Impeachment Evidence Leaves Republicans Cold, Dems Hot, and America Tired
Impeachment managers will wrap up their case against former President Donald Trump today, after spending yesterday showing senators hours of video taken from inside the U.S. Capitol building on January 6. One shows a Capitol police officer screaming while being smashed between two doors as rioters try to rush past him to get inside. Another shows Sen. Mitt Romney (R–Utah) narrowly avoiding a direct encounter with the mob.
But will the footage—while evocative and chilling—make a difference?
Most of it had already been made public, as had clips of Trump’s words and conduct that impeachment managers say incited the riot.
And most Republicans in the Senate seem unwilling to budge a smidge on backing their dear leader, even now. They’ve been calling the impeachment trial at best a waste of time and, at worst, unconstitutional.
Whoa: Eugene Goodman ran into Mitt Romney in the hallway and told him to turn around and get to safety, as the mob entered the building, in new footage.
Romney was going to run DIRECTLY into the rioters pic.twitter.com/0PX5LlxyXo
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) February 10, 2021
Whether or not Trump’s actions and rhetoric rise to the level of impeachment-worthy conduct, they’re still deceitful, dastardly, and deserving of blame for the events that ensued on January 6.
Trump may not have imagined things going down exactly as they did, but his lies still created the conditions that led to them—a situation the Wall Street Journal editorial board sums up nicely in a new editorial about how much responsibility Trump bears in all of this:
Mr. Trump’s defenders point out that he also told the audience to make their voices heard “peacefully.” And contra Rep. Eric Swalwell, who argued the incitement to attack the Capitol was “premeditated,” it’s difficult to think Mr. Trump ever envisioned what followed: that instead of merely making a boisterous display, the crowd would riot, assault the police, invade the building, send lawmakers fleeing with gas masks, trash legislative offices, and leave in its wake a dead Capitol officer.
But talk about playing with fire. Mr. Trump told an apocalyptic fable in which American democracy might end on Jan. 6, and some people who believed him acted like it. Once the riot began, Mr. Trump took hours to say anything, a delay his defenders have not satisfactorily explained. Even then he equivocated. Imagine, Rep. Joe Neguse said, if Mr. Trump “had simply gone onto TV, just logged on to Twitter and said ‘Stop the Attack,’ if he had done so with
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