Only 5

The Republicans are so shameless.

All but five Senate Republicans voted in favor of an effort to dismiss Donald Trump’s historic second impeachment trial on Tuesday, making clear a conviction of the former president for “incitement of insurrection” after the deadly Capitol siege on Jan. 6 is unlikely.

Just utterly shameless. Trump is a horror, and what he did before during and after the election was horrifying, including in terms that Republicans would normally sign up to (precedent, law, rule-following, respect, civility, tradition, truth-telling, Constitutionality), yet they’re still defending him.

What seemed for some Democrats like an open-and-shut case that played out for the world on live television is running into a Republican Party that feels very different. Not only do senators say they have legal concerns, but they are wary of crossing the former president and his legions of followers.

Meaning they’re afraid of him? If that’s the case he still has power, and that’s a very bad thing.

Democrats rejected the argument that the trial is illegitimate or unconstitutional because Trump is no longer in office, pointing to an 1876 impeachment of a secretary of war who had already resigned and to the opinions of many legal scholars.

Democrats also say that a reckoning of the first invasion of the Capitol since the War of 1812, perpetrated by rioters egged on by a president as Electoral College votes were being tallied, is necessary.

“It makes no sense whatsoever that a president, or any official, could commit a heinous crime against our country and then defeat Congress’ impeachment powers — and avoid a vote on disqualification — by simply resigning, or by waiting to commit that offense until their last few weeks in office,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.

You’d think.

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