Grounds for Impeachment

Solicitation, not just incitement.


Whether to impeach the President need not depend on whether he incited the attack on the Capitol or stopped just short of incitement. (A sentence I never expected to write.) One proper ground for impeachment is rather simpler, and a matter of public record.

Last Wednesday, Trump publicly urged Vice President Pence to interfere with the counting of the electoral votes. He maintained that Pence, and Pence alone, could "send it back" to the states for the appointment of different electors. And he complained bitterly when Pence failed to do so:

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Suppose that Pence had listened. Suppose that he had announced from the dais, when Arizona's electoral votes were opened, "I am sending this certificate back to Arizona for the appointment of new electors."

That would have been impeachable. The Twelfth Amendment required Pence, "in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, [to] open all the certificates," at which point "the votes shall then be counted." Whether the states ought to have appointed different electors was the subject of much litigation, now resolved. Whether these certificates were the authentic certificates, listing the votes of those electors they did appoint, even the President did not dispute. And whether or not the Electoral Count Act empowered Congress to vote on objections, Pence had no authority to decide the matter on his own. For Pence to interfere with the count, hoping to remain in office beyond the end of his term, would have been a plain breach of his constitutional duties.

That being so, the President's urging the Vice President to commit an impeachable offense was itself impeachable. Refusing to leave office is a high crime or misdemeanor if anything is. And soliciting a high crime or misdemeanor is itself a high crime or misdemeanor, even if unsuccessful.

Many people saw Trump's efforts as foolish, and the hopes he held out of continuing in power (notwithstanding the electoral college vote) as unserious. But other people took them seriously. Thus the Capitol was attacked. The President's faithlessness has cost five people their lives, and his impeachment is already overdue.

NEXT: Today in Supreme Court History: January 11, 1830

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  1. Trump was getting the result he intended. Sitting in the comfort in the White House, he cackled with glee as he watched the Capitol being stormed.

    1. He had a quarter million people in D.C., and maybe a 50th of a percent entered the Capitol building, and a half dozen did anything remotely violent. You think if maybe he’d intended that the Capitol be stormed, he could have done better than that?

      I will fault him for inadequate crowd control, though. He really did badly on that front.

      1. Say we accept your figures for the number of Trump supporters who were actually in DC. They seem a bit inflated, but Trumpists are known for their exaggeration, so we’ll accept your quarter million as a starting point just to humor you.

        A 50th of one percent of 250,000 is 50.

        If you truly believe that only 50 Trump supporters entered the Capitol on January 6, then I have some Florida swampland and a that you might be interested in. After we’ve completed that deal, maybe I’ll also explain to you where babies come from (Hint: it’s not the stork!).

        Same if you truly believe that only a half dozen committed acts of violence. That is some true delusion right there.

        1. No, those numbers seem about right, given the photos and video I’ve seen. Maybe as many as a 100 entered, very few charges being brought for actual violence, mostly just unlawful entry. It’s pretty clear that the participants were a tiny, tiny fraction of the protesters in D.C., and only a few of the people who unlawfully entered the building were in any way violent.

          It’s likely that, after people started entering by the front door, many of the people who went in weren’t even aware they were breaking the law. They sure weren’t acting like people who knew they were committing criminal acts. But they should have known, so no excuses.

          I’m down with charging everybody who entered with whatever they can be proven to have done. In fact, my primary concern is that there not be any discretionary failures to prosecute, which might indicate provocateurs being let off the hook.

          1. Several videos show Capitol Police opening the doors and appearing to invite protesters into the building. Yes, people who broke windows, entered through broken windows or doors, or brought things like zip-ties into the building pretty clearly broke the law. But entering the Capitol when the police beckon for people to come in? Not obviously a crime.

            Have any politicians set up funds to bail out these protesters yet?

            1. or brought things like zip-ties into the building pretty clearly broke the law.

              Wow, what statute covers that?

              1. I was thinking the same thing — but why did they bring them?

                Those things aren’t cheap, memory is that they are $10/$15 each, as opposed to the 2-3 cents you pay for the regular zip ties.

                1. Allegedly to hang Trump flags from stuff. I say ‘allegedly”, because regular zip ties would have done the trick, so I don’t buy it.

                  Ziptie guy was one of the few people breaking into the Capitol building who tried to obscure his identity, so I’m fairly comfortable with the presumption that he knew himself to be up to no good. Unlike the morons who posed for the security cameras.

                  1. How would they do that? These are closed loops which means you can’t go through eyelets in the flags, nor around banisters and such. I don’t think they would have done much good.

                    And where were their Trump flags? If they truly intended this, wouldn’t they have thought to bring some flags *to* hang?

            2. Michael P, what’s your take on the legal posture of yanking cops out of their blocking positions in doorways, dragging them down the steps into the crowd, then while they lie surrounded and helpless on the ground flailing them with flagpoles and hockey sticks?

              You can see it all on mainstream media. Put the sound on mute if you’re worried someone will notice what you’re watching.

          2. So if I rob a bank that has a million dollars in it, but I only take a few thousand I am not guilty of bank robbery.

            As to the number who breached the capitol, who you gonna believe, you or my own lying eyes.

            1. Whose guilt are we talking about here? I’m down with prosecuting everybody who entered the building, no exceptions. I’m just pointing out that almost all of the D.C. protesters didn’t do anything of the sort, so the case that Trump WANTED the Capitol building attacked, and was encouraging it, is kind of weak.

            2. Is Liz Warren and everyone else who said that the Bank of America is evil and stole money from people responsible for everyone who goes and robs one of their branches?

              What if they are wearing Warren campaign buttons?


          3. There are due process issues with the unlawful entry charges. If a uniformed officer doesn’t say anything, a rational person assumes….

            But I am more concerned about the failure to prosecute Antafa LAST WEEKEND. And this whole thing is looking like selective prosecution.

            1. Let’s say I leave my front door open to my house. And let’s further say there’s a bunch of visible cops nearby who ignore trespassers.

              None of that would make people who come into my house and trespass into non-trespassers.

              There’s no due process right of a defendant to pretend he or she is an idiot. Any minimally intelligent person should know you aren’t supposed to trespass on the Capitol grounds. Not only should this “due process” defense be rejected, but people who assert it should probably be made examples with significant federal prison time, so the next group of protesters who have the opportunity to trespass in a government building decide it isn’t worth it.

              1. “significant federal prison time”

                Not likely for mere unlawful entry though, assuming first time offenders.

                Do you feel the same way about the people who occupied the Wisconsin state capital for weeks in 2010 or the BLM activists who broke into the Ohio capital this summer or the anti-Kav protestors who occupied multiple senate office areas?

                I’m ok with long sentences for all of these but I thought libs were against the carceral state?

                1. I’m not a fan of left wing protesters who occupy government buildings, and have no problem with significant prison time for them.

              2. How were they to have known it was trespass? It’s a place that is normally open to the public, and if the guards are letting you in then it’s natural to assume you’re allowed to go.

                1. With a riot going on around them, are you saying a reasonable person would not know to leave the area?

          4. Don’tcha hate it when facts get in the way of uninformed opinion.

            From the WaPo

            “Dozens of people have been arrested — some for minor offenses like breaking curfew or unlawful entry, while others face more serious federal charges, including firearm possession, violent entry and disorderly conduct at the Capitol building. The count is expected to grow rapidly in the coming days. … Michael Sherwin, the acting U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia told NPR that his staff is working around-the-clock to sort through ‘potentially thousands of people that may have information about crimes … meaning there could be hundreds of people charged.’”

            1. How quickly you jump from “violence in the Capitol” to “breaking curfew” in your argument there, WashPo!
              Almost as if they were entirely different things, in entirely different places, on different days even according to the paper.

        2. 50 might be a good guess as to the number of people who were forcibly making their way through barriers to enter the building.

          Far more than that ended up taking a leisurely tour of the capitol as it was basically open to the public after that point and officers were letting them all in freely. There were 80 year old ladies and just lots of regular folks walking through like they were on a guided tour, staying inside the ropes and taking photos and such.

      2. I want to know why they brought the flexcuffs. It makes no sense because if they truly wished to kidnap (or kill) politicians, they’d have brought guns (or at least batons). After the attack on the softball team, everyone knows that the leadership has armed CHPD security that will defend them, so what were they thinking.

        It makes no sense if their intent truly was malicious.

        Not that what they did was acceptable, but people intent on breaking big laws (e.g. kidnapping, murder) usually aren’t worried about breaking little ones like a gun ban.

        I don’t want to wonder too far into tin foil hat territory but what was really going on there?

        1. Man who thinks people can only carry one thing at a time. New level of stupid right there.

      3. Fascist apologist. Fuck off.

      4. He had a quarter million people in D.C.

        I guess that the Sean Spicer alternative facts version of the day.

    2. Trump was getting the result he intended. Sitting in the comfort in the White House, he cackled with glee as he watched the Capitol being stormed.

      And how did that work out for him? Was there any possible universe in which it would have worked out well for him? So why would he have welcomed such a result? Cui bono?

      (It’s perfectly possible that Qanon was stupid enough to think this would help Trump (Antler Man looks like just the kind of idiot who would believe it), but Trump himself isn’t that stupid.)

      1. Trump not having a well thought out plan is not a rare or strange thing.

        1. Says the guy who doesn’t think winning one Presidential election, and coming within under 50K votes of winning another, shows a capacity for well thought out plans.

          1. Weren’t you just saying that Melanie Trump is smarter than most presidents?

          2. It shows a capacity for well though out plans for someone. Not necessarily the candidate, though.

            1. Knowing enough to hire good planners is a tolerable substitute for being a good planner.

              The point here is that people trash talk about Trump a lot. But believing trash talk is foolish. The guy has enough of a track record of success to make most of this sort of trash talk nonsensical.

              Trump’s political rallies have, until now, been fairly peaceful. The Capitol police relied on that, and, so, apparently, did Trump. Turns out to have been a mistake, they’d needed to up their game on crowd control, and didn’t.

              1. The guy has enough of a track record of success to make most of this sort of trash talk nonsensical.

                Success? Serial bankruptcies don’t make a successful career. The guy couldn’t even turn a profit running casinos – a business where people basically walk into your building and hand you money.

                1. Yeah, he couldn’t make a profit running casinos… In a year the whole casino industry was dying. What a stupid talking point. Where do people get the idea that casinos are a safe industry?

                  1. The Trump Taj Mahal opened in 1990 and went bankrupt just about a year after it opened. Before it opened Wall St analysts were saying, accurately as it turned out, that it couldn’t generate enough revenue to meet its debt service requirements.

                    Some people, Brett – smart businesspeople – tend not to expand when the economy is in a downturn, and not to overleverage by borrowing so much that a downturn puts them out of business. They have enough sense not to go into overcrowded markets, and not to cannibalize their own existing businesses.

                    Trump made all of those mistakes. The casinos were in constant financial trouble, like the Plaza Hotel, which it took him four years to bankrupt.

                    Please don’t pretend this guy is some sort of business genius. He’s a crook and a deadbeat. Doesn’t pay his lenders, doesn’t pay his suppliers, doesn’t pay his taxes.

          3. Says the guy who doesn’t think winning one Presidential election, and coming within under 50K votes of winning another, shows a capacity for well thought out plans.

            “The smarter guy wins the election” is an argument nobody ever made before Donald Trump’s sycophants came up with it because they couldn’t point to anything he has ever said or done that demonstrated intelligence.

      2. I don’t think Trump intended for the capitol to be stormed. He’s ever been well spoken, and in this case he was indescribably reckless and stupid.

        Maybe he’s smarter than I think he is, but I doubt it.

        1. I agree with this. No doubt he didn’t care for the low class reaction he created.

          I also think his recklessness is still impeachable.

          1. So now it’s high crimes and misdemeanors and reckless acts? Is negligence next?

      3. “And how did that work out for him? Was there any possible universe in which it would have worked out well for him?”

        Well, if you go by the various multiverse theories out there, yes, there would be at least one where he really did win the election.

    3. “Trump was getting the result he intended. Sitting in the comfort in the White House, he cackled with glee as he watched the Capitol being stormed.”

      IF that was his intent, he did a terrible job at it.

      From a military/tactical standpoint, it was an abysmal failure. Once they got into the building, they had no organized plan as to what they were going to do. The mob that stormed the Bastille *did* — these people didn’t.

      Because of the utter, total incompetence (or stand down) of the CHPD, the thugs quickly got a significant tactical advantage — it’s far easier to hold a building than to take it, and from a military/tactical standpoint, they squandered this advantage. In other words, it’s really difficult to get people out of a building without destroying it — police have been known to totally demolish homes in an attempt to arrest just one or two perps.

      So if Trump truly wanted this to happen, he should be upset about how badly it didn’t. No, he made the mistake that most people would — thinking that everyone else would do what he would, stand outside the building and maybe scream a few obscenities. But if you’ve ever been in charge of security for a large event, you know better — there are crazies out there.

      Trump screwed up, badly, in terms of crowd control. He should have had police cars (with lights flashing) or a unit of mounted officers — preferably both. 40 cops at the head of the parade might seem like a waste of resources, but it wouldn’t be because that fence that only had four officers behind it would also have had forty in front of it and the line would have held.

      But before calling for him to be impeached for this mistake, ask yourself if YOU would have thought of doing this???

      1. He should have had police cars (with lights flashing) or a unit of mounted officers — preferably both — at the head of the parade.

        I don’t know why clauses disappear like this…

      2. The preferred technique, I believe, is to have coordinators for every X number of attendees, who are clear about what is supposed to happen, and are positioned to see that it does. For instance, if you’re marching to the Capitol building, you have a fair number of people already there, and make sure the lead group is heavily salted with reliable people. You even publish an official timeline of events.

        The one complaint about Trump I’m totally down with is terrible crowd control.

        1. That’s if you have the personnel and the GOP has been short of dependable volunteers for a very long time. They are into asking people to donate money, not time. This goes all the way down to the CR chapters where if you are not on the E-Board (executive leaders) you don’t matter, so — not surprisingly — they don’t have anything *but* E-Board members.

          People don’t realize it but this was actually four different rallies sponsored by four different entities. So whose people will be doing the coordinating? And at this point with the schism in the GOP, how do you know whom you can trust — and that even trustworthy people won’t do something truly stupid under stress. I’ve seen it happen and had to deal with it.

          Cops at least have some training, and a command structure where the senior people have seen stuff like this before.

          Yes, you are right about an ideal *organized* event but this was more of a flash mob. I don’t think that there *was* a plan for what would happen after Trump got done speaking — any plan — and that’s why it turned into such a dumpster fire.

          Memory is that Trump said that he was going to walk to the capitol — like the USSS would let him do that… I know he is textbook ADHD, but, but, but….

      3. IF that was his intent, he did a terrible job at it.

        Which is no evidence at all that it wasn’t his intent.

    4. “cackled with glee”

      Did he say “yes my pretties” also?

      We know you hate him. Stop making up sh*t you can’t possibly know.

      1. To be fair; this is what the reporting is saying, from sources inside the White House who were present. You gotta come up with some verb. Would you have preferred “giggled with glee” or “chuckled with glee” over ‘cackled?’ That’s a pretty slim reed to whine about.

        1. Ah, yes, the same “anonymous sources” that had evidence of the Russian Collusion, and the Ukraine Deal, and the Pissing Hookers, and so on.

          So far, the only evidence anyone has presented is a photo taken before the rally, that showed him and staff in a tent smiling at the people gathered down the block. Of course, it is falsely presented in many places as happening during the riot, and silly people believe it because TDS.

      2. Bob, one curious thing. In all of these impeachment blog posts by Somin, et al all arguing to impeach POTUS Trump, not a single author has linked to the entire speech transcript from January 6th. If this speech inspired mostly peaceful protests riots, should we not be examining the specific sections of the speech that were incitement, and therefore impeachment worthy? If anything, to discuss the particulars of the…trial. What exactly will the House impeachment managers argue before the Senate, anyway?

        I’ve watched the video. I have now carefully read the transcript. I have tried reading this through the eyes of my uber-lib friends. I just don’t see the incitement that would motivate ~200 protestors to mill about the Capitol Building, and take selfies of themselves. There are a couple of points where he uses clichés that are common colloquialisms. I am reading, and re-reading the damned transcript and just scratching my head.

        Tell me I’m crazy. Am I? 🙂

        1. Yeah, you’re crazy. Watch some mainstream TV. They have been stringing the videos together. It was an incredibly violent event, with uncountable numbers of violent, armed participants.

          As for the incitement, that was complete sometime after the final recounts, and before the last of the court decisions. If you’ve got that all on the record, but without evidence you still tell folks that there was election fraud, and you really won, that’s impeachable incitement. And it doesn’t matter if you are so crazy you truly believe it. It’s still incitement. To contest an election in public after everyone can see you lost creates a challenge to the nation’s sovereignty. That’s dangerous stuff.

          1. lathrop, as a rule, I do not watch television.

  2. “Suppose that Pence had listened. Suppose that he had announced from the dais, when Arizona’s electoral votes were opened, ‘I am sending this certificate back to Arizona for the appointment of new electors.’

    That would have been impeachable.”

    Under what theory? This seems to me to be pure hand waving.

    1. Under the theory that it is a violation of his oath of office?

      Here he is, saying the words:

      1. Thanks for that. You have convinced us that Mike Pence is the duly sworn Vice President of the United States.

        1. No, the legal theory here is sound enough, I think, though it sets the bar for impeachment so low every President in living memory would have been impeached.

          Counting those votes isn’t a discretionary act, so refusing to do it is a violation of his oath of office. Soliciting an unconstitutional act is reasonably impeachable.

          It’s just that, if we’re going to be honest, which living President hasn’t done that at some point?

          1. That’s ridiculous, as usual, Brett.

            There are varying degrees of seriousness of violations. Urging the VP to arbitrarily overturn the results of the election ranks pretty damn high on that scale.

            Remember last time, when some argued that Trump’s attempt to extort Ukraine didn’t “rise to the level” of being impeachable?

            1. Yes, his ‘attempt to extort Ukraine’ is kind of like his ‘incitement’ in that guilt is just asserted to be self-evident, not demonstrated.

              Here at least I think there’s a valid argument. I just think the class of similarly valid impeachment arguments is large enough you could impeach any modern President.

              1. You being unconvinced by the arguments being made doesn’t mean those arguments don’t exist.

                1. I haven’t seen an argument for incitement here, just assertions. People like Ilya state there was incitement, and then proceed to reason about the implications.

                  The reasoning in favor of there having been incitement does show up in the comments, but I don’t find, ‘He used the word ‘fight’ several times, and never mind when he said ‘peaceful’.’ persuasive.

              2. His efforts to use U.S. foreign policy for personal benefit began a year prior to the phone call, even back to Zelensky’s predecessor. That’s when Trump started outsourcing our country’s international affairs to his private attorney & two low-grade crooks. Who would attend Ukraine’s presidential inauguration depended on campaign assistance to Donald Trump. A possible summit meeting between the presidents depended on campaign assistance to Donald Trump. Releasing congressionally-appropriated military aid depended on campaign assistance to Donald Trump.

                On the summit proposal, top aides to Zelensky visiting Washington were explicitly told the Ukrainian president must commit in writing that he (Zelensky) would publicly announce a Biden “investigation”. This was when Bolton stormed-out the meeting, saying he wouldn’t be part of any “drug deal”.

                The response of Right-types like Brett generally ran like this : (1) Ignore the overall pattern of evidence – every single fact was to be walled-off from the dozen similar actions that proceeded or followed. (2) The actions of people like Giuliani must be seen as completely independent of Trump, despite the fact DJT repeatedly told people they operated as his agent. (3) Thus reduce a long effort to make American foreign affairs about Trump’s private benefit into just a few words on one phone call. Sure it was extortion, but why quibble? After all, it was bungled (as typical with Trump) and didn’t work. No harm, no foul.

                You’ll see the same effort here. Ignore Trump’s exhortations, lies and agitprop leading up to the riot. Ignore the vitriol of other speakers at the rally. Ignore Trump’s attempts to threaten and bully election officials. Ignore Trump’s pressure on Pence to preform a clearly unconstitutional act. Ignore everything except the smallest handful of words right before the violence. Make sure this isn’t seen as the last & ugliest action by Trump in a long effort to subvert an election.

                Yesterday’s papers had an article on Trump personally calling a junior Georgia election official to pressure him to alter vote results. This was a direct contact, not through the Georgia Secretary of State. How is that not wrong to a criminal degree? When does a whole pattern of actions to overturn the democratic process become an impeachable offense? Who doubts we’ll find multiple other sleazy & unethical actions by Trump towards other states? What will those Michigan state officials Trump summoned to the White House say when they testify under oath?

                1. grb,

                  You don’t understand Brett. He is as close as you can get to actually worshiping Donald Trump without actually claiming Trump is divine.

                  He will never concede that Trump is anything other than a righteous genius.

            2. “Urging the VP to arbitrarily overturn the results of the election “

              That’s neither what this would have done nor what would have happened. Sending the slate back to the state legislatures would merely mean that the legislatures would have to affirm them as valid — if the legislatures felt they were. Now, if the legislatures felt they weren’t, then you’d have them corrected.

              1. If you put it like that, I’m starting to wonder why you were so keen that this should happen only a week ago.

          2. > every President in living memory would have been impeached.

            Wait, you somehow don’t think every President in living memory should have been impeached?

        2. Now go back and listen to the words of the oath, and try to figure out what those words might mean…

    2. The Constitution is clear the the VP has no power at all during the counting of the EC votes. If the VP were to reject the votes from some states, that would be a violation of the Constitution. For the VP to do that in order to stay in power even though he lost, that would be even worse (and fit the definition of a self-coup). Without a doubt impeachable. For Trump to pressure the VP to do that is also impeachable.

  3. Why is there still always discussion about what is impeachable? Anything is impeachable. It’s whatever Congress wants.

    1. Because impeachment loses its PR sting once people realize that’s the real criterion.

    2. I’m with M L. Impeachment is a political act. It can be done for any reason or no reason. It is analogous to a vote of no confidence in parliamentary systems.

      The Constitution implies that there must be some kind of offense. But without a definition rooted in written law, we are all free to run amok giving opinions, “that’s impeachable” “this is not impeachable”. There is no practical difference between that and saying “no reason”.

  4. OK, this is actually something that vaguely looks like a valid argument, at least, because it doesn’t rely on just assuming the supposed “incitement”, but instead relies on something that actually did happen.

    How many recent Presidents would we have impeached under this standard? All of them, I think… Urging officials to do something somebody else thinks unconstitutional is pretty common, isn’t it?

    1. By this I mean, sure, by any reasonable reading of the Constitution, Pence’s role there was purely ministerial, he had no choice about whether to count the votes. But plenty of official acts are predicated on unreasonable readings of the Constitution, and abuse of ministerial roles to do discretionary policy making is pretty common.

      1. While I agree with you, don’t forget that for many in the legal community, there is a Trump exception to the law, precedent, or anything else. Far from being above the law, the left has established that Trump is beneath it.

        No rule, law, or precedent shall get in the way. As soon as Trump enters the equation, their brains drain out through their ears. Verdict first, due process later. Maybe.

        I wouldn’t be surprised if Senate Democrats refuse to let Trump conduct a defense.

        1. I’m sure someone here at the Conspiracy would rush to point out the Constitution doesn’t actually say that he gets to conduct a defense.

        2. Silly. In order to preserve the “rule of law” first democrats have to define it all again by finally satisfying their urge to get Trump. Once all that is said and done we will all have a new “rule of law” which is of course the left gets to do whatever they want with the support of media and big tech while everyone else gets persecuted.

        3. tylertusta — How about the Ds tell Trump he gets no defense unless he and everyone in his administration comply with subpoenas? Would that be wrong?

    2. Yes, “soliciting a high crime or misdemeanor is itself a high crime or misdemeanor, even if unsuccessful” is a great example of an argument that proves too much.

      1. Because the OP’s approach is entirely consistent with you solicitation of a crime works under the criminal laws of (AFAIK) every state in the US as well as the Federal level?

        1. “As in all criminal cases, a solicitation defendant can challenge that they did not commit the act, or that they did not have a criminal intent if they did commit the act.”

          IOW, convince us that Trump thought it wasn’t constitutional for Pence to have done it.

          1. Ignorance of the law is not a defence.

            1. I just quoted from your own link where it states that, yes, it is.

              1. That essay isn’t very well written, but that is not what it says, and knowledge of illegality is not generally an element of solicitation.

            2. Actually, the 14th Amendment says it is…

              1. What on earth are you talking about, you gibbering baboon?

          2. The fact that the President is so ignorant of the Constitution that he thinks the VP can unilaterally overturn an election is hardly a compelling defense to an impeachment charge.

  5. They are already walking back having any kind of trial in the senate prior to January 20th. They might not even take up a vote to impeach for several months, and some just want to censure and move on. House can impeach all day and night it will mean zip. Senate isn’t voting to remove a president who’s already gone. Waste of time but will prove that democrats run on a single track and that’s if you don’t conform expect a 3am visit.

    1. I think Pelosi is going to want to at least hold a vote to impeach before the 20th, because delaying THAT until Trump is no longer President gives him a pretty good basis for arguing in court that Congress is acting unconstitutionally by impeaching a private citizen.

      They can probably get away with holding the actual trial after Trump leaves office, so long as he’s indicted before then.

      On the conviction end, they likely can’t convict if they play it honest, they won’t have 2/3rds of the total Senate in their corner. But they can pull it off if they’re determined and lacking in scruples, because it only needs to be 2/3rds of the Senators present, and arranging to hold a quick vote while most of the Democrats and only a few Republicans are in the chamber would be easy enough.

      It’s mostly a question of how much they want the riots that would cause.

      1. Could they be stupid enough to think there wouldn’t be riots?

        1. I believe that the Democrats want riots by Conservatives. Unlike the Liberal rioters that they excused for all their illegal actions, they’ll hold what could easily be described as show trials to try and paint all Conservatives with the same brush.

        2. Yes, I’m sure having riots to try to interefere with an impeachment trial is a great way to convince non-Trumpists that there is nothing to see here…

        3. Ask Trump’s acting AG, who thought a low viz strategy would be the way to go this time, in contrast to the BLM protests over the summer.

          1. The acting AG was not in charge during the summer. Neither is he in charge of the Capital police or DC police so had nothing to do with security last week.

            Other than that, good point.

          2. That was Bowser, but other than being completely wrong, and trying to frame it in terms of race, well put.


            Defense Department officials said Thursday that during planning meetings prior to Jan. 6 led by the Justice Department, city officials and federal law enforcement agencies requested only modest support from the National Guard and did not anticipate large-scale violence. The Pentagon agreed to provide 300 unarmed troops, mostly to help oversee traffic checkpoints and Metro subway stations.

      2. I don’t think Pelosi is thinking clearly. She’s hopping mad over last Wednesday’s riots and is unlikely to make decisions that play well over the long-term.

        It’s unlikely that Senate Democrats can play procedural shenanigans on the Senate floor to force through a conviction. Senate rules spell out that there has to be a trial, and votes have to be on the calendar for the specific purpose to allow Senators the opportunity to attend. Then there’s the quorum requirement of 51 Senators (not 50 + the VP). As soon as the first roll call vote is made it will be noted that there are not enough Senators present to constitute a quorum.

        1. Why wouldn’t Romney or Murkowski attend to make up the quorum?

          Also, AFAIK the absence of a quorum has to be noted by someone. As soon as a single Republican turns up to join the 50 Democrats and ask for a quorum count, there will be 51 senators present.

          1. Right, achieving a quorum isn’t a problem. It’s the optics of conducting a flash trial with 51 Senators present that would be problematic.

            They would only do it if they wanted riots.

            1. That’s a great prediction! It automatically blames the Democrats for any riots that might happen. Pre-emptive self-pardon, so to speak.

              1. What, you think that if they convicted Trump my holding a rump session with only 51 Senators present, there wouldn’t predictably be riots?

                You think it was predictable that there’d be a riot if Trump just said to peacefully walk over to the Capitol building!

                1. Of course there would be riots, but that’s no reason not to do it. The US doesn’t negotiate with terrorists, I understand.

                  1. No, the reason not to do it is that deliberately arranging for an unrepresentative, bare quorum, in order to circumvent a supermajority requirement, is abusive.

                    That it would cause riots is just the cherry on the cake.

                    1. Wait, so your argument is that the Senators who are present are to blame for the absence of a quorum? That’s creative!

                    2. They are if they arranged to be there when the others weren’t, sure.

                    3. If they rushed into the Senate chamber while everyone was on their lunch break, sure. I think the scenario being envisioned is that the majority announces that the senate is convening on a certain day in advance. If anyone chooses not to attend, that seems like it’s kind of on them.

                  2. “The US doesn’t negotiate with terrorists, I understand.”

                    I sorta remember that being done all summer with the BLM folk.

        2. Its not a quorum question. The Senate is in recess until the 19th except for pro forma sessions where it is agreed no business will take place.

          So it takes unanimous consent to start a trial.

        3. Pelosi said she would welcome protesters. What’s she got to be angry about?

          1. As someone who has had to take refuge from a tumultuous mob, I understand how she feels. But she is third in line to the Presidency and if this is how she deals with stress, God help us if we ever have to rely on her to become POTUS….

            1. Ah, adding misogyny to your other offences? Reality, my dear old thing, is that no-one cares what you think, say, or (as long as its legal) do. Trump’s conned you into thinking there are lots like you, but you’re in a tiny minority, like kiddy fiddlers, granny-rapists, animal-botherers, and so on.

              It ain’t all the rest of us who are mad…

              1. Nobody cares what you think either dave.

        4. As of right now the two new Georgia Senators haven’t been sworn in. Their elections haven’t been officially certified and may not be until Jan 22, although it could be sooner.

          1. Also Kelly Loeffler is still a Senator making the Senate 51/49 for a few more days.

  6. Democratic House. Democratic Senate. Democratic president.

    Liberal-libertarian mainstream. Liberal-libertarian culture war victory. Liberal-libertarian strongest institutions (educational, cultural, economic).

    Enlarged Supreme Court. Enlarged House (with it, Electoral College). Admission of two or three states. Elimination of filibuster. Universal health care. Criminalization of voter suppression.

    Defeated, defensive, desperate, disaffected conservatives and Republicans. The Federalist-conservative-Republican-Heritage-Bator-Koch-Trump-Bradley-conservative coalition retreating and splintering.

    American progress!

    1. Stock market crash, retirements evaporate, populist uprisings.

      1. Could it get as bad as the Obama market?

      2. And, no matter what the Democrats promised, income taxes go up for almost everyone.

        1. Yes, because around 12.01 pm on January 20 every Republican in the land will start insisting again that the national debt is the country’s number one problem.

        2. It isn’t even that, Jerry — while a lot of people don’t realize it, Unemployment is taxable but they don’t deduct withholdings from it.

          There are people who have been on UI since March, and with the $500 weekly bonuses, people are going to have to write a fairly large check on April 15th, and they ain’t got it.

          And this will be a major problem for Team BiteMe.

        3. Actually, taxes will drop for people in high tax states who own really expensive houses.

          Income taxes will go up for everybody.

      3. The wealthy 1%er Progressive Oligarchs running the Democratic Party will never allow the stock market to crash; this is how the oligarchs keep the upper class Democrat voters from suffering under their oppressive regime.

        1. And will be no more successful than the robber barons were in 1929…

  7. So now you want to prosecute people for pure speech. There goes all your libertarian principles out the window.

    1. Yes these ’Libertarians’ do want to ‘prosecute people for pure speech’. The want a civil society where everyone thinks alike. In order to have a civil society, it must be a Safe society. These ‘Libertarians’ will justify the creation of even more draconian laws to crack down on the ‘domestic terrorists’ who are ‘threatening’ the Safety the Civil society.

      These ‘Libertarians’ will be like Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland, a Good American who will agree and abide with, even encourage, these new draconian laws deemed necessary to ‘keep us Safe’ in a Civil society.

      As we witness the Civil society digitally book-burn (deplatform and purge all uncivil thought) remember Heine’s infamous thought “those who burn books will in the end burn people,”

  8. I think Trump deserves to be removed. But if this is just going to devolve into another symbolic partisan vote, where they can’t get close to the conviction threshold, they should not do it.

  9. And all those Democrat mayors who literally and truly did hand over sections of cities to Antifa and BLM, who pulled their police out, told them to not arrest anybody, handed over city resources, and then, as in St Louis, prosecuted people who brandished guns to keep hundreds of rioters from their property because the police had been yanked off ….

    All that, all summer, all fall, and no comments. Pelosi and other national Democrats egged these rioters on, and no comments? Along comes one riot in the Capitol Building, suddenly you are all law and order, hang ’em high, now, no due process.

    Apple and Google and Amazon ban alternatives and competitors on the right, while Facebook and Twitter egg on the left, encourage them, give them money, and you wonder why the right wants to break up those tech giants.

    And you idiots will wonder why Trump the Martyr continues to bedevil you after you have impeached him.

    Every action has a reaction. You overreact to the rights single day of reaction to your long continued actions all over the country all summer and all fall, and you wonder where things will end if you don’t take the most important action of all — impeach Trump as fast as possible.

    1. If they really won the election, why all this struggle.

      1. No free swings.

    2. No one ever seems to care about all the people that had to endure the several week long occupation of CHAZ, the lawlessness there, the conspiracies to deny civil rights, and the other litany of other offenses.

      They literally put up an “autonomous zone” right next to a state seat of government yet the term “insurrection” was never used. Why? (We all know the answer.)

      This is where people start getting off the bus. The two track system of public discourse is so laughably stacked with double standards it isn’t even funny. And it is going to end poorly.

      1. The idiots in nominal charge can’t remember five seconds of history. They canceled Napster and got far more in return. They canceled Parler out of spite and will get far more in return.

        Medusa was a warning which they always ignore.

        1. We have passed the ‘lamentations of their women’ stage and entered ‘the blustering of the impotent.’

          1. I am going to be SO happy when the revolution eats you.

            1. Don’t worry. Karma’s had its cost already: AK already has to bear the horror of strangers, terror of young children and a nimbus of _existentially_ bad odor.

    3. The normal American see this duplicity.

      1. Right-wing bigotry and backwardness are no longer normal in America.

        The liberal-libertarian mainstream fixed that.

        1. Rev Arthur L. Kirkland, you are the ideal Good American.

  10. If Trump had won then professional rioters ANTIFA/BLM would have stormed the US Capital. And Pelosi would call for impeachment of Trump over his incitement of violence.

    EQUALITY means that only Democrats are permitted to riot and protests

    1. Hypothetical riots are the worst.

      1. Forgot already that they did riot at Trump’s inauguration?

        1. Yes, Sarcastr0 forget the moment the link to the 2017 riots was posted.

          1. He forgets a lot of things.

            Can’t gaslight if you can’t distort.

            1. Would have means hypothetical, as you know.

  11. Senate is not scheduled to go back into session until Jan 19th. This is mental masturbation for the law professor crowd. Nothing is going to happen with impeachment, even if Pelosi votes on it.

  12. Yes, please democrats, impeach Trump AFTER he has left office. And while you’re at it, charge all the Capitol invaders with treason. Nats park is sitting empty right now, so could be a great place for some mass executions by firing squad. Oh sorry, you’d have to use guns. Ok, I’ll settle for hanging them from trees on the Mall.

    1. Maybe they could use the guillotine that the BLM protestors set up in front of Jeff Bezos’ house.

      1. I read plenty about how a “noose” was set up by a few mostly peaceful protesters on Wednesday and how it was supposedly horrible. Funny how those same articles disappeared from front pages and eventually the internet when commenters linked to the guillotine in from of Bezo’s house…

      2. Even if people had invaded Bezos’ house, that’s still not the same as the National Capitals while it was in session.

        1. If you are going to engage in an exercise of hair splitting then your answer will always be “it’s different” but, here that is nothing more than disingenuous rhetoric.

          You simply cannot ignore:
          1. BLM rioters were never called that nor described as such on the news. The media did its darnedest to cover up the violent aspects of those riots.
          2. BLM went largely unprosecuted for all of their crimes under some theory that “property does not matter” and other similar BS.
          3. The Capitol event has been blown out of proportion for nothing more than political reasons. It was a temporary, singular act of civil disobedience.
          4. The protesters here are receiving unequal treatment in not only terms of coverage, but also application of law enforcement resources.
          5. The hypocrisy is so obvious and blatant it isn’t even funny.

          1. The news talked about riots. They didn’t call all protests riots. No double standard here – it’s those who invaded the Capitol who are in trouble.

            You keep saying there were no prosecutions. That continues to be a lie.

            Civil disobedience by people with zip ties and bombs who were chanting about killing the Vice President. MLK these people were not.

            Yeah, the nationwide protests are not as bad assault in the Capitol. You not agreeing does not mean it’s not true,

            Yeah, this is true, but not in the direction you think it is.

            The right trying to pretend the summer protests and concomitant opportunistic looting is not going well. You can tell they realize this because they are also trying to blame it on Antifa at the same time. And then there are those cheering it on and threatening more.

            1. Zip ties are completely legal and one guy had them. As for the “bombs” those were not even close to the Capitol. If you want an equivalent that was actually deployed by rioters and justified via rhetoric (including on here) shooting fireworks at cops is one of many examples.

              We all know that the few looters and law breakers that were prosecuted got the kid glove, deferred adjudication treatment by local prosecutors. You simply can’t argue that BLM did not enjoy a lot of favoritism because it was a “politically correct” cause.

              Civil disobedience comes in many forms and this was one of them. Happens all the time in big cities (shutting down streets) or the local college campus (taking over buildings and usually staying for months not hours). This is nothing different then the tactics used by many over the last 70+ years.

              Stop with the gaslighting already…

              1. “Stop with the gaslighting already…”

                You are asking a fish to stop swimming. Impossible.

                1. Hey, Bob, fuck you.

                  I’m not lying. I have arguments and evidence. You have namecalling.

                  1. Flattered but you are not my type.

                    You cherry pick your “evidence” and expect us to forget stuff that happened [checks notes] 6 months ago.

              2. Zip ties are not illegal, but they sure do show intent. Do you think the bombs were Antifa?

                We all know that the few looters and law breakers that were prosecuted got the kid glove, No, we don’t. You provide no evidence. I’ve provided countervailing evidence before. You continue to lie.

                Civil disobedience comes in many forms and this was one of them.
                Where is your line? Murder? Attempted murder? Attempted kidnapping? Planting some bombs that don’t go off? Vandalism?

                1. The bombs were detonated by a bomb squad — I don’t know which department — and were outside the DNC & RNC headquarters, not the Capitol.

                  I’m not aware of their source.

                  1. No, Zip Tie guy was accused by his (ex?) girlfriend of building bombs. Then there’s this dude.

                    So it appears that, while very little violence was actually deployed, (Aside from the bombs you mentioned.) there were at least a few people around the Capitol who were prepared to deal it out.

                2. “Civil disobedience comes in many forms and this was one of them.
                  Where is your line? Murder? Attempted murder? Attempted kidnapping? Planting some bombs that don’t go off? Vandalism?”

                  Where is yours? You tolerated all sorts of vandalism and burning buildings last summer? Man was burnt to death in Minneapolis, ex cop murdered in St. Louis.

                  I’m consistent, violence is bad.

                  You, it depends on the perps.

                3. If the best you can get ONE guy carrying a legal object for your intent, go back to hair splitting.

                  Your evidence about BLM looters getting prosecuted was an article from The Nation. That is not “proof” by any long shot.

                  As far as acceptable form of civil disobedience, we have here a simple building takeover that lasted for about 3 hours. Is the best you can do is inflate and conflate actions?

                  1. Sure, it’s all disobedience except for the one guy who in his own was planning something more.

                    The Guardian is not the nation, and ad hominem is still a fallacy

                    What happened was not what was intended. This was not a sit in.

                    1. You would sit here all summer telling we can’t judge BLM by the antifa elements shooting fireworks, looting, assaulting, etc. So you going to stick by that or has your tune changed now?

                      It was pretty much a sit in to the extent that people “sit” in these.

                      The Guardian is basically The Nation. Don’t argue like it isn’t.

                    2. Trump endorsed the insurrection and targeted both the capitol and his own Vice President, that’s the issue.

                      Also, read the OP.

                    3. Did you see what they did to the police? Does not compare well to BLM. Quite a bit worse than throwing projectiles.

        2. “National Capitals [sic]” is just a fancy government office building.

          BLM and Antifa people invaded the Ohio capital. Nobody freaked out about that.

          The Portland US courthouse has been attacked daily for months. When Barr tried to stop it, you blamed him.

          1. “National Capitals [sic]” is just a fancy government office building.

            Yeah, and the twin towers were just some office buildings.

            You’re ridiculous.

            1. Its the 3000 dead, not some replaceable buildings, that matters.

              Since the left does not believe in God, it replaces it with a belief in government. Hence a sacred government office building.

              1. After decades of being mired in backwater Ohio, searching titles of $45,000 houses, Bob, you should have abandoned all hope in any god by now.

        3. that’s still not the same as the National Capitals while it was in session.

          Oh, OK. How inconvenient that they also set up the guillotine — complete with a Trump mannequin loaded in it — in front of the White House while Trump was delivering an address on the South Lawn.

          That was widely reported at the time, so I fully credit you with knowing about it.

          1. You are comparing protected speed to an insurrection. Try again.

            1. Whatevs, bro. As I just said to one of your compatriots in another thread, stop lazily throwing the big words around and provide some actual substantive analysis of how this PARTICULAR demonstration-gone-overboard magically constitutes “insurrection.”

              1. demonstration-gone-overboard

                You’re not being serious.

                1. Says the person throwing around the word “insurrection.” I’m blissfully comfortable it was more on my end of the spectrum than yours.

                  1. Between the bombs, the zip-ties, the things they chanted as they entered the Capitol, where they headed to in the Capitol, and indeed their open planning weeks before, this was not civil disobedience.

                    1. the bombs

                      You know, I had enough going on Wednesday that I actually didn’t catch any real-time accounts of the protests. So I found it very illuminating that portfolio of pictures in the first article I read about all the supposed damage consisted of about 4-5 shots of people picking up water bottles and signs, 2-3 shots of dirt on the floors, a shot of people “looking for damage,” and (I kid you not) two different shots of the same broken piece of furniture from two different angles, passed off like it was in two different places. Oh, and some papers various CongressCritters left on their desks.

                      That apparently didn’t cause enough outrage, so they went back and came up with some more dramatic shots over the next day or two.

                      Now, days later, we suddenly have “bombs.” Oh, not at the Capitol. Oh, not any that actually went off. Oh, with no shred of evidence of a connection to anyone who was at the Capitol. Just “bombs.”

                      Really sad. You’re better than this.

                      the zip-ties

                      The cool thing about mantras is after they catch on, you feel like you can just throw them out and not even have to justify them.

                      Case in point, after nearly a year of nightly burning and churning being cast as “mostly peaceful protests,” we have “Zip ties in pockets = insurrection! Q.E.D.”

                      Just stop.

  13. Fortunately, the question about when a mistake of law negates criminal intent doesn’t matter because impeachment is a political question.

  14. Suppose that Pence had listened. Suppose that he had announced from the dais, when Arizona’s electoral votes were opened, “I am sending this certificate back to Arizona for the appointment of new electors.”

    There would have been a point of order, and the chair would have been overruled. Then the vote count would have proceeded. End of story.

  15. I agree completely. What President Trump has been doing is conduct, not speech, which lies wholely outside the First Amendment’s protection. He directed his followers to invade the Capitol. He didn’t make a suggestion or engage in abstract advocacy. He issued an order.

    I also agree that what he did with Mike Pence, the Georgia Secretary of State, and others, was solicitation, also conduct wholly outside the First Amendment’s protection, and not speech at all.

    1. Quote the order.

        1. So, you’ve got no order?

          1. Unless Trump says ‘The Storm is Upon Us. I order you to Insurrect Forthwith’ it doesn’t count.

            1. “He directed his followers to invade the Capitol. He didn’t make a suggestion or engage in abstract advocacy. He issued an order.”

              I asked to see an order. None was forthcoming.

              1. He literally ordered them to march on the Capitol and fight to stop the process of government. How much more do you want than a direct instruction to do that?

                1. He asked them to go and protest peacefully.

                2. He literally ordered them to march on the Capitol and fight to stop the process of government. How much more do you want than a direct instruction to do that?

                  Not to be a stickler or anything, but at the very least I’d want him to be saying those words rather than you.

                  1. I’d also appreciate an explanation of the authority he had to “order” private citizens to march anywhere.

                3. Do you actually understand the meaning of the word, “literally”?

        2. Seth Abramson!!!

          Really, that’s all you have? Seth Abramson, the left’s Alex Jones?

          1. Poor Bob, reduced to tu quoque because he’s got nothing else.

            1. You can’t quote a reliable source, that’s not my fault.

              1. Dude provides quotes; he brings receipts.

                1. “receipts”

                  Uh, you know all the cool slang.

                  Ok, against my better judgment I read the “receipts”, its all his interpretations of what Trump really meant.

                  I noticed he left out:

                  ” know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.”

                  Scary incitement.

                  Here is a link to the transcript


      1. Here is a NYT pice on it. Trump mentioned “piecefulband nonviolent” exactly once in a speech otherwise full of calls to take action and show strength. One has to keep in mind Trump speaks to his followers in code and it is the code meaning, not the ordinary one, that is relevant here. A mafia don doesn’t get immunized from consequences of hits just by adding the word “nonviolent” to his instructions. Taken in context, what he said could be interpreted as an order.

        1. One has to keep in mind Trump speaks to his followers in code and it is the code meaning, not the ordinary one, that is relevant here.

          The truly awesome thing about a model like that is you can make him “say” exactly and precisely anything you want, regardless of what he actually says.

          I mean, really. Is this “code” written down somewhere? Or does each communication just receive its own post-hoc, sui generis analysis by the chin-strokers? I guess that’s enough rhetorical questions for one post….

          1. Dog whistles are only heard by the dog, and it seems Sarcastro and ReaderY hears them quite clearly.

            I wonder what that means.

            1. Foghorns are heard by everyone. Some people might lie and pretend they don’t hear them, though.

          2. LoB, reasonable people interpret those meanings by checking what actually happens in response. If you happen to be an exalted leader of some sort, that makes it a bit more necessary to be careful what you say, because folks are more likely to do what you tell them to do.

            1. If you happen to be an exalted leader of some sort, that makes it a bit more necessary to be careful what you say, because folks are more likely to do what you tell them to do

              That makes perfect sense as far as it goes. But the discussion you joined wasn’t about what he actually told them to do (“march[] over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard”) — it was about what some post-hoc chin strokers declare to be the hidden meaning of what he told them to do.

              reasonable people interpret those meanings by checking what actually happens in response.

              OK, let’s play. By and large, the crowd did indeed “march[] over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.” The breathless narrative is about the <1% that did something else.

              Given the general compliance with his overt call for peaceful protest, it seems incumbent on [the royal] you to demonstrate that the <1% that were not peaceful decided to do so based on some hidden message. If there's any actual evidence out there to that effect (and just in case it must be said, emotive opinion pieces anonymous sources don't count), I'll read anything you have.

        2. “code meaning, not the ordinary one”

          Well, that is awfully convenient.

  16. Add to the list of double standard hypocrisy:

    Remember when we were told doxxing protesters was “unamerican” when it was the BLM folk ripping down monuments or engaged in looting? Yeah….

    1. I actually don’t remember that – got a link?

      1. I don’t know about BLM but Antifa gets violent with anybody caught taking pictures.

        Beatings, broken or stolen equipment, etc.

        Read some on Nancy Rommelmann’s coverage of Portland on this site if you need proof. Seems as if one of her early articles even dealt with her getting her phone taken.

        1. You won’t hear me saying Antifa is cool and good.

          That’s not the question asked, though. That’s about the doxxing of those who were caught on film.

        2. I don’t think Antifa get violent if they see cameras out of a fear of doxing. It’s more out of a fear of prosecution; They routinely commit crimes and rely on anonymity to avoid prosecution.

  17. It would be desirable to either impeach or 25A Trump before he decides to pardon the insurrectionists.

  18. You don’t appease seditious traitors- you nail them to the wall. Anything short of that is not justice.

    1. You are going to be disappointed then. Most of the charges so far carry either 6 months or one year terms.

  19. He wasn’t soliciting anything illegal. I don’t see how there can be any question that if the vice president is honestly convinced that a certificate purporting to be from a state’s duly appointed electors is in fact from other people, he has a duty not to open or count it. Even if it has the state governor saying those are the electors. He is to open only the certificates that he believes to be from the electors appointed as their state’s legislature directed, and no others. I really don’t see how anyone can dispute this.

    All Trump was asking him to do was exercise that discretion that’s inherent in his duty to open the valid certificates. And he did exercise that discretion, as has every vice president before him. He determined, based on the evidence available to him, that these certificates were probably valid, so he opened them, as was his duty.

  20. would all due respect, these dont rise to the level of impeachable offense. he was asking/urging Pence to do something, not ordering him.

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