The second impeachment trial of Donald J. Trump—this time for inciting an insurrection—is underway, with Tuesday bringing four hours of debate on whether it’s constitutional to hold an impeachment trial for someone who is no longer in office. If that sounds familiar, it’s because the Senate already voted once on this question, with five Republicans joining Democrats to say yes, it is.
The quality of the Trump team’s argument was previewed when one of the lawyers they cited in a pre-trial document said they misrepresented his work.
Assuming Republicans once again join Democrats in moving the trial forward, the coming days will bring up to 16 hours of arguments over two days from both the House impeachment managers and Trump’s defense team, followed by up to four hours of questions from senators, possibly followed by debate over whether to allow witnesses and subpoenas.
At no point should we lose sight of the fact that this trial is about an insurrection aimed at preventing Congress from certifying the presidential election, in which five people lost their lives.
Rep. Cicilline continues to address the arguments concerning whether a former president can be tried. It’s hard to think how Trump’s attorneys will respond … except by resting on the knowledge the Senate Republicans aren’t really concerned about the law or Constitution.