5 takeaways from Day 2 of Donald Trump’s impeachment trial

5 takeaways from Day 2 of Donald Trump’s impeachment trial

For hours on Wednesday afternoon, a collection of Democratic Home members — from Colorado’s Joe Neguse to Texas’ Joaquin Castro — laid out the tweets and public feedback from Trump that laid the muse for the Massive Lie that culminated within the violent overrunning of the Capitol on January 6.

I watched the proceedings — and took notes on what mattered most. My takeaways are under.

1. Trump is his personal worst enemy: Sure, the Home impeachment managers did job of creating their case. However in reality, Trump himself did a variety of the work for them. His tweets. His speeches. His media interviews. There was simply a lot of it. And time after time, Trump left nothing to the creativeness. He mentioned the election was rigged. He advised his supporters that they had been going to must combat like hell to maintain maintain of democracy. He refused to comply with the peaceable handover of energy if he misplaced. Time and again. And the Home managers simply poured Trump’s personal phrases and tweets into the lap of each single senator sitting within the chamber. All of that proof immediately from Trump’s mouth — and keyboard-typing fingers — makes it exhausting for any Republican to counsel that that is purely a partisan political continuing with none “there” there. This wasn’t the Home impeachment managers placing phrases in Trump’s mouth. This was simply him — speaking and tweeting and speaking some extra.

2. Liz Cheney: Per week after the Wyoming Republican survived a problem to her management slot within the Home GOP, her phrases in explaining why she was voting to question Trump had been used, once more, by Democrats to make the case for why he wanted to be convicted. “The President of america summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this assault,” mentioned Neguse in summarizing what Trump had carried out — a direct citation from Cheney’s assertion of January 12. Neguse wrapping Cheney’s assertion like an anchor across the waists of each single Republican senator is what the likes of Home Minority Chief Kevin McCarthy of California feared most following the Home impeachment. Cheney’s vote was one factor. Her assertion — significantly the road that Neguse quoted — was, for a lot of Republicans, one thing completely totally different as a result of they felt it could enable Democrats to bash each single Republican member with it. They usually had been proper.
3. Trump supporters took him actually: Bear in mind the now-pointless debate within the early days of Trump’s presidency about whether or not he needs to be taken significantly or actually — and whether or not his supporters took him as one or the opposite? On Wednesday, the Home impeachment managers made an hermetic case that Trump’s most ardent backers at all times took what he mentioned actually. They believed him when he mentioned the election was going to be rigged. They believed him when he attacked the vote in Michigan. They usually took him at his phrase when he advised them on January 6 they wanted to combat to avoid wasting democracy. How do I do know they believed him? As a result of the impeachment managers confirmed footage of Trump supporters in Maricopa County demanding the vote rely be stopped. And pictures of Trump backers exterior of Michigan secretary of state’s home chanting “cease the steal.” And of those that participated within the January 6 riot insisting they had been appearing on the orders of their President. “His instructions led to their actions,” Castro mentioned at one level, referring to Trump and the January 6 rioters.
4. Connecting the dots: One of many key debates on this trial is whether or not the individuals who rioted on the Capitol on January 6 had been doing so at Trump’s request or whether or not they had been merely unhealthy actors who had determined to make bother throughout the electoral vote certification earlier than Trump mentioned a phrase on the “Cease the Steal” rally that day. Trump defenders are fast to notice that among the rioters had already made their approach all the way down to the Capitol complicated earlier than Trump had even began talking — and that the planning for the rebel had begun lengthy earlier than January 6. However what the managers did on Wednesday is present that this wasn’t about simply January 6. They went all the way in which again to a mid-June 2020 Trump interview with Fox Information’ Chris Wallace wherein the President refused to decide to a peaceable switch of energy if he misplaced — after which rigorously walked senators by means of the myriad occasions between then and January 6 wherein Trump lied about every part from mail-in balloting to the vote rely in swing states to his probabilities of successful. This wasn’t a one-off. This was the results of months of Trump priming the pump, mendacity to his supporters in regards to the election and its final result. January 6 was the end result of all of these lies, not the place to begin.
5. Josh Hawley performs the villain: Ever since asserting in late 2020 that he would formally object to the Electoral Faculty rely in a number of states, the Missouri Republican senator has stood on the forefront of the trouble to courtroom the Trump vote in anticipation of a run for president in his personal proper in 2024. And he has repeatedly demonstrated that he believes one of the best ways to emerge because the Trump inheritor is to troll Democrats — and the media — as exhausting as doable. So, it isn’t terribly stunning, then, that Hawley was noticed by NBC’s Garrett Haake throughout Neguse’s opening presentation “sitting up within the gallery along with his toes up on the seat in entrance of him, reviewing paperwork, all through.” Hawley advised CNN’s Manu Raju that he was sitting within the higher Senate gallery as a result of he was “very ” within the trial — including, “Properly I’ve acquired the trial briefs with me, and taking notes.” Uh huh.

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