Your Impeachment Saturday ... Something Or Other, NOBODY KNOWS!
Nobody has any idea what is happening today, your Impeachment the Second Saturday Something. We had thought perhaps closing arguments and a vote on disqualifying that rat bastard from ever holding office again, but, well, maybe a tiny bit of news broke last night, and maybe the (EXQUISITE) House Managers of the Senate's impeachment trial miiiiight just decide they have to call some witnesses. Wouldn't that be terrible! Because Trump's (SAD AND MAD) personal injury attorneys (no really) said some things we might just need to get to the bottom of, about how Donald Trump didn't know no how that his vice president was being hunted by a mob when he tweeted mildly about the coward Mike Pence helping Democrats steal the election, and maybe Tommy Tuberville, who happened to be chatting Trump up at the time, or oh say Kevin McCarthy, who told Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler that as he screamed at Trump to call off his dogs, Trump replied, "well Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are," could shed some light on that?
Anyway, let's start some blog!
Oh you wanted a livestream? Okay, let's find you one.
10 am: Whew, that PBS stream wasn't starting so I went to MSNBC which said the trial was starting at NOON, but now here is Judy Woodruff on the ol' PBS, did I say whew? WHEW! Chaplain is chaplaining.
10:05: Yup, Jamie Raskin brings up some HEARSAY HEARSAY from Herrera Beutler and wants to subpoena her, her contemporaneous notes, and ... not McCarthy? Probably because he lies so much. (And good for Herrera Beutler for putting her name where her mouth is; that CNN link above has an awful lot of "GOP congressmen" and "Pence people" with blank Twilight Zone faces.)
Trump's One Angry Man Michael van der Veen says there is only one article of impeachment, "incitement," so letting McCarthy and Congress just die is unimpeachable! Also, why didn't the House investigate? But if we're doing witnesses, van der Veen says VERY MAD, he needs a 9/11 Commission instead of just ... asking his client what had happened. IMPROPER! CLOSE THE CASE! DON'T HANDCUFF ME BRO! Van der Veen says again he had only eight days to prepare, well, next time maybe Trump won't lose 97 teams of lawyers before breakfast. He says he has to DISCOVER DISCOVER DISCOVER the truth, is he having a stroke? Oh well.
Raskin: This was always the time we were going to talk about having witnesses, don't let MAD BALLS fool ya! Also, you know, the news broke last night. (Actually, Herrera Beutler's been telling town halls and local Washington state media about this for several weeks. That's really on all of us.) Why did Trump not act to defend the country is very relevant, and "desertion of duty" is "built into" the impeachment charge, obviously, like if a police officer mugs you he is guilty of theft but he's also not doing his job as a police officer.
Van der Veen: It's my understanding that Minority Leader McCarthy will lie and say it never happened. They also lied about Mike Lee saying he heard Tommy Tuberville telling the president he had to go because they were taking the VP out, even though they literally never said that and Lee just jumped in to NUH HUH NEVER SAID THE THING YOU NEVER SAID I SAID I SAID. (At the time Lee claimed he could be "the only witness" to the Tuberville call and he hadn't heard that ... except of course other witnesses included Tuberville and whichever lucky White House staffer was staffing Trump.)
Anyway, van der Veen is now yelling that there will be no subpoenas via Zoom; he wants Nancy Pelosi (she's the real rioter) to come to HIS OFFICE, IN PHILLYDELPHIA, and the Senate cracks the fuck up, they can't believe this shyster my god.
This is hysterical, Trump's personal injury attorney (no really) tells the UNITED STATES SENATE that the way the rules of civil procedure works (this is not civil court) is you go to PHILLYDELPHIA. Senate President Pat Leahy tells the Senate to stop laughing at the mean man.
"That's the way it works, folks ... I don't know why you're laughing ... there's nothing laughable here" -- the Sen… https://t.co/0X6qcLZ1L7— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar) 1613229945.0
10:15: I didn't laugh at any of you (direct quote), van der Veen whines, before explaining again that the Senate has to come to his office, and they are TRAMPLING on the Constitution of the United States. This is ... hooboy!
Raskin: Yeah, we didn't "stipulate" anything, love you all, I am nice and not laughing at this poor man, peace out.
Leahy tells "all parties" not to use language unconducive to civil discourse. NO POOP THROWING ANYBODY!
Now they vote on having witnesses!
10:30: With Murk, Suzie Q, and Sir Mittens of Romneyham voting with the Dems for witnesses, looks like we're all going to PHILLYDELPHIA! (And good for you Ben Sasse.)
And Lindsey Graham changes his vote to aye on witnesses. WHAT UP LINDS, WHATCHA DOING? OH SHIT!
Alaska senator asked (after he'd voted) what the vote was for. LEAHY HULK MAD NO DEBATE.
10:37: Guess they all just walked out, because Chuck "suggested the absence of a quorum," and a minute ago there were a hundred senators there!
ANGER issues you say? I have seen nothing of the kind!
Marco Rubio would like to take some time to lie:
"Last night left wing Twitter starting beating up the managers for not calling witnesses & this morning they caved By a majority vote the Democrats can now force a trial where the House Managers get their witnesses & former President Trump gets none. A complete farce," he tweeted. IS THAT what happened, Marco Rubio? IS IT? Or did a Republican congresswoman scream and shout that Trump told McCarthy to get fucked when he asked for help during the congress-hunt? Hmmm, guess we will never know!
PBS says Graham changed his vote on witnesses to "yes," so that as a person who supported the motion he can later call to fuck the motion. Remember the night of the riot, when a HAMMERED Lindsey Graham said it's been a wild ride with the president but ENOUGH, he wanted OFF THAT TRAIN? Guess he sobered up!
Sir Mittens of Romneyham will not have your insouciance, sirrah!
Per the pooler: "Ron Johnson turned to Mitt Romney and was upset with him, even pointing at him once. Johnson was visibly upset. They were going back and forth with [Dan] Sullivan in the middle of them. I heard Johnson tell Romney 'Blame you.' Voices were definitely raised." I DEMAND FISTICUFFS!
ABC News's John Santucci says PANIC IN THE STREETS OF LONDON PANIC ON THE STREETS OF MAR A LAGO! "Sources close to president Trump are floored by what just happened. 'Stunned'. 'Stupefied'." "Remember this legal team was already fighting amongst themselves but they pulled it together for what they thought was one last day - now what happens is completely unclear."
But I mean really: Weren't they "stunned" and "stupefied" the whole time? (Yes.)
Wait what, did you guys know this???
No offense to personal injury attorneys, it is important to help people who have been injured! But wanna hear one of Michael van der Veen's radio ads? Oh yes you do!
11:45: Okay, we're in recess. See you back here at 12:30!
12:25: They've been trying this all week. Lindsey Graham did it, even one of the trumpenlawyers (probably van der Peen) had some hilarious sneer yesterday about ... oh who knows, I don't have time to dig it up. Anyway, it's very much of the school "Why did Hillary Clinton collude with Russia to steal the election from herself, HENGHHH?"
LOL Ted Cruz on the PBS stream saying the "political" Democrats were ready to convict on Day One, because they have eyeballs, and also were there. Does Ted Cruz have eyeballs? Was Ted Cruz there? A question for the ages really.
12:45: PBS reporter Lisa Desjardins says counsel are coming to an agreement that instead of witnesses, they would just stipulate Herrera Beutler's statement into the record. Otherwise they'll block all Biden's nominees. Hi, I have a crazy idea, what if we abolished the filibuster???
12:52: Leahy recognizes Bruce Castor (dumb cop of dumb cop mean cop), who says we'll allow Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler's statement into the record. Jamie Raskin agrees and reads her statement.
12:58: Well, that was deflating! But here is Jamie Raskin for his closing statement. "After he knew violence was happening at the Capitol, he took measures inflaming the crowd against Mike Pence." He refused requests to call off the rioters. He taunted Kevin McCarthy, per this evidence that has just been stipulated to be part of the record. It is OBVIOUSLY part and parcel of the offense, inciting violence. It is decisive evidence of his intent to incite an insurrection. When van der Peen says IGNORE IT, that is PLAINLY WRONG. They have no defense. If you start a fire and are charged with arson, you can't say everything I did after is irrelevant. If you try to get water and put out the flames, the court might infer it was accidental. But if you go and pour more fuel, or watch it gleefully, any reasonable people would infer you are Darrell Issa!
(Just kidding, that last part was not Jamie Raskin, it was your Wonkette. But such a good one, us!)
Raskin thanks them for their attention, says their accusations were irrefutable and unrefuted. Notes that the former president refused to come and testify, OBJECTION OBJECTION PHILLYDELPHIA RULES OF CIVIL PROCEDURE!
Raskin notes that if you want to talk about the president being cancel cultured just for starting a riot, how about Rep. Liz Cheney, who stood up to bullies and told the truth and they tried to strip her leadership position from her.
Ain't that America, Raskin asks, for you and me? Are you a Ben Franklin PHILLYDELPHIAN or a THIS GUY?
1:15: Raskin is still laying out the evidence they've shown this week, and that's all fine, but, whoo boy, it is not feeling like enough to overcome the anger of people watching that they won the vote for witnesses and then lay down for Lindsey Graham's threats. Just woof.
1:20: Here is Rep. David Cicilline. People were wearing body armor and holding weapons and he literally pointed at the Capitol and sent them at us. He may not have intended every single thing that happened (he did) but he foresaw it. But what happened after? There's a lot of discussion about what he knew and when he knew it. He's refused to come and tell us (OR HIS LAWYERS APPARENTLY, WHO WANTED THE HOUSE TO GIVE THEM THEIR ANSWER OF "WHAT DID HE DO TO STOP IT").
They claimed we manufactured evidence. We got his statements from a public archive. Everything's undisputed. Yesterday their lawyer claimed "at no point was the president informed the VP was in danger." How about nah? As the violence intensified, he tweeted more. By 2:12, the mob was attacking the Capitol, on live television. By 2:12, he would have seen the VP being hustled off the Senate floor. Defense counsel suggests SOMEHOW the president didn't know the VP had been removed for his safety as rioters broke in and police were overwhelmed. Cicilline SUGGESTS perhaps defense counsel is entirely full of shit.
Then while President Shitmouth is doubtless watching this unfold on TV, as he was "obsessed" with the certification, he tweeted more shit about Mike Pence. Rioters read his tweet about Mike Pence through a bullhorn and began chanting HANG MIKE PENCE. Court-martial this duty-derelicting son of a bitch!
Did Trump call to check on Pence's safety? Nah, he called Mike Lee because he thought he was Tommy Tuberville. Then AT SOME POINT, he spoke to Kevin McCarthy, who was pleading with Trump to call off the attack by "your supporters, Mr. President." "Well Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are." He essentially said, as he essentially tweeted at 6:01, "you got what you deserved."
The call ended with rioters breaking through the windows of McCarthy's office. Three weeks later, McCarthy went to Mar A Lago for a spot of tea and further humiliation.
1:35: Objection that part of this — maybe the broken window? — was not stipulated into evidence. Leahy will consider later.
1:44: Leahy rules "debate out of order" as Sen. Mike Lee yells "this is not debate, he said something that was not true!" So we're back to Lee's bullshit claim that he was lied about, when NOBODY SAID he was the witness to Tuberville's call.
So we're back "out of quorum" (not out of quorum) again.
Norm Ornstein is on PBS saying he doesn't know what Lee's damage is, since all Cicilline attributed to him was "a phone call at 2:26 existed." Which he showed them yesterday when he finally gave up his phone logs (he had earlier said his phone logs "didn't go back that far").
Norm Ornstein notes that Twitter is INFLAMED ("FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT!"), but hears that they could not get anyone else to agree to testify on the record because have you noticed what fucking thugs those POSes are?
Judy Woodruff phumphers about a Joni Ernst quote that was "colorful" about how they'll obstruct work on the many MANY crises Trump left for Joe Biden if they don't get a pass for their fascist shithead. Thanks for putting the country first, Joni Ernst!
1:55: Mike Lee withdraws his lie. Here comes House Manager Madeleine Dean. She would like to know: Does the fact that some people preplanned the attack mean that he didn't incite the attack? Let her answer her own question: Nah. The evidence overwhelmingly confirms he was inciting his people for months. That conduct took time, and he sent his "save the date" telling his thugs when, where, and whom to fight. He spent $50 million from his "legal defense fund" to get people to his rally. (But then how much was left for the Trump kids? :( )
AV CLUB TIME! (Trump running his mouth about the "fraudulent election" starting in MAY and culminating in him speaking before the mob on Jan. 6 promising to STOP. THE. STEAL. This election was stolen, and we fight, and if you don't fight like hell, you don't have a country anymore.)
Second, Dean says: We don't have to prove he knew every detail that would come, but he totally did. He knew they were Proud Boys, he saw their violence, he'd been encouraging and praising violence his whole term.
More AV club as Dean plays Trump's tweets of young brownshirts spitting DESTROY THE GOP (if they don't flip the election for Trump) and people he loves trying to run Biden's campaign bus off the road in Texas. That's upsetting!
2:10: Someone shouts from the Senate floor, "THIS IS CROOKED." I am unsure what the "new evidence" being stricken refers to. (You can't introduce evidence in closing statements.) But there was some video of Katrina Pierson talking about patriots fighting, and it really did sound like the Democrats' use of "fight" which van der Veen played for 14 hours straight yesterday. Dean says the video was already in evidence and she will keep it in the record, but people are grumbling "I never saw it!" "She doesn't even know what she put in!" They are discussing.
2:15: Van der Veen, the former president's One Angry Man, appears to be yelling at the Senate Parliamentarian, so, that's on-brand.
2:17: Dean is back and gets a chuckle. "Thank you Mr. President, I have to say that of all the trials I have ever been a part of, this is certainly one of them!"
Since Dean didn't come back and apologize, I ASSUME van der Veen was full of shit, COULD THAT BE????
Anyway, until she started working on the trial Dean didn't know, even though she was there, how much Trump had pre-planned, and the bravery of the police and the people who cleaned up after the mob. Perhaps none of the people here will be remembered in 200 years. But what they do here will be.
2:21: Joe Neguse time! He is grateful for the Senate's small courtesies, but he made "small" sound nice. He notes that defense counsel has ignored the facts and dealt only in distractions, like the former president being a private citizen, and lots of people say "fight."
Why would the Constitution include impeachment at all if we can just put people in jail? It wouldn't! (But also we should put him in jail.)
Neguse, clearly a nice young man, appeals to the Senate's better angels. I mean, bless you, but have you met them?
He talks about a good thing the Senate did once, overriding a Reagan veto of sanctions on South Africa. Two current senators, a Republican and a Democrat, voted for it that day. Grassley and Leahy I guess? I don't know, you guys got Google.
Now Neguse talks about the officers struggling to recover, or who may never, like this really sad WaPo article about an officer who took his life. If Cruz, Graham, McConnell et al. had human souls, they would be moved right now.
2:41: Jamie Raskin is back, talking about the children. His children, our children, children of the insurrectionists, all American children and how we must care for them. Goddammit. He says we have a second chance with the truth, talks some true shit about Trump trying to run over both the Separation of Powers and the will of the people. Will the Senate defend the people? Will the world look up to us? Will the Senate fuckin' CONDONE THIS SHIT????
It is beyond my understanding how the Republicans in the Senate (or most of them) are about to vote to acquit.
2:49: Van der Veen starts with "I'M TALKING" like he is Madam Vice President Harris and he can get the fuck out.
Van der Veen says the issue with the Herrera Beutler stipulation is that they stipulated it EXISTS, not that it's TRUTHFUL. Oh fuck you. Now he's on the Mike Lee complaint, which Lee withdrew at 1:55, I typed it right there! And then he goes to the Dean video which apparently had been in the record already because they spoke to the parliamentarian and she kept going!
At least his gorilla testosterone shot has worn off.
And now that he has already begun, Mr. van der Veen will begin!
All of us "starting with my client" are deeply disturbed by the attack. ASSUMES FACTS NOT INTRODUCED INTO THE RECORD VAN DER PEEN.
3:00: Peen says Trump's crumpets and hairbraiding party of Jan. 6 was hijacked by groups on right AND left, so that's the kind of honesty we're working with here today.
DID YOU KNOW Joe Biden gave moral comfort to mobs attacking police officers? DID YOU KNOW a mob killed Rand Paul and his wife, but he got better? DID YOU KNOW that Saint President Trump sending in the National Guard against VERY MANY BLACK PEOPLE was wonderful and pure and Democrats attacked him just for gassing A CHURCH so he could hold up a Bible? DID YOU KNOW that Madam Vice President Harris personally bailed out BLACK CHARLES MANSON?
He's still talking, but I will pause from being bored only to note that he has just interrupted himself to pick up a thread from yesterday and Bondsplain Bond v. Floyd to Jamie Raskin, law professor and Bond colleague and friend, to sneer "by the way, he never burned his draft card, he still had it, that was part of his defense," except Raskin never said Bond burned his draft card, he said he was a member of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), which was against the Vietnam War.
So ... I don't know, just another data point for "attention to detail" for the Peen.
Peen says the House could have tried the president while he was still in office if they "really believed he was such a threat." *Mmhmm, nods wisely, puts head in fireplace.*
Peen says Trump was not given a chance to defend himself; says the House did not call witnesses he ferociously whined this morning to exclude and then came to the horrid "stipulation" that has so many libs fucking ON FIRE right now; says they "fabricated twitter accounts" they did not fabricate. Says it's patently false and a hoax that Trump said there were fine people on both sides in Charlottesville. Says they are scurrilous scalawags with such a weak case they must lie and lie and lie and lie, like for instance he pressured Brad Raffensperger, whose released phone call with Trump, where Trump demanded he "find 11,780 votes" must also have been fabricated I guess.
Anyway, it's a circus and a showtrial and unconstitutional and "possessed" blah blah blah.
3:28: Okay he's done finally. Jamie Raskin takes five minutes of his reserved 27 minutes, "in an unprecedented act of self-restraint on my part," he will not rebut every slur and accusation.
Raskin read my bloog and would love to hear the president denounce the "violent insurrection" since Peen said he was appalled by it BY INTRODUCING EVIDENCE (not evidence) IN HIS CLOSING REMARKS. Raskin embraces the new "Raskin Doctrine" that a president may not incite violent insurrection. Says Trump's liberty is not at issue, starts a digression into Bond (that must have gotten under his skin too): "I GOTTA RESPOND TO THIS," direct quote. NO JAMIE! NO!
For the first time all week, Raskin seems to be rambling, letting Peen dictate his argument; while we would all love Storytime about Julian Bond and John Lewis, it seems like there are better times to school that syph dick about a court case he got wrong. Stay on course! Okay, here's his point, and he does have one: The First Amendment is on OUR side. We're defending the Bill of Rights and Separation of Powers and US Senate and US House and the right of the people to choose their president through an election, not have it overturned by violence!
But it took a while to get there.
3:42: And they vote. Senators, how say you? Is Donald John Trump guilty or not guilty?
Baldwin Guilty. Barasso Not Guilty. Bennet Guilty. Blackburn Not Guilty. Blumenthal Guilty. Blunt Not Guilty. Booker Guilty. Boosman Not Guilty. Brown Guilty. Burr Guilty. Cantwell Guilty. Capito Not Guilty. Cardin Guilty. Carper Guilty. Casey Guilty. Cassidy Guilty. Collins Guilty. Coons Guilty. Cornyn Not Guilty. Cortez-Masto Guilty. Cotton Not Guilty. Cramer Not Guilty. Crapo Not Guilty. Cruz Not Guilty. Daines Not Guilty. Duckworth Guilty. Durbin Guilty. Ernst Not Guilty. Feinstein Guilty. Fischer Not Guilty. Gillibrand Guilty. Graham Not Guilty. Grassley Not Guilty. Haggerty Not Guilty. Hasson Guilty. Hawley Not Guilty. Heinrich Guilty. Hickenlooper Guilty. Hirono Guilty. Hooven Not Guilty. Hyde Smith Not Guilty. Inhofe Not Guilty. Johnson Not Guilty. Kaine Guilty. Kelly Guilty. Kennedy Not Guilty. King Guilty. Klobuchar Guilty. Lankford Not Guilty. Leahy Guilty. Lee Not Guilty. Luhan Guilty. Lummis Not Guilty. Manchin Guilty. Markey Guilty. Marshall Not Guilty. McConnell Not Guilty. Menendez Guilty. Merkley Guilty. Moran Not Guilty. Murkowski Guilty. Murphy Guilty. Murray Guilty. Ossoff Guilty. Padilla Guilty. Paul Not Guilty. Peters Guilty. Portman Not Guilty. Reed Guilty. Risch Not Guilty. Romney Guilty. Rosen Guilty. Rounds Not Guilty. Rubio Not Guilty. Sanders Guilty. Sasse Guilty. Schatz Guilty. Schumer Guilty. Scott FL Not Guilty. Scott SC Not Guilty. Shaheen Guilty. Shelby Not Guilty. Sinema Guilty. Smith Guilty. Stabenow Guilty. Sullivan Not Guilty. Tester Guilty. Thune Not Guilty. Tillis Not Guilty. Toomey Guilty. Tuberville Not Guilty. Van Hollen Guilty. Warner Guilty. Warnock Guilty. Warren Guilty. Whitehouse Guilty. Wicker Not Guilty. Weiden Guilty. Young Not Guilty.
3:58: Congratulations to Richard Burr, Bill Cassidy, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Mitt Romney, Ben Sasse, and Pat Toomey for having eyeballs in their faces and enough spine not to lie down and say PLEASE SIRE MAY I HAVE ANOTHER when somebody tries to assassinate them. I mean it, we are pretty mean to Susan Collins in particular, for sucking all the time, but she did well this time. She may escape history's gimlet eye, FOR NOW.
Here's Chuck to call Peen "feeble," which is correct, and I think I'll have a drink, yeah nah? Yeah. Here's to us.
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