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.

It's important to (1) secure a conviction and (2) make sure the public understands exactly what happened.

You need opening statements, witnesses, exhibits, etc. Trump is allowed to present a defense.

Rushing the trial only makes sense if you know you have the votes to convict. If Senators need to be persuaded, rushing is risky.

The gain (if you COULD rush it and not risk an acquittal) obviously getting Trump out sooner is better.

Who the heck knows what he's going to do, right? He could decide to lay low. Or he could try to steer the conversation to something else by issuing pardons. Or something else.

An advantage to starting next week is that the Republicans won't be running the show.

My feeling too ⤵️

It's important that the trial is done right. It will be a good chance to educate the public.

All indications are that the story is much worse than we know (and what we know is horrific.)

With McConnell no longer in charge, the GOP won't be able to do things like vote to have no witnesses. (Remember that?)

I was actually surprised that McConnell ducked the trial. I would have thought he would want control.

Most likely:

The whole thing is so toxic to the Republicans, McConnell might not want his fingerprints on it.

BTW all typing errors in this thread are the fault of keyboard gremlins. When it's late and I'm tired, they're more active than usual.

Lots of great comments and questions. I'll try to get to some of them tomorrow. Meanwhile, I put this short thread on my blog:…
Let's hope it has that effect. That video he released was a sign that it might.

The prospect of being convicted and stripped of his ability to run again for office will end a lot of his fundraising ability.

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More from @Teri_Kanefield

16 Jan
I see two possibilities ahead for the Republican Party.

#1: The party hardens as a right-wing white nationalist party and shrinks in size.

#2: Moderates conservatives retake the party. This, however, creates what political scientists call the "conservative dilemma."

The conservative dilemma, in a nutshell is this: Conservatives tend to represent the wealth and powerful corporations, therefore the policies they advocate are not appealing to the majority of people.

In other words, they will have trouble winning elections.

In the years since 1954, the Republican Party, while calling itself conservative, solved the conservative dilemma by bringing white nationalists and KKK types into the party, coddling them for their votes while trying to keep them on the sidelines.

Read 16 tweets
14 Jan
No, sorry. This is a common misunderstanding.

The clause says the president has power to "grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the U.S. except in Cases of Impeachment."

All constitutional scholars I'm familiar with say this means a pardon can't undo an impeachment.
There's really no debate among scholars I'm familiar with about this.

It makes sense, particularly given the rationale for including the pardon power in the first place.

Impeachment is not a criminal matter. Involved is only the right to hold public office and trust.
So no pardon can undo Trump's impeachment. If the Senate convicts, no pardon can undo that.
Read 7 tweets
14 Jan
The problem facing the House Managers (prosecutors):

How to win a conviction when some of the jurors (and judges) are at least partly responsible for the crime?

The answer: they must win first in the Court of Public Opinion, which is where Senate Trials are mostly conducted.
Senate trials are a political-legal hybrid.

They're partly a legal proceeding. It's called a trial, and the authority comes from the Constitution.

But the judges and jurors are elected officials and therefore answer to their constituents.

The framers did this on purpose. . .
. . . they considered giving the trial to the Supreme Court, but instead gave it to Congress. Because the president was elected, they wanted to make sure any conviction had popular support.

Nah 👇Roberts will just be a potted plant again.
Read 4 tweets
12 Jan
(Thread) Over the Cliff Notes: Impeachment #2

Let’s start with the Article of Impeachment itself:…

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
Read 15 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

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