There is a heated game of political chess being played in the Capitol this week, and we are just now beginning to see how these calculations and gambits are playing out.
The Democrats have already known that their Republican counterparts would forge a plan to have the entire Trump impeachment trial tossed, claiming that the Constitution doesn’t support the idea of a President being convicted after he has already left office. But, the left also knew that this defense was not going to stick, either.
So, instead of solely addressing the constitutionality of the trial, the Democrats used a different more graphic way to remind the nation why they voted to impeach Trump in the first place.
House prosecutors wrenched senators and the nation back to the deadly attack on Congress Tuesday as they opened Donald Trump’s historic second impeachment trial with graphic video of the attempted insurrection and Trump’s own calls for a rally crowd to march to the iconic building and “fight like hell” against his reelection defeat.
The detailed and emotional presentation by Democrats was followed by meandering and occasionally confrontational arguments from the Trump defense team, which insisted that his remarks were protected by the First Amendment and asserted that he cannot be convicted as a former president. Even Trump’s backers in the Senate winced, several saying his lawyers were not helpful to his case.
The senators sitting as jurors, many of whom fled for safety themselves the day of the attack, watched and listened, unable to avoid the jarring video of Trump supporters battling past police to storm the halls, Trump flags waving. While many minds are made up, the senators will face their own moment to decide whether to convict or acquit Trump of the sole charge “incitement of insurrection.”
Trump allies in Congress called for a vote to determine whether or not there is the jurisdiction for the trial to move forward, with the legislative body deciding that yes, indeed, the trial would continue.