(Thread) Over the Cliff Notes: Impeachment #2

Let’s start with the Article of Impeachment itself: whdh.com/wp-content/upl…

The charge: Incitement of Insurrection.

Spoiler: This is a slam-dunk in the impeach-and-convict department, and will create a moment of truth for the GOP.
1/ The basics:

🔹Impeachment requires a majority vote in the House. 

🔹Impeachment is followed by a Senate Trial.

🔹Conviction requires 2/3 of the Senate.

After conviction, preventing Trump from holding office again requires a simple majority vote.
2/ This is not a criminal trial.

The Constitution specifically says that a criminal trial may be appropriate AFTER impeachment and removal.

Defendants in a criminal trial have special protections because they stand to lose their liberty, property, or even their life. Image
3/ An impeached president stands to lose his job and the ability to hold the job again.

Therefore certain requirements for a criminal trial, such as the requirement that allegations be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, do not apply.
4/ In addition to charging Incitement of Insurrection, the Article invokes the 14th Amendment (sec 3) and Trump’s duty to faithfully execute the oath of office. 

Notice the 14th Amendment doesn’t give the procedure for determining when Section 3 applies. Image
5/ Another part of the 14th Amendment — Section 5 — empowers Congress to enforce the entire amendment “by appropriate legislation.” But that would require the president to sign off on it, and might violate the ban on a Bill of Attainer.

In other words, it gets complicated.
6/ One judge has said a simple majority is all that is needed to remove under section 3 but that may have been incorrect, for reasons Chicago law prof. Daniel Hemel explains here: washingtonpost.com/outlook/2021/0…
7/ Under the impeachment clause, after conviction (2/3 of the Senate) a simple majority can remove Trump’s ability to run again for office.

Now, for a close look at the charge of Incitement of Insurrection. Image
8/ Note: The statement of facts don't have to be complete.

Additional facts can come out at the trial, which is sort of what trials are for.

This is particularly true when a crime was actually televised and members of the Senate conducting the trial were witnesses.
9/ Facts given in the Article of Impeachment:

On January 6, Congress and the VP were carrying out the duties given in the 12th Amendment. Image
10/ During the proceeding months, Trump repeatedly lied and said the election results shouldn’t be accepted because they were the result of widespread fraud. 

Just before the insurrection, Trump addressed a crowd and, among other things, said the following: Image
11/ After being incited by Trump, the crowd did the following⤵️

Trump's conduct followed his efforts on Jan. 2 when he “urged” Georgia SOS Raffensperger to “find” enough votes to overturn GA’s presidential election results and “threatened” Raffensperger if he failed to do so. Image
12/ The part about the repeated lies explains why Trump’s enablers are trying so hard to derail Impeachment, despite the seriousness of the crime.

They don't want the truth to come out.

They don't want to acknowledge their complicity or discredit their own propaganda machine.
13/ Flashback to Impeachment #1 when the GOP essentially put Trump above the law by ignoring the fact that Trump was strong-arming the Ukrainian president to open an investigation that would help Trump politically.

Who is getting strong-armed now?
14/ Nah.

He was president when the Article was drafted. One requested remedy is that he can't hold office again.

The idea that a president can commit a heinous act during the final days of his presidency and thus escape accountability makes no sense.

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Teri Kanefield

Teri Kanefield Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @Teri_Kanefield

14 Jan
Here's my thoughts about McConnell stalling.

If McConnell did hold a trial immediately, I doubt it would result in Trump being removed much sooner. Trials take time. Clinton's lasted a month, and Trump's term ends on Wednesday at noon (Seems like years away, right?)

The underlying crime in this case is complicated and will take time to present. (Of course, Clinton's trial was filled with annoying Republican grandstanding about how shocked they were--shocked, I tell you--at Clinton's immoral behavior.

These are different kinds of proceedings.

Even if you could conclude the trial in a week, you wouldn't actually be removing Trump any earlier than the end of his term.

Moreover, rushing a trial seems silly. We need all the evidence presented.

Read 9 tweets
11 Jan
The Authority Figure Defense

My latest for the Washington Post with @reichellaw


The Public Authority Defense will make it harder for the Trumps, Giuliani, and pals to squirm out of facing consequences.

Here’s how the defense works. If the chief of police tells you that you could ignore “no parking” sign, you could evoke the Public Authority Defense.

You could point your finger at the authority figure who invited you to commit the illegal act.

The spotlight then turns to the authority figure: Did the chief of police have the authority to waive the parking restriction?

If not, was it reasonable for you to believe that he did?

See where this is going?

Read 10 tweets
10 Jan
A few things to notice here.

The best Trump can get right now for a spokesperson offering his talking points is Jim Jordan.

One of the faulty talking points is that "impeachment is for a sitting president," so, if the trial can't take place until. . .

. . . after the 20th, there are "constitutional issues."

One possible punishment allowed by the Constitution after a finding of guilt in the impeachment trial is that the president can never again hold office.


By Jim Jordan's reasoning, Congress cannot take steps to prevent a president from running again for office if he leads an armed rebellion against the government during his final days in office (before a trial can take place).

Wrong. 🛎️🛎️🛎️ (and silly)

Read 6 tweets
8 Jan
This is not a criminal trial, so the standard of proof for a criminal trial does not apply.

Proof beyond a reasonable doubt comes into play in a criminal trial because a defendant can lose liberty, property, or even life.

This is about losing a job.
It's much harder to fire a president than a person in a regular because the job itself was obtained through Constitutional procedure (a nationwide vote) but it makes no sense for it to be as hard to remove a president as it is to get a criminal conviction.
Voting earlier on impeachment will not make another riot less likely.

The best situation is for Trump to resign. Pelosi wants to give Trump the chance to resign, or Pence the chance to evoke the 25th.

Waiting has another advantage as well. . .

Read 12 tweets
8 Jan
With the supreme arrogance that comes from too much privilege, it seems to have never occurred to @hawleyMO and @tedcruz that all their lying could expose them to criminal liability.
People who follow me know I've been very resistant to using criminal law. I've often argued that punishment doesn't gain the desired results and that political problems can't be solved through the criminal justice system.

But Wednesday crossed a line.
Read 7 tweets
8 Jan
Agreeing with @Peggynoonannyc was not on my 2021 Bingo Card.

Peggy Noonan calls Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz "the devil's apprentices" and demands the removal of Donald Trump.
Here's why an editorial like this matters: The only way to actually remove a president is to build a groundswell of support.

The Constitution makes it hard on the theory that it shouldn't happen without broad support.
For people wondering a vote might be delayed until Monday, one reason is to allow support to build. Give more newspapers and governors a chance to weigh in. Let people process what happened Wednesday.

The event was so shocking, and shocking details are still coming out.
Read 5 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!