Senate Votes 57-43 Against Trump Falling Short Of Two-Thirds Majority To Convict

The US Senate voted 57-43 to convict Donald Trump falling 10 votes short of the 2/3s majority needed to prevent him from holding office again.
The US Senate voted 57-43 to convict Donald Trump falling 10 votes short of the 2/3s majority needed to prevent him from holding office again.
The US Senate falls short of the 2/3s majority needed to find Donald Trump guilty

And…that’s a wrap.

The U.S. Senate voted 57-43 against Donald Trump in his second impeachment trial. The final tally was 10 votes short of the two-thirds majority required to find Trump guilty.

Seven Republicans voted with all 50 Democrats to convict, the most bipartisan support for conviction in any of the four impeachments in U.S. history according to the New York Times.

The 7 Republicans were: Richard Burr (R-NC), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Susan Collins (R-ME), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Mitt Romney (R-UT), Ben Sasse (R-NE), and Pat Toomey (R-PA).

This was the first time a U.S. president was impeached twice, the first Senate impeachment trial of a former president and the shortest impeachment trial in U.S. history.

One of the most bizarre moments of the day came when Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell gave his closing remarks. McConnell hinted that he would’ve considered a guilty vote but is resting on the constitutional argument that Trump is a private citizen. “The question is moot because former President Donald Trump is not eligible”

But the fact of the matter is Trump was in office when the House voted to impeach him, but it was McConnell (while still Majority Leader) who refused to allow the trial to begin until Trump was no longer president.

Dems Announce Surprise Call For Impeachment Witnesses Then Backtrack

Well, here on the west coast, we woke up to the surprise news that the House Managers prosecuting the second impeachment trial of Donald Trump were going to call witnesses.

Five Senate Republicans voted with Democrats to hear witnesses at Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial: Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Mitt Romney of Utah, Ben Sasse of Nebraska, and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.

And, suddenly, it appears they’re now folded and the two legal teams are moving to closing arguments with a possible vote by the entire Senate today.

From ABC News:

After an 11-hour scramble, the Senate has determined it will be calling no witnesses in Trump’s impeachment trial.

The written testimony of Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Wash., — one of ten House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump — was admitted into evidence, instead of moving further with the process for hearing from witnesses.

Neither the Trump legal team nor the House impeachment managers made any further motions. The parties mutually came to the agreement to admit Herrera Beutler’s statement and not request further witnesses.

Closing arguments are underway, for which each side is allotted two hours.

Impeachment: Senate Votes 56-44 That Trump Trial Is Constitutional

U.S. Senate votes that second impeachment of Donald Trump is constitutional
U.S. Senate votes that second impeachment of Donald Trump is constitutional
(screen capture via C-Span2)

As the first day of Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial got underway, House Managers leading the prosecution against Trump began with a powerful video presentation compiled from actual footage from the January 6 invasion of the U.S. Capitol building.

Following the video, Trump’s own lawyers, during a meandering speech, acknowledged the video was a very compelling argument.

It’s worth noting that, in a written response a day ago, Trump’s lawyers described the mob who attacked the U.S. Capitol building “a small group of criminals.”

“A small group?” That sounds like five, six people…a dinner party…

Does this look like a “small group of criminals?”

Weeks ago, five Republicans voted with Senate Democrats that the impeachment proceeding was constitutional.

After today’s presentations, Sen. Cassidy (R-LA) changed his mind and made it six Republicans who believe the impeachment is constitutional as the final vote was 56-44.

Many sources are reporting that Trump was irate to the point of screaming at the TV as his lawyer failed to make a full-throated defense.

Even Trump-friendly legal expert Alan Dershowitz admitted on the far-right leaning outlet Newsmax that Trump’s team didn’t score any points today.

News Round-Up: February 8, 2021

Actor Russell Tovey
Actor Russell Tovey
Russell Tovey (image via Instagram)

Some news items you might have missed:

Out: Actor Russell Tovey (above) says his dad wanted him to get ‘hormone treatment’ after he came out as a means to ‘cure’ Tovey of being gay.

The Advocate: Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg has selected Arlando Teller, a gay member of the Navajo Nation, man to serve as deputy assistant secretary for tribal affairs. Teller, who was elected to the Arizona House of Representatives in 2018, resigned his seat last week to take the post at the Department of Transportation.

Pink News: Soccer legend David Beckham has signed a £10m deal to become face of Qatar, one of the most dangerous places in the world to be gay.

Revry: The queer streaming network has a whole schedule of programming to celebrate Black History Month. The six-part drama Single Record follows a talented and arrogant rapper whose record label could drop him if his next song isn’t a hit. His desperation to save his career will force him to confront his identity, sexuality and bring him to new lows that could cost him everything.

Jerusalem Post: An Iranian cleric warned followers not to go near people vaccinated for COVID-19, claiming the vaccine turned them gay. Ayatollah Abbas Tabrizian wrote on his Telegram social-media platform: “Don’t go near those who have had the COVID vaccine. They have become homosexuals.”

Reuters: Hackers broke into the computer system of a facility that treats water for about 15,000 people near Tampa, Florida and sought to add a dangerous level of lye to the water supply. “The guy was sitting there monitoring the computer as he’s supposed to and all of a sudden he sees a window pop up that the computer has been accessed,” Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said. “The next thing you know someone is dragging the mouse and clicking around and opening programs and manipulating the system.”

CNN: Senate leaders reached an agreement Monday giving House impeachment managers and Donald Trump’s lawyers up to 16 hours each to present their cases and creating the option for a debate and vote to call witnesses — if the House impeachment managers seek it.

Trump Balked At Legal Bill After Raising $170+ Million From Supporters

Trump balked at hefty legal bill after raising over $170 million from his cultists
Donald Trump speaking to Axios (screen capture)

Donald Trump balked at paying the legal bill proposed by the legal team that was set to defend him in his second impeachment trial.

According to many, Trump wanted the lawyers to continue his line of baseless claims that the election was ‘stolen’ from him, which has no basis in reality. The attorneys said the best course of action would be to argue against the constitutionality of the impeachment proceeding saying the Constitution doesn’t provide for impeaching a president out of office.

In any case, the legal eagles flew the coup coop.

But now, Axios reports that Trump balked at paying the legal fees the lawyers were requesting.

Mind you – this is after Trump had already grifted over $170 million from his cultists to be used for legal defense.

The notoriously stingy former president and his lead lawyer, Butch Bowers, wrangled over compensation during a series of tense phone calls, sources familiar with their conversations said. The argument came even though Trump has raised over $170 million from the public that could be used on his legal defenses.

The two initially agreed Bowers would be paid $250,000 for his individual services, a figure that “delighted” Trump, one of the sources said.

However, Trump didn’t realize Bowers hadn’t included additional expenses — including more lawyers, researchers and other legal fees that would be accrued on the job.

He was said to be livid when Bowers came back to him with a total budget of $3 million. Trump called the South Carolina attorney and eventually negotiated him down to $1 million.

Scrambling, Trump announced on Sunday he had found new attorneys to represent him:  David Schoen and Bruce L. Castor Jr.

Trump is probably not worried about being found guilty anyway after a preliminary vote showed 45 Republican Senators are not in favor of the impeachment proceeding.

News Round-Up: January 26, 2021

(image via Depositphotos)

Some news items you might have missed:

Right Wing Watch: Religious anti-gay loon Scott Lively told his radio audience that God removed Donald Trump from the White House because he was too pro-gay. #srsly

NewNowNext: Montana’s House of Representatives has voted in favor of two vehemently anti-transgender bills. The first is House Bill 112, which would bar trans student athletes from playing on sports teams that correspond with their gender identity. The second is House Bill 113, which would block medical professionals from providing potentially life-saving gender-affirming health care to trans or nonbinary youth.

The Frontier: Last April, Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt ordered $2 million worth of hydroxychloroquine based, in part, on Donald Trump’s promotion of the malaria drug for use against the coronavirus. Now, the state is trying to unload nearly the entire shipment.

Instinct Magazine: Nearly two months after coming out as a transgender male, Elliot Page and wife Emma Portner have filed for divorce.

NBC News: A gay New York City couple say they were harassed and asked to leave a restaurant this month because of their sexuality. Because the incident happened in New York, the men may have legal recourse, but in nearly half the states, they would not.

New York Times: Grindr has been fined 100 million Norwegian kroner, or about $11.7 million, for illegally disclosing private details about its users to advertising companies.

Justice Department: The Wisconsin pharmacist who intentionally intended to render hundreds of doses of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine ineffective pleaded guilty to two charges filed today in federal court. Steven R. Brandenburg, an admitted skeptic of vaccines in general, now faces up to 10 years for each charge against him.

Reuters: The good news – By a vote of 55-45 the U.S. Senate on Tuesday rejected a Republican effort to stop former President Donald Trump’s upcoming impeachment trial on a charge that he incited the deadly Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol. The bad news – Democrats need more than 5 GOP Senators to vote to convict Trump.

Article Of Impeachment Will Be Delivered To Senate On Monday

The article of impeachment passed in the House will be delivered to the Senate on Monday
Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York (D)

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said Friday that the Senate will receive on Monday the article of impeachment against Donald Trump for inciting the riot on the U.S. Capitol, clearing the way for the start of Trump’s second impeachment trial.

From the Washington Post:

“It will be a full trial; it will be a fair trial,” Schumer said during remarks on the Senate floor. Shortly after his comments, Pelosi released a statement confirming the timing.

The House impeached Trump on a single article of “incitement of insurrection” for his role in the Jan. 6 takeover of the Capitol by a violent pro-Trump mob.

“Make no mistake, there will be a trial, and when that trial ends, senators will have to decide if they believe Donald John Trump incited the insurrection against the United States,” Schumer said.

Read the full article here.

In similar remarks, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told reporter, “Just because he’s now gone — thank God — you don’t get to say to a president, ‘Do whatever you want in the last months of your administration. You’re going to get a “get out of jail” card free because people think we should make nice-nice and forget that people died here on January 6.'”

McConnell Asks To Delay Trump’s 2nd Impeachment Trial

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (image via Facebook)

From the New York Times:

Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, told senators on Thursday that he planned to ask Democrats to delay the start of former President Donald J. Trump’s impeachment trial until early February to allow Mr. Trump’s legal team time to prepare a defense, according to a person familiar with his remarks.

The proposal emerged as Mr. McConnell and Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York and the incoming majority leader, haggled privately behind the scenes over the timing and structure of the proceeding and Speaker Nancy Pelosi refused again to say when she would transmit the impeachment charge to the Senate, thus prompting the start of the trial.

Trump Lies: ‘No True Supporter Of Mine Could Endorse Violence’

Donald Trump

Donald Trump pretends he could never endorse violence

Donald Trump released a video message today admonishing “violence and vandalism” in regard to the invasion of the U.S. Capitol building last week.

“No true supporter of mine could ever endorse political violence,” says Trump in the clip. “No true supporter of mine could ever disrespect law enforcement or our great American flag.”

Oh, my sides…

The video came shortly after the House approved an article of impeachment against Trump by a vote of 232-197 making him the first president ever to be impeached twice.

Plus, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell began hinting he may vote to convict Trump.

This comes across as a preemptive legal defense against impeachment to me. Trust and believe, he did not write a word of this.

From the New York Times:

“I want to be very clear,” he continued. “I unequivocally condemn the violence that we saw last week. Violence and vandalism have absolutely no place in our country and no place in our movement. Making America great again has always been about defending the rule of law” and supporting law enforcement officials.

As a candidate in 2016, Mr. Trump once encouraged rally attendees to physically attack protesters. But in the video on Wednesday, he said that “mob violence goes against everything I believe in and everything our movement stands for. No true supporter of mine could ever endorse political violence.”

“If you do any of these things, you are not supporting our movement, you are attacking it, and you are attacking our country,” he said. “We cannot tolerate it.”

There was no mention of the people who died in the melee last week including one Capitol Police officer who was reportedly bludgeoned with a fire extinguisher.

Looking ahead to the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden, Trump added, “There must be no violence, no lawbreaking and no vandalism of any kind.”

Trump Is 1st President To Be Impeached Twice

House of Representatives votes 232-197 to impeach Donald Trump a second time

House of Representatives votes 232-197 to impeach Donald Trump a second time

Donald Trump has become the first president in the history of the U.S. to face impeachment charges twice.

In a bipartisan vote of 232 to 197, the House of Representatives approved a single article of impeachment against Trump charging him with “inciting violence against the government of the United States” in regard to last week’s insurrection at the Capitol.

So. Much. Winning.

From the New York Times:

The House on Wednesday impeached President Trump for inciting a violent insurrection against the United States government, as 10 members of the president’s party joined Democrats to charge him with high crimes and misdemeanors for an unprecedented second time.

Reconvening under the threat of continued violence and the protection of thousands of National Guard troops, the House was determined to hold Mr. Trump to account just one week before he was to leave office.

At issue was his role in encouraging a mob that attacked the Capitol one week ago while Congress met to affirm President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory, forcing lawmakers to flee for their lives in a deadly rampage.

Ten House Republicans joined with Democrats in passing the measure.

The Senate will now face holding impeachment proceedings once the House transmits the article of impeachment.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has reportedly been ‘pleased’ by the impeachment development but says he won’t bring the Senate back into session before its scheduled session on January 19.