NY Times editorial board:
Trump Is Guilty
There’s no doubt who must be held responsible for attacking the Capitol and trying to overturn the results of the election.
If you fail to hold him accountable, it can happen again.
This is the heart of the prosecution’s argument in the ongoing impeachment trial of Donald Trump. It is a plea for the senators charged with rendering a verdict not to limit their concerns solely to the events of Jan. 6, when a mob of Trump supporters sacked the U.S. Capitol, but also to act with an eye toward safeguarding the nation’s future.
To excuse Mr. Trump’s attack on American democracy would invite more such attempts, by him and by other aspiring autocrats. The stakes could not be higher. A vote for impunity is an act of complicity.
I was skeptical of Democrats pursuing a second impeachment. I was wrong.
It seemed smarter, and politically safer, to punish Trump some other way — perhaps with a censure, which would require only a majority.
But having watched what has unfolded this week in the Senate chamber — a scene of the crime — I now realize I was wrong.
The reference above is to an amazing piece from Tim Alberta/Politico:
Nikki Haley’s Time for Choosing
The 2024 hopeful can’t decide who she wants to be—the leader of a post-Trump GOP or a “friend” to the president who tried to sabotage democracy.
Haley clearly wasn’t prepared to have this conversation. Like so many Republicans, she had expected Trump would either eke out a second term, putting a date-certain on the end of his presidency, or lose so lopsidedly that his career would be toast. Instead, he split the difference, losing by less than one percentage point in each of three decisive states, a result that sent him spiraling into delirium. The resulting paralysis could be seen across the GOP, but Haley was a special case. She knew she could not afford to antagonize the president. But her rationalizations for his behavior were so strained that they called into question her own judgment. This was a test for Haley, an early opportunity to define herself on a question of great national urgency. And she was failing.
“There’s nothing that you’re ever going to do that’s going to make him feel like he legitimately lost the election,” Haley said. “He’s got a big bully pulpit. He should be responsible with it.”
“Is he being responsible with it?” I asked.
“He believes it,” she replied.
Not normal? This from CNN:
New details about Trump-McCarthy shouting match show Trump refused to call off the rioters
In an expletive-laced phone call with House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy while the Capitol was under attack, then-President Donald Trump said the rioters cared more about the election results than McCarthy did.
“Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are,” Trump said, according to lawmakers who were briefed on the call afterward by McCarthy.
McCarthy insisted that the rioters were Trump’s supporters and begged Trump to call them off.
Trump’s comment set off what Republican lawmakers familiar with the call described as a shouting match between the two men. A furious McCarthy told the President the rioters were breaking into his office through the windows, and asked Trump, “Who the f–k do you think you are talking to?” according to a Republican lawmaker familiar with the call.
Now how about Kevin McCarthy and Tommy Tuberville as witnesses?
Lindsey Graham’s toadyism on Fox News shows where the GOP is heading
In one such construction, the Associated Press reports that Democrats are struggling to “convince skeptical Republicans” that the former president incited the assault on the Capitol. In another, a New York Times reporter claims Democrats “face an uphill climb in persuading” Republicans to convict.
This implies that Republican senators are weighing the evidence against Trump on its substantive merits and are moving toward rejecting it on grounds of principled disagreement. But is there any serious reason to believe this applies to the vast majority of GOP senators?
Sen. Lindsey O. Graham’s (R-S.C.) latest exercise in toadying on Fox News should lay this idea to rest. It’s worth watching because it previews where most elected Republicans will end up coming down on this whole affair.