 1.0 was that the House didn't do due process because they didn't get to present their case during the House's impeachment process, because that's not how impeachment works.

Now, they're saying "NO DUE PROCESS" because, as best I can gather, Trump himself didn't get to make all of the decisions about the Senate trial?

It's dumb. It makes no sense. They're trying to make an analogy to criminal law, but an impeachment trial simply isn't the same thing as a criminal trial. And Trump's lawyers are getting the same amount of time as the House managers got to present their case. That is due process in this kind of proceeding. It's not new. It's how things have always been.

Like Greg Weiner wrote before Trump's first annual impeachment trial, "Due process protects the life, liberty, and property of private citizens. It does not create a right to occupy the White House."

These guys (except maybe Bruce Castor) understand that this isn't a criminal trial. If it were a criminal trial, members of the jury wouldn't be working with Trump's lawyers to decide which arguments to present. That's what we in the legal field call a "no-no."

3. "Something something FIRST AMENDMENT!"

"CONSTITUTIONAL CANCEL CULTURE!"

"FIRST AMENDMENT!"

We are going to keep hearing this until the cows come home, become Nazis, and register as Republicans. The president and his lawyers have decided that Donald Trump can say whatever he wants, without any repercussions ever, because FREE SPEECH!

We all know that free speech does not mean that every person is free to say whatever they want, without ever facing any accountability for what they have said. The common go-to is shouting fire in a crowded theater (which apparently was actually a real problem back in the day that killed hundreds of people, who knew?!), but what Trump did was SO MUCH WORSE than that.

Donald Trump purposefully incited a violent mob to take over our Capitol building to try to murder our lawmakers so he could get his way. It is unconscionable. And it was exactly what those of us who had been paying attention had warned about all along, only to be accused of having "Trump derangement syndrome."

Here, I'll let Jamie Raskin take this:

This is painful.

Today, we are all being subjected to more of Donald Trump's Chewbacca Defense.

It's terrible. Trump's lawyers are going to keep making us bleed from the eyes until this is over.

No one with half a brain actually believes any of this. But we can expect them to get real mad and yell about it anyway.

Watch our liveblog to stay up-to-date on today's fuckery!

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Jamie Lynn Crofts
Jamie Lynn Crofts is sick of your bullshit. When she’s not wrangling cats, she’s probably writing about nerdy legal stuff, rocking out at karaoke, or tweeting about god knows what. Jamie would kindly like to remind everyone that it’s perfectly legal to tell Bob Murray to eat shit.
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