Impeachment

Trump's Lawyers Say He Can't Be Impeached for Trying to Subvert the Election Because He Was Just Expressing an Opinion

They also argue that the Senate has no authority to try a former president.

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Responding to Donald Trump's impeachment in a 14-page brief filed today, his lawyers argue that he cannot be tried by the Senate because he is no longer president and that his promotion of the baseless claim that Joe Biden stole the presidential election, which inspired hundreds of his followers to launch a deadly attack on the Capitol last month, was protected by the First Amendment. And by the way, they say, there is "insufficient evidence" to conclusively determine that Trump's wild claims of massive election fraud were false.

The House managers charged with prosecuting Trump in the Senate preemptively rebut those arguments in an 80-page trial memorandum that was also filed today. Their case is much more thorough and, on the whole, persuasive.

Trump's argument that the Senate is not authorized to try him focuses on the constitutional text, which says the president "shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors." The Constitution gives the House the "sole Power of Impeachment" and the Senate "the sole Power to try all Impeachments," while limiting the penalties to "removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States."

Those provisions do not apply to Trump, "since he is no longer 'President,'" his lawyers say. "The constitutional provision requires that a person actually hold office to be impeached. Since the 45th President is no longer 'President,' the clause 'shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for…' is impossible for the Senate to accomplish, and thus the current proceeding before the Senate is void ab initio as a legal nullity that runs patently contrary to the plain language of the Constitution." They also argue that "removal from office by the Senate of the President is a condition precedent which must occur before, and jointly with, 'disqualification' to hold future office," meaning that a Senate trial cannot be justified by the possibility of disqualifying Trump from future federal office.

There are compelling arguments against this interpretation, based on the historical background, purposes, and prior use of the impeachment power. The House managers summarize those arguments in a 27-page section of their memorandum, noting that many legal scholars of various political persuasions think Trump is wrong on this point.

Michigan State law professor Brian Kalt gets into greater detail in his comprehensive 2001 treatment of the subject. While the record is mixed and often ambiguous, Kalt argues, the weight of the evidence supports impeachment and trial of former federal officials. Still, he calls it "a close and unsettled question." George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley, who is more inclined to credit Trump's argument, likewise says the constitutionality of impeaching or trying a former president is "a close question upon which people of good faith can disagree."

Trump's argument that his unrelenting campaign to overturn Biden's victory was consistent with his duties as president is much harder to take seriously. While Trump indisputably had a right to challenge the election results in court, the House managers note, the scores of lawsuits he and his allies filed were almost uniformly unsuccessful and never came close to changing the outcome. Instead of accepting the result, Trump continued to insist for months that he had actually won by a landslide, a fact he said would be apparent but for an elaborate criminal conspiracy that involved tricky election software and massive paper-ballot fraud.

"No President had ever refused to accept an election result or defied the lawful processes for resolving electoral disputes," the House managers say. "Until President Trump."

Some of the steps Trump took in the service of his election fantasy were by themselves clear abuses of power. The trial memorandum notes, for example, that he "tried to induce Michigan's top Republican legislative officials to violate Michigan law by rejecting the popular vote and selecting a Trump slate of electors." In a January 2 telephone conversation, Trump pressured Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to "find" the votes necessary to overturn Biden's victory in that state, warning that failing to do so would be "a criminal offense" and "a big risk for you." Trump publicly and privately urged Vice President Mike Pence to block congressional affirmation of Biden's victory. Since that is a power the vice president does not actually have, Trump was soliciting Pence to do something illegal.

Meanwhile, Trump continued to press his doomed, delusional cause with highly inflammatory rhetoric, castigating Republican officials who questioned his claims and warning that democracy would be destroyed if Biden were allowed to take office. He kept doing that even after it became clear that some of his followers were responding with death threats and violence. His campaign to overturn the election results culminated in his fiery January 6 speech to thousands of supporters who had gathered in Washington, D.C., to "stop the steal" at his behest.

"All of us here today do not want to see our election victory stolen by emboldened radical-left Democrats, which is what they're doing, and stolen by the fake news media," Trump told them. "We will never give up. We will never concede….You'll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength."

Trump made the stakes clear. "We're going to have somebody in there that should not be in there," he said, "and our country will be destroyed. And we're not going to stand for that."

The House managers suggest that Trump's speech, during which he also warned that "if you don't fight like hell you're not going to have a country anymore," legally qualified as incitement to riot and exceeded the bounds of free speech as described by the Supreme Court in the 1969 case Brandenburg v. Ohio. They also imply that Trump's remarks disqualified him from office under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which applies to federal officials who "have engaged in insurrection or rebellion."

All three propositions are dubious. But you need not believe them to conclude that Trump acted recklessly, without regard to the probable impact of his words, when he fired up the protesters with his apocalyptic warnings and urgent demands for action while directing them at the Capitol, where a joint session of Congress was about to confirm the election results. Notwithstanding his suggestion that the protesters make their voices heard "peacefully," it was entirely predictable that at least some of them would go further than that.

After the protest turned violent, Trump compounded his irresponsibility by only belatedly urging his supporters to be "peaceful," even while reinforcing the imaginary grievance on which the rioters were acting. "At 1:49 PM, after insurrectionists had overcome the Capitol perimeter—and after reports of pipe bombs had been confirmed—President Trump retweeted a video of his speech at the rally," the trial memorandum notes. "Just over thirty minutes later, at 2:24 PM, while rioters were still attacking police and after Vice President Pence had been evacuated from the Senate floor, President Trump again tweeted to excoriate the Vice President for refusing to obstruct the Joint Session: 'Mike Pence didn't have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution.'"

The House managers add that Trump "did not take any action at all in response to the attack until 2:38 PM, when he issued his first tweet, and 3:13 PM, when he issued a second." The first tweet said protesters should "remain peaceful," while the second said there should be "no violence."

During this time, the House managers say, "not only did President Trump fail to issue unequivocal statements ordering the insurrectionists to leave the Capitol; he also failed in his duties as Commander in Chief by not immediately taking action to protect Congress and the Capitol. This failure occurred despite multiple members of Congress, from both parties, including on national television, vehemently urging President Trump to take immediate action."

Finally, more than three hours after the riot started, Trump released a video in which he urged "peace" and told his supporters to "go home now." At the same time, he reiterated that the election was "stolen from us" after he won in "a landslide" and closed with this mixed message: "We love you, you're very special.…I know how you feel. But go home and go home in peace." That evening Trump tweeted: "These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long. Go home with love & in peace. Remember this day forever!"

Here is how Rep. Liz Cheney (R–Wyo.), the third-ranking Republican in the House and one of 10 Republicans who voted to impeach Trump, interpreted the events of that day: "The President of the United States summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack. Everything that followed was his doing. None of this would have happened without the President. The President could have immediately and forcefully intervened to stop the violence. He did not. There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution." Sen. Mitch McConnell (R–Ky.), then the Senate majority leader, agreed that "the mob was fed lies" and "provoked by the president."

Trump nevertheless told reporters his pre-riot speech was "totally appropriate." According to his lawyers' brief, he simply "expressed his opinion that the election results were suspect." To the extent that the impeachment "alleges his opinion is factually in error," they say, Trump "denies this allegation." More generally, the brief says, Trump after the election "exercised his First Amendment right" to "express his belief that the election results were suspect, since with very few exceptions, under the convenient guise of Covid-19 pandemic 'safeguards,' states' election laws and procedures were changed by local politicians or judges without the necessary approvals from state legislatures."

That argument, which state and federal judges rejected in every case but one (involving election observers in Pennsylvania), is just a small part of the story Trump has been telling since the election. He has insisted, again and again, that Biden won only because of massive cheating on a scale never before seen in U.S. history. Neither his lawyers nor any of his allies were able to muster credible evidence to back up that tall tale. Yet his lawyers' take is that "insufficient evidence exists upon which a reasonable jurist could conclude that the 45th President's statements were accurate or not, and he therefore denies they were false."

Trump also avers that his statements, true or not, cannot amount to an impeachable offense because they were protected by the First Amendment. But freedom of speech "does not protect government officials from accountability for their own abuses in office," the House managers say. "The Supreme Court has made clear that the First Amendment does not shield public officials who occupy sensitive policymaking positions from adverse actions when their speech undermines important government interests. Thus, just as a President may legitimately demand the resignation of a Cabinet Secretary who publicly disagrees with him on a matter of policy (which President Trump did repeatedly), the public's elected representatives may disqualify the President from federal office when they recognize that his public statements constitute a violation of his oath of office and a high crime against the constitutional order."

George Mason law professor Ilya Somin likewise notes that "high government officials don't have a First Amendment right to be protected from firing based on their political views." That principle, he says, "applies to presidents facing impeachment no less than other officials."

The House managers also address the argument that Trump's trial will only exacerbate the bitter political division between his supporters and his opponents. "Many have suggested that we should turn the page on the tragic events of January 6, 2021," they say. "But to heal the wounds he inflicted on the Nation, we must hold President Trump accountable for his conduct and, in so doing, reaffirm our core principles. Failure to convict would embolden future leaders to attempt to retain power by any and all means—and would suggest that there is no line a President cannot cross. The Senate should make clear to the American people that it stands ready to protect them against a President who provokes violence to subvert our democracy."

Since Trump's acquittal seems to be a foregone conclusion, I'm not sure how clear a message the trial will send on that score. But there is value in laying out the details of this shameful and horrifying episode. Even if only a handful of Republicans favor conviction, a bipartisan vote will signal that Trump did much more, and much worse, than express an opinion.

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  1. “[W]hich inspired hundreds of his followers to launch a deadly attack …”

    Anybody with a brain or even a modicum of sense will stop reading Sullum’s bromide right about here.

    1. yep, that was the exact moment I scrolled on down here to you guys.

      1. Me too.

        Sullum is a liar and a demagogue, and he has done nothing but shill for the oligarchs and bureaucrats who may have frauded an election.

        1. He’s such a loyal DemonRat, he should get a job at CNN. I hear they just fired a fake conservative, Sullum would be perfect for the job.

          1. I agree!

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              1. The Constitutionality of Trump’s Impeachment Trial Is’ Clear.The Constitution says “the President , Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from VGyu Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors..…..MORE READ

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          2. Completely missing from Sullum's article, ruined by the over-injection of his opinion, is the fact that a "constitutional" impeachment in the senate is presided over by the Chief supreme court justice (John Roberts). Instead, it is being presided over by Leahy. Further, as Trump is no longer president, impeachment, used primarily to remove a sitting president, is odd to leverage against a mere US citizen, who Trump now is. So we are in uncharted waters here. They are not following the rules, thus this is unconstitutional. Just like 55 senators voted in agreement with Rand Paul that it was unconstitutional. They already know that Trump will not be convicted, as 55 senators voted in agreement it was unconstitutional (60 needed to convict). So the entire point is moot, except for "theatre" which republican's for the most part, don't care about any more.

            1. 45 voted with Paul.

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            2. Missing from this article is the fact that the chief justice of the supreme court is to preside over the senate impeachment. If he is not presiding - then it is not constitutional. It's that simple.

              The constitution provides no framework for impeaching US citizens. The constitution says:

              The Trial of all Crimes, except in Cases of Impeachment, shall be by Jury; and such Trial shall be held in the State where the said Crimes shall have been committed; but when not committed within any State, the Trial shall be at such Place or Places as the Congress may by Law have directed.

              and

              The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.

              and

              Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.

              The last paragraph especially is clear. Impeachment is for removal from office and disqualification from future office. Notice the absence of the word “or” in the above clause. There is no “or” there. There is only an “and.” Thus he cannot be impeached. Thus unconstitutional.

              If you would like to assume that "and" means an "or" then technically, congress could vote on potential presidential candidates who have never even held office before, for impeachment, and disqualification from office. That is absolutely not constitutional, and never intended during it's writing.

              Impeachment was always for removal of an official from office.

            3. “The impeachment of Warren Hastings, first attempted in 1786 & concluded in 1795, is particularly important bc [it was] contemporaneous w the American Convention debates. Hastings was the first Governor-General of India”

              Hastings was Governor-General of Bengal from 1772 to 1785.

              IOW

              The impeachment took place AFTER he left office.

              Original-intenters *cannot* find trying trump on impeachment charges after he left office unconstitutional.

              1. Yes we can. Just because they did it wrong doesn’t make it right.

      2. Same here.

      3. Wasn’t just me then

        1. Such proud ignorance. Snowflake-delicate sensibilities couldn’t handle mean words about cult daddy?

          You’ve become traitors in your ignorance. You should read more.

          1. “You’ve become traitors ….”

            Then do something about it, or fuck off.

          2. You’ve become traitors in your ignorance. You should read more.

            Since Chief Justice John Robert's isn't presiding over the senate impeachment - it is automatically NOT constitutional. The constitutional is explicit and clear. What the democrats are doing is not constitutional.

            We should read more? Hilarious.

          3. You are such a proud democrat aren’t you. Even in the volokh threads you are a loyal party soldier. Lol.

          4. You’ve become traitors in your ignorance.

            If it’s so easy to become a traitor, then maybe the issue is with your definition of the word more than the actions leading one to commit treason.

    2. Sullum’s assertions are fact. Any evidence not mentioned by Sullum do not exist. That is all you need to know. That Sullum is laying the groundwork for arguments and prosecution that will be used against libertarians in the future is regrettable but necessary to insure his desired goal.

      The man is single-minded, I’ll give him that.

      1. The motherfucker understands exactly who is going to be buttering his bread when the purges commence in earnest. The best thing you can say about Sullum is that his transformation into a shameless worm appears to be a type of pathetic survival mechanism, rather than evil. He’ll come around to the evil, however. All worms eventually do.

        1. pathetic survival mechanism = evil, in some instances.

      2. That is the problem..

        “Neither his lawyers nor any of his allies were able to muster credible evidence to back up that tall tale.”

        “credible evidence” ……. Has 90% favor on 600,000 votes ever been seen before in a swing state in the entire history of the U.S.?

        Maybe those who spout off words like “tall tale”, “wild claims”, “fantasies”, “abuse of power”, “doomed delusional cause”, “rhetoric”, “reckless”, “irresponsibility”, “imaginary grievance”

        … should have a little backing for such; eh?

    3. What about his white male privilege? Why wasn’t that a main sticking point?

      1. In the Soviet Union under Stalin, there existed carefully vetted groups of journalists whose job was to publish gripping, first-hand accounts of the trials of political enemies in the papers. They would write about the guilt worn on the faces of the accused, their dramatic confessions in open court, the rushing spirit of revolutionary justice overwhelming the presiding magistrates, the jubilation of the masses at the knowledge that dangerous, subversive elements were being rooted out.

        The articles read like works of earnest devotion snd

        1. …… and sacred scripture. The journalists all knew that innocent people were being tried and sentenced, either to prison or death, but still wrote about their prosecutions with a religious fervor and adulation.

          But they, too, were ultimately purged because a few months down the road, once the bodies and families of the convicts had been firmly disposed, and all traces of their physical existence erased, all evidence of the trials having been conducted had to be erased as well, and that included the stenographers, witnesses, attending officials, and of course … the journalists.

          The most terrifying aspect of Stalin’s show trials was the fact that everybody present knew that their participation was their death sentence too.

    4. Well, it was a “deadly attack” in that one person (Officer Sicknick) was killed by the attackers. The real stretch is when the media talk about the “attack which left five dead”, without mentioning that only one was actually killed by the attackers, one was an attacker killed by police, and the other three were medical incidents which may not be directly related to the attack.

      1. By that standard, I think we can all settle on “mostly peaceful.”

      2. Actually autopsy results haven’t been released so we don’t know how he died.

        1. Considering the way the fire extinguisher was tossed and not used as a weapon – I still wouldn’t chalk it up to anything but an accident.

          1. PREMEDITATED MURDER BY STRAIGHT CISGENDER WHITE MALE SUPEREMACIST INSURRECTIONT SYSTEMIC RACITSTS!!!

    5. Unreason staff are mostly commies and they outed themselves in the last 4 years. They lie and are part of the antiAmerican propaganda problem we have in the USA.

      The democrats committed massive election fraud. The democrats unconstitutionally changed election laws which create tens of millions of illegal ballots.

      Unreason, courts, democrats, and RINos are okay with this.

      Makes sense since democrats started civil war 2.0 and election 2020 was the last legal method to avoid a shooting war. Democrats will lose this civil war like they lost civil war 1.0

      Trump is more popular than ever and that scares the shit out of the commies.

      1. Well, you’ve been wrong about everything else so far.

        1. Lol. Says the guy who thought Raytheon made the JSF and A10. Most military people would know who builds those, at least those that don’t lie about their service.

          1. Well, from the end of the election until now, loveconstitution1789 has made the following claims:

            1. Trump won Georgia.
            2. Trump won Arizona.
            3. The Supreme Court will give Trump a second term.
            4. Both Georgia Senate seats were won by the Republican candidates.
            5. Congress will not certify Biden’s electoral votes and Trump will get a second term.

            So yeah, wrong about pretty much everything is accurate. Either that or loveconstitution1789 is just a troll.

    6. I stopped after reading this in his headline “for trying to subvert the election…”

    7. Oh boohoo, holding Trump accountable (perhaps) for once.

      Go cry more snowflake.

      1. Shorter version:

        I don’t understand the discussion at hand, so I’ll just troll right along…

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    10. I stopped at “baseless claim” — I only read it to see how far Sullum would get before he would spout the Official Truth.

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    16. “[W]hich inspired hundreds of his followers to launch a deadly attack …”

      Pretty sure a time-line proves what was actually a protest was active before Trump made a comment.

    17. Yeah, not a single mention of Hillary Clinton or Stacy Abrhams not accepting the outcome of an election, or telling Biden to “do not concede under any circumstances”. Or how about Chuck Schumer telling certain libertarian leaning justices of the SCOtUS that “you have unleashed a whirlwind and you will pay a price”.

      Sullum has lost his sense of balance with his TDS. He’s totally missing the point of the hypocrisy of the authoritarian political class attacking Trump for what they’ve done but clearly much worse than anything Trump did. How libertarian is it, to attack the most libertarian president in 75 years, without a fair evaluation of how Trump acted compared to a bunch of the corrupt powerful political operators who’ve been trying to remove him because they didn’t accept the outcome of an election? And frankly, I believe the election was stolen.

      The Democrats impeached Trump the first time (after Mueller found nothing) based on the affidavit of a second hand witness, yet there are over 400 affidavits of election workers with first hand evidence of election fraud, which has been ignored under the guise that questioning the election is inciting insurrection, but only for this election. Not for 2016 or Stacy Abrhams’ election, and others. Democrats would help unify the country if they examined all the election procedures publicly and addressed them, but they haven’t because it appears to me, they need to cheat to keep in power.

  2. The libertarian argument against free speech part 2.

    1. “We totally believe in free speech, we just also think it’s totally cool if you are unable to find work, lose your business and/or can be prosecuted for it.
      Sincerely,
      Nu-Reason.”

      1. Seems to me much of the Reason staff was successfully gaslighted into “Orange man bad” and rather than stand up for libertarian principles and celebrate the many libertarian things Trump did. Including no new wars, his push for school choice, his respecting the republic whereby states do most of the work such as vaccine distribution, allowing Democrat governors to do what they think best for there state. Yet his opponents criticized him for authoritarian actions, but I don’t see Trump’s actions supporting authoritarian impulses. Biden yes (100 days of mask wearing, and schools won’t open but you have to pay the government workers even though they aren’t working). Trump offered up the National Guard to guard the capitol, and Democrats called him a facist, now look at all the troops and barbed wire walls there – the Democrats are the authoritarians. IMHO, the political class wanted a riot at the capitol and ensured there wasn’t sufficient police to protect it.

        The political class uses a divide and conquer approach to oppressing the citizens, and the Reason staff fell for it. IMHO, the Reason staff helped make things worse for libertarians unfortunately by falling for the “Orange man bad” meme.

  3. The only thing that Trump needs to say at this point is “Fuck you, there’s no constitutional authority for the Senate to try anyone who’s not an office holder. BILL OF ATTAINDER, MOTHERFUCKERS.”

    -jcr

    1. So, you’re arguing that for congress to prohibit any citizen who is not at that time POTUS from seeking public office would be a bill of attainder? Interesting…

      1. They don’t have the power to forbid anyone to run for an elected office. That would be a usurpation of the people’s power to elect candidates of their choice.

        The impeachment power allows for banning an office holder from any future “position of trust or profit”, which means appointed positions, not elected ones.

        -jcr

    2. Agreed. And 1A argument is also there.

      It was hilarious reading in the Democrats brief that the fact Trump said to protest peacefully was negated because he later said to Fight Like Hell.

      Speech doesn’t work like that. The Brandenburg decision still exists.

      The Democrats also state that it doesn’t matter that the riots started before Trump even finished because he somehow signaled for them to start earlier.

      Then they blatantly ignore the fact that social media shows people were conspiring prior to the speech with the pipe bombs being the night before.

      Their whole brief is hilariously bad. Sullum may have written it.

    3. C’mon, John, you know it’s not a bill of attainder. And there is precedent for impeaching people after they’re out of office, though that was primarily judges. The alternative’s holding a criminal trial for Trump for insurrection and giving aid and comfort to insurrectionists (which I think would be just fine, but Biden’s unlikely to do), which still triggers the 14th’s ban on him ever holding public office again.

      (I’m unlikely to get back to the comments section if you reply, but you know where to find me 🙂

      1. lol – it seems Trump’s detractors cannot live without him as going forward with impeachment simply pushes him forward, just as a failed criminal prosecution would as well.

  4. Get on the Ashli Babbitt story. Her murderer is going to get off scot-free.

    1. Uggg. We have been over this. It was clearly justified.

      1. Fuck off, fascist lickspittle.
        “We” haven’t been over anything.
        “You” have been making excuses for the murder of an unarmed woman who had every right in the world to be where she was.

        1. She entered through a broken window, and deserved arrest. But not to get shot.

          Of course, the whole violent part of the event was a false flag by Antifa and everybody knows it. But it allows the sheep to pretend that objectors to the stolen election are insane. Any real libertarian would know better.

          1. But on the other side of that window was a clear path to members of Congress.

            1. By that logic, Capitol police were well within their rights to gun down every single pussy hatter during the Kavanaugh hearings.

              Right?

              1. Did any of the people at the Kavanaugh hearing brake down doors and smash windows? How many police officers were beaten during the Kavanaugh hearings? Big difference between a protest and a riot, but not in your book. Any BLM protest is a riot and any Trumpista riot is a protest. Right?

                1. How many cops shot people at BLM riots again?

                2. Got it.

                  Property damages carries a death penalty.

                  Fuck off.

          2. “The boss of the country said, ‘People of the country, come on down, let people know what you think,'” Pezzola’s defense lawyer, Michael Scibetta, told Reuters. “The logical thinking was, ‘He invited us down.'”

            https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-capitol-defense-idUSKBN2A219E

            “Of course, the whole violent part of the event was a false flag by Antifa and everybody knows it.”

            Sure about that?

            1. Fuck off.

              1. This is not how you make friends, kids.

                1. This isn’t Grindr, friend.

      2. Yes, we’ve been over it; you’re full of shit.

      3. That cop didn’t have any reasonble fear to shoot an unarmed woman.

        1. The cop was protecting members of Congress from a raging mob. He had every reason to fear her and them.

          1. Fucking twat. Your reckoning cannot come soon enough.

          2. He didn't shoot her because he was a afraid. He shot her because he perceived a violation of his authority.

          3. If he’s not protecting his own life, and he has no reason to believe they are attempting to kill congresspeople (wouldn’t they bring weapons?) the appropriate level of force would be to tackle her or use tear gas or pepper spray. As much as I despise rioters, we shouldn’t actually just gun them down. It was a homicide, although the appropriate penalty is unclear to me without knowing more about the case and most important morally, what was likely going through the shooter’s head at the time.

      4. Totality of the circumstances.

        Did I get that right, Officer Sir?

      5. “Uggg. We have been over this. It was clearly justified.”

        Yes, we have been over this.
        You.
        Are.
        Full.
        Of.
        Shit.

    2. She died a traitor and a victim of a cult leader. Maybe a Lifetime movie would be appropriate.

      1. Fuck off.

        1. You’re not winning anybody over, you know.

          1. Youre defending someone clapping about the murder of an unarmed woman. Lol.

          2. If you’re trying to win over DOL, you should spend a bit more time here and reassess your priorities ….

          3. “You’re not winning anybody over, you know.”

            In order to ‘win over’ TDS-addled shits, they first have to pull their heads out of their asses.

      2. The difference between an insurrectionary terrorist and a revolutionary hero is merely perspective.

      3. Every Continental soldier died as a traitor.

      4. She died a traitor and a victim of a cult leader.

        It’s getting harder and harder to parody your side. I mean seriously, where to go from there?

      5. “She died a traitor and a victim of a cult leader. Maybe a Lifetime movie would be appropriate.”

        She died of a police shooting of an un-armed and un-threatening victim.
        You.
        Are.
        Full.
        Of.
        Shit.

  5. Given we know that there are 45 votes for the proposition that the Senate cannot convict him on Constitutional grounds, thus ensuring there will be no conviction, why is anybody still paying any attention to the farce?

    1. Because Trump lives rent free in Sullum’s head. I’m not sure if it was a particularly mean tweet that did it of if Jacob got disinvited from a DC cocktail party his significant other really, really, wanted to go to.

      1. Sullum knows that democrats pulled off a coup but like all the Lefty schemes, the are short lived and dont have much support in the USA.

    2. Trump gets clicks.

      1. /thread

  6. I know you lumps of shit think you got away with something, I’m sure you think a free people will allow this Nazi regime to stand. Trump is more popular than before and growing every day as you Nazi’s stomp around in your patent leather boots barking orders. Eat Sh1t and die.

    1. The reason unreason and other commies are trying to gain legitimacy for el presidente biden is because the democrats have no legitimacy. They had to agree to a communist chinese biological weapon attack and election fraud just to get Trump out of government.

      The lefties keep escalating their desperation plays each time.

  7. He literally told them to peacefully protest

    Why does the media act like he hired and ordered armed mercenaries to take over the capital? It was a bunch of dumbasses wandering around aimlessly.

    1. The same reason the media gave us kids in cages, injecting bleach, and Russia! for the last four fucking years.

      1. Kill the lamestream.

        1. Yes, if anything is going to change, it will have to start with the media. Once you start reporting their hypocrisy and behaviour, they can’t hide. They are propped up by willing propagandists that project a fake reality.

          1. In the Soviet Union, that kind of language would have earned you a stint in the psychiatric ward.

            1. Good thing we’re in the United Soviet instead of the Soviet Union

      2. Biden has reopened those cages because of the border surge.

    2. Media are liars. They lied before democrats used election fraud to coup Trump and they are lying today.

    3. Why does the media act like he hired and ordered armed mercenaries to take over the capital?

      Because the media sees him as some evil genius as portrayed in fiction – like the evil boss man in Inspector Gadget.

    4. “He literally told them to peacefully protest.”

      After the protest had already begun.

  8. Would be fascinating to see Sullum, or anyone at Reason, do an article of what Garland Favorito is litigating in Georgia. I’m almost afraid to mention it here, since if they did anything at all, based on their incredible bias they would mindlessly attack his lawsuit. He’s not the only one making slow but (hopefully) positive progress in several states, but you’d never know he existed. Check out Monica Perez’s videos on Youtube for occasional status updates on Garland’s progress.

  9. If you could go back in time and kill little baby Hitler, would you do it? Considering that you would be at that point killing an innocent baby that hadn’t yet done anything, it’s not an easy question. Yet it’s one that’s often considered and presumably often decided in the affirmative.

    Now consider that you’ve been told for 5 years that Trump is literally worse than Hitler – wouldn’t you have not only the right but the moral obligation to attempt to get rid of him by any means necessary? Who cares about morals or ethics or the law, you’re saving the world and all of humanity by getting rid of somebody who’s even worse than Hitler!

    And now consider that this guy had followers, what would you do about them? Do you really care about the legal niceties? Isn’t it imperative that these people be kept from ever holding any sort of power to resurrect their Hitler? As they say, the Constitution is not a suicide pact and whatever it takes to stop these people is, regrettably, whatever it takes.

    And these people are serious.

    1. “And these people are serious.” … and they’ve also been seriously radicalized into fully-emotional fully-irrational non-sense.

      Hitler was a National Socialist. Nazi is a synonym for National Socialist. Trump repeatedly denounced National Socialism (Nazism) while the Democrats have repeatedly lobbied for it.

      How to fix the emotional yet blatantly STUPIFIED?

  10. I was surprised that this article was such a biased load of feces until I scrolled up and saw the name “Sullum”.

  11. Disqualifying a president from serving again?

    So, tying the hands of the future electorate?

    Democracy under assault!

    1. Joke is afraid of Trump, because without a nationwide pandemic, rewriting election rules on the fly and not actually have to campaign, he knows Trump will beat him like a drum.

      He’s trying to get his buddies in Congress to disqualify Trump, which is far more egregious election interference than what the Democrats claim Trump did in Ukraine.

      When does Joke’s impeachment start?

    2. Democracy under assault!

      It’s treason!

  12. The war today is online not in the streets. That was the mistake of the insurrectionists – they thought they could win the election by force at the capitol without fighting with intellect and bravery in enemy territory online. So now they just make endless excuses for their cowardice. If only they had fought for Trump before the election with the viciousness they display here, he would have stood a chance. But they didn’t and it’s too late now and they have only themselves to blame.

    Nevertheless, I like Trump and would vote for him if he took a stand against social security and medicare. (Yes he’s grumbled about them, but nothing definitive so far.) Without these programs we would have a chance at a libertarian future.

    1. Trump is a socialist who favors Social Security, Medicare, and many other welfare programs.

      1. True, which is why he lost. Biden beat him at his own game.
        Don’t blame ‘election fraud’.

      2. Yet his budgets proposed to cut them.

      3. Brophy is a TDS-addled shit.

    2. >They thought they could win the election by force at the capitol without fighting with intellect and bravery in enemy territory online

      The mistake conservatives have made is thinking that the left is interested in engaging in intellectual thought and debate. While conservatives have been sat at home preparing winning arguments, the left has just swamped the institutions and will force their doctrines upon you without argument.

      1. “I was told that we can’t fight them because they will censor us. That’s how I know Trump won and violence is justified. Prove I said that you liar.”

        HAHA no. You didn’t even try (except on friendly territory here) and that’s why Trump lost.

        1. Piss off, WK.

    3. they thought they could win the election by force at the capitol

      No they didn’t.

      Jesus, what? You think they figured that if they stood in the Senate chambers then they were senators or something.

      That whole thing was, at most, a riot – not an insurrection. Not sedition. Not an attempt to take over the nation.

      1. they figured that if they stood in the Senate chambers then they were senators or something

        Exactly. This will be obvious in the trials.

        1. You are a fucking moron

    4. Challenging treachery of democrats and election fraud is american patriotism.

      The commies trying label patriots challenging democrats just never works.is why the commies at unreason are so scared. They see our comments about americans not believing the media lies. Most MSM just live in their echo chambers.

    5. They forgot to bring guns

  13. The house managers case is much “more thorough” than Trump’s because they are not equivalent documents. Today was the day for the house to file its case brief and the defense to file its answer to impeachment (essentially a plea). Trump’s case brief, presumably much more thorough, is due in Friday.

    A commenter pointed this out on Volukh.

    This article is a whole bunch of words comparing an onion to an apple as if they were the same thing. It would be nice if people figured out what they’re talking about before they made everybody more stupid, which this article does. C’mon Jacob, be better.

    1. His parents said that to him all the time. Look at him…what a lump.

  14. Given that Chief Justice Roberts has declined to preside over this mess, I’d say he can’t be impeached.

    1. You would be wrong. Read the Constitution.

      1. The Constitution specifies only four points about the Senate impeachment trial of a president: (1) The Senate “shall have the sole power to try all impeachments”; (2) when sitting as a court of impeachment, senators “shall be on oath or affirmation”; (3) conviction of any accused officer requires “concurrence of two thirds of the members present”; and (4) when the president is the accused, “the Chief Justice shall preside.”

        From Scotusblog

        1. The Constitution is just an interesting historical document at this point, like Hammurabi’s Code or, depending on who you ask, Mein Kampf.

        2. The president is not the accused.

          1. That is exactly right.

            A private citizen is the accused and, as far as I can tell, there is nothing in the Constitution that permits Congress to try a private citizen for anything.

            1. And I would agree with you there, but it’s clearly one for the lawyers and courts, since he was impeached as President, and since conviction carries penalties other than removal from office.

              At the very least, a trial is a stupid and painfully obvious partisan effort to kick someone on the way out the door. I, like you, don’t think it really should even be held as within the Senate’s power; however, IANAL.

              1. “[S]ince conviction carries penalties other than removal from office.”

                Those penalties being (1) removal from office, or (2) removal from office **and** disqualification.

                There is no stand alone option of just disqualification and I have a hard time seeing how anyone good read it otherwise.

                1. How lefties “read” or I mean cherry-pick words out of context to create wildly contrary meanings has been the lefties game for years.

      2. I’m sure you can point out the clause stating an opposing party Senator presides in cases of ex presidents. I’m sure the framers intended that one.

        1. Roberts gets a lot of shit for being a traitor, but I’ll thank him for– clearly correctly– declining to preside over the trial of someone who is at present a private citizen.

          Consequently, he has forced Democrats into this hilarious own-goal of having to put one of their own in to preside, and making it painfully clear to even casual observers what a complete kangaroo court this is.

    2. Who cares what democrats do. They can impeach trump 100 times. Democrats are traitors and they started this civil war 2.0

      When democrats lose this civil war like they lost civil war 1.0, we can start over with the constitution being the supreme law that limits government, not government limiting the constitution as written.

  15. Those provisions do not apply to Trump, “since he is no longer ‘President,'” his lawyers say.

    They should argue that since he’s being impeached, he IS still the President, and the White House has been seized by leftist insurrectionists.

    1. Insurrectionists, Nazi’s. Potayto, potahto. Resident Richard Potato.

  16. These comments are a painful indictment of “libertarianism”, which has somehow morphed into “yahooism”.

    1. Don’t be so hard on yourself.

    2. I agree, Alan. WORST C*MMENT SECTION EVAH!

      Sorry, had to do that for old time’s sake, even though there is no one left to get the reference. But yeah, Reason needs to close this comment section. It’s just embarrassing at this point and reflects really poorly on libertarianism.

      1. The only libertarian thing that’s left at Reason is this comment section.

        Not the comments. The comment section.

        1. Eunuch has long been an advocate of censorship.

          1. He is mad his WK sock got banned and he thinks water is h02

      2. “…It’s just embarrassing at this point and reflects really poorly on libertarianism…”

        Yes, lefty shits like you are an embarrassment.

  17. I voted for Jo Jorgensen, but still couldn’t disagree more with this. The first paragraph presents the defense’s claims as if they are outrageous on their face. But they’re not. They’re all true. And the robotic, cultlsh habit of attaching “baseless” to all of Trump’s claims of election fraud and calling that journalism is shameful. It is not up to the media to decide what is “baseless” and what isn’t. Trump’s lawyers presented enough evidence in many, if not all, of their suits to at least get to the discovery stage. Whether they would have won any is another matter, but since they were mostly stonewalled on standing grounds (which was dubious), we don’t really know.

    1. Right after the election it wasn’t obvious to me whether there had been any fraud, let alone how much of an effect any fraud might have had. Now, after months of the establishment shrieking about how it was the most secure election in history, there was absolutely no fraud whatsoever, and anyone suggesting there had been is a far-right istophobe, I’m now convinced that there was massive election fraud that stole the election from Trump. It wasn’t anything Lyn Wood or Sidney Powell or any Trump supporter said that changed my mind, it was entirely because of the establishment’s ridiculously over-the-top insistence on their rigid narrative.

      1. Christ, my original opinion was that maybe there was some slight fraud – especially in the lower elections – but nothing out of the ordinary and not enough to matter.

        Sullum, almost single-handely, has been pretty successful in making me re-evaluate where I stand on the issue;)

        All simply by constantly harping about how this is the freest and fairest election, the claims are ‘obviously baseless’, and we should just shut the fuck up and not go to the courts or recount or audit or anything.

        Because of our ‘sacred’ *gag* elections.

        1. Lefties are liars and so are unreason commie staff.

          If they say there was zero election fraud, you can bet your ass there was massive election fraud. I live in georgia and election offices are being cleared out of corrupt officials already. I challenged hundreds of registered voters who moved out state but were on the voter rolls. Some had bogus cities listed.

          You dont even need the election fraud to show tens of millions of ballots were illegal. Unconstitutional changes to election laws without state legislature approval makes those mailin ballots illegal. Democrats made those changes and created this situation of illegal ballots that officials were too big of pussies to enfore the law and toss those mailin ballots.

          Election 2020 was illegitimate in every state Because the fraud and illegal ballots were unprecedented. This created an election that was not fair. No fair elections, no america.

          Woodchippers started.

      2. Why isn’t anyone talking about actual academic research that shows that in a tight race, non-citizen voting alone can make the difference? With this unabashed scam of a never-ending supply of Dem voters we’re #$%^&*(

        https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0261379414000973
        http://www.judicialwatch.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Do-Non-Citizens-Vote-in-US-Elections-Richman-et-al.pdf

  18. At this point the removal from office is moot and a senate trial is counter productive. I despise Trump, but am more so enraged at the Democrats for this clearly partisan maneuver.

    I wonder why the Democrats and corporate media sycophants are so scared of Trump that they have tried for the last 4 years to equate him with evil incarnate. Clearly he has struck a nerve and I wonder if it’s because Trump was a Democrat prior to being a Populist Republican.

    I also have noticed that many of the Republican warnings of the authoritarian tendencies of Joe Biden and the Democrat party appear to be occurring. There isn’t any much to counter their argument. It not that Trump and Republicans don’t have authoritarian tendencies also.

    If we are to have civility (not the forced unity without dissenting opinion that Democrats are pitching), then we must elevate politics about settling scores.

    1. Trump is the realisation that the populace are vastly more in favour of the antithesis of the Democrat party. He reminds them of their own political mortality at the hands of the electorate and must be wiped out. That and the fact he got landslide level votes causing them to really push their fraud game to the point of massive exposure. As they say, if its not close, they can’t cheat, and Trump was miles ahead. That’s why they don’t even let people talk about it and couldn’t bear any scrutiny.

      1. Trump got millions more cotes in 2020 than 2016 and that is with massive democrat election fraud.

        This scares the shot out of lefties.

    2. The DNC and GOP establishment hated him because he wasn’t part of the club and didn’t play the game according to the rules. He threatened their ability to grift in peace.

      The left-wing populists hated him because his existence challenged the ‘ashbin of history’ theory about conservatives.

      All arguments on whether his policies were good or bad or whether he did/did not succeed in what he wanted to accomplish, this is what it comes down to.

      1. Pretty much all of the above.

  19. I just never read Sullum’s work anymore. It is too biased and full of errors. This place has become a trash fire and they simply won’t adequately confront the real dangers of left wing violence, socialism, and the democrats enabling of these. A major failure for libertarians, who will join conservatives in the camps.

    1. The problem isn’t Sullum but that too many of us are ‘libertarian except social security’. Sorry but if you really despise socialism then you can’t cling to its destructive programs. And you can’t support Trump hoping that he’ll save your ox from getting gored. We have to get rid of social security and medicare and stop making excuses that “People paid into it their whole lives!” and “You want granny to starve in the street!” and “It’s not real money you idiot!”

      People supported Trump because they are LESS but that’s also why they can’t form a cogent, non-hypocritical argument against Biden – which is why we lost.

      1. Who here is pro Social Security?

        1. Good then get out there and fight like I do every day. That’s the only way we can win. Or make cowardly excuses and attack your allies and wonder why you keep losing, up to you.

          1. Are you on coke or something?

            1. Gosh if only you had shown such angry persistence in fighting for Trump before the election he could have won. But you didn’t and it’s too late now and you have only yourself to blame. There is no justification for violence.

              1. So… yes?

                1. So… you agree there was no election fraud or justification for violence?

                  1. There absolutely was fraud based on the actual indictments that have already taken place.

                    So back to the coke question…

                    1. No widespread coke use.

                    2. Mostly peaceful coke use.

                    3. Gosh if only you had fought for Trump before the election with the same persistence that you now claim ‘election fraud’ afterwards, he would have stood a chance. But you didn’t and it’s too late now and you have only yourself to blame.

                      Or keep fighting Trump’s allies like me and making baseless accusations and wonder why you keep losing. Up to you.

                    4. We’re not up to the “fight you” stage yet.

                      We’ve moved past “ignore you”, and now we’re at “laugh at you”.

                      I expect we’ll be stuck at this stage for at least 10 or 20 years, based on your posts so far. If we can ever stop laughing, we’ll get to the “fight you” part.

                    5. If you ever want to win, venture outside your safe space here and follow me on twitter. Or keep fluffing your cult of Trump and wonder why you keep losing. Up to you.

          2. Stupid, idiot comment. The last budget deal had Trump proposing to exempt younger workers which would have cut the “paying into it all their lives” argument off at the knees and fostered a long term game of gaining political support to end it as the younger workforce gains political power over the boomers.

            But that wasn’t goood enough. You need to wait another generation because millennials are now just as invested as boomers, entering our mid 30s at the top.

            1. Stupid, idiot comment.

              So you just gave up. Well no wonder Trump lost. You have only yourself to blame. (Now claim you never really supported Trump to begin with but still insist he won to justify violence and call me an idiot again.)

              1. Do you ever run out of fingers to point?

      2. Can I get my SS money back? With interest? Will they stop taking it then?

        1. So you’re not a libertarian. That’s fine but note how most people here are more concerned about defending Trump’s honor than whether you support socialism. Which explains why he lost.

          1. Seriously. How much coke on a given noght?

          2. Libertarians are ok with having their money stolen and never returned? Or you have no idea what a libertarian is? I’m guessing the latter.

  20. Is there anyone who can agree or disagree with BOTH of the following statements:

    1. Trump did commit impeachable offenses and should be convicted.

    2. He can’t be convicted because he is no longer president?

    1. No. So why post it. What is your point here?

      He was impeached over a farce just like the first time. He won’t be convicted because it is a partisan farce, just like the last time. Lastly, it is wasteful outrage theater that screams look at this, not at the shitstorm that was our election.

      Like everything Congress touches, it preens with pomp and circumstance while turning a serious accusation that would have long term ramifications for all politicians into dirty pond water that all future politicians can bathe in and pretend they are clean.

    2. The second “statement” is a question. And, also, fuck off.

      1. I think that’s just poor grammar.

        1. Your granting MG entirely too much credit.

    3. No, I’m the opposite.

      I’ve held since Clinton that impeachment should only be for actual crimes (and I reject process crimes that aren’t *in addition to* an actual charge). Trump’s rhetoric fails Brandenburg so it is a non-starter.

      I have no problem with convicting a former official if proceedings began while still in office, however I reject as unconstitutional barring anyone from an elected position. I also reject pointless, partisan, show trials as a matter of course. This is not some philosophical exercise, it is a case where you can’t separate the motivation of those pushing for impeachment from any argument they make.

  21. And by the way, they say, there is “insufficient evidence” to conclusively determine that Trump’s wild claims of massive election fraud were false.

    Yeah, well, that’s true. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

    This is not me being a Trumptard either – there is simply no conclusive evidence either way.

    From a practical perspective, there never has been in any election. But what you forget/ignore, Sullum, is that elections work not because there’s *proof* but because people *trust*.

    People don’t trust now. But instead of trying to rebuild that trust, you just keep screaming about how we all need to shut the fuck up and sit down.

    Wait . . . is this a secret plan to foment rebellion? You sly dog you. Oh, wait, I said to much. No worries, my lips are sealed.

    1. “People don’t trust now. But instead of trying to rebuild that trust, you just keep screaming about how we all need to shut the fuck up and sit down.”

      Trust is beside the point. They have 25,000 troops at their disposal. Remember when Eric “I banged a Chinese Spy” Swalwell laughed at the notion of a Second Amendment on the ground that the government has nuclear weapons? Those are the people we are dealing with. Criminals do not need trust. They only need force.

  22. Trump’s argument that his unrelenting campaign to overturn Biden’s victory was consistent with his duties as president . . .

    . . . the scores of lawsuits he and his allies filed were almost uniformly unsuccessful and never came close to changing the outcome.

    The one does not negate the other. He could certainly have a duty to challenge the election and then be utterly incompetent in doing so.

    1. The president has a duty to support the election and tell the truth about it. Trump did the opposite.

      1. “The president has a duty to support the election and tell the truth about it.”

        So A1 doesn’t apply to a POTUS.
        How did you get so stupid?

      2. Where in the Constitution does it say that? Also, fuck off.

      3. lol… And what evidence do you have that would make you think he didn’t??? Media’s Cancel Culture called in by Democratic Politicians?

    2. Here is academic research about non-citizen voting, why didn’t they look into this before/during/after? That is a fail unless they had better evidence

      https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0261379414000973
      http://www.judicialwatch.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Do-Non-Citizens-Vote-in-US-Elections-Richman-et-al.pdf

  23. Trump pressured Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find” the votes necessary to overturn Biden’s victory in that state, warning that failing to do so would be “a criminal offense” and “a big risk for you.”

    Which is standard practice for police and prosecutors – see: Kamala Harris.

    Trump publicly and privately urged Vice President Mike Pence to block congressional affirmation of Biden’s victory. Since that is a power the vice president does not actually have, Trump was soliciting Pence to do something illegal.

    Mens rea applies here.

    Also, wasn’t Biden using the threat of removing American money from Ukraine unless they removed a prosecutor who was a danger to a business his son was on the board of not soliciting someone to do something illegal?

    1. Notice his issue is with finding (and in context included finding fraudulent ballots). But what Sullum wants it to mean instead is to manufacture the votes. Him and the media have both done this. remember, Georgia did in fact find thousands of “lost” Trump votes.

      1. … The effect Media has with falsified narratives on sheeple mind’s.

  24. Waiting for Jacob to commend on the John Weaver/Lincoln Project…”cuties” moment? I mean Karl Rove said he knew about this pedo since 1988…and yet the establishment GOP (big govt, deficit spenders, war mongers, and bailout of wall street lovers) did nothing. Nothing…..and Reason’s response is?

  25. sacred landslide election victory

    Here it comes out.

    This is the part that really sickens me. To hear someone who says they’re a libertarian talk about ‘sacred’ *anything* that has to do with government. Puke.

    Also, *landslide* victory? really? *Really*?

    82 vs 74 million. Only like 2/3rds of the adults even voted – 35% to 31%.

    1. Even if you just count voters, that’s 53-47%.

      1. Seems like a lot of commenters here don’t remember ’84. Or ’72 for that matter. That’s back when a landslide was a landslide, young feller.

    2. Plus it was only 40,000 votes in 3 states.

  26. Squeeze whatever you can out of it… the Era of Trump has gone almost completely black. I can barely see light on the horizon at this point.

  27. Glenn Greenwald blamed for getting NYT contract editor, Lauren Wolfe fired based on a fawning, teary-eyed pro-Biden tweet, and a deleted tweet about the horrifying precedent of Trump taking his own plane– deleted after Biden took his own.

    The media continues to beclown itself.

    Short version: Glenn tweeted back to this person that maybe journalists in The Era of Biden should have an emotional cry over Biden in private because they lack dignity when they do it on Twitter. When Greenwald woke up in the morning, his inbox was full of angry emails from liberals telling him to fuck off over his getting Wolfe fired. Greenwald’s first thought when he read them, “Who the fuck is Lauren Wolfe?”

    1. He also laughs that people have accused him of getting people ‘canceled’– and he says, “If I had that power, trust me, 95% of the people working at the NYT would be cleaning out their desks.”

    2. Once again, Twitter proves to be greatest thing to happen to journalism since the printing press.

      You want to know what the Editor of the New York Times thinks while she’s in the shower? Just go to her twitter feed.

  28. All these articles are amusing, and the ones in VC often even literate, but nothing changes the fact that this is a political event, and will be resolved by a senate vote mostly along party lines.
    So we can ignore the facts and the law, because they do not matter here.
    On the other hand, to be sure, the more time spent on this charade, the less time spent enacting the democratic party platform in the legislature.

    1. Yes.
      My wife asked why are they wasting taxpayer money on this? My response was: Better they waste it here rather than implementing Biden’s GND.

      1. They’ll do both.

  29. Sullum must have a water-proof keyboard; you can clearly hear the spittle flying out of his mouth as he types.

  30. How could election fraud be proven at this point? You have a pile of mailed in ballots in one hand with no voter names attached and a list of which voters voted in the other. {I believe every state keeps track of who voted in a general election and that these lists are public record} So, if one suspects many mail ballots were “manufactured” and falsely deemed to have come from voters, then one could test this theory by contacting, say, 2,000 alleged mail in ballot voters and asking them, under threat of perjury, if they actually did vote in the election. What percentage of the sample will say “Hell, no I never voted.?” Then apply the false vote percentage to the percentage of mail in ballots that went to Biden or Trump and see if the election outcome changed in that state.

    1. You’re not supposed to point that out. We have some fingerprints on this weapon, and there are fingerprints in that database, but we can’t compare the database with the murder weapon.

      So… what murder?!

    2. It’s been done by an independent audit that reported an estimate of (if I remember right) 65,000 votes were fraud — way more than enough needed to throw the result. Google it. Last I heard the FBI had requested their report. I posted a link to the finding here on Reason a while back.

      1. I must remind you to cut and paste, not post links.
        What the link points to, and even the existence of the link can change from day to day.
        Especially on Alphabet platforms.
        (and Wikipedia)

    3. No that won’t work. When it comes out that most of those people that mailed in votes did actually vote, then the election fraud people will say that the votes were changed. Or claim that the people that contacted the mail in voters are lying about what they said. That’s the thing with conspiracy theories, they can never be disproven. Any evidence contrary to the conspiracy is faked by the conspiracy. Lack of evidence is because the conspiracy destroyed it.

      1. BrianL, an authenticated election? “No that won’t work.”

        Mail-In voters were already contacted and approximately 65,000 of them were FRAUD. Then there’s all the one’s who showed up in-person and where told they’d already voted.

        You’re right; even if it came up clean – there is STILL making the election at LEAST as authentic as a soda-pop transaction at the gas station. We’re MILES away from basic security when it comes to stuffing the ballot boxes. Good grief the FOREIGN made counters that upload NEW firmware right in the MIDDLE of election…

        Common; Stop being so IGNORANT…

  31. I’m pretty sure Jacob Sullum is Brian Stelter.
    “Brian Stelter is a Senior Editor at Reason”
    It’s all starting to make sense now.

  32. Florida Gov. Ron Desantis proposes daily fines for Big Tech companies that deplatform political candidates
    https://www.foxnews.com/politics/desantis-fines-big-tech-political-candidates

    Finally, a potential legislative solution to Big Tech’s censorship of Republicans, libertarians and others with different views, which other Red states are likely to replicate and improve upon.

    1. I guess countering all those threatening calls by Democratic Politicians should have some obstacle in the other direction. I’m waiting for an expulsion indictment and hearing that would kick-out Politicians who conspire to use “crony socialistic” practices to thwart the freedom of speech on social networks.

      So what if they didn’t sign an E.O. and made ‘personal’ phone calls instead; If they can pretend 20,000 person protest gone bad by 100 of them is enough to impeach a non-existent President; there’s certainly more than enough room to “impeach” politicians for practicing ‘politician/officer positioned’ pure and undeniable requests to practice censorship on Big Tech.

  33. Such a confident expression that any ideas of Covid19 having rationalised a Coof Coup by weakening ballot security are conspiracy theories by moving to impeach an ex-president who is now just a citizen.
    The D.C Uniparty doth protest too muchly me thinks.

  34. If questioning the results of an election is impeachable, I’ll be waiting for the impeachments of every Democrat who engaged in Russian collusion hoaxes and the impeachment of Stacey Abrams for continuing to claim to be the governor of Georgia.

    Also, the article of impeachment is about incitement. They claim that Trump “willfully” incited violence, which is simply not true. Trump’s comments are well within Brandenburg V. Ohio. And don’t give me that you don’t need a crime for an impeachment — the constitution literally says you need a “high crime and misdemeanor” akin to bribery or treason (which are crimes). Impeaching without a crime is an excuse to completely ignore all precedent.

    Whether Trump can be impeached after office is unclear. The constitution isn’t clear about this. Maybe yes. Maybe no. However, congress only has powers explicitly given to it by the constitution, if a power is not clearly given, then they do not have that power.

    The only reason someone would want to impeach Trump is if they want to disenfranchise millions of voters. This isn’t democracy, this is just tyranny.

    1. You gotta read between the lines.

    2. The history books say a “high crime” is a crime committed by a “high official”.
      It’s about class, not severity.

  35. I’m waiting for Reason to give due diligence to all points of view on the matter of whether qualified immunity is the correct doctrine required by the Constitution… since they seem so eager here to point out there are many disagreeing views among legal scholars.

  36. Jacob, keep screaming! Your bullshit is noted, but keep screaming! You have already made an ass of yourself, but that seems not yet sufficient to prove you’re a TDS-addled lefty shit who is bereft of principles.
    Fuck off and die, asshhole.

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  37. Fuck off, Sullum. You use too many adjectives.

    1. I’m surprised you can read honestly.

  38. If you can’t impeach and convict for this, what can you impeach and convict for?

    The answer may be nothing. I rarely hear of laws that go unenforced for multiple centuries. Like so many things in the constitution, impeachment is a bit of a dud.

    Add it to the pile of beloved constitutional processes Republicans have sideway-fucked to death. All the more kindling for the fire of rebirth.

    If I were working for Biden, I’d send him to actual Phoenix to announce the mass court packing and New New Deal that will leave the constitution a slavery-era relic in all but name, but I studied English lit so I like symbolism and shit.

    1. Glad you study literature. You certainly didn’t study basic economics.

      1. Education = hundreds of thousands of dollars. There, economics. I think I can figure out a calculator if I ever need to.

        If you really want to understand how economies work, you should read about the deep puzzles and ironies of human nature as explored in classic literature.

  39. Every_one says but i asked …READ MORE

  40. During his first week in office, Biden also abolished a Trump-era rule that imposed some measure of accountability on the federal bureaucracy.……..MORE READ

  41. If there were any justice, he’d not only be impeached but thrown in prison.

    But everybody would rather make excuses for their favorite fascist. Better hope a left leaning fascist doesn’t come along then huh?

    1. … And yet Antifa is burning books, Pelosi is censoring speech, Democrats are OPENLY lobbying to repeal Section 230 so they can censor speech and Democratic Politicians called into Big Tech to have them censor speech….

      Fascist?? You’re are completely and utterly stupified by IGNORANCE.

    2. Guess you have no idea what fascist means. Trump broke your brain as well.

    3. lol – no one is stupid enough to try Trump criminally as the loss would be obvious and serve only to enhance Trump’s stature.

  42. Trump is most dangerous man in the world. https://patronoldum.com/

  43. Dude, has TDS big time. Trump just breaks some peoples brains. No longer able to think clearly or principled. Just orange man bad over and over again.

    So sad. Trump has his plenty of flaws but this dude should take the stick out of his own eye first.

  44. . Trump just breaks some peoples brains. No longer able to think clearly or principled. Just orange man bad over and over again.

    So sad. Trump has his plenty of flaws but this dude should take the stick out of his own eye first.

    1. Plenty of flaws? His good option was leaving office merely a national disgrace. In pure unadulterated Trumpian fashion, he even fucked that up and ended up leaving a traitor too.

      1. lol – I see you’re still using words you don’t know the definition of – such as traitor.

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  46. When Chief Justice Roberts declined to preside over the Senate trial to impeach a President who is not a President you would think that would have ended it. Instead the Democrats just forge ahead the Constitution and laws be damned. Chief Justice Roberts said they lost the chance to impeach the President when they delayed delivering the impeachment to the Senate while he was still in office.
    When the Democrats found Sen. Cruz was going to make a proposal that would be political suicide to turn down they had to find a way out. The best possible solution was to attack the Capitol and interrupt Sen. Cruz in mid-proposal and completely change the narrative making even a suggestion of audits sedition and even racist. The pipe bombs were planted the night before and 20 minutes before President Trump’s speech had concluded the attack began. They wanted to wait until after when the crowd moved down to the Capitol but that would have given Cruz time. It was just a coincident that John Sullivan a BLM activist was on video attacking police and urging the crowd on. Aren’t Trump supporters his enemy? Trump supporter fully aware of the proposal by Cruz was ongoing and chose that time to attack? Then to find most of those attacking were not even registered voters? C’mon man!

  47. They also argue that “removal from office by the Senate of the President is a condition precedent which must occur before, and jointly with, ‘disqualification’ to hold future office,” meaning that a Senate trial cannot be justified by the possibility of disqualifying Trump from future federal office.

    I agree. Logically, removal is a condition precedent.

    1. Or they say that Trump committed some undefined “crime against democracy”, while going through this ridiculous process to actually undermine democracy. If people want Trump back next time, they ought to have that choice.

  48. I have an opinion, the banks have too much money and I do not have enough; therefore, if I go hold up a bank I should not be prosecuted for bank robbery because I am just expressing my first amendment rights to my opinion.

    Mr. Trump committed a serious crime while president of the United States, there just is no plausible debate among rational people about that fact. The House passed impeachment articles while he was in office. There are many other aspects of the presidency that continue on after a president leaves office besides simply holding a chair in the White House, for example a lifetime security detail, and a $400,000 per year salary for life. Those items should not be accorded to anyone who has patently violate some of our most critical laws. The only way to remove them is via impeachment.

    So, is the right wing saying that a president should be able to commit any crime they please just because it is the end of their term and the congress does not have time to organize an impeachment/removal? Impeachment is only the charge against a federal officer, trial and it’s potential consequences are the other side of that coin. He was in office when impeachment was begun, now we have the trial even though he has left office, but removal from office is not the only thing at stake, if it were I would agree that while it may be constitutional it would also be pointless.

    If what Trump did on January 6th, as well as all the statements he made up to that point regarding overturning the election, and all the statements of his family and lawyer, and other assorted henchmen, as well as the actions of his political appointees who had no other qualifications for their appointments other than to see to it the DC National Guard was kneecapped from stopping an attempted coup, do not constitute an impeachable offense then there simply is no such thing as an impeachable offense.

    Except in the minds of posters here who seem to think the only impeachable offense possible is belonging to the democratic party. I say fine, you and your party want to obstruct justice then by all means go for it, own that, you already have once in the first impeachment trial by refusing to call witnesses.

    You act as if your party is the majority when in fact it is not as just demonstrated by one of the cleanest elections the US ever had. But, far be it from me to suggest you might want to consider long-term consequences of your actions and words. Mostly because I delight in watching the GOP party of racists and traitors burn down their own party.

    The GOP – if it survives at all – will not have a president in office nor control both houses of congress for the rest of my life, and I am not yet 63.

    That is fine by me. By the time there is again a viable conservative party it will be so changed that it will look like the democrats of circa 1980.

    1. There was no crime. Get a grip. You can’t steal an election and expect everyone to be cool with it.

  49. Oh so when Trump wanted to defend a federal courthouse from Antifa terrorists, that was terrible. But he didn’t crush mostly peaceful protestors at the Capitol and that’s a problem too?

  50. You don’t know the first thing about justice.

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