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► House impeachment managers — a group that includes Colorado Reps. Diana DeGette (D-Denver) and Joe Neguse (D-Boulderish) — have provided a first glance at the arguments that will be presented next week in former President Trump’s second impeachment trial. As The Washington Post reports:
House Democrats made their case to convict former president Donald Trump of inciting the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol in a sweeping impeachment brief filed with the Senate on Tuesday that accused Trump of whipping his supporters into a “frenzy” and described him as “singularly responsible” for the mayhem that ensued.
In the brief, the nine House impeachment managers argue that Trump is not protected by the First Amendment’s freedom of speech provision, which was never intended, they wrote, to allow a president to “provoke lawless action if he loses at the polls.”
“If provoking an insurrectionary riot against a Joint Session of Congress after losing an election is not an impeachable offense, it is hard to imagine what would be,” the brief states.
Democrats also rejected the claim embraced by many Republicans that it is unconstitutional to convict a president after he has left office — an argument that Trump’s lawyers are expected to make in his defense.
“There is no ‘January Exception’ to impeachment or any other provision of the Constitution,” the House Democrats wrote. “A president must answer comprehensively for his conduct in office from his first day in office through his last.”
Trump’s legal team is expected to file its initial response to the impeachment trial summons later today.
Meanwhile, as Aaron Blake writes for The Washington Post, Trump’s new lawyer and his Senate lapdog, South Carolina Republican Lindsey Graham, are making some rather odd threats about the upcoming trial:
They suggested that holding a lengthy trial including witnesses could open up “Pandora’s box,” in Graham’s words, because Trump’s team could then call its own. But the types of witnesses they floated don’t seem to pose much of a threat.
Graham focused on the idea that Trump’s defense would then call witnesses that could reinforce that certain elements of the Capitol siege planned and coordinated the attack beforehand…
…This is a strategy that has been floating around in conservative circles for weeks. The suggested implication: If these people preplanned it, that means they couldn’t possibly have been incited by the president. (“If these federal law enforcement agencies had prior knowledge that this was a planned attack then POTUS didn’t incite anything,” Donald Trump Jr. claimed a few weeks back.)
It’s the very definition of a straw-man argument.
Don’t make us call our own witnesses who will corroborate…the case for impeachment!
► If you don’t know anything else about Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert (R-Fox News), you are probably aware of her carefully-crafted image as an everywoman who carries a gun around with her. On Monday, Q*Bert popped that bubble when she made it clear that she has never take a gun onto the House floor despite weeks of insinuations otherwise.
The word you’re looking for is “poser.”
► The El Paso County Republican Party is literally partnering with armed militia groups.
► Senate MINORITY Leader Mitch McConnell is speaking out against bonkers Georgia Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene. As Chris Cillizza explains for CNN:
“Loony lies and conspiracy theories are cancer for the Republican Party and our country,” McConnell said of the conspiracy-loving Greene. “Somebody who’s suggested that perhaps no airplane hit the Pentagon on 9/11, that horrifying school shootings were pre-staged, and that the Clintons crashed JFK Jr.’s airplane is not living in reality. This has nothing to do with the challenges facing American families or the robust debates on substance that can strengthen our party.”
See, McConnell knows that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-California) is set to meet with Greene this week to talk about her views — and, likely, to dole out some sort of punishment. According to Politico, McCarthy remains undecided about the best way to deal with Greene — and whether stripping her of committee assignments, for example, for comments she made prior to coming to Congress would set a dangerous precedent.
McConnell’s comments are designed to push McCarthy right off the fence on which he is currently sitting. It’s aimed at forcing McCarthy’s hand. It’s McConnell saying, essentially: This is not what the Republican Party is going to be in the future — and it stops now.
Whether or not House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has the stones to actually reprimand Greene is another story entirely.
More political (and coronavirus) news is available right after the jump…