“Defend” the Constitution and freedom of expression, or prosecute a very popular former president who is no longer in office. Politically, Republican senators have it very easy. They already voted two weeks ago an amendment to annul the second impeachment of Donald Trump and only five decided it was pertinent. Listening to four hours of arguments for and against this Tuesday will change little.
It will be a definitive survey of what to expect with this process. Democrats would need 17 opposition votes to condemn Trump for inciting the insurrection, something highly unlikely in the current political climate. The vote on Tuesday will give the exact measure.
Each part of this dispute will have two hours to present its constitutionality arguments, which will undoubtedly triumph thanks to the bare majority of the Democrats with the tie-breaking vote of Vice President Kamala Harris, if necessary. Probably not necessary, because Republican senators like Mitt Ronney, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Ben Sasse and Pat Toomey have already had their pictures taken.
With the political force of the Democrats, but without the moral force of a true bipartisanship, the trial will move on Wednesday towards the presentation of oral arguments. Unlike the process on Tuesday, in which each party will have two hours to defend or dispute the charges, prosecutors and defense attorneys will have twelve hours each. That and the obligatory sabbatical break at the weekend will prolong the process until next week, much to everyone’s disappointment. The only thing that has an absolute majority in this ‘impeachment’ is the desire to park Trump.
Democrats fear that the process will delay until mid-March the vote on what really matters, the economic rescue package that Joe Biden promised during the campaign. The president does not want to rule on the second impeachment of his rival. His spokeswoman Jen Psaki assures that “although it is hard to believe”, not much is said about Trump in the new White House. “Everyone is focused on moving the country forward,” he said. Biden’s opinion on Trump “is well known,” he settled.
Secluded in Palm Beach
The new president has cut off the delivery of intelligence reports to his predecessor, as the protocol indicates, on the grounds that Trump would not take advantage of it and no one wants to risk “something escaping him.” The tycoon, held in his Palm Beach mansion, where he fights with the City Council to have the club for which he obtained tax discounts be accepted as a habitual residence, has opted in these critical days for an unusually low profile, but no one expects him to maintain it. once he is exonerated.
His attorneys will review word for word the “Save America” speech that unleashed the assault on the Capitol on January 6, confident that they can show that he spent more time defending democracy “peacefully” than doing so with force.
For their part, the managers of the Lower House who act as prosecutors will look back to last summer, to show that even before the elections, he heated up the spirits with accusations of fraud in preparation for the car day. Sedition or freedom of expression? That will be what the senators will have to decide next week.