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tv   Second Impeachment Trial of Donald J. Trump  MSNBC  February 9, 2021 9:00am-3:00pm PST

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tide is concentrated with three times the active cleaning ingredients. if it's got to be clean, it's got to be tide. well, good afternoon on what is another history-making day. the second impeachment trial of donald j. trump, now a private citizen, set to get under way just about an hour from now. the first second impeachment of a president that our country has ever seen as well as the first impeachment of a former president, a mat they're will be
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at issue on the senate floor today. brian williams here with you along with nicole wallace picking up our special coverage of the reckoning over the deadly insurrection, the looting of our u.s. capitol on 6th january. the former president on trial today for his role in inciting that violence. the evidence against him unfolded before our very eyes on live television on that day as he took to the podium at a rlly in washington and rallied what would become a riotous and violent mob, calling on his supporters to march to the capitol and fight. we're going to walk down to the capitol! we're going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women, and we probably won't be cheering so much for some of them. because you'll never take back our country with weakness.
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you have to show strength and you have to be strong. and if you don't fight like hell, you're not going to have a country anymore. >> today we are learning the democratic impeachment managers prosecuting the case plan to introduce new never-before-seen evidence telling us to stay tuned for more details on that. but first on the docket, a debate today on the senate floor about the very constitutionality of an impeachment trial for someone who is no longer in office. we'll be watching the republican side of the aisle closely throughout for any early indications that some may be willing to come out against their par tice former standard-bearer. of course it would take 17 republicans to vote against donald trump in order to reach the two-thirds majority threshold for conviction. nicole, in the case before us today, the jurors were also witnesses to the violence at their workplace on 6th january. the open question, who among the 45 republicans, some of them
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sitting at desks that were ransacked that day, who among them will be willing to hold donald trump accountable for what they saw that day? >> we shall see. but i would warn that we should be very cautious not to cover this as a political story. this is a security story, and this is a vote about security, a vote about truth. i know there's always a temptation to make this about the gravitational pull of donald trump's politics. but that is not what this is about. and as far as the argument before them today, they were hiding under a skirt called it's not in the constitution to hold a former president accountable. and one chuck cooper, the most conservative far-right lawyer not to be appointed to the supreme court by donald trump, pulled that skirt down yesterday. he said the opposite is true. this is a hallmark of the republicans under donald trump to protect and argue the very opposite of the truth. i think this week and today is
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about yanking the skirts off behind which republicans have been hiding for four years to defend donald trump. this is about the country's security. this is about whether the ecosystem that supported the big lie that propped up the violence on that day gets yanked down and whether we move forward having vigorous, vigorous debates or whether the right stays under that skirt that depends on lies to hold them up. >> with us now our man on the hill for all of these proceedings, nbc news capitol hill correspondent garrett haake with a preview. garrett? >> reporter: today we'll see what will be the most dense of these arguments about the constitutionality of this trial itself, as nicole was alluding to. bring your copy of the federalist papers. this is potentially dense but extremely important because as nicole said, this is the argument behind which a number of these republican senators have been hiding, been sheltering from having to deal with the specifics of the actual
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charge against donald trump. we will see that argument play out over the course of the day today and buckle up. the new impeachment rules that will be voted on today say we're going to be going straight through, no breaks this weekend, until a vote is held on conviction. the impeachment managers say they want to try this more like a violent criminal case that it is and less like in a constitutional law classroom. they will be succinct, they will make use of video, they promise they have new evidence to bring forward, and i think this is important as we frame what we'll see in the next couple days, this is not just about that speech from donald trump on january 6th. yes, that was the precipitating event to the riot, the attack on the capitol, but the impeachment manager case will also include so much information leading up to that, the president's intent, his efforts to undermine the election up until that point, to make sure his supporters were in washington, d.c., on january 6th, and then also what he did afterwards, what the president
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was doing and saying while the halls of congress were being ransacked. all of that to be part of the impeachment managers' case presented over the next few days. brian and nicole? >> and garrett, i understand they're using a video production that adam schiff used last time we were at this. there's no reason to believe that we're going to see all this quote/unquote new media, new evidence today. i assume in listening to your reporting it will be doled out. we have many days of this. do you have any more reporting, however? is it electronic media? there was a report floating around last night that perhaps it was more of the video shot from the capitol hill police perspective of the rioters coming at them. >> reporter: i think that's likely, brian, but i can't confirm it. the managers are holding that information extremely closely. when you look at their legal briefs they've filed in the past
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couple weeks, so much of their argument is open source. it's news clip, social media posts by the rioters themselves and social media posts by the president, then the president, now the former president of the united states. they do include in their breeches some police reports, some information gathered in that way, so i don't think it's a bridge too far to think additional police resources may be part of that new evidence. i also think it's possible that new evidence could point towards what the president was doing on january 6th while the attack was under way. remember, when the house was voting on impeachment, so many of the republicans who voted in favor of impeaching this president said one of the reasons why was the president's conduct during the attack itself. these impeachment managers are trying to learn from the first impeachment, from the house vote, and gather as much as information as they could. part of the reason they're relying so much on video and they say less on dense constitutional arguments because they know that didn't work the
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last time and they want to make sure they are catering this presentation to that audience that is not quite jurors but will have that role in perhaps a, little less than a week's time. >> garrett haake on the hill for us where we will soon be hearing from minnesota democratic senator amy klobucar. claire, over the you. >> i'm going to bring claire in right now, brian, former missouri senator claire mccaskill and former rnc chairman michael steele. also with us, msnbc impeachment analyst, you need one these days, daniel goldman. he served in donald trump's first impeachment. i want to pick up, daniel, something brian is alluding to. as garrett is describing what the evidence will be, it's things we can see with our own eyes, screams we can hear with our own ears. brian and i were on the air interviewing members during the siege and getting all their information from newscast, very
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much like 9/11 when a lot of what everyone was learning was happening on tv. i'm reminded of a speech donald trump gave early 2017 where he told his supporters, listen, guys, do not believe what you see, do not believe what you hear, only believe me. it sounds like, daniel, that is what his defense in this second trial amounts to. >> that's right. donald trump is essentially trying to say even though i organized this rally, i certainly only heard about it through donald trump's twitter feed initially, i called everyone there, i said it's going to be wild, my campaign organized it and paid a fair amount of money to get it going, and then i urged mike pence to do the right thing and i said we have to fight for our country and all this. really what i meant is walk over to the capitol and peacefully
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chant and don't use any violence. it belies common sense and defies logic for anyone to believe the factual defense here, but we are going to focus today on the constitutional defense, and then i think once that is passed today and we move into the mouse managers' presentation, you're going to see, as brian said, an audio/visual presentation done in large part by the same people we used last time, but it is going to be much more compelling and much more powerful because the footage is so remarkable, and it's really encredible. when garrett talks about a violent crimes prosecution, you know, i would have dreamed prosecuting murder cases as i did of having some of this type of realtime video. so i think to some extent this witness discussion is misplaced. the evidence we have of these
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recordings, of these videos, of these social media postings by the protesters themselves is evidentiary gold. and it is far better than a witness that potentially recounts in their own words what happened. we're actually going to see it as it happened in real time packaged very powerfully. and i think that is going to obviate the discussion about witnesses. >> you know, claire, what's becoming clear in listening to daniel goldman is that as with the last trial, the facts really aren't in dispute by democrats or republicans. in the wake of chuck cooper's op-ed and all of the sort of constitutional scholarly consensus building around the hogwash that was rand paul's proposal, that 45 republicans signed on to about constitutionality, they're standing naked. the republicans are standing with nothing. they've got hours of thaefld what donald trump said was what
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his supporters did. they have no constitutional skirt to hide behind. and i think we've covered a lot of trump scandals and crises with this bated breath, what will republicans do. it doesn't matter what republicans will do. they will be revealed one way or the other as either being for protecting the security of the capitol and holding those who incited an insurrection accountable, or against it. as i think michael steele would say, that will be what that will be and they will face the consequences. >> nicole, bear with me because i may repeat this several times over the next several days, but this will be a moment that every senator has, that moment when you're on the floor of the senate and you have a choice to make. doing what you think is right versus what is political. and it comes at various times for various senators based on who they are and where they come from. but this is maybe one of those
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votes more so than any other in history, because what this president is trying to do is to blame his supporters and to say that if any president in the future wants to try to overturn a free and fair election, then there will be absolutely no consequences. that's the essence of this and they all know it. this is that moment for all u.s. republican senators. are you going to vote for what you know is right, what history will reward you for, or are you going to take the coward's way out and hide behind the politics of this moment. >> michael steele, it's been at least 12 hours since we last spoke. i'll ask you again now in the light of day, what are you going to be watching for, and are there any republican members, especially of the senate, that you will have in mind, like a
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jury trial argument is sometimes targeted to those the lawyers perceive as turnable? >> yeah. that's a good point, brian. and, yeah, i'm looking for that soft spot. i mean that in the best way possible. as every prosecutor, good prosecutor does in sort of looking and talking to a jury, i'm going to be watching the prosecutions here. i'm going to be watching what they say. i think nicole put her finger on the fundamental issue at the top of this hour. this is not politics this time. this is personal. and i think the more the prosecutor can make this personal for every one of those senators, especially 17 republicans, who were in the moment, cowered under desks, fearing for their lives, on cell phones to family members saying oh my god, oh my god, i can't
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believe what's happening, right? creating that personal moment for all of those senators, you can't dwell in politics at that point. you can't get consumed by the craziness of rand paul and his constitutional interpretations, which are flat out wrong. you're sitting here thinking about which those hours were like for you while in your opinion that moment. and the one individual who made it happen. that's the essence of the prosecution here. and i think if they can do that and not fall into the traps that republicans are already setting with the constitutional argument that isn't a constitutional argument, right, just dismiss that, okay, we'll have that vote today and move on. fine. what we're doing is constitutional. you know it, but we'll play your game for two minutes. but for the next 16 hours, you need to understand exactly what this is about.
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this is about you as an individual member of this body that was under assault, and you know why you were under assault and you know who made it happen. now, to claire's question, are you going to do something about it? >> yeah. >> something i may end up saying multiple times over the next couple days, some of these republican senators, it's important to remember, will be sitting at desks that were ransacked by the arriving looters and rioters. let's expand this conversation by one with someone you all know, minnesota senator amy klobucar. she sits on the rules and administration committees. senator, thank you for being part of our coverage. >> hi. >> what can you tell us about the nature if not content of some of the evidence we are not expecting, some of the evidence that has perhaps not been in the public domain so far? >> well, as horrific as the evidence we've already seen on
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tv over the last few weeks has been, i think you're going to see even more, because of course the managers of this case had access to police data and other things and a video of officers and other places, security cameras of course all over the capitol, that they're going to be able to use. and i think it's going to be even more disturbing than what you've already seen. and i would agree with michael about how this is very personal to every member of the senate as they look at the case. but i think what nicole said at the begins was so true. this is really a security case. this is a moment for our country. are we going to send a message and allow a president, when they lose an election, just to unleash an angry mob on the capitol? to put it into more humorous note, it was trevor noah what who said you can't get fired from best buy and go out and steal a tv on the way out.
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there are laws in this country, and this president should be held accountable for inciting an angry mob to literally loot and invade another equal branch of government, and very sadly, people died. a police officer died. two police officers died by suicide. another one died from injuries. we had a woman trampled to death on the steps of the capitol. this is a national security issue for our country. >> senator, the security threat posed by adherence to the lie and rancor over the result of the election because of the lies that were fed to a lot of donald trump's supporters by donald trump and amplified by his allies in the media and his allies in the senate, we are under threat as a country until the end of april, according to the department of homeland security. and i wonder what specifically your concerns are about the capitol around this proceeding.
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>> well, we are going to start a series of oversight hearings after this impeachment hearing is over with homeland security, with my committee that i chair, the rules committee, to look at what can we do better. clearly, there were errors made, major errors in terms of intelligence conveyance, in terms of decisions. but to me, i'm not taking that out on the officers that were standing next to us that had cuts all over their face as they got us out of the senate. if there's discipline actions, they will be taken, but we have to look at as a whole as can a toll, what should the perimeter be and what actions can we take. you can have copycats and other interests and still have violent extremism in this country and you still have donald trump out there stirring things up. that's why this is so important, for history to get the facts out, and we can do, as i said many times, three things at once, get the cabinet members confirmed. we are doing that.
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get the pandemic package through. we are doing that. and get through this impeachment hearing. americans are balancing everything and we can do it in the u.s. senate. >> senator, as you see the investigative journalism really unpack the ties that the insurrectionists had to members of the republican party who are in congress, can you take us inside what it's like inside the capitol, where you have some house members chafing at the idea of going through metal detectors, people who think it's so dangerous they want to carry guns but don't want to vote to hold accountable he who incited the insurrection itself? how does that land? how do you guys talk to each other? >> well, i'm in the senate, and we have worked as hard as we can just to proceed. we must go forward for our country. and what i'm more worried about is what you led with, and that is the security of our nation. i think we're going to have to find a way to work together. i clearly supported the decision to kick the representative off
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of her committees. there has to be accountability when people are spouting complete untruths, complete lies. but at the same time, honestly, nicole, my heart is with the fragility of our democracy right now. and the way we uphold that is getting the facts out and making sure the public understands them, because we're not going to get through qanon if people keep spouting out lies. they need to seek facts and they'll see it here. >> amy, it's claire. i want to ask you, what does it feel like on the inside in terms of republicans in the senate? do you sense there will be votes for witnesses this time on the republican side? obviously we're talking about a 50/50 with no vice president to break if the democrats want witnesses and the republicans don't. are susan or mitt or any other republicans actually lobbying
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their colleagues to try to get them to do the right thing on this trial? >> you'll have to ask them that. what i do know is the house managers will make a decision about whether or not they think we should call witnesses. i mean, claire, you are a great former prosecutor and you know trials take twists and turns. and while this isn't a criminal proceeding, those decisions will be made when the moment comes. i think they want to preserve their right to do it right now. that is allowed for, to ask for witnesses, under the schedule negotiated between your senate majority leader, senator schumer and the minority leader mitch mcconnell. and that was a bipartisan agreement. so i believe that they'll decide that as the time goes on and then we'll go from there. but for me, it's really important to not just close my eyes to where republicans are on this and not to think they have completely closed minds.
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the people of georgia, i don't think anyone thought they were going to vote for two democrats for senate, they did. they listened to the facts. juries, as you know, oftentimes maybe they have one view starting out and evidence is presented and they change their mind. i think that's why we are not with all of the senators. i'm not a pollyanna about some of them, believer me, but i think there's still people that have open minds. so let's see how this unfolds and start viewing it as you have so profoundly said. this should be a matter of conscience for each senator when they look at the evidence. this has got to be more than just about how this is going to look in my election next time. >> we are watching the door looking at arrivals among legal team members. our thanks to senator klobucar for adding so much to our coverage.s remain with us. we'll fit in a quick break as our live coverage of this second impeachment trial of donald
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welcome back to our live coverage as the great historian michael beschloss pointed out a little over 12 hours ago, half of all of our history's presidential impeachments now belong to donald trump. donald trump now is a twice-impeached private citizen living at his club in florida. our live coverage prepares to take on the second impeachment trial of private citizen donald trump. nicole, today, the initial discussion will be about the constitutionality of all of this. >> that's right. and it is a small but mighty group of very conservative republicans who are coming out against the president and against republicans who seem resistant to holding him accountable.
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adam kinzinger last night in a new op-ed voted in favor of trump's impeachment in the house implored his colleagues in the senate to convict trump, writing "it's a matter of accountability. if the gop doesn't take a stand, the chaos of the past few months and the past four years could quickly return. the future of our party and country depends on continue informanting what happened so it doesn't happen again." kinzinger follows conservative constitutional jeff cooper. they put out an op-ed in the "wall street journal" late sunday disputing everything you're going to hear today from republicans. their claim that it's not constitutional to hold an impeachment trial for a former president. on that topic, joining us now, contributing columnist with "the washington post" and conservative lawyer, our friend george conway. i wondered what that sounded like inside trump's sort of war room or whatever it is that trump hangs out in these days
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when chuck cooper -- and you can help people understand how conservative he is -- he argued against conservative ted olson, who argued on behalf of marriage equality. chuck cooper was a luhr on the other side arguin against it. he represents kevin mccarthy in a lawsuit against speaker pelosi. his clients are a who's who -- john bolton, jeff sessions and others. he came out andeaninged down i've been calling it the skirt behind which republicans were hiding say it's not constitutional to hold a former president accountable, to try them at all. he argues the opposite is true. his point is that the constitution has this remedy of disqualifying for future office in place precisely for circumstances like that. is that your read, george? >> absolutely. and what you say about chuck is absolutely true. he is one of the most conservative lawyers, one of the most prominent conservative lawyers we have in the country,
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a longtime member of the federalist society, an assistant attorney general in the reagan administration. as you mentioned, he represented john bolton and the nra and litigated against ted olson in the marriage equality case. his argument is essentially a very simple conservative textural argument based upon the constitution. the provision that trump relies upon is a provision that simply says that if -- you know, if you -- that you can remove someone who is a current officer of the united states, president, vice president, or other office. it does not -- it says that removal essentially is mandatory, that it's a mandatory minimum sentence, if you will, upon conviction. but it doesn't say that you can't try someone who resigned from office or left office at the end of their term. and the fact of the matter is precisely because the other text in the constitution talks about disqualification as a remedy, it
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well makes clear that you can disqualify someone who committed an impeachable act while in office but then left office. and he doesn't get into it, but there's an additional argument that conservatives should hanker to which is history. in 1787, when the founding fathers met to draft the constitution, one of the biggest political scandals in the english-speaking world was about a fellow named lauren haste was general. he had come back to england and the house of commons impeached him and he was tried before the house of lords. so the founding fathers of the united states were well aware of this history. they understood that former officers could be impeached. and then there's the history of
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the united states senate. in 1876 there was a secretary of war named william belknap who was engaged in corruption out in the west, at an indian reservation, the trading post out there, and he resigned because he knew like in two hours he was going to be impeached by the house. ran up to the white house and presented his resignation to president grant. well, the house impeached him anyway, and the senate tried him, and the senate held a jurisdictional vote on whether to try belknap. and they held 37-29, the senate of the united states determined that, yes, it did have jurisdiction to try belknap even though he had resigned from office. so basically, all of the evidence, of the historical in evidence the text, is against trump. only through distortions has trump and his lawyers managed to make an argument. in fact, one of the principal
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skol lors of this issue is a man named brian halt, who's a professor at michigan state. and he went on twitter yesterday and said that his articles that the trump people rely distorted by the trump people. he wrote this academic article a few years ago that laid out one side and the other side fairly and came out against the trump position 20 years before, 20 years ago. and the trump people distorted even that. >> george, i'm not interested in this whip count to 17, because i think at this point the republican party has shown they don't have a floor. there's no level they won't sink to in servitude to donald trump. but i am interested in learning from you who you think is interested in coming down not on the right side morally but of not looking like ignorant fools when it comes to the constitution. do you think that throws someone
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like mitch mcconnell into -- someone to watch if he changes his vote on the constitutionality question? and i'm just wondering if there's anyone who cares anymore about looking like they understand history or have deference to the constitution. >> well, i hope that there is, but it's rather clear that they're looking far way out and they're looking for a way out because as you said in the opening, it's about security, but it's really about more than that. this is about a president who literally tried to end constitutional democracy in the united states. so the republicans want to do everything, some of them want to do everything to avoid the merits of this dispute. and it's up to the house today to make the case that really there's no leg to stand on to avoid this. you cannot avoid this. and you should not want to avoid this because it was their mistake, their cowardice, the
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senate's cowardice for everyone except for mitt romney and those who are moved to the office, their cowardice a year ago in failing to remove president trump when he showed that he was willing to do anything to get himself re-elected. it's their cowardice that led to this moment. >> george, a bunch of viewers have been asking i don't suppose you have anything in your bag of tricks that could make this a secret ballot. people seem to be theorizing if tarp secret ballot a couple of republicans might cross over. >> yeah. i'm sure that if it were a secret ballot it would be easier. witness what happened over in the house with the vote in favor of liz cheney. but the fact is that, yes, the senate has the power to close its proceedings or to seal its votes. it does have the power to do that. i just think it would be politically untenable to do that because you'd have the vote and
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if you were removed -- not removed or disqualified from further office, you'd have endless questioning about who voted which way. and sooner or later, people would say how they voted, and by process of elimination people would figure it out and it would be a circus, a complete embarrassment, i think, to be that cowardly about it. >> how does this work? is this, in fact, does this borrow anything from a jury trial, especially in modern times, when they've had jury consultants? you feel like you know the members of the jury before the trial starts. you certainly know their thumbnail sketch biographies, who may be susceptible to your argument. of course, if you're the managers, if you're the defense lawyers, you have the court of public opinion, you have the senators in the audience before you. do you target arguments? >> well, i think, yeah, you've
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got two juries if you will. in a regular criminal case or civil case, you're speaking to the people, the 6 or 12 people in the box. here you're speaking to 100 people, but you're speaking also to millions of people who are going to be watching that to whom these 100 people are responsive. and part of the reason why you saw that vote last week of 45 republican senators saying they don't want to try this case is because of people calling the switchboard at the capitol. so in essence, what the house has to do is it has to make a presentation that appeals and persuades both audiences, both the one in the senate chamber and the one out there in the real world. >> george, i keep thinking -- >> fortunate -- >> sorry. >> i was going to say george conway will be of counsel to our coverage, nicole, throughout. >> and i think, george, you can help remind us that this didn't
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just happen in washington. i was thinking this morning so much of the story played out in georgia and played out in michigan and played out in pennsylvania and it played out in wisconsin. and i think that there have been very few stories of heroic republicans in washington, but there were a handful of them out in the country. i'm thinking of brad raffensperger, mr. sterling who warned months before the insurrection that someone's going to get shot, someone is going to get hurt. >> get hurt. >> i wonder what role you think the other locales, the other date lines, play in this trial. >> well, i just hope that that the house managers bring all of that out. i mean, particularly gabe sterling's speech warning about, you know, the danger of the president's words, because this wasn't just about january 6th. it was about an entire course of conduct by which the president
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of the united states was delegitimizing an election and claiming to his followers, his devoted followers, that their country was being taken away from them. well, if you're being told that your country is being taken away from you and the election is being stolen, it's not a great leap to imagine that these people will go out and commit violence. so i do think it's important for them to highlight the fact that people like gabe sterling and others, you know, spoke out and stood up against the president. it shows that, a, the president was just -- president trump was just lying, and it shows also that the danger was palpable and the danger was clear and the words that president trump uttered on january 6th have to be viewed in that context. >> george conway, thank you. nicole, we've been watching these scenes of arrivals. we saw mitt romney arrive a few
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moments ago. and i know you saw jim jordan, who's going to be part of donald trump's and the republicans' rapid reaction force for all media who will have him on to tell the story his way. >> yes. all i was thinking of is why does he hate his jackets. but, yes, donald trump has been deplatformed, so he needs to rely on jim jordan to tell his side of the story. i think the question is who will hear it. you have right-wing news organizations under threat of billions of dollars in defamation lawsuits from dominion. they haven't ruled out naming more individuals for propagating the lies. so you have to wonder, there's no suspense in what jim jordan is going to say or do, but you have to wonder whether news organizations have some pause about broadcasting lies that not only led to death and destruction, this trial will
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take place in the crime scene, in the scene where the crime happened, could just as easily be yellow police tape around it still. the investigation is very much ongoing. i saw pete williams report on your broadcast last night, brian, charges have been brought against the right-wing militia groups, and they grow and they build every day. this is still an active crime scene. it's not interesting to me what jim jordan says. it will be interesting to me who carries it. >> and nicole, anyone who's had a break-in where they live knows the feeling of what i'm about to say, but the word "violated" is used all the time. your environs will never be the same. you will never feel that original notion of security. there we watch the minority leader mitch mcconnell entering the chamber. imagine, nicole, being a senator at one of the desks that was
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opened and gone through, your papers, whatever else you keep in there, being assigned to your desk in the u.s. senate is a big deal, learning the history of the senators who sat there looking for their signatures in the drawer is a big deal. that becomes your home away from home. and some of them, especially the republicans, are going to perhaps redefine cognitive dissonance over the course of this trial, nicole. >> such an important point, because that's not political. that is part of what is sacred about serving in these bodies. and i felt the same way about the white house and obviously the white house we believed was one of the targets on 9/11. we ran out of it. when you ran back in, you never felt the same way. i've been to the pentagon, as i'm sure you've had, when a plane, despite what marjorie
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taylor greene thinks, flew into the pentagon on 9/11. these places that are target for political violence never feel exactly the same. what's so abnormal is the response the usually a reupping of our desire to protect them from harm regardless of what side of the ideological spectrum that harm or threat comes from. that has not happened. republicans in the house and senate voted to overturn the results of the most secure election our country has ever had according to chris krebs after they were violated. and i want to add to our conversation, ari melber, the host of "the beat" and msnbc's chief legal analyst, ari, how does the fact that the trial takes place in the crime scene itself, how is that used? how is that showcased? >> i think it's significant for the reasons both of you mentioned. anyone can do the thought experience. we have a duty here as citizens and those of us of course in the press trying to this fairly to understand what happened and the
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purpose of an accounting. if you do the thought experiment that foreign terrorists came in and did all the exact same acts, be they foreign terrorists from the middle east or some other place, how would the congress or the leadership here look at that universally or any other group. so the points you raise about the violation, the notion that this was a breach of epic proportions, a national security breach, an attack on democracy itself, a complete changing of the -- as we look at some of this dramatic footage we expect to be used in the trial as well -- a complete changing of how americans see this hallowed democratic ground in the broad nonpartisan sense, whether there will be accountability for that beyond the narrow traditional sense of yes, individuals will be prosecuted for the trespassing, prosecuted for disorderly conduct, some prosecuted for more serious violent-related conspiracy. what does the democracy and the people who use that space want
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to do about it? nicole, you said it's important because i heard you earlier discuss the fact that this will be a test of how everyone wants to relate to this substantively and seriously. that of course includes the senate jurors but also the rest of us as a nation and those of us who have lived through these last year years. whatever everyone's politics are, understand there have been times we've all been called upon to look at lies or nihilism or other attacks and decide where we fit in, even if you might sometimes agree politically with some people doing some of it, then where is your line? i know that there is also understandable distraction and political fatigue, and we have a lot going on. but this is important what we begin today as a nation over whether any lines will also be drawn for, as you both put it, that violation of the very seat of our democracy, a toll breached for the first, teem since 1812. >> i really appreciate that wider perspective. i think that's a better articulation than what i was
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trying to say an hour ago. claire, these desks mean something to you. i want to pull you into this. >> i think brian touched on something that should be very meaningful to the senators. let's talk about those desks. yes, they were rich with history, but they also feel like the safest spot for deeply personal items. went you sit at your desk in the senate, it typically is for long sessions of voting, and i know what i did. i tucked -- there's two sections to the desk. there's the hinge top where you could stick various papers that you might want to work on, but then there's the drawer. and in my drawer were deeply personal notes from my mother, who had passed away, from my children, from tom eagleton, and i found when i was sitting on the senate i could open that drawer and touch those notes and reread them, and it was meaningful. and they felt so safe there. they felt that -- because nobody's allowed on the floor.
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i mean, you can't even bring your own family on the floor of the senate unless the senate is not in session and you make a special appointment. so the safety of those senate desks and what they represent to each senator who has ever served in that body, that is such a violation. and every senator on that floor knows that, and everyone felt sick when they watched those terrorists rifle through them, taking pictures of their personal items that they kept there. >> claire, earlier in our coverage, you talked about what this is going to come down to, and that is a deeper call for these members of the senate to do what they know to be right. i believe i know which instance you're referring to when you sat behind one of those desks and it was your vote, was it not, on dreamers?
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>> correct. and, you know, the vote was -- it was not going to pass. my vote wasn't going to be the deciding vote. but i couldn't bring myself to vote against the dreamers. i just couldn't bring myself to do it. it's one of those moments that you decide, is this worth losing my job over? and there have to be those moments because if there isn't a vote that is worth losing your job over, what is the point of being there? i mean, what really is the point other than your own election and sustaining yourself and re-election year after year after year? i mean, that's where people get distracted. this is one of those moments that will be very difficult for them to be distracted. some will. the majority of the republicans will. but i'm going to hold out hope that there's enough character and integrity in enough republican senators that it's a historic margin bipartisan to convict this man even if there's
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not enough to get it done. >> dan goldman, i want to bring you back in and pick up on what claire is articulating and just talk about how lead impeachment manager jamie raskin, who seems to have a whole lot of seems to have a whole lot of respect along both sides of the aisle, professionally and personally, what does he have right now going for him? >> the law. which is a good thing to have as you're heading into today. and then the rest of the week they have the facts. so, you know, the house impeachment managers in an ordinary trial would be in a very good situation. today you would have arguments before a judge. a judge would likely rule on what the law is. and i think george conway outlined the various legal arguments in favor of the house managers very well, that it's a pretty clear constitutional question. the judge would then reject the
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motion to dismiss, which we're going to hear today, and then you would go to the trial and the lawyers trying to dismiss the case would not be able to make that rejected legal argument. but here, assuming that we have at least # 55 senators who believe that it is constitutional to go forward, the legal question is only majority vote. the factual question at the end of the trial is two-thirds of a vote. and in a court of law the senators would not be able to rely on the legal argument that was rejected. but here in the senate there is nothing that can really restrict what they rely upon. so what i think, picking up a little bit on what claire was saying and what you've been saying, nicole, the critical thing for the democratic house impeachment managers to do is to take the partisanship out of this trial, to go back to january 6th where it was a
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nonpartisan reaction that all of these senators felt. they were all attacked. the chamber was attacked. the capitol was attacked. that is the hallmark, that is the building where they all work. take the partisanship out of it because it tried to resonate with all the senators. don't poke at the republicans, don't take on the same sort of aggressive tactics you might cena real trial. and on the contrary you're going to see the president's lawyers, and we already have seen it, they're trying to make this partisan. it harden the views of donald trump supporters who donald trump has made to feel like victims as he has made himself to be a victim, and the more partisan this is, then the more favorable it is to donald trump. the less partisan it is the more favorable it is to the house
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managers. >> the house managers have walked in as if on cue as daniel goldman was speaking. i don't understand why it's hard to hold groups that include the oath keepers, known white supremacists, accountable. and i wonder how much you think these house managers on the screen led by jamie raskin will make the who of this part of the story as well. >> i think they'll make it very much a part of the story because it's an integral part of what happened that day, why it happened, the necessary players. i think every facet of this trial has to rise to its own moment, the moment that begins from the very opening, where you lay out the case to whatever subsequent votes may follow around procedure. all of these are going to be part of the narrative. the who cannot get lost in that. the folks that a lot of folks
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want to paint -- particularly among republicans, paint those insurrections as patriots, and they were there to defend the country, what, from themselves? because they were the one who were in the process of attacking the very chamber they're now sitting in. so these narratives are going to be important for laying down, i think, the very fertile ground that going back to what i was saying before, the prosecutors can make to move some of those republicans who, nicole, you and i both know how personal this is for a lot of them if they can be moved into that personal recognition and realization, perhaps then, when the final vote comes, they will side with history. they will side with the democracy that they swore to uphold and they will say to the american people, we get it, we were wrong, we get it. and that's going to be hard to say that we were wrong, but the country needs to hear that, and they need to commit to that
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because all the healing and everything that we do after this will be made that much more difficult if this is the same outcome as we saw from the first impeachment trial given that the result of this particular trial is very, very different, why we're here. >> i want to give voice to what people watching at home perhaps are thinking, and that is that while we've been listening to our guests as nicole mentioned, we've been watching the house managers, this kind of procession through many of the rooms and hallways that we last saw being occupied, taken, ransacked. some of these hallways saw a confederate flag being paraded around. you saw them walk through the rotunda. we know what happened there. we saw the individuals who went through and took over the capitol rotunda. dan goldman, just to put a more
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conversational stamp on this question of constitutionality, for all those who are about to watch this who are not lawyers, lord knows constitutional experts, imagine if you will a fictional conversation between a sitting and a former president where the former president says to the sitting president, dude, all you have to do is wait till the last month or the last two weeks of your term, back load all the bad stuff, as we look at the minority leader arriving, back load all the bad stuff you plan to do in your presidency, and do it there because there's no accounting for it. they'll never get you for it. and dan, isn't that the crux? >> yeah. and then if you were actually to have a majority leader of the senate who controls when the trial begins you could actually delay for months in theory,
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just, you know, if mitch mcconnell delayed it until january 20th, what's to say that he would not be able to delay it further if he has the votes to do it? that just can't be the way that our constitution was created. and every argument you have, the common sense argument, the plain text reading, the sort of legislative history or the equivalent of it, the historical context and the historical precedent, every single means of constitutional interpretation all favors going forward with this trial but i think that what we're really looking at today and throughout this trial is does this give some senators who do not want to address the actual conduct, they don't want to be forced to either condone the conduct or incite the wrath of donald trump in a potential
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primary opponent. are -- is this an off ramp that they can hang their hat on to avoid what is their constitutional duty to listen to the evidence and to make a decision as to whether or not the president had -- former president violated his oath of office. and that's why we're dealing with this argument right now. >> i was just going to say there's senator klobuchar who was just minutes ago talking to us. hey, claire, let's play wwmrd, what will mitt romney do? >> mitt romney will convict, vote to convict the president, mitt romney will vote that this is a constitutional proceeding. and i believe that if there is a vote on whether or not to call witnesses, i will be surprised if mitt romney doesn't vote for it. i think he's made up his mind. he's like liz cheney. he said on that night, i remember -- because it was such a powerful moment when he stood on the floor of the senate after the terrorists had invaded and
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killed a police officer and violated the sacred spaces of our nation's capitol, he said all you have to do, he was speaking to josh hawley and to ted cruz and to the others that were all behind the big lie, he said all you have to do is tell people the truth. i mean, that simple statement spoke volumes about where mitt romney is at this historic moment. i think history will be very kind to him. >> michael steele, it's amazing how low the bar is, and i mean that with no disrespect to mitt romney but we now have a republican party so far gone that he and she who stand up and tell the truth are really, rightfully, capable of saving the democracy or at least sparing us from more violence. do you think anyone's listening to them? >> yeah, it's a pathetic statement in the main, it just is, the fact that there are just so few members within the house
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or the senate body on the republican side who aren't able to raise that bar higher and to set the sights of the party and its leadership to something higher than the image of donald trump and trumpism. what do they think will be on the other side of all of this? i want to know what do they think? if you don't agree with mitt romney to just tell the truth, if you don't believe or agree with liz cheney that we cannot survive with donald trump inside of our tent, then tell me what do you think this looks like? what relevance do you think you will have -- >> yeah. >> -- with an american population that's growing more and more disaffected from your brand and from your ideology? so, you know, there are those of us out here who are trying to help mitt romney and liz cheney raise that bar higher, as much
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as we can for as long as we can until we can't help anymore. that's what the struggle is about right now. >> if you watched the first impeachment you know that was presided over by the chief justice. patrick leahy, the senior member of the u.s. senate on the democratic side calling to order. and now barry black with the prayer. >> take control of this impeachment trial. lord, permit the words of the new england poet james russell lowell to provide our senate jurors with just one perspective. lowell wrote once to every man and nation comes a moment to decide. in the strife of truth with
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falsehood, for the good or evil side. mighty god, could it really be that simple? could it really be just truth? striding against falsehood, and good striving against evil. powerful redeemer, have mercy on our beloved land. we pray, in your magnificent name, amen. >> please join me in the pledge of allegiance. >> one nation under god indivisible with liberty and justice for all.
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>> morning business is closed. and the senate will convene in the court of impeachment, i ask senators to be seated. if there's no objection in general, the proceedings of the trial are approved to date. i'd ask the sergeant in arms to make the proclamation. >> hearye, all persons are commanded to keep silence on pain of imprisonment while the senate of the united states is sitting for the trial of the article of impeachment exhibited by the house of representatives against donald john trump, former president of the united states.
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>> i note the presence in the senate chamber of the managers on the part of the house of representatives, and counsel for the former president of the united states. >> mr. president. >> majority leader is recognized. >> mr. president, in a moment i will call up a resolution to govern the structure of the second impeachment trial of president -- of donald john trump. it's been agreed to by the house
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managers, the former president's counsel, and is cosponsored by the republican leader. it is bipartisan. it's our solemn constitutional duty to conduct a fair and honest impeachment trial of the charges against former president trump, the gravest charges ever brought against a president of the united states in american history. this resolution provides for a fair trial, and i urge the senate to adopt it. mr. president, i send a resolution to the desk on my behalf and that of the republican leader for the organizing of the next phases of this trial. >> report. >> senate resolution 47 to provide for related procedures concerning the article of impeachment against donald john trump former president of the
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united states. >> the question occurs on the adoption of the resolution. >> i ask for the ayes and nays. >> is there a sufficient second. the clerk will call the roll. >> ms. baldwin. >> aye. >> ms. baldwin, aye. mr. bo ras sew, aye, mrs. blackburn, aye. mr. blumenthal, aye. mr. blount, aye. mr. booker, aye, mr. boseman, aye. mr. brawn, mr. brawn aye, mr. brown, mr. brown aye. mr. burr, mr. burr, aye. ms. cantwell, aye.
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mrs. capito, aye. mr. carden, aye. >> let's ask someone who once sat at one of those desks just what procedurally we are watching here. claire, what's going on? >> well, the only thing i can figure out is they didn't have unanimous consent which means you're going to probably hear like a handful of nos from the far extreme fringe of the republican party. i'm guessing you might see ah-ha -- a hawley or cruz vote know. it was agreed to beforehand by mcconnell. but you know what's different about this, brian? all the senators are in their desks. so this is a roll call that's actually going to go quickly. that is very unusual in the united states senate. >> all right, let's listen in. we're already up to the d's. >> ms. ernst, aye.
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mrs. feinstein, aye. mrs. fisher, aye. mrs. gillibrand, aye. mr. graham, aye. mr. grassley, aye. mr. hagerty, aye. ms. hassan, aye. mr. hawley, no. mr. heinrich, aye. mr. hickenlooper, aye. ms. hirono, aye. mr. hoven, aye, mrs. hyde smith, aye. mr. inhofe, aye. mr. johnson, no. mr. kane, aye.
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mr. kelly, aye. mr. kennedy, aye. mr. king, aye, ms. klobuchar, aye. mr. lankford, aye. mr. leahy, aye. mr. lee, no. mr. lujan, aye. ms. lamis, aye. mr. manchin, aye. mr. markey, aye. mr. marshall, no. mr. mcconnell, aye. mr. menendez, aye. mr. merkley, aye. mr. moran, aye.
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ms. murkowski, aye. mr. murphy, aye. mrs. murray, aye. mr. ossoff, aye. mr. pedilla, aye. mr. paul, no. mr. peters, aye. mr. portman, aye. mr. reed, aye. mr. rich, aye. mr. romney, aye. ms. rosen, aye. mr. rounds, aye. mr. rubio, no. mr. sanders, aye. mr. sasse, aye.
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mr. schotz, aye. mr. schumer, aye. mr. scott of florida, no. mr. scott of south carolina, no. mrs. shaheen, aye. mr. shelby, aye. ms. cinema, aye. ms. smith, aye. ms. stabenow, aye. mr. sullivan, aye. mr. testor, aye, mr. thune, aye. mr. tillis, aye. mr. toomey, aye. mr. tubberville, no. mr. van hollen, aye.
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mr. warner, aye. mr. warnock, aye. ms. warren, aye. mr. whitehouse, aye. mr. wicker, aye. mr. widen, aye. mr. young, aye. mr. cassidy, aye. mr. hagerty, no.
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doing the hand count. this is the clerk of the senate, the gentleman right there at the center of the long desk. want to be careful, your math is correct, it will be double checked by his colleague next to him. during the vote perhaps you saw senator rand paul, the only member of the senate within camera view without a mask, also
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happens to be a physician. and senator leahy. >> the nays are 11. the resolution is agreed to. and pursuant to the provisions of senate resolution 47, there shall now be four hours of argument by the parties equally divided on the question of whether donald john trump is subject to the jurisdiction of a court of impeachment, notwithstanding the expiration of his term in that office. mr. manager raskin, are you a proponent or an opponent of this question? >> i'm a proponent. >> mr. castor, are you a proponent or opponent of this question? >> we are an opponent. >> mr. manager raskin, your
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party may proceed, first, you will be able to reserve rebuttal time if you wish. mr. raskin, you're recognized. >> thank you very much, mr. president, distinguished members of the senate, good afternoon, my name is jamie raskin, it's my honor to represent the people of maryland's eighth congressional district in the house and also to serve as the lead house manager. and mr. president, we will indeed reserve time for rebuttal. thank you. because i've been a professor of constitutional law for three decades i know there are a lot of people who are dreading endless lectures about the federalist papers here. please breathe easy, okay, i remember well w.h. auden's line that a professor is someone who speaks while other people are sleeping. you will not be hearing extended lectures from me because our
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case is based on cold hard facts. it's all about the facts. president trump has sent his lawyers here today to try to stop the senate from hearing the facts of this case. they want to call the trial over before any evidence is even introduced. their argument is that if you commit an impeachable offense in your last few weeks in office you do it with constitutional impunity. you get away with it. in other words conduct that would be a high crime and misdemeanor in your first year as president and your second year as president and your third year as president, and for the vast majority of your fourth year as president, you can
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suddenly do in your last few weeks in office without facing any constitutional accountability at all. this would create a brand new january exception to the constitution of the united states of america. a january exception. and everyone can see immediately why this is so dangerous. it's an invitation to the president to take his best shot at anything he may want to do on his way out the door, including using violent means to lock that door, to hang onto the oval office at all costs, and to block the peaceful transfer of power. in other words, the january exception is an invitation to our founders' worst nightmare. and if we buy that radical
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argument that president trump's lawyers advance, we risk allowing january 6th to become our future. and what will that mean for america? think about it. what will the january exception mean to future generations if you grant it? i'll show you. >> we will stop the steal. today i will lay out just some of the evidence proving that we won this election, and we won it by a landslide. this was not a close election. and after this, we're going to walk down, and i'll be there with you, we're going to walk down -- we're going to walk down to the capitol. >> save the capitol.
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>> take the capitol. >> we are going to the capitol. it's that direction. >> everybody in, this way, this way. >> thousands of votes, they came in -- where did they come from? >> let's go now! >> usa, usa, usa!
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>> speaker, the vice president and the united states senate. [ applause ] >> a billion to one out here, dude. >> take the building. >> join us! >> that's enough. >> there's much more coming. >> the constitution says you have to protect our country and you have to protect our constitution, and you can't vote on fraud, and fraud breaks up everything, doesn't it? when you catch somebody in the fraud, you're allowed to go by very different rules.
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so i hope mike has the courage to do what he has to do. we fight, we fight like hell, and if you don't fight like hell you're not going to have a country anymore. so we're going to walk down pennsylvania avenue, i love pennsylvania avenue, and we're going to the capitol, and we're going to try and give our republicans, the weak ones, because the strong ones don't need any of our help. we're going to try and give them the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country. >> get the -- out of here, you
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traitors. >> majority leader -- >> we're debating a step that has never been taken in american history. president trump claims the election was stolen, the assertions range from specific local allegations to constitutional arguments, to sweeping conspiracy theories. >> usa, usa, usa! >> but my colleagues, nothing before us proves illegality anywhere near the massive scale, the massive scale that would have tipped the entire election.
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>> our house, our house, our house! >> fight for trump, fight for trump! >> -- you police! >> let's go!
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>> i'll take you. >> second floor. >> back up. >> my challenge today is not
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about the good people of arizona -- >> the senate will stand in recess until the call of the chair. >> thank you. >> who, who, who. >> madam -- mr. speaker, can i have order in the chamber? >> the house will be in order. the house will be in order.
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okay. >> stop the steal, stop the steal! >> break down a window. >> you're outnumbered. there's a million of us out there and we are listening to trump. >> treason, treason, treason. >> traitor. >> traitor pence. >> traitor pence. >> traitor pence. >> the constitution, defend the constitution. >> stop the steal, stop the steal, stop the steal, stop the steal.
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stop the steal, stop the steal, stop the steal. >> they're leaving, they're leaving. >> break it down, break it down, break it down. break it down. >> oh, oh.
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>> get down. >> is this the senate? >> where the -- are they? >> there's got to be something in here we can -- use against these scum bags. >> that's why we -- need to have 30,000 guns. >> let's go, take it, take it, take it off. >> use the shield, use the shield. >> we need patriots. >> use the helmet.
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>> yeah. >> fight for trump, fight for trump! >> there's never been a time like this where such a thing happened where they could take it away from all of us, from me, from you, from our country. this was a fraudulent election.
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but we can't play into the hands of these people. we have to have peace. so go home. we love you. you're very special. you've seen what happens. you see the way others are treated that are so bad and so evil. i know how you feel. but go home and go home in peace. >> usa, usa, usa.
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>> your own cities, your down counties, storm your own capitols and take down every one of these -- take them! >> he shot him. he's dead. >> senators, the president was impeached by the u.s. house of
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representatives on january 13th for doing that. you ask what a high crime and misdemeanor is under our constitution, that's a high crime and misdemeanor. if that's not an impeachable offense then there is no such thing. and if the president's arguments for a january exception are upheld, then even if everyone agrees that he's culpable for these events, even if the evidence proves, as we think it definitively does, that the president incited a violence insurrection on the day congress met to finalize the presidential election, he would have you believe there is absolutely nothing the senate can do about it. no trial, no facts. he wants you to decide that the senate is powerless. at that point. that can't be right. the transition of power is always the most dangerous moment
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for democracies, every historian will tell you that. we just saw it in the most astonishing way. we lived through it. and you know what, the framers of our constitution knew it. that's why they created a constitution with an oath written into it that binds the president from his very first day in office until his very last day in office. and every day in between. under that constitution, and under that oath, the president of the united states is forbidden to commit high crimes and misdemeanors against the people at any point that he's in office. indeed, that's one specific reason the impeachment, conviction and disqualification powers exist, to protect us against presidents who try to overrun the power of the people in their elections, and replace the rule of law with the rule of
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mobs. these powers must apply even if the president commits his offenses in his final weeks in office. in fact, that's precisely when we need them the most, because that's when elections get attacked. everything that we know about the language of the constitution, the framers' original understanding and intent, prior senate practice and common sense confirms this rule. let's start with the text of the constitution. which in article i, section 2 gives the house the sole power of impeachment. when the president commits high crimes and misdemeanors. we exercised that power on january 13th. the president, it is undisputed, committed his offense while he was president. and it is undisputed that we impeached him while he was president. there can be no doubt that this
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is a valid and legitimate impeachment. and there can be no doubt that the senate has the power to try this impeachment. we know this because article i, section 3 gives the senate the sole power to try all impeachments. the senate has the power, the sole power to try all impeachments. all means all. and there are no exceptions to the rule. because the senate has jurisdiction to try all impeachments it most certainly has jurisdiction to try this one. it's really that simple. the vast majority of constitutional scholars who studied the question and weighed in on the proposition being advanced by the president, this january exception, heretofore unknown, agree with us. and that includes the nation's most prominent conservative legal scholars, including former
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tenth circuit judge michael mcconnell, the cofounder of the federalist society steven kalibrzi, ronald reagan's solicitor general charles freed, washington lawyer charles cooper, among hundreds of other constitutional lawyers and professors. i commend the people i named their recent writings to you in the newspapers over the last several days. and all of the key precedents, along with detailed explanation of the constitutional history and textual analysis appear in the trial brief we filed last week and the reply brief that we filed very early this morning. i'll spare you a replay, but i want to highlight a few key points from constitutional history that strike me as compelling in foreclosing president trump's argument that there's a secret january exception hidden away in the constitution. the first point comes from english history which matters because as hamilton wrote,
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england provided the model from which the idea of this institution has been borrowed and would have been immediately obvious to anyone familiar with that history, that former officials could be held accountable for their abuses while in office. every single impeachment of a government official that occurred during the framers' lifetime concerned a former official, a former official. indeed these occurred while the framers gathered in philadelphia to write the constitution. it was the impeachment of warren hastings, the former governor general of the british colony of bengal, a corrupt guy. the framers knew all about it and they strongly supported the impeachment. in fact, the hastings case was invoked by name at the convention, the only specific impeachment case they discussed at the convention.
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it played a key role in their adoption of the high crimes and misdemeanors standard. and even though everyone there surely knew that hastings had left office two years before his impeachment trial began, not a single framer, not one, raised a concern when virginian george mason held up the hastings impeachment as a model for us in the writing of our constitution. the early state constitutions supported the idea too. every single state constitution in the 1780s either specifically said that former officials could be impeached or were entirely consistent with the idea. in contrast, not a single state constitution prohibited trials of former officials. as a result, there was an overwhelming presumption in favor of allowing legislatures to hold former officials accountable in this way. any departure from that norm would have been a big deal.
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and yet there's no sign anywhere that that ever happened. some states, including delaware, even confined impeachment only to officials who had already left office. this confirms that removal was never seen as the exclusive purpose of impeachment in america. the goal was always about accountability, protecting society, and deterring official corruption. delaware matters for another reason, writing about impeachment in the federalist papers hamilton explained that the president of america would stand upon no better ground than the governor of new york and upon worse ground than the governors of maryland and delaware. he thus emphasized that the president is even more accountable than officials in delaware whereas i noted the constitution clearly allowed impeachment of former officials. and nobody involved in the convention ever said that the framers meant to reject this widely accepted, deeply rooted
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understanding of the word impeachment when they wrote it into our constitution. the convention debates instead confirm this interpretation, there while discussing impeachment the framers repeatedly returned to the threat of presidential corruption aimed directly to elections, the heart of self-government. almost perfectly anticipating president trump, william davie of north carolina explained impeachment was for a president who spared "no effort or means whatever to get himself reelected." hamilton in federalist i said the greatest danger to republics in the liberties of the people comes from political opportunists who begin as demagogues and end as tyrants. and the people who are encouraged to follow them. president trump may not know a
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lot about the framers but they certainly knew a lot about him. given the framers' intense focus on danger to elections and the peaceful transfer of power, it is inconceivable that they designed impeachment to be a dead letter in the president's final days in office. when opportunities to interfere with the peaceful transfer of power would be most tempting and most dangerous as we just saw. thus, as a matter of history and original understanding, there is no merit to president trump's claim that he can incite an insurrection and then insist weeks later that the senate lacks the power to even hear evidence at a trial, to even hold a trial. the true rule was stated by former president john quincy adams, when he categorically declared, i hold myself, so long as i have the breath of life in my body, amenable to impeachment by the house for everything i
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did during the time i held any public office. when he comes up in a minute, my colleague from colorado will further pursue the relevant precedence and explain why this body's practice has been supported by the text of the constitution. and mr. cicilline of rhode island will then respond to the fallacies presented by the president's counsel. and after these gentlemen speak i will return to discuss the fundamental importance of the senate rejecting president trump's argument for the preservation of democratic self-government and the rule of law in the united states of america. i now will turn it over to my colleague mr. naguce of colorado. >> i have to recognize him? no.
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>> mr. president, distinguished senators, my name is joe naguce and i represent colorado's second congressional district in the united states congress. like many of you i'm an attorney. i practiced law before i came to congress, tried a lot of different cases, some more unique than others. certainly never a case as important as this one. nor a case with such a heavy and weighty constitutional question for you all to decide. thankfully, as lead manager raskin so thoroughly explained, the framers have answered that question for you, for us. and you don't need to be a constitutional scholar to know that the argument president trump asks you to adopt is not
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just wrong, it's dangerous. and you don't have to take my word for it. this body, the worlds greatest deliberative bo in the united states senate has reached that same conclusion in one form or another over the past 200 years on multiple occasions that we'll go through. over 150 constitutional scholars, experts, judges, conservative, liberal, you name it, they overwhelmingly have reached the same conclusion that of course you can try, convict and disqualify a former president. and that makes sense because the text of the constitution makes clear there is no january exception to the impeachment power. that presidents can't commit grave offenses in their final
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days. and escape any congressional response, that's not how our constitution works. let's start with the precedent. with what has happened in this very chamber. i'd like to focus on two cases. one of them is the nation's very first impeachment case which actually was of a former official. in 1797, about a decade after our country had ratified our constitution, there was a senator from tennessee by the name of william blount who was caught conspiring with the british to try to sell florida and louisiana. ultimately president adams caught him. he turned over the evidence to congress. four days later the house of representatives impeached him. a day after that, this body, the
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united states senate, expelled him from office. so he was very much a former official. despite that, the house went forward with its impeachment proceeding in order to disqualify him from ever again holding federal office. and so the senate proceeded with the trial with none other than thomas jefferson presiding. now, blount argued that the senate couldn't proceed because he had already been expelled. but here's the interesting thing. he expressly disavowed any claim that former officials can't ever be impeached. unlike president trump, he was very clear that he respected and understood that he could not even try to argue that ridiculous position. even impeached senator blount recognized the inherent absurdity of that view. here's what he said. i certainly never shall contend that an officer may first commit an offense and afterwards avoid
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by resigning his office. that's the point. and there was no doubt because the founders were around to confirm that that was their intent and the obvious meeting of what is in the constitution. fast forward 80 years later, arguably the most important precedent that this body has to consider, the trial of former secretary of war william bellknap. in short, in 1876, the house discovered he was involved in a massive kickback scheme. hours before the house committee had discovered this conduct released its report documenting the scheme belknap literally rushed to the white house to resign, tender his resignation to president ulysses grant to avoid any further inquiry into his misconduct and of course to
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avoid being disqualified from holding federal office in the future. later that day, aware of the resignation, what did the house do? the house moved forward and unanimously impeached him. making clear its power to impeach a former official. and when his case reached the senate, this body, belknap made the exact same argument that president trump is making today, that you all lack jurisdiction, any power to try him because he's a former official. now, many senators at that time when they heard that argument literally, they were sitting in the same chairs you all are sitting in today. they were outraged by that argument, outraged. you can read their comments in the record. they knew it was a dangerous, dangerous argument with dangerous implications. it would literally mean that a president could betray their
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country, leave office, and avoid impeachment and disqualification entirely and that's why in the end the united states senate decisively voted that the constitution required them to proceed with the trial. the belknap case is clear precedent that the senate must proceed with this trial since it rejected pretrial dismissal, affirmed its jurisdiction, and moved to a full consideration of the merits. belknap ultimately was not convicted but only after a thorough, public inquiry into his misconduct which created a record of his wrongdoing. it ensured his accountability and deterred anyone else from considering such corruption by making clear that it was intolerable. the trial served important constitutional purposes. now, given that precedent that i've described to you, given all
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that that precedent imparts, you could imagine my surprise, lead manager raskin's surprise when we were reviewing the trial brief filed by the president in which his counsel insists that the senate actually didn't decide anything in the belknap case. they say, these are not my words, i'll quote from their trial brief. it cannot be read as foreclosing an argument that they never dealt with. never dealt with? the senate didn't debate this question for two hours. the senate debated this very question for two weeks. the senate spent an additional two weeks deliberating on the jurisdictional question. and at the end of those deliberations, they decided decisively that the senate has jurisdiction and that it could proceed, that it must proceed to a full trial. and, by the way, unlike bell
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knap, as we know, president trump was not impeached for run-of-the-mill corruption, misconduct. he was impeached for inciting a violent insurrection, an insurrection where people died in this building. an insurrection that desecrated our seat of government. and if congress were just to stand completely aside in the face of such an extraordinary crime against the republic, it would invite future presidents to use their power without any fear of accountability. and none of us -- i know this, none of this, no matter our party or our politics, wants that. now, we've gone through the highlights of the precedent. and i think it's important that you know as lead manager raskin mentioned that scholars overwhelmingly who have reviewed this same precedent have all come to the same conclusion that
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the senate must hear this case. let's go through just a few short examples. to start, all of us, i know, are familiar with the federalist society. some of you may know steven calabrese personally, the co-founder of the federal society, actually was the chairman of the board in 2019. he was the first president of the yale federal society chapter board, a position that i understand senator howly later held. here is what mr. calabrese has to say. on january 21st, he issued a public letter stating, our carefully considered views of the law lead all of us to agree that the constitution permits the impeachment, conviction, and disqualification of former officers including presidents. and by the way he's not the only one, as lead manager raskin said, president reagan's former solicitor general, among many
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others. another prominent conservative scholar known to many of you, again, personally, is former tenth circuit court of appeals judge, my circuit, judge michael mcconnell. he was nominated by president george w. bush. he was confirmed by this body unanimously. senator hatch, many of you served with, he had this to say about judge mcconnell. that he's an honest man, he calls it as he sees it, and he's beholden to no one and no group. well, what does judge mcconnell have to say about the question that you're debating this afternoon? he said the following. given the impeachment of mr. trump was legitimate, the text makes clear that the senate has power to try that impeachment. you heard manager raskin mention another lawyer, chuck cooper, here in washington, has represented former attorney general jeff sessions, house minority leader kevin mccarthy. he issued an editorial two days ago very powerful observing that
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scholarship in this question hazmatured substantially, and that ultimately the arguments that president trump is championing are beset by serious weaknesses. finally, i would have gone through a lot of scholars. i'll finish on this one. there's another scholar that i know some of you know and some of you have actually spoken with recently. up until just a few weeks ago, he was a recognized champion of the view that the constitution authorizes the impeachment of former officials. and that is professor jonathan turley. let me show you what i mean. these are his words. first in a very detailed study, thorough study. he explained that, quote, the resignation from office does not prevent trial on articles of impeachment. that's professor turley's words. same piece. he celebrated the belknap trial and described it as a corrective measure that helped the system
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regain legitimacy. he wrote an article, 146-page study, very detailed. and in that study, he said, quote, that the decision in belknap was correct on its view that impeachment historically had extended to former officials such as warren hastings. in fact, as you can see, professor turley argued that the house could've impeached and the senate could've tried richard nixon after he resigned. his quote on this very telling. quote, future presidents could not assume that mere resignation would avoid a trial of their conduct in the united states senate. finally, last quote from professor turley, that no man in no circumstance can escape the account to which he owes the laws of his country.
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not my words, not lead manager raskin's words. professor jonathan turley's words. i agree with him. because he's exactly right. now, a question one might reasonably ask after going through all those quotes from such noted jurists and scholars. why is there such agreement on this topic? well, the reason's pretty simple. because it's what the constitution says. i want to walk you through three provisions of the constitution that make clear that the senate must try this case. first, let's start with what the constitution says about congress' power in article i. you heard lead manager raskin make this point, but it's worth underscoring. article i section 2. gives the senate the sole power to try all impeachments.
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now, based on president trump's argument, one would think that language includes caveats, exceptions. but it doesn't. it doesn't say impeachment of current civil officers. it doesn't say impeachment of those still in office. the framers didn't mince words. they provided express absolute, unqualified grants of jurisdictional power to the house to impeach and to the senate to try all impeachments, not some, all. former judge mcconnell, judge that we talked about earlier, he provides very effective textual analysis of this provision. you can see it up here on the slide. and i'll just give you the highlight. he says, and i'll quote. this is judge mcconnell. given that the impeachment of mr. trump was legitimate, the text makes clear that the senate has power to try that
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impeachment. now, again, here is what is pretty interesting to me at least. when we presented this argument in our trial brief, which we filed over a week ago. we laid it out step by step so that you could consider it and so that opposing counsel could consider it as well. we received president trump's response yesterday. and the trial brief offers no rebuttal to this point. none. and in fairness, i can't think of any convincing response. i mean, the constitution is just exceptionally clear on this point. now, perhaps they will have something to say today about it, but they did not yesterday. there's another provision worth mentioning here because there's been a lot of confusion about it. and i'm going to try to clear this up. this is the provision on removal and disqualification. now we all know the senate
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imposes a judgment only when it convicts. up on the screen you'll see article i section 3 clause 7. so with that in mind the language says that the senate convicts the judgment shall not extend further than removal and disqualification. that's it. the meaning is clear. the senate has the power to impose removal, which only applies to current officials, and separately it has the power to impose disqualification, which obviously applies to both current and former officers. but it doesn't have the power to go any further than that. now as i understand president trump's argument, they believe that this language somehow says that disqualification can only follow removal of a current officer. but it doesn't. that interpretation essentially rewrites the constitution. it adds words that aren't there.
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i mean, after all, the constitution does not say, removal from office and then disqualification. it doesn't say removal from office followed by disqualification. it simply says the senate can't do more than two possible sentences, removal and disqualification. and this, by the way, is not the first time that this direct question has been debated in this chamber. 146 years ago during the belknap trial, senator george edmonds of vermont, he's one of the most prestigious republican senators of his time. he sat right where senator grassley sits today. he zeroed in on this exact point during the belknap trial. this is his quote. a prohibition against doing more than two things cannot be turned into a command to do both or neither. and just imagine the
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consequences of such an absurd interpretation of the constitution. i mean, if president trump were right about that language, then officials could commit the most extraordinary, destructive offenses against the american people, high crimes and misdemeanors. they'd have total control over whether they can ever be impeached, and if they are whether the senate can try the case. if they want to escape any public inquiry into their misconduct or the risk of disqualification from future office, then it's pretty simple, they can just resign one minute before the house impeaches or even one minute before the senate trial or even during the senate trial if it's not looking so well. that would effectively erase disqualification from the constitution. it would put wrongdoers in charge of whether the senate can try them. third and final reason why president trump must stand trial. provision of article i of the
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constitution. you'll see here on the screen that the constitution twice describes the accused in an impeachment trial. here's what i want you to focus on. the interesting thing is notice the words, it refers to a person and a party being impeached. now, again, we know that the framers gave a lot of thought to the words that they chose. they even had a style committee during the constitutional convention. they could have written civil officers here. they did that elsewhere in the constitution it. >> that would have ultimately limited impeachment trials to current officials. but instead they used broader language to describe who could be tried by the united states senate. so, who could be put other thanl officers, who else could a person or a party be? well, really there's only one possible answer, former
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officers. and, again, that actually might explain why during the belknap trial senator thomas bayert of delaware, he later became the secretary of state for the united states. he sat right where senator carper is sitting now. he found this point so compelling that he felt compelled to speak out on it. and during the trial he concluded that the constitution must allow the impeachment and trial of people and parties who are not civil officers. and the only group that could possibly encompass was former officials like belknap. and of course here like president trump. and just so we're clear in full disclosure, this is another argument that was not addressed by president trump in his rebuttal. and we know why they didn't. because their argument doesn't square with the plain text of the constitution. there is one provision that president trump relies on almost
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exclusively. article ii section 4. i'm sure you'll see it when they present their arguments. their argument is that the language you'll see in the screen somehow prevents you from holding this trial, by making removal from office an absolute requirement. but, again, where does the language say that? where does it say anything in that provision about your jurisdiction? in fact, this provision isn't even in the part of the constitution that addresses your authority. it's in article ii, not article i. and it certainly says nothing about former officials. president trump's interpretation doesn't square with history, originalism, textualism. in fact, even chuck cooper, the
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famous conservative lawyer i mentioned earlier with clients like the house minority leader. he has concluded that this provision of the constitution that president trump relies on cuts against his position, his words. and that's because, as cooper says, article ii section 4 means just what it says. the first half describes what an official must do to be impeached, namely, commit high crimes and misdemeanors. and the second half describe what's happens when civil officers of the united states including the sitting president are convicted. removal from office. that's it. in cooper's words, it simply establishes what is known in criminal law as a mandatory minimum punishment. it says nothing about former officials, nothing at all. given all of that, it is not
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surprising that in president trump's legal trial brief, 75-page brief, they struggle to find any professors to support their position. they did cite one professor, though. professor cault, who is an expert in this field who they claimed agreed with them that the only purpose of impeachment is removal. professor cault's position, which they had to have known because it's in the article that they cite in the brief, is that removal is, quote, not the sole end of impeachment. actually, in that same article, he describes the view advocated by president trump's lawyers as having deep flaws. and, again, you do not have to take my word for it. you can take professor cault's
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word for, the professor they cited in their brief filed yesterday because he tweeted about it. and on the screen here, this is what he had to say i'm not going to read through it in great detail. i'll simply give you the highlights. president trump's brief cites my 2001 article on late impeachment a lot. but in several places they misrepresent what i wrote quite badly. there are multiple examples of such flat-out misrepresentations. they didn't have to be disingenuous and misleading like this. this key constitutional scholar relied on by president trump, said it just right. i have explained in great detail the many reasons why the argument that president trump advocates for here today is wrong. i just want to close with a note about why it's dangerous. lead manager raskin explained that impeachment exists to
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protect the american people from officials who abuse their power, who betray them. it exists for a case just like this one. honestly, it is hard to imagine a clearer example of how a president can abuse his office, inciting violence against a co-equal branch of government while seeking to remain in power after losing an election. sitting back and watching it unfold. we all know the consequences. like every one of you, i was in the capitol on january 6th. i was on the floor with lead manager raskin. like every one of you, i was
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evacuated as this violent mob stormed the capitol's gates. what you experienced that day, what we experienced that day, what our country experienced that day is the framers' worst nightmare come to life. presidents can't inflame insurrection in their final weeks and then walk away like nothing happened. and yet that is the rule that president trump asks you to adopt. i urge you, we urge you to decline his request, to vindicate the constitution, to let us try this case.
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>> mr. president, distinguished senators, my name is david cicilline. i have the honor of representing the first congressional district of rhode island. as i hope is now clear from the articles of mr. raskin and mr. neguse, impeachment is not merely about removing someone from office. fundamentally, impeachment exists to protect our constitutional system, to keep each of us safe, to uphold our freedom, to safeguard our democracy. it achieves that by deterring abuse of the extraordinary power that we entrust to our presidents from the very first day in office to the very last
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day. it also ensures accountability for presidents who harm us or our government. in the aftermath of a tragedy, it allows us an opportunity to come together and to heal by working through what happened and reaffirming our constitutional principles. and it authorizes this body and this body alone to disqualify from our political system anybody whose conduct in office proves that they present a danger to the republic. but, impeachment would fail to achieve these purposes if you created for the first time ever despite the words of the framers and the constitution a january exception, as mr. raskin explained. now, i was a former defense lawyer for many years. and i could understand why
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president trump and his lawyers don't want you to hear this case. why they don't want you to see the evidence. but the argument that you lack jurisdiction rests on a purely fictional loophole. purely fictional. designed to allow the former president to escape all accountability for conduct that is truly indefensible under our constitution. you saw the consequences of his actions on the video that we played earlier. i'd like to emphasize in still greater detail the extraordinary constitutional offense that the former president thinks you have no power whatsoever to adjudicate. while spreading lies about the election outcome and a brazen attempt to retain power against the will of the american people, he incited an armed, angry mob to riot.
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and not just anywhere. but here in the seat of our government, in the capitol during a joint session of congress when the vice president presided while we carried out a peaceful transfer of power, which was interrupted for the first time in our history. this was a disaster of historic proportion. it was also an unforgiveable betrayal of the oath of office of president trump, the oath he swore, an oath that he sullied and dishonored to advance his own personal interests. and, make no mistake about it, as you think about that day, things could've been much worse. as one senator said, they could have killed all of us. it was only the bravery and sacrifice of the police who suffered deaths and injuries as
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a result of president trump's actions that prevented greater tragedy. at trial, we will prove with overwhelming evidence that president trump is singularly and directly responsible for inciting the assault on the capitol. we will also prove that his dereliction of duty, and his decision to issue tweets further inciting the mob attacking the vice president all compounded the already enormous damage. virtually every american who saw those events unfold on television was absolutely horrified by the events of january 6th. but we also know how president trump himself felt about the attack. he told us. here's what he tweeted at 6:01 as the capitol was in shambles
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and as dozens of police officers and other law enforcement officers lay battered and bruised and bloodied. here's what he said. these are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously and viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly and unfairly treated for so long. go home with love and in peace. remember this day forever! every time i read that tweet, it chills me to the core. the president of the united states sided with the insurrectionists. he celebrated their cause. he validated their attack. he told them, remember this day forever, hours after they marched through these halls looking to assassinate vice president pence, the speaker of the house, and any of us they
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could find. given all that, it's no wonder that president trump would rather talk about jurisdiction in a supposed january exception, rather than talk about what happened on january 6th. make no mistake. his arguments are dead wrong. they're distractions from what really matters. the senate can and should require president trump to stand trial. my colleagues have already addressed many of president trump's efforts to escape trial. i'd like to cover the remainder and then address the broader issues at stake in this trial. for starters in an extension of his mistaken reading of the constitution, president trump insists that he can not face trial in the senate because he's merely a private citizen. he references here the bill of attainder clause. but as mr. neguse just
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explained, the constitution refers to the defendant in an impeachment trial as a person and a party and certainly he counts as one of those. let's also apply some common sense. there's a reason that he now insists on being called the 45th president of the united states rather than citizen trump. he isn't a grandly selected private citizen. he's a former officer of the united states government. he's a former president of the united states of america. he's treated differently under law called the former presidents act. for four years we trusted him with more power than anyone else on earth. as a former president who promised on a bible to use his power faithfully, he can and should answer for whether he kept that promise while bound by it in office. his insistence, otherwise, is just wrong.
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and so is his claim that there is a slippery slope to impeaching private citizens if you proceed. the trial of a former official for abuses he committed as an official arising from an impeachment that occurred while he was an official poses absolutely no risk whatsoever of subjecting a private citizen to impeachment for their private conduct. to emphasize the point, president trump was impeached while he was in office for conduct in office, period. the alternative, once again, is this january exception, which our most powerful officials can commit the most terrible abuses and then resign to leave office and suddenly claim that they're just a private citizen who can't be held accountable at all. in the same vein, president trump and his lawyers argued he shouldn't be impeached because it will set a bad precedent for impeaching others.
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but that slippery slope argument is also incorrect. for centuries the prevailing view has been that former officials are subject to impeachment. and you just heard a full discussion of that. the house has repeatedly acknowledged that fact. but in the vast majority of cases, the house has rightly recognized that an official's resignation or departure makes the extraordinary step of impeachment unnecessary or maybe even unwise the as the house manager rightly explained in the belknap case, and i quote, there is no likelihood that we shall ever unlimb number the clumsy and bulky piece of ordinance to take aim at an object for which all danger has gone by, end quote. president trump's case though is different. the danger has not gone by. his threat to democracy makes any prior abuse by any government official pale in
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comparison. and without the most decisive response would itself create an extraordinary danger to the nation. inviting further abuse of power and signaling that the congress of the united states is unable or unwilling to respond to insurrection incited by the president. think about that. to paraphrase robert jackson who said that press that precedent that i just described would lie about like a loaded weapon ready for the hand of any future president who decided in his final months to make a play for unlimited power. think of the danger. here is the rare case in which love of the constitution and commitment to our democracy required the house to impeach. it's for the same reason the senate can and must try this case. next, president trump will
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assert that it somehow is significant or it matters that the chief justice isn't presiding over this trial. let me state this very plainly. it does not matter. it is not significant. under article i section 3, when the president of the united states is tried, the chief justice shall preside. there is only one person who is president of the united states at a time. right now joseph r. biden jr. is the 46th president of the united states. as a result, the requirement of the chief justice preside isn't triggered. instead, the normal rules of any impeachment of anyone other than the sitting president apply. and under those rules the president pro tem senator lehy can preside. when the current president is on trial, if the chief justice
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doesn't preside, the vice president can preside. and it would be a conflict for someone to preside over a trial that would become president if there was a conviction. so there isn't that concern when you have a former president on trial or for that matter when you have anyone on trial other than the current president, which is why the chief justice presides only in that single case and why this this is exactly the presiding officer, the constitution and the senate rules require. as a fallback, president trump and his lawyers may argue today that he should get a free pass on inciting an armed insurrection against the united states government and endangering congress, because, as he would put it, this impeachment is somehow unconstitutional. so far as i understand it from reading the pleadings in this case, this defense involves cobbling together a bunch of meritless legal arguments, all of them attempting to focus on
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substance rather than jurisdiction and insisting that these kitchen sink objections lead the senate to not try the case. since they may raise these points at this juncture, i feel obliged really to address them. he may argue, for example, that he didn't receive enough process in the house, even though the house proceedings are more like a grand jury action, which is followed later by trial in the senate with a full presentation of evidence. even though the evidence of his high crimes and misdemeanors is overwhelming and supported by a huge public record. even though we're going to put that evidence before you at this trial. and even they'll have a full and fair opportunity to respond to it before all of you. even though those who were involved in the events of january 6th were already charged for their attacks that the president incited. and even though we invited him to come here and testify and
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tell his story. a request, as you know, that his lawyers immediately refused, presumably because they understood what would happen if he were to testify under oath. regardless, president trump's process arguments are not only wrong on their own terms, but they're also completely irrelevant to the question of whether you should hold this trial. that question is answered by the constitution. and the answer is yes. in addition, separate from his due process complaints, president trump and his counsel, particularly his counsel have boasted on tv that to counter the undisputed evidence of what actually happened in this case, you'll see video clips, they will show video clips of other politicians including democratic politicians using what they
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consider insidiary language. like so much of what president trump's lawyers might say today, that's a gimmick. it's a parlor game meant to inflame partisan hostility and play on our divisions. so let me be crystal clear. president trump was not impeached because the words he used viewed in isolation without context were beyond the pail. plenty of our politicians have used strong language, but donald j. trump was president of the united states. he sought to overturn a presidential election that had been upheld by every single court to consider it. he spent months insisting to his base that the only way he could lose was a dangerous wide-ranging conspiracy against them and america itself. he relentlessly attempted to
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persuade his followers that the peaceful transfer of power that was taking place in the capitol was an abomination that had to be stopped at all cost. he flirted with groups like the proud boys, telling them to stand back and stand by, while endorsing violence and sparking death threats to his opponents. he summoned an armed, angry, and dangerous crowd that wanted to keep in power and was widely reported to be poised on a hair trigger for violence at his direction. he then made his heated statements in circumstances where it was clear where it was foreseeable that those statements would spark extraordinary, imminent violence. he then failed to defend the capitol, the congress and the
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vice president during the insurrection, engaging in extraordinary dereliction of duty and desertion of duty that was only possible because of the high office he held. he issued statements during the insurrection targeting the vice president and reiterating the very same lies about the election that had launched the violence in the first place. and he issued a tweet five hours after the capitol was sacked in which he sided with the bad guys. we all know that context matters, that office and meaning and intent and consequences matter. simply put, it matters when and where and how we speak. the oaths we swore and the power we hold matter.
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president trump was not impeached because he used words that the house decided are forbidden or unpopular. he was impeached for inciting armed violence against the government of the united states of america. this leads me to a few final thoughts about why it's so important for you to hear this case as authorized and is indeed required by our history and by the constitution. president trump's lawyers will say, i expect, that you should dismiss his case so that the country can move on. they'll assert that this impeachment is partisan and that the spirit of bipartisanship and bipartisan cooperation requires us to drop the case and march forward in unity. with all due respect, every premise and every conclusion of that argument is wrong. just weeks ago, weeks ago, the
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president of the united states literally incited an armed attack on the capitol, our seat of government, while seeking to retain power by subverting an election he lost and then celebrated the attack. people died. people were brutally injured. president trump's actions endangered every single member of congress. his own vice president, thousands of congressional staffers, and our own capitol police and other law enforcement. this was a national tragedy. a disaster for america's standing in the world. and president trump is singularly responsible for inciting it. as we will prove the attack on the capitol was not solely the work of extremists lurking in the shadows. indeed, does anyone in this chamber honestly believe that but for the conduct of president
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trump, that that charge in the article of impeachment that that attack at the capitol would've occurred? does anybody believe that? and now his lawyers will come before you and insist, even as the capitol is still surrounded with barbed wires and fences and soldiers that we should just move on, that bygones be bygones and allow president trump to walk away without any accountability, any reckoning, any consequences. that cannot be right. that is not unity. that's the path to fear what future presidents could do. so there's a good reason why this article of impeachment passed the house with bipartisan support. the principles at stake belong to all americans from all walks of life. we have a common interest in making clear that there are lines nobody can cross, especially the president of the
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united states. and so we share an interest in this trial where the truth can be shown and where president trump can be called to account for his offenses. william faulkner famously wrote that the past is never dead. but this isn't even the past. this just happened. it's still happening. look around you as you come to the capitol and come to work. i really do not believe that our attention span is so short that our sense of duty so frail our factional loyalty so all-consuming that the president can provoke an attack on congress itself and get away with it just because it occurred near the end of his term. after a betrayal like this, there can not be unity without accountability. and this is exactly what the constitution calls for. the framers original understanding, this chamber's own precedent, and the very
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words used in the constitution all confirm unquestionably indisputably that president trump must stand trial for his high crimes and misdemeanors against the american people. we must not, we cannot continue down the path of partisanship and division that has turned the capitol into an armed force fortress. once all the evidence is before you, by delivering justice. thank you. >> senators, mr. president, to close, i want to say something personal about the stakes of this decision, whether president trump can stand trial and be held to account for inciting
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insurrection against us. this trial is personal indeed for every senator, for every member of the house, every manager, all of our staff, the capitol police, the washington, d.c. metropolitan police, the national guard, maintenance and custodial crews, the print journalists and tv people who were here, and all of our families and friends. and i hope this trial reminds america how personal democracy is and how personal is the loss of democracy, too. distinguished members of the senate, my youngest daughter tabitha was there with me on january 6th. it was the day after we buried her brother our son tommy, the saddest day of our lives. also, there was my son-in-law hank who's married to our oldest
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daughter, hannah. a son too, even though he eloped with my daughter and didn't tell us what they were going to do. [ laughter ] but it was in the middle of covid-19. but the reason they came with me that wednesday january 6th was because they wanted to be together with me in the middle of a devastating week for our family. and i told them i had to go back to work because we were counting electoral votes that day on january 6th. it was our constitutional duty. and i invited them instead to come with me to witness this historic event, the peaceful transfer of power in america. and they said they heard that president trump was calling on his followers to come to washington to protest, and they asked me directly would it be safe, would it be safe.
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and i told them, of course it should be safe, this is the capitol. steny hoyer, our majority leader, can kindly offered me the use of his office on the house floor because i was one of the managers that day, and we were going through our grief. so tabitha and hank were with me in steny's office as colleagues dropped by to console us about the loss of our beloved tommy. mr. neguse and mr. cicilline actually came to see me that day. dozens of members, lots of republicans, lots of democrats came to see me. and i felt a sense of being lifted up from the agony. and i won't forget their tenderness. and through the tears i was working on a speech for the
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floor when we would all be together in joint session. and i wanted to focus on unity when we met in the house. i quoted abraham lincoln's famous 1838 speech where he said that if division and destruction ever come to america, it won't come from abroad, it'll come from within, said lincoln. and in that same speech, lincoln passionately deplored mob violence. this is right after the murder of elijah lovejoy, the abolitionist newspaper editor. and lincoln deplored mob violence, and he deplored mob rule. he said it would lead to tyranny and despotism in america. that was the speech i gave that
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day after the house very graciously and warmly welcomed me back. and tabitha and hank came with me to the floor, and they watched it from the gallery. and when it was over, they went back to that office, steny's office off of the house floor. they didn't know that the house had been breached yet, and that an insurrection or riot where a coup had come to congress. and by the time we learned about it, about what was going on, it was too late. i couldn't get out there to be with them in that office. and all around me people were calling their wives and their husbands, their loved ones to say good-bye. members of congress in the house, anyway, were removing their congressional pins so they wouldn't be identified by the mob as they tried to escape the
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violence. our new chaplain got up and said a prayer for us. and we were told to put our gas masks on. and then there was a sound i will never forget. the sound of pounding on the door like a battering ram. it's the most haunting sound i ever heard, and i will never forget it. our chief of staff was with tabitha and hank locked and barricaded in that office. the kids hiding under the desk, placing what they thought were their final texts and whispered phone calls to say their good-byes. they thought they were going to die. my son-in-law had never even been to the capitol before. and when they were finally rescued over an hour later by capitol officers and we were together, i hugged them and i apologized and i told my daughter tabitha, who's 24 and a
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brilliant algebra teacher in teach for america, i told her how sorry i was and i promised her that it would not be like this again the next time she came back to the capitol with me. and you know what she said? she said, dad, i don't want to come back to the capitol. of all the terrible brutal things i saw and i heard on that day, and since then, that one hit me the hardest. that and watching someone use an american flag pole with the flag still on it to spear and pummel one of our police officers
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ruthlessly, mercilessly, tortured by a pole with a flag on it that he was defending with his very life. people died that day. officers ended up with head damage and brain damage. people's eyes were gouged. an officer had a heart attack. an officer lost three fingers that day. two officers had taken their own lives. senators, this can not be our future. this can not be the future of america. we cannot have presidents inciting and mobilizing mob violence against our government and our institutions because they refuse to accept the will of the people under the constitution of the united states. much less can we create a new
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january exception in our precious beloved constitution that prior generations have died for and fought for so that corrupt presidents have several weeks to get away with whatever it is they want to do. history does not support a january exception in any way. so why would we invent one for the future? we close, mr. president. we reserve our time. >> i ask the unanimous consent -- i ask unanimous consent there now be a ten-minute break, i ask unanimous consent to recess senate for ten minutes. >> that objection so ordered.
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>> senators and house managers will be filing out after that emotional presentation by congressman raskin, democrat of the state of maryland. nicolle wallace to remind our viewers, this is just the beginning. this is to prove the constitutionality of what they are doing here today. and, of course, along the way, is the event that took most of the attention today. and that was a 13-minute or thereabout video review of the horrors of that day on the capitol. >> i've been making my way through the pandemic. i will use the cake analogy here. i thought that what the democrats presented was a three-layer cake. the foundation that appears to be squarely on their side was a legal case about the constitutionality. and they made it with the words of some of the most revered and
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respected conservative legal all-stars. they used chuck cooper, they used judges appointed by former president bush. they used jonathan turley, who was an impeachment manager on the trump side in the first impeachment. i thought the next layer was that video, that that was the heart of their case, the horror. it's like watching a documentary about benghazi or mumbai or any deadly attack premeditated and plotted and incited in full view, and carried out without remorse, without shame, and with clearly evil intent. and then i thought the top layer was the gut punch, was congressman raskin's story of where he was and why. he was in steny hoyer's office because he had just lost his son and he brought his family there because they were grieving together. and i thought one of the most powerful things he said was that he was being lifted up by democrats and republicans and he planned to give a speech that day, the day the insurrection about unity. and we all know what happened
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next. and i don't know on what grounds republicans think that they can look away. but i don't think anyone watching, i don't think anyone in the country looked away. >> clare mccaskill, that'll be something to watch. how do you? >> well, first of all, if anybody has not seen this video, find it online and share it with people especially people you disagree with. you know, nicole just said no one can look away. but my friends inside the chamber have communicated to me that that's exactly what some of the republicans were doing. marco rubio tried to stay busy with papers. so did rick scott of florida. so did cruz. there were a number of them that tried to busy themselves, tom
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cotton, didn't watch. now the vast majority of the republicans did watch, and so did the democrats. but some of the democrats looked away because they didn't want to see those images again, particularly the image of the woman being shot as they were trying to breach the house floor while house members were still on the house floor. so, there will be people that will refuse to watch, as we saw senators refusing to watch. there will be people that will refuse -- but for the majority of america if they watch that video, they would come to one conclusion, and that is we cannot let this pass, we cannot move on without some accountability. and that's what this trial represents. >> claire, it's hard to ask this
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question. but how do they -- how would you intellectually get yourself to acquittal? obviously we have these two filters in our country. we have these two sides. our politics have never been this toxic. but for those who did look up at the screen, for those watching at home and to our audience when we know kids are home during this time, we are sorry at the language in that video, but at the same time, this was presented evidence in a senate trial so we felt duty-bound to air it the way it came in to us. claire, talk about and i used the term earlier, cognitive dissidence. you were sitting at a desk and you are hypercognisant that you have a base of voters back home
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in your home state that may present an existential threat to your future in that chamber, god forbid you could be primaried, the greatest danger getting tweeted about seems to have passed. how do you get there? i know you have spent a lot of time studying your colleagues on the other side of the aisle. >> well, they get to acquittal by using this procedural argument. that's why today is so important in this trial. they just destroyed the procedural argument. with the mother's milk of conservatism, original text. the founding fathers, the intent of the founding fathers within the words of a constitution. this is typically what tevitivs are pounding their desks about. and they are instead relying on a common sense argument that a lot of republicans are clinging to. and that is, well, he's gone,
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he's gone. you can't really remove somebody who's already gone. that is not correct. you can convict someone who has been impeached while in office after they have left office. and i thought the lawyers did a good job, the managers for the house did a good job laying that out. the other thing that they're going to do is they are going to do what they've always done. that is avoid taking ownership of the big lie. that the easiest way for them to do what's right here is to explain to republican voters that this whole thing about a massive fraud was a big lie. but the cake is baked, to use nicole's analogy. they have baked that cake, and they are in it as people who were willing to stand by and let the president lie for months on end. that was the context those house managers were talking about. this didn't happen in isolation. the president laid the groundwork, and he built this insurrection, this terrorist
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attack brick by brick by tweet by speech by tweet by tweet. >> dan goldman, it seems that some of the most incriminating evidence presented in the video wasn't just the words in donald trump's tweets but the timing of them, that after lives had been lost, after the violence had been reported by all of us covering the insurrection live, trump celebrated and said he loved men and women who have now been charged with conspiracy, with trespassing, and we understand the u.s. attorney in d.c. is looking at sedition charges. that's who trump loved and that's who he tweeted after the violence had been reported. >> and he says, remember this day forever, as celebrating the day where a day where trump and his supporters tried to overturn and undermine the democratic process. that tweet in particular where he ends it, remember this day
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forever, is chilling. it just shows someone who, you know, i think we've come to accept has very little empathy for others. but to watch what we saw -- >> the video. >> we didn't have so much of what was in that 13-minute video on the day of. that was a really, really powerful compilation of the video and the tweets and i think it was smart by the managers to start what is really a technical legal argument, going back to the heart of what we're doing here, and bringing everyone back to the emotions, the events of that day. and we're now over a month away. and emotions fade. and that was i think a very compelling, powerful video. and the republicans as claire noted, may be trying to avoid a 13-minute video now. but they'll be getting two days
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worth of this the next two days and they won't be able to avoid it altogether. so i thought it was a very effective presentation, bringing out the emotion in the beginning in terms of what happened that day and at the end. in terms of jamie raskin's story. it cannot be refuted. what we're going to see, i think, for the next couple hours is an effort to make this partisan. to talk about anything but the events of january 6th and the actual legal argument. to try to dig into this partisan divide that we have and make it republican versus democrat. >> i want to ask you one more
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question about the evidence. in a criminal trial, a lack of remorse is somehow pointed to. and the tweets to me provided some sort of parallel for an impeachment proceeding, which is not the same but has some similarities. and i wonder if you can flesh out a little bit how donald trump's, more than just lack of remorse, but celebrations of the violence. the violence really did play out on live television. we know from the "washington post" that he was so riveted by the images of the violence that he wouldn't take phone calls. lindsey graham has testified tom, in comments to news outlets. so i wonder if you can just flesh out a little more, the tweets as well, into a window of enthusiasm for what he was watching. >> president trump's reaction to what transpired that afternoon is the most powerful evidence of his state of mind. and what he expected to happen that day.
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if he truly meant for the protesters to be peaceful, his reaction would have been 180 degrees different. he would have immediately gone on television to tell them to stand down. not stand by. he would have tweeted that. he would not have celebrated them. he wouldn't have said we love you. he would not have said remember this day fore. he would not have issued that tweet about mike pence in the middle of the protests. he would have called in the national guard immediately. all of these things would have been a natural evolution from someone who truly intended for the protest to be peaceful. and that's where this argument that we'll hear, i don't know if we'll hear it this afternoon. but somehow because the violence was premeditated, that that absolves the president. it inculpates him even more. it means he knew about it and he incited it. it goes to his intent and to his
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desire to incite this insurrection. it goes to the very core of this article of impeachment. >> garrett haake is standing by on the hill for us. what can you see and hear there that we can't on the live coverage? >> well, the reaction to that video in the room, while there was some of what senator mccaskill was talking about, some senators not paying attention, not taking it as seriously as we would all like. you could also hear a pin drop in the chamber when the video was playing and when it was finished. and according to some of my colleagues in the room at the time, and i have to tell you we're on a very strict rotation in the chamber due to covid precautions. it looked to some of those reporters present that, it appears as if some of the senators are seeing this material for the first time. and i don't think we should take that possibility for granted. this came up in the first impeachment trial, too. where those of us in this business who have been talking about this video, looking at it,
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analyzing it for weeks and weeks. it is familiar even as it is incredibly jarring to see again. just like when the first impeachment, when all the deep dive material about ukraine and the cast of characters felt very familiar to us, a lot of folks in the senate had been in some cases intentionally avoiding engaging with the material in a serious way until it came their turn and i think that's different this time, since so many people were here when this happen. even so, seeing that compilation and seeing it all laid out on a time line was powerful for a number of people. bill cassidy, republican senator from louisiana just came out and described the opening presentation here by the managers as very strong. and he's the kind of republican who have to have if you're an impeachment manager, if you're going to secure a conviction. if he's not in the first ten people to vote for conviction, it won't happen. so i think the impeachment
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managers are on of to the strong start they wanted to get to and we'll see how much further they can press. specially if they do choose to have a rebuttal this afternoon. it was something we were told this morning they were not intending to do. so we'll see the manage orders both sides of the former president's defense, making their arguments today. >> thank you. ari melber continues to be part of our coverage. a videotape presentation, that graphic, that indelible is powerful enough to begin to wipe away even the deepest rooted cases of cognitive dissonance. >> what the senate saw in that video, what americans are watching on many different channels saw live and will surely see on the internet as well, honestly one of the most powerful and disturbing pieces of an opening argument i've seen covering any trial. this is a special constitutional impeachment trial but any trial out there.
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this was so graphic. so devastating. it included what capitol police said was necessary use of force that resulted in the death. it included voluminous raw video of trump supporters in their maga hats, in their trump iconography, all doing what they believe the president asked them to do. on tape, we heard them saying it. we heard the venom, the violence, we heard in some places, i think, material that was not as familiar, although we've seen parts of it. we're showing it to viewers, parts of how it was presented. what we saw stitched together was as comprehensive a job it's a i've seen in most trials to draw a line from what is the defendant here, donald trump, to the actions, no one doubts there were crimes committed. no one doubts there was violence committed. no one doubts there were people who died no, one doubts there
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were voluminous and quite cruel attacks on police. none of that is in doubt. the question on the trial, what you saw, do you held to president responsible or not? that's a legal question and a constitutional one. this video really brought you back and i heard both some of our experts, as well as congressman raskin talk about emotion. criminal trials of which this approximates far more, they are always about emotion. because they are about when violence is involved, the fear, the emotion, the feeling that humans have, and the question of what if anything society, organized society, the rule of law will do about these type of acts. and i thought this video in a sad way, a tragic way, a deeply effective way, brought back the emotion, the pathos, and the questions of justice and morality that are at the center of the attack on the capitol. so. in sense, it was devastating. >> george conway is watching
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along with us. i also felt rage that we haven't heard from mike pence who knows everything that the house impeachment managers just laid out is true. he knows that because he and his family's lives were in danger because of donald trump. where is mike pence? >> that's a really good question. i mean, he was, they wanted to hang him, these people. and that's the question for all of republicans. who want to avoid what we saw in that video today is where are all of you? where are all of you? how are they going to say at the end of this trial, after seeing first of all, the jurisdictional argument being blown away, and then after two days of what we're going to see that will be like this video, except in more detail and probably even more compelling, how do they utter the words, not guilty at the end of this. how can you look yourself in the
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mirror, how can you respect your own oath of office, and utter the words, not guilty. it is just not possible. >> it also is impossible to utter the words that the constitution doesn't explicitly, explicitly detail this process for this circumstance. and i wonder, will they take constitution and be the ones with the etch a sketch? changing it? >> again, this was the irony of all this was that the democrats were effectually, as effectively as i've ever seen, using the conservative tools of constitutional legal interpretation of textualism and originalism. the text doesn't say what trump needs it to say. it leaves open the possibility of impeachment of an officer who no longer holds office and
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expressly provides a pickup truck for it. the history, again, at the time of the founding, is against them. the history throughout the history of the united states senate in handling impeachment is against them. so they really, really have to rewrite the constitution and ignore a legal reality to avoid what they really want to avoid which is coming to grips with what happened on january 6th. and good on the democratic house managers for not letting these senators off the hook. >> let's go back inside to the chamber. we'll be hearing from pat leahy. our thanks. >> the senate will come to order.
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two hours. mr. raskin has 33 minutes. >> may i proceed? >> you may. >> mr. president and members of the united states senate, thank you for taking the time to hear from me. my name is bruce castor. i am the lead prosecutor, lead counsel for the 45th president of the united states, assistant d.a. for such a long time, i keep saying prosecutor but i do understand the difference, mr. raskin.
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before i begin, i want to comment on the outstanding presentation from our opponents and the emotion that certainly welled up in congressman raskin about his family being here during that terrible day. and you will not hear any member of the team representing former president trump say anything but in the strongest possible way denounce the violence of the rioters and those that breached the capitol, the very citadel of our democracy. literally the symbol that flashes on television whenever you're trying to explain that we're talking about the united states instant symbol, to have it attacked is repugnant in every sense of the word. the loss of life is horrific.
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i spent many long years prosecuting homicide cases, catching criminals who committed murders. i have quite an extensive experience in dealing with the aftermath of those things. certainly, as a member of many police organizations myself, we mourn the loss of the capitol police officer who i understand is laying not too far away from here. and you know, many of you in this room over your careers before they reached this summit here in the senate, would have had times where you represented your local communities as assistant district attorneys, assistant commonwealth attorneys, assistant state attorneys. and you know this to be true,
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when an horrific event occurred in your county or in your jurisdiction, if it was a state jurisdiction, you know that there was a terrible outcry and the public immediately reacts with a desire that someone pay because something really bad happened, and that is a natural reaction of human beings. it is a natural reaction of human beings because we are generally a social people. we enjoy being around one another. even in d.c. we recognize that people all the world over, especially americans who share that special bond with one another, love the freedoms this country gives us. and we all feel that if somebody is unsafe when they're walking down the street, that the next
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person who is unsafe could be you, your spouse, one of your children, some other person that you love and know personally. so you'll never hear anybody representing former president trump say anything at all other than what happened on january 6th and the storming and breaching of the capitol is, should be denounced in the most vigorous terms. nor that those persons responsible should be prosecuted to the fullest extent that our laws allow, and indeed, i have followed some of those cases and those prosecutions, and it seems to me we're doing a pretty good job of identifying and prosecuting those persons who committed those offenses. and i commend the fbi and the district of columbia police and the other agencies for their
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work. it is natural to recoil. it is an immediate thing. it comes over you without your ability to stop it, the desire for retribution. who caused this awful thing? how do we make them pay? we recognize in the law, and i know many of you are lawyers, probably lawyers, some of you have been a lawyer 35 years, longer than me. many longer than me, probably. and we know, we have a specific body of law that deals with passion and rage, blinding logic and reason. that's the difference between manslaughter and murder. manslaughter is the killing of a human being upon sudden and intense provocation. but murder is done with cold
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blood and reflective thought. we are so understanding of the concept that people's minds can be overpowered with emotion where logic does not immediately kick in, that we have recognized examples that otherwise would be hearsay, and said, that, no, when you're driving down the street and you look over at your wife and you say, hey, you know what? that guy is about to drive through the red light and kill that person, your wife can testify to what you said because even though it is technically hearsay is an exception, because it is the event living through the person. why? no opportunity for reflective thought. there is all sorts of examples that we recognize in the law for why people immediately desire retribution, immediately
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recognize in the law that people can be overcome by events. and you know, senators of the united states, they're not ordinary people. they're extraordinary people in the technical sense, extraordinary people. when i was growing up in suburban philadelphia, my parents were big fans of senator everett dirkson from illinois. and senator dirkson recorded a series of lectures that my parents had on a record. and we still know what records are, right? the thing you put the needle
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down on and you play it. and here's little bruce, 8, 9, 10 years old listening to this in the late '60s. and i would be listening to that voice, if you ever heard everett dirkson's voice, it is the most commanding, gravelly voice that jut oozes belief and sincerity. it must have been a phenomenal united states senator. he doesn't talk about ordinary people as we do in the law. we apply to the ordinary person's standard. he talks about extraordinary people. he talks about gallant men, the name of the album. and now, of course, gallant men and women. i would watch television, senator goldwater, senator byrd
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or senator mansfield, senator dole, and i would be fascinated by these great men. everybody's parents say this when they're growing up. you could grow up to be a united states senator. you could do that. they're just men and women like you are. well then everett dirkson tells us that they're not. they're gallant men and women that do extraordinary things when their country needs them to do it. united states senators really are different. and i have been around united states senators before. two of them in this room from pennsylvania, i like to think are friendly toward me, or at least friends of mine when we're not politically adverse. and i have been around their
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predecessors, and one thing i have discovered whether it be democrats or republicans, united states senators are patriots first. patriots first. they love their country. they love their families. they love the states that they represent. there isn't a member in this room who has not used the term, i represent the great state of -- fill in the blank. why? because they're all great? yeah. but you think yours is greater than others because these are your people. these are the people that sent you here to do their work. they trusted you with the responsibility of representative government. you know, i feel proud to know
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my senators. senator casey appeared in the back. senator toomey over to the left. it's funny, this is an aside but it's funny. did you ever notice how when you're talking, or you hear others talking about you when you're home in your state, they will say, you know, i talked to my senator. or i talked to somebody on the staff of my senator. it's always my senator. why is it that we say my senator? we say that because the people you represent are proud of their senators. they absolutely feel that connection of pride because that is not just pat toomey of pennsylvania. that's my senator from pennsylvania. or bob casey from scranton.
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that's my senator. and you like that. people like that. the people back home really do. and united states senators have a reputation and it is deserved. the reputation for cool headedness, being erudite. the men and women that we send from back home to d.c. to look after our interests. we feel a sense of ownership and a sense of pride in our senators. there's plenty of times i've been around in political gatherings where i hear, there is no way senator toomey will allow that. i don't mean to pick on you, pat. there is no way senator casey is going to allow that. because we feel pride and
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something bad is potentially in the wind. and we expect our united states senators not reacting to popular will and not reacting to popular emotions. we expect them to do what is right, notwithstanding what is immediately expedient, that the media tells us is the topic of the day. so senators are patriots. senators are family men and women. they're fierce advocates for the great state which they represent. and somewhere far down that list of attributes, way below patriot, and way below love of family and country, and way below fierce advocates for their states, far down, at least that's what i thought, anyway, and i still think that,
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somewhere far down that list, senators have some obligation to be partisan, to represent a group of beliefs that are similar to beliefs shared by other united states senators. i understand that. and in fact, i have no problem with that system. it helps us debate and decide what is best for america. the robust debate of different points of view. and i dare say that senator schumer and senator mcconnell represent those things in this body and make sure that everything is talked out and robustly debated in this room before united states senators make a decision of extreme importance to the people they represent. i know you aren't allowed to talk but i don't see either one of them jumping up and saying i'm wrong about that. i think that's what happens.
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i think united states senators try on listen to each other's views. i think united states senators try to do what is right for the country. and far down is partisanship. in our system of government, if you read the federalist papers, we're very fortunate. because the federalist papers were authored as an explanation for why it is the states, the original states, should adopt the constitution. these were persuasive documents about why the constitution is a good thing. because if the individual state legislatures didn't adopt the constitution, we would not have it. so mr. jay and mr. madison and mr. hamilton, they had an incentive to explain what they were thinking when they wrote it because they are explaining to other erudite people who represent individual states why it is that they feel that this
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is the right thing to do. and in fact, as many of you well know, madison had to promise that there would be a bill of rights immediately upon adoption or we wouldn't have a constitution. even then there was a horse trading going on in the legislative body of the united states. the other day, when i was down here in washington, i came down earlier in the week to try to figure out how to find my way around, i worked in this building 40 years ago. i got lost then and i still do. but in studying the constitution, in all the years i was a prosecutor where so many things depend on interpretations of phrases in the constitution, i learned that this body, which
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one of my worthy colleagues said is the greatest deliberative body in the entire world, and i agree, that was that particular aspect of our government was intentionally created, if you read the federalist papers. the last time a body such as the united states senate sat at the pinnacle of government with the responsibility that it has today, it was happening in athens. and it was happening in rome. republicanism, the form of government, republicanism, throughout history has always and without exception fallen because of fights from within. because of partisanship from within. because of bickering from
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within. and in each one of those examples that i mentioned, and there are certainly others that are smaller countries that lasted for less time, that i don't know about off the top of my head. but each one of them, once there was the vacuum created that the greatest deliberative bodies, the senate of greece, sitting in athens, the senate of rome, the moment that they devolved into such partisanship, it's not as though they ceased to exist. they ceased to exist as representative democracy. both were placed by totalitarianism. paraphrasing the famous quote from benjamin franklin, as a philadelphian, i feel i can do
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that because he's a, my founding father, too. he who would trade liberty for some temporary security deserves neither liberty nor security. if we restrict liberty to attain security, we will lose both. and isn't the way we have enshrined in the constitution the concepts of liberty that we think are critical, the very concepts of liberty that drove us to separate from great britain, and i can't believe these fellas are quoting what happened pre revolution as though that somehow is of value to us. we left the british system. if we're really going to use pre revolutionary history in great britain, then the precedent is we have a parliament and we have a king. is that the precedent that we are headed for?
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now, it's not an accident that the very first liberty, if you grant me that our liberties are enumerated in the bill of rights, it is not an accident that the very first liberty in the first article of the bill of rights is the first amendment which says, congress shall make no law abridging freedom of speech, et cetera. congress shall make no law. the very first one. the most important one. the ability to have free and robust debate. free and robust political speech. something that mr. raskin and his team brought up is that it
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is somehow a suggestion from former president trump's team that when various public officials were not denouncing the violence that we saw over the summer, that that was somehow the former president equating that speech to his own. not at all. exactly backwards. i saw a headline representative so and so seeks to walk back comments about, i forget what it was. something that bothered her. i was devastated when i saw that she thought it was necessary to go on television yesterday or the day before and say she needs to walk back her comments. she should be able to comment as much as she wants. and she should be able to say exactly as she feels. and if she feels that the supporters of then president
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trump are not worthy of having their ideas considered, she should be permitted to say that. and anybody who agrees should be permitted to say they agree. that is what we broke away from great britain in order to be able to do. to be able to say what we thought in the most robust political debate. my colleague is going to give you a recitation on the first amendment law of the united states. i commend to your attention the analysis that he will give you. i don't expect, and i don't believe that the former president expects anybody to walk back any of the language. if that's how they feel about the way things transpired over the last couple of years in this country, they should be allowed to say that and i will go to court and defend them if anything happens to them as a result. if the government takes action against that state representative, or that u.s.
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representative who wants to walk back her comments, the government takes action against her, i have no problem going into court and defending her right to say those things, even though i don't agree with them. this trial is not about trading liberty for security. it is about trading -- it is about suggesting that it is a good idea that we give up those liberties that we have so long fought for. we have send armies to other parts of the world to convince those governments to implement the freedoms that we enjoy. this trial is about, about trading liberty for the security
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from the mob? honestly, no. it can't be. we can't be thinking about that. we can't possibly be suggesting that we punish people for political speech in this country. and if people and go commit lawless acts as a result of their beliefs, and they cross the line, they should be locked up. and in fact, i've seen quite a number of the complaints that were filed against the people who breached the capitol. some of them charged with conspiracy. not a single one charged with conspiracy with the president of the united states. probably because prosecutors have an ethical requirement that they are not allowed to charge people with criminal offenses without probable cause. you might consider that.
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and if we go down the road that my very worthy adversary here, mr. raskin, asks you to go down, the flood gates will open. i was going to say, it will, instead of flood gates, i was going to say originally, it will release the whirl wind which is a biblical reference. but i subsequently learned that i got here that that particular phrase has already been taken so i figured i'd better change it to flood gates. but the political pendulum will shift one day. this chamber and the chamber across the way will change one day. and partisan impeachments will
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become common place. you know, until the impeachment of bill clinton, no one alive had ever lived through a presidential impeachment. not unless some of you are 150 years old. not a single person alive had lived through a presidential impeachment. now most of us have lived through three of them. this is supposed to be the ultimate safety valve, the last thing that happens. the most rare treatment. and a session where the body weighs in on the most important thing it does. so the slippery slope principle will have taken hold if we continue to go forward with what is happening today and scheduled
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to happen this week. and after we are long done here, and after there has been a shift in the political winds, and after there is a change in the make-up of the united states house of representatives, and maybe a change in the make-up of the united states senate, the pressure from those folks back home, especially for members of the house, is going to be tremendous. because remember, the founders recognized that the argument that i started with, that political pressure is driven by the need for immediate action, because something under contemporary community standards really horrific happened, and
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the people represented by the members of the united states house of representatives become incensed. what do you do if a federal issue, you're back in suburban philadelphia, and something happens that makes the people who live there incensed. you call your congressman. and your congressman elected every two years with their pulse on the people of their district, 750,000 people, they respond. boy, do they respond. they call you back and you get all the information on the issue. sometime you even get to submit language on whatever the issue is. perhaps the next person to consider is eric holder during fast and furious. the attorney general of the united states. or any other person that the
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other party considers to be a political danger down the road because of their avowed abilities, and being articulate and having a resume that shows that they're capable. i picked eric simply because i think he has a tremendous, he's had a tremendous career and he might be somebody that some republicans somewhere might be worried about. so maybe the next person they go after is eric holder. and you know, the republicans might regain the house in two years. history does tend to suggest that the party out of power of the white house does well in the mid-term elections and certainly the 2020 elections, the house gained, the house majority narrowed and there was a gain of
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republicans. so the members of the house have to worry about these consequences. if they don't react to whatever the problem of the day is, somebody in that jurisdiction there, somebody is going to say, you make me the congressman, i'll react to that. and that means the sitting member has to worry about it because their terms are short. and it is not just members of the house of representatives with their short terms. i saw on television the last couple of days the honorable gentleman from nebraska, mr. sasse, i saw that he faced back lash back home because of a vote he made some weeks ago. political party was complaining about the decision he made as a
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united states senator. do you know, it's interesting. i don't want to steal the thunder from the other lawyers, but nebraska, you're going to hear, is quite a judicial thinking place. and just maybe senator sasse is on to something. and you'll hear about what it is that the nebraska courts have to say about the issue that you all are deciding this week. there seem to be some pretty smart jurists in nebraska and i can't believe the united states senator doesn't know that. a senator like the gentleman from nebraska whose supreme court history is ever present in his mind and rightfully so, he, he faces the whirl wind even though he knows what the judiciary in his state thinks. people back home will demand
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their house members continue the cycle as political fortunes rise and fall. the only entity that stands between the bitter infighting that led to the downfall of the greek republic and the roman republic and the american republic is the senate of the united states. shall the business of the senate and thus the nation come to a halt? not just for the current weeks while a new president is trying to fill out his administration. but shall the business of the senate and the nation come to a halt because impeachment becomes the rule, rather than the rare exception? i know you can see this as a
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possibility because not a single one of you thought you could be doing a second impeachment inside 12 months. and the pressure will be enormous to respond in kind. to quote, the gallant men and women of the senate will not allow that to happen. and this republic will endure. because the top responsibility of a united states senator, the top characteristic that you all have in common, and boy, this is a diverse group. but there isn't a single one of you who, a, doesn't consider yourself a patriot of the united states, and two, there isn't a single one of you who doesn't consider the other 99 to be patriots of the united states.
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and that is why this attack on the constitution will not prevail. the document that is before you is flawed. the rule of the senate concerning impeachment documents, articles of impeachment, rule 23, says that such documents cannot be divided. you might have seen that we wrote that in the answer. it might have been a little legalistic or legalise, but there is some significance. the house managers, clever fellows that they are, they cast a broad net. they need to get 67 of you to agree they're right. and that's a good strategy. i would use the same strategy
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except there is a rule that says you can't use that strategy. you see, rule 23 says that the article of impeachment is indivisible. the reason that is significant is you have to agree that every single aspect of the entire document warrants impeachment because it is an all or nothing document. you can't cut out parts that you agree with, warrant impeachment, and parts that don't. because it's not divisible. it flat out says in the senate rules that it is not divisible. now, previous impeachments like president clinton, said the president shall be found guilty of high crimes and misdemeanor for engaging in one or more of the following and then gave a list. so it only had to be one. but they didn't do that here.
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it has to be all of it. and some of these things that you might be asked to consider might be close calls in your mind. but one of them is not. the argument about the 14th amendment is absolutely ridiculous. the house managers tell you that the president should be impeached because he violated the 14th amendment. and here's what the 14th amendment says. no person shall be a senator or representative in congress or elector of president and vice president or hold any office civil or military under the united states or any other state who having previously taken an oath as a member of congress or as an officer of the united states or a member of any state legislature or as an executive or judicial officer of any state
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to support the constitution and shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or give aid or comfort to the enemies there of. but congress may vote by two-thirds of each house to remove such disability. now, it doesn't take a constitutional scholar to recognize that that is written for people who fought for the confederacy or previous military officers. and it doesn't take a constitutional scholar to require that they be convicted first in a court with due process of law. so that question can never be ripe until those things have happened. if you agree with those arguments, and i know you all get your constitutions out and will read it. if you agree, the suggestion that the 14th amendment applies here is ridiculous. if you come to that conclusion, then because the managers have
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not separated out the counts, any counts within the article of impeachment, the whole thing falls. i didn't write that. they are married to that. i wrote it out in individual responses because i didn't know how to respond to the cast the wide net effort. fortunately, senators in the past realized you can't do that because you passed a rule that says, hey, you can't do that. so that is why it is flawed. it is flawed in other ways, too, and my colleagues will explain that. i was struck. i thought that the house managers who spoke earlier were brilliant speakers. and i made some notes and they'll hear about what i think about some of the things they said later when i'm closing the
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case. but i thought they were brilliant speakers and i loved listening to them. they're smart fellas. but why are the house managers afraid and why is the majority of the house of representatives afraid of the american people? i mean, let's understand why we are really here. we are really here because the majority in the house of representatives does not want to face donald trump as a political rival in future. that's the real reason we're here. and that's why they have to get over the jurisdictional hurdle which they can't get over. that's why they have to get over that to get to the part of the constitution that allows removal. so nobody says it that plainly. but unfortunately, i have a way of speaking that way. and the reason that i am having trouble with the argument is, the american people just spoke.
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and they just changed administrations. so in the light, most favorable to my colleagues on the other side of the aisle here, their system works. the people are smart enough in the light most favorable to them, they're smart enough to pick a new administration if they don't like the old one and they just did. and down there on pennsylvania avenue now, probably wondering, how come none of my stuff is happening at the capitol? why, why do the members of the house of representatives, the majority of the house of representatives, why are they afraid of the very people that sent them to do this job? the people they hope will continue to send them back here? why are they afraid that those same people who were smart
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enough to pick them as their congressmen, aren't smart enough to pick somebody who is a candidate for president of the united states? why fear that the people will all of a sudden forget how to choose an administration in the next few years? in fact, this happens all the time when there are changes in administrations, from one-term presidents to others. well, nixon was sort of a one and a half term. but nixon to ford, ford to carter, carter to reagan, bush 41 to clinton. it happens. the people get tired of an administration they don't want and they know how to change it. and they just did. so why think that they won't know how to do it in 2024 if they want to, or is that what
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the fear is? is the fear that the people in 2024 in fact will want to change and will want to go back to donald trump and not the current occupant of the white house, president biden? because all these other times, the people were smart enough to do it, choose who the president should be, and all these other times, they were smart enough to choose who their members of congress were, and choose you all as well. but they're not smart enough to know how to change the administration, especially since they just did. so it seems pretty evident that they do know how. it has worked 100% of the time. 100% of the time in the united states, when the people got,
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have been fed up with and had enough of the occupant of the white house, they changed the occupant of the white house. now, i know that one of the strengths of this body is its deliberative action. and i saw senator manchin on the tv the other night talking about the filibuster. and the main point was that senator manchin was explaining to those of us who don't operate here all the time, that this body has an obligation to try to reach consensus across the aisle to legitimize the decisions it makes. obviously, escapable of making his own pronouncements on it. that's what came across on the
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television. and i think that's a good way of saying why the senate of the united states is different than other places. you know, the constitution is a document designed to protect the rights of the minority. not the rights of the majority. congress shall make no law abridging all of these things, that's because those were the things that were of concern. at the time. it is easy to be in favor of liberty and equality and free speech when it is popular. i think that i want to give my colleague, mr. schoen, an opportunity to explain to all of us the legal analysis on jurisdiction.
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we changed what we would do on the house managers' presentation was well done. and i wanted you to know that we have responses to those things. i thought that what the first part of the case was, which was the equivalent of a motion to dismiss, would be about jurisdiction alone. and one of the fellas who spoke for the house managers, the former criminal defense attorney, seemed to suggest that there is something nefarious that we were discussing jurisdiction trying to get the case dismissed. but this is where it happens in the case, because jurisdiction is the first thing that has to be found. we have counter arguments to everything that they raised. and you will hear them later on in the case from us. but on the issue of
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jurisdiction, the scholarly issue of jurisdiction, i'll leave you with this. before i invite david to come up and give you the erudite explanation. some of this was shown on the screen. but article 1, section 3, says judgments in cases of impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from office and, comma, disqualification to hold any office of honor, trust, profit, under the united states, colon, but the party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to indictment trial, judgment and punishment according to law. so this idea of a january amnesty is nonsense. if my colleagues on this side of
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the chamber actually think that president trump committed a criminal offense, and let's understand, a high crime is a felony. a misdemeanor is a misdemeanor. the words haven't changed that much over time. after he's out of office, you go and arrest him. so there is no opportunity where the president of the united states can run january at the end of his term and go away scott-free. the department of justice does know what to do with such people. so far i haven't seen any activity in that direction. not only that, the people who stormed this building and breached it, were not accused of conspiring with the president. the section i read, judgment, in other words, the bad thing that can happen, the judgment, in cases of impeachment, i.e., what we are doing, shall not extend
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further than removal from office. what is so hard about that? which of those words are unclear? shall not extend further than removal from office. president trump no longer is in office. the object of the constitution has been achieved. he was removed by the voters. are you ready? now that i've taken all of this time. >> thank you, mr. president.
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>> president, leaders. i stand before you with what i've always thought as the hallowed ground of democracy. in this room, american lives have been changed so dramatically in just my lifetime through so many of your legislative initiatives from the civil rights act when i was a child through most recently, the first step act. laws that have provided major opportunities for americans to move forward and upward and more fully enjoy all of the attributes of what has been the greatest nation on earth.
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ive seen the changes these laws have made through my clients every day for the past 36 years. these laws have enabled me to fight for their enjoyment of a for state in our american project. i stand before a group of 100 united states senators who have chosen to serve your country, from all corners of this great nation, giving up all sorts of professions. time with family, and perhaps other more lucrative opportunities to serve your country. mr. president, you are a man who so honorably served this nation and the senate and public service before your tenure here. it's an honor to appear in this historic hall of democracy and yet today that honor is tempered by an overriding feeling of grave concern. grave concern for the danger to the constitution of the presidency that i believe even convening these proceedings indicates. the joy i believed i would feel if i ever had the great
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privilege of appearing before this body is replaced by sadness and pain. my overriding emotion is frankly wanting to cry for what i believe these proceedings will do to our great so long enduring sacred constitution. and to the american people on both sides of the great divide now characterizes our nation. esteemed members of the senate, going forward with this impeachment trial of a former president of the united states is unconstitutional for reasons we've set out in our brief. some of which we'll focus on here and as a matter of policy, it is wrong. as wrong can be, for all of us as a nation. we are told by those who favor having the proceedings, that we have to do it for accountability. but anyone truly interested in real accountability for what happened at the capital on january 6th would of course
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insist on waiting for a full investigation to be completed. indeed, one is under way at earnest already. intent on getting to the bottom of what happened. anyone interested in ensuring that it's truly the one or ones responsible from whom accountability is sought would more than willingly wait for the actual evidence, especially with new evidence coming in every day about pre-planning, about those who are involved and about their agenda bearing no relationship to the claims made here. they say you need this trial before the nation can heal. that the nation cannot heal without it. i say our nation cannot possibly heal with it. with this trial, you'll open up new and bigger wounds across the nation for a great many americans see this process for exactly what it is. a chance by a group of partisan politicians, seeking to eliminate donald trump from the
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american political scene and seeking to disenfranchise 74 million plus american voters and those who dare to share their political beliefs and vision of america. they hated the results of the 2016 election and want to use this impeachment process to further their political agenda. these mocked them for four years, called their fellow americans who believe in their country and their constitution deplorables and the latest talk is that they need to deprogram those who supported donald trump and the grand ole party. but at the end of the day, this is not just about donald trump. this is about our constitution and abusing the impeachment power for political gain.
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they tell us we have to have this impeachment trial such as it is to bring about unity but they don't want unity and they know this so-called trial will tear the country in half. leaving tens of millions of americans feeling left out of the nation's agenda. as dictated by one political party that now holds the power in the white house and in our national legislature. but they're proud americans who never quit getting back up when they're down and they don't take dictates from another party. based on partisan force feeding. this trial will tear this country apart, perhaps like we have only seen once before in our history. and to help the nation heal, we now learn that the house managers in their wisdom have hired a large law firm to create manufacture and splice for you a package designed by experts to chill and horrify you and our fellow americans. they want to put you through a
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16 hour presentation over two days, focusing on this as if it were some sort of blood sport. and to what end? for healing? for unity? for accountability? not for any of those. for surely there are much better ways to achieve each. it is, again, for pure raw misguided partisanship that makes them believe playing to our worst instincts somehow is good. they don't need to show you movies to show that the riot happened here. we will stipulate that it happened and you know all about it. this is a process fueled irresponsibly by base hatred by these house managers and those who gave them their charge and they're willing to sacrifice our national character to advance their hatred and their fear that one day, they might not be the party of power. they have a very different view of democracy and freedom from
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justice jackson. who once wrote, but freedom to differ is not limited to things that do not matter much. that would be a mere shadow of freedom. the test of its substance is the right to differ as to things that touch at the heart of the existing order. they have a very different view of democracy and freedom. this is nothing less than the political weaponization of the impeachment process. pure, raw sport, fueled by the misguided idea of party over country when in fact both will surely suffer. i can promise you that if these proceedings go forward, everyone will look bad. you will see and hear many members of our congress saying and doing things they must surely regret but perhaps far worse than a moment of personal shame in a world in which history passes from our memories in a moment, our great country, a model for all the world, will
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be far more divided and our standing around the world will be badly broken. our arch enemies who pray each and every day for our downfall will look with glee as they see the country in internal divide. let's be perfectly clear. if you vote to proceed with this impeachment trial, future senators will recognize that you bought into a radical constitutional theory that departs clearly from the language of the constitution itself, and holds and this is in their brief, that any civil officer who ever dares to want to serve his or her country must know that they will be subject to impeachment long after their service in office has ended. subject only to the political and cultural landscape of the day that is in operation at any future time. this is exactly the position taken by the house managers at
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page 65 of their brief. unprecedented radical position. they unabashedly say so. imagine the potential consequences. the future congress might one day deemed to be impeachment worthy. imagine it now because your imagination is the only limitation. the house managers tell you a correct reading of the impeachment power under the constitution is that it has no temporal limit and can reach back in time without limitation to target anyone who dared to serve our nation as a civil officer. add that to our demand that you members put your impra matter and if you endorse it by going forward with this impeachment trial. this is an untenable combination that literally puts the constitution of the presidency
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directly at risk. nothing less. it does much more. under the unsupportable constitutional theory and tortured reading of the text, every civil officer who has served is at risk of impeachment if any given group elected to the house decides that what was thought to be important service to the country when they served, now deserves to be cancelled. they've made clear in public statements that what they really want to accomplish here in the name of the constitution is to bar donald trump from ever running for political office again, but this is an affront to the constitution no matter who they target today. it means nothing less than the denial of the right to vote and the independent right for a candidate to run for elective political office, guaranteed by the first and 14th amendments to the united states constitution. under the guise of impeachment as a tool to disenfranchise.
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perhaps my friend put the situation simply and sharply into focus last week on his radio show. my friend is a distinguished lawyer who served as an ambassador to former president obama and has friends among you. he described himself to his listeners as a lifelong democrat. but he said, the idea of 100 people in these circumstances deciding that tens of millions of american voters cannot cast their vote for their candidate for president ever again is unthinkable. and it truly should be. i will discuss today several reasons this matter should not and must not proceed. why the senate lacks jurisdiction to conduct this trial of a former president, the president no longer in office and now a private citizen, any single reason in our trial memorandum suffices but i want to start with the discussion of the fundamental due process lacking from the start. and then would last through the end if this goes forward because it is this irretrievably flawed
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process and its product, a dangerous snap impeachment that brings us here and threatens to send a message in the future that we'll all regret forever. and that stain, this body, which up to now, our founding fathers believed was uniquely suited for the most difficult task of conducting an impeachment trial as mr. hamilton wrote. these aren't just niceties. i make no apology for demanding, in your name, in the name of the constitution, that the rights to due process guaranteed under the constitution are adhered to and a process as serious as this in our national lives. the denial of due process in this case starts with the house of representatives in this unprecedented snap impeachment process. the house of representatives denied every attribute of
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fundamental due process that americans correctly have come to believe is part of what makes this country so great. how and why did that happen? it is a function of the insatiable lust for impeachment in the house for the past four years. consider this. >> i want to say this for donald trump who i may well be voting to impeach. >> donald trump has done a number of things which legitimately raised the question of impeachment. >> i don't respect this president and i will fight every day until he is impeached. >> that is grounds to start impeachment proceedings. those are grounds to start impeachment. >> those are grounds to start impeachment proceedings? >> yes, i think that's grounds to start impeachment proceedings. >> rise today mr. speaker. to call for the impeachment of the president of the united states of america. >> i continue to say, impeach him. impeach 45. impeach 45.
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>> we're calling upon the house to begin impeachment hearings immediately. >> would you vote yes or no? >> i would vote yes. >> i would vote to impeach. >> we're going to go in there and impeach the [ bleep ]. >> i introduced articles of impeachment in july of 2017. >> if we don't impeach this president, he will get reelected. >> impeachment hearings. >> representatives should get impeachment proceedings against this president. >> it is time to impeach the charges against him. bring impeachment charges. >> my personal view is that he deserves impeachment. >> here at an impeachment rally and we are ready to impeachment. >> the relevant timeline in the house reveals the rush to judgment. on the day following the january 6th riot, sensed a political opportunity to score points against the outgoing then
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president trump. and the speaker demanded that vice president pence invoke the 25th amendment, threatening immediate impeachment for the president if mr. pence did not comply with this extraordinary and extraordinarily wrong demand. four days later on january 11th, 2021, the instant article of impeachment was introduced in the house. speaker pelosi then gave vice president another ultimatum. threatening to begin impeachment proceedings within 24 hours if he did not comply. vice president pence rejected speaker pelosi's demand, favoring instead, adherence to the constitution and the best interest of the nation over politically motivated threat. on january 12th, speaker pelosi announced to the nine impeachment managers would be and on january 13th, 2021, just days after holding a press conference to announce the launching of an inquiry, the house adopted the article of impeachment. completing the fastest impeachment inquiry in history
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and according to president trump, no due process at all over strong opposition based in large part on the complete lack of due process. to say there was a rush to judgment by the house would be a grave understatement. it is not as if the house members who voted to impeach were not mightily warned about the dangers to the constitution of the presidency and to our system of due process. they were warned in the strongest of terms from within our own ranks. adamantly, clearly and no uncertain terms not to take this dangerous snap impeachment course. those warnings were framed in the context of the constitution of due process that was denied here. consider the warnings given by one member during the house proceedings pleading with the other members to accord this decision due process the constitution amends. with one week to go, asking to consider a resolution impeaching president trump and they do so knowing full well that even if the house passes the resolution,
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the senate will not be able to consider these charges until after president trump's term ends. i could think of no action the house could take that's more likely to further divide than the action we're contemplating today. emotions are clearly running high and political divisions have never been more apparent in my lifetime, mr. cole said. emphasizing the care that must be taken with the consideration of an article of impeachment. echoed the concerns by founding fathers on this subject. listen to this, from mr. hamilton in federalist number 65. quote, a well constituted court for the trial of impeachments is an object not more to be desired than difficult to be obtained in a government wholly elective. the prosecution will seldom fail to agitate the passions of the whole community and divide into parties more or less friendly
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and amicable to the accused. in many cases, connects itself with preexisting factions and enlist all the animosities, partiali partialities, influence and interest on one side or the other. in such cases, there will always be the greatest danger that the decision will be regulated more by the comparative strength of parties than by the real demonstrations of innocence or guilt. precious thinking by mr. hamilton, as we see often. what i say to you is is a proof of the need for due process based on the critically serious nature of the singular role the impeachment process has in our government. mr. hamilton characterized the consideration of an impeachment in these terms. the delicacy and magnitude of a trust which so deeply concerns the political reputation and existence of every man engaged in the administration of public affairs speak for themselves. this too, in federalist 65. back to the house and the warnings against the rush
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judgment in this case. mr. cole of oklahoma again. in the name of healing, a path forward, our people so desperately need, he warned, quote, the house is moving forward erratically that does not comport with the modern practice and give members no time to contemplate the serious nature of action before us. mr. cole emphasized to his colleagues that such care must be taken with the consideration of an article of impeachment. quote, in order to ensure that the american people have confidence in the procedures the house is following and because the presidency itself demands due process in the impeachment proceedings. congressman cole continued. unfortunately, this is a quote, the majority has chosen to race to the floor with a new article of impeachment forgoing any investigation, committee process or any chance for members to fully contemplate this course of action before proceeding.
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mr. cole complains the majority is failing to provide the facts which are still coming to light, all the evidence and listen to scholars and examine the witnesses and to consider precedence. noted further, this is not the type of robust process we have followed for every modern impeachment and the failure to do so does a great disservice to this institution and to this country, mr. cole said. mr. cole complained on the house floor that rather than following the appropriate, the majority is rushing tripping over themselves to impeach the president a second time. and in mr. cole's words, it was doing so to, quote, settle scores. and warned this snap impeachment approach would cause great division as the country looks ahead to the start of a new
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administration. he said to them in a matter as grave and consequential as impeachment, shouldn't we follow the same process we have used in every modern impeachment rather than rushing to the floor and implored them on behalf of generations of americans to come, we need to think more clearly about the consequences of our action today and mr. cole reached across the aisle and credited a member of this body. senator mansion. how ill advised this rushed process was suggesting underlying events were a matter for the judicial system to investigate, not one for a rushed political process. finallyadmonished saying we're following a flawed process. the alarm went unheeded.
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now let's consider the process in the house that actually was due. the house managers a certain memorandum that serves as a grand jury and prosecutor under the constitution. they told you that again today. if this is accurate, they highlight the complete failure to adhere to due process. one should not diminish the legal aspects, particularly as they relate to the formalities of the criminal justice process. it's a hybrid of the political and legal, a political process moderated by legal formalities. this is a quote brought to us. the fifth amendment of the united states constitution provides no person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law. at its core, due process is about what we all want.
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the impeachment process should and does include basic safeguards that are observed in a criminal process such as fairness, due process, presumption of innocence and proportionalty, basic american values. congressional investigations make rules that ignore constitutional restraints or violate fundamental rights. excuse me. while case law is limited it is clear the fundamental principles
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understanding, and different grounds. they address the matter. clearly concluding the due process clause applies to impeachment proceedings and imposes an independent constitutional constraint on how the senate exercises its sole power to try all impeachments under article i, section 3, clause 6. impeachment is an extraordinary remedy, as an essential element of our constitutional system of checks and balances, impeachment must be invoked and carried out with solemn respect and scrupulous attention to fairness. must be the watch word whether a criminal case, civil case or a case of impeachment. opining whether capable of
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judicial enforcement, due process standards seem to be relevant to the manner of conducting an impeachment proceeding. more specifically, the hastings court described it one of the key principles at the heart of the constitutional democracy. again, fairness. establishes the general rule that individuals must receive notice and an opportunity to be heard before the government deprives them of a constitutionally protected interest and also true that in any proceeding, that may lead to deprivation of a protected interest requires fair procedures, commensurate with the interests at stake. protected by the due process clause and seeks to strip of the constitutional rights to public
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office again and process of the impeachment process must to the accused and accused must be permitted in opportunity to test and confront the evidence. particularly, through the rights to confront and cross examine witnesses, long recognized as essential for due process. in almost every setting when they turned on questions of fact, due process requires an opportunity to confront and cross examine. it's unfathomable, to be impeached based on a process that developed evidence without providing any of the elementary procedures that the common developed over centuries for ensuring proper testing of evidence in an adversarial
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process. we would never such as system in this country. congressman nadler said in the context of house impeachment investigation, due process includes the right to be informed of the law and call your own witnesses with the assistance of counsel. congressman nadler clearly believes he deserves, based on a congressman's decision of due process that must be afforded to accused in an impeachment proceeding as reflected in the statement he made related to another impeachment in 1998. no reason was found for the apparent change in the congressman's point of view. with respect to the two objects of the impeachment at issue. these fundamental attributes
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honored as required parts of modern impeachment, protocols since 1870. it's not seriously debatable, nor should it be by any american legislator. in spite of this, the house leadership deied the norms and denied president of constitutionally protected rights. for donald trump, the house impeachment procedure lacked any semblance of due process whatsoever. it cannot be credibly and the integrity of the constitution that suffers when we do and that is what the house leadership knowingly has caused. a review of the house record reveals that the speaker streamlined the impeachment process. house resolution 24 goes straight to the floor for a two hour debate and a vote without the ability for amendments. the house record reflects no committee hearing, no witnesses, no presentation
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cross-examination of the evidence or counsel to reject. there were no witness interviews, hearing, and debates and no real additional fact finding. rush the proceedings, no time to spare for a more thorough investigation or really, any investigation at all. but that claim is belied by what happened or didn't happen next. begin the trial process. more time holding the adopted article than it did on the whole process having the trial begin while mr. trump was still president led to yet another egregious denial of due process.
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excuse me. article i, section iii, clause 6 of our constitution provides in pertinent part that the senate should have the sole power to try all impeachments. sitting for that purpose, be on oath or affirmation and when the president of the united states is tried, the chief justice shall preside. by intentionally waiting until president trump's term of office expired before delivering the article of impeachment, speaker pelosi deprived then president trump of the express constitutional right and the right under the senate's own rule iv to have the chief justice of the united states preside over his trial and wield the considerable power provided for in the rules and procedure and practice in the senate when sitting on impeachment trials. that power includes under rule five the presiding office's exclusive right to make initial all orders under rule 7 to make evidentiary orders subject to
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objections by a member of the senate. we say respectfully this intentional delay such as in the intervening period, president trump became private citizen mr. trump. constitutes a lapse or waiver of jurisdiction for mr. trump no longer is the president. described as subject to impeachment in article i, section iii, clause vi and article ii, section iv. due process by speaker pelosi. then president trump suffer add tangible detriment from speaker pelosi's actions, not only violates the law but express right to have the chief justice preside. the loss of the right to a conflict-free and partial presiding officer, with all due respect. the very purpose behind requiring the chief justice to
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preside over with the other benefits of having the two branches combined. chief justice for the judiciary and the senate. for the impeachment trial of the president reflected in federalist 66. one of the reasons chief justice was chosen for the task. judge and juror with a vote. beyond that, the presiding officer, although enjoying a lifelong honorable reputation as well, has been the opponent throughout the trump administration and in the very matter on trial, the presiding officer respectfully already has publicly announced his fixed view before hearing any argument or evidence that mr. trump must be convicted on the article of impeachment before the senate and indeed, that members in both parties have an obligation to vote to convict as well.
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nowhere in this great country would any american and certainly not this honorable presiding officer consider this scenario to be consistent with any stretch of the american concept of due process and a fair trial and certainly not even the appearance of either. by no stretch of the imagination could a fair minded american be confident a trial so conducted would or could be the fair trial promised by the leader. while most procedural aspects of senate impeachment trial, this is not an excuse to ignore what law and precedent clearly require. the president's situation presents a violation of the constitution of tech found in the articles mentioned above that require the chief justice to preside when the president is on trial or it is a clear denial of due process and fair trial rights for private citizen trump
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to face an impeachment trial so conducted by the senate. should be treated as a nullity and dismissed based on the lack of due process in the house. it should be dismissed because of speaker pelosi's intentional abandonment or waiver of jurisdiction. if the house ever acquired jurisdiction and the article should be dismissed because the trial in the senate of a private citizen is not permitted. let alone with the conflicts just described that attend this proceeding. finally, on the subject of due process in which matter, i say the following. this is our nation's sacred constitution. it has served us well since it was written and amended only through a careful process. a document unique in all the
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world and makes the united states a beacon of light and not only has room for tremendous variety of perspectives on the philosophical and political direction our country should take. it encourages the advocacy of our differences. but we have long held fundamental to health and well being and therefore to ours as a nation is this insistence on due process. for every citizen, the emphasis on the right to due process long ago was recognized as its life breath. a primary guarantor of the viability of political civic and national guiding light. we all well know there's many around the world that do not offer semblance of the safeguards of due process provides. some of them have chosen their own handbooks upon penalty of death. this is one of them.
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there can be no room for due process in a system like this or the system would be lost. snap decisions are required in this for one political philosophy over all others. in those kinds of systems. but we as a nation rejected those systems and the kind of snap decisions they demand to maintain control for one party for an imposed way of life we choose freely. to a party line in political, spiritual and all other affairs and ensure the party line is towed and those systems have no place for due process. snap decisions remove particular figures are the norm and maintaining systems depend on it. that is not our way in america and never must be.
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the snap judgment made in this matter to impeach the president of the united states without any semblance of due process at every step along the way puts the office of the president of the united states at risk every single day. far too dangerous a proposition to countenance and resoundingly reject it by sending the message now that this proceeding lacking due process from start to finish must end with the vote to conduct an impeachment trial for a former president whose term in office expired and now a private citizen. the complete lack of due process that brought this article of
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impeachment. god forbid we should lower our vigilance to the principle of due process. impeach trial of private citizen trump, nothing more nor less than the trial by a body and impeachment trial by the senate of a private citizen violates article i, section ix of the united states constitution which provides no bill of attainder passed. this prohibits congress from enacting a law that legislatively determines guilt and inflicts punishment upon an identifiable individual without provision of the protections of the judicial trial. bill of attainder is a legislative act that inflicts punishment without a judicial trial. a judicial trial. the distinguishing characteristic of a bill of
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attainder is substitution of a legislative guilt and punishment for judicial finding and sentence. the bill of attainder clause from the separation of powers doctrine reflects the framer's concern that trial by legislature lacks safeguards necessary to prevent the abuse of power. the best available evidence indicate that the bill of attainder clause was intended not as a narrow technical and therefore soon to be outmoded prohibition, but rather, as an implement of the separation of powers, a general safeguard against legislative exercise of the judicial function. more simply, trial by legislature. the bill of attainder reflected the belief that the legislative branch not so well suited as
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politically independent judges and juries. when the senate undertakes impeachment trial of a private citizen as clearly understands to be the case here, supported by the facts that the chief justice not providing and mr. trump is not the president, it is acting as a judge and jury rather than legislative body and this is exactly the type of situation that the bill of attainder's constitutional provision was meant to preclude. it's clear disqualification for holding future office, the punishment house managers tend to seek here is a kind of punishment like banishment and others subject to the constitutional prohibition against the passage of bills of attainder. under which general designation builds pains and penalties are included. the supreme court three times struck down provisions that precluded support of the south or communism from holding certain jobs as being in
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violation of this prohibition. the impeachment of a private citizen to disqualify them from holding office is an unconstitutional act constituting bill of attainder and more over, the exact type of situation in which the fear would be great that some members of the senate might be susceptible to acting in the haste the house acted in when it pushed through the article of impeachment in less than 48 hours. acting hastily to appease the popular clamor of their political base. expressed by hamilton. some apprehension, the violent acts that might grow out of the feelings at the moment and the people of the united states having manifested a determination to shield themselves and their property from the effects of those sudden
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and strong passions to which men and women are exposed. the restrictions of the legislative power of the stats and contains what may be deemed bill of rights. expressly restrained. so now let's turn it to the text of the constitution. turning to the text of the constitution for many, of course, the most appropriate and the most important starting place for trying to answer a constitution-based question. there are several passages of the united states constitution that relate to the federal impeachment process. let's turn to a reading of the text now.
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legislative history if the meaning of the text is not plain. statutory interpretation as we always say begins the text that the constitution was written to be understood by voters. used in normal and ordinary as distinguished from technical meaning and we must enform plain language. ambiguous demands the chief justice of the united states shall reside. as we discussed earlier. disinterested and non-partisan. brings dignity and in this case, the chief justice clearly is not presiding. the conflict of interest wouldn't necessarily just arise as a substitute for the vice president. it's appearance of a conflict of
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interest and the prejudgment that we've discussed. the senate pro tem decided. undoubtedly joined by other senators, permitted by the constitution because the subject of the trial is a non-precedent and conceded as it must be that for constitutional purposes, the accused is a non-president but then whether to convict and article ii, section iv, the president, vice president and all civil offices of the united states. shall be removed from office. treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors. from which office shall a non-president be removed?
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cannot be impeached under this clause which provides for the removal from office of the person under the impeachment attack. the house managers contend the fact that the chief justice is not providing does not impact the constitution of validity of the trial and devote a single paragraph of the trial to developments to significant that prompted multiple senators to declare the entire proceedings subject with one going so far and the single paragraph that the house managers do devote is entirely unpersuasive. canons of interpretation, well established that a matter of statutory interpretation, a term appearing in several places is generally read the same time it appears. this presumption at its most vigorous when its term is repeated within a given
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sentence. at least in one instance referred to a quote, more established canon. in the section of the statute in consistent meaning. i know this is a lot to listen to at what but words are what make our constitution, frankly and the interpretation of that constitution as you well know, a product of words. . if the president of the united states and constitutional revision requiring the chief justice to preside can refer only to the sitting president and not to former presidents, the textual of the president in section four that makes the president amenable to exclusion in the first place. in full, the sentence provides that the president, vice president and all civil offices of the united states shall be removed from office on impeachment for and conviction
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of treason, bribery and other high crimes and misdemeanors. vesting the conviction and jurisdictional limitation. house managers do understand what the word president means for purposes of other constitutional provisions so should understand this limitation as well. only a sitting president is referred to as the president of the united states in the constitution. and only a sitting president can be impeached and removed upon a trial in the senate. the president in article ii, section iv and president in article i, section iii identify the same person. if the accused is not the president in one, he is not the president in the other. no sound textual interpretation. i emphasize textual. no sound textural interpretation principle permits a contrary
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reading. it is a normal rule that identical words used in different parts of the same act intended to have the same meaning. unwittingly or unwillingly as it may be, senator leahy already taken their position in this matter. the accused is not the president. or disqualify as if he were the president. jurisdiction over this impeachment because despite the fact he's no longer the president, the conduct occurred while he was still in office. that argument does not in any way alter the constitution's clear textual identification of the president. house managers justify their strained argument by noting that the provisions are properly understood by reference to this
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overarching constitutional plan but with that very justification in mind, their argument fails once again. in an impeachment, it is the accused's office that permits the impeachment. ceasing to hold the office terminates the impeachment. private persons may not be impeached in america. they ask you to look at the british model. the founders rejected the british model that allowed parliament to impeach anyone except for the king. so limited impeachment to certain public officials including presidents in our country. next on the textual front. the only rule is removal. whenever a civil officer is impeached and convicted for high crimes and misdemeanors, they should be removed. it's undeniable that it's moot. in every possible regard.
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removal a factual and legal impossibility yet the article of impeachment itself in the wherefore clause, they're different than ordinary trials and why the constitution pointedly separates the two. the person convicted of public crimes while he or she in office, punished even though they no longer hold the office. not so with impeachment. conviction requires removal and without removal is no conviction at all. only a valid conviction and its requisition, enforceable removal made the additional judgment of disqualification plausibly be entertained. presidents are impeachable because presidents are removable. former presidents are not because they cannot be removed.
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reserved for the president of the united states. not a private citizen who used to be president of the united states. just as clear, the judgment required upon conviction is removal from office and former president can no longer be removed from office. the purpose, text and structure of the constitution impeachment clause is confirm this intuitive and common sense understanding so rote, judge michael, former judge in the united states court of appeals for the fourth circuit and indeed, there are state court decisions that analyze this very same language and conclude it can only be entertained against existing officer subject to removal. state versus hill and smith versus brantley, 1981 decision from the florida supreme court. this is the first time the united states senate ever asked to apply the constitution's
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textual identification of the president in the impeachment provisions to anyone other than the sitting president of the united states. and most significantly from a textual appropriate is the president, not a president. but only one, the incouple bebt incumbent at a time. the former president cannot be impeached or convicted. consider the alternative as professor john, you have. if mr. trump can be convicted as the president, the language the constitution uses, then why is he not still the president under the commander in chief clause, for example? they are joined by richard epstein in their focus and conclusion. they point out the dangers of an approach that deviates from a focus on the text.
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if there's no temporal limitation, that's what they suggested to you. you can go back in time and impeach any civil officer who served for anything that occurred during the course of their service. time immemmoriam. includes all former executive officers and judges including perhaps the impeachment now of jimmy carter for handling of the iran hostage scandal. that flows logically from their argument without any hesitation. further, why not other terms? when i say they ask, these experts terms like high crimes and misdemeanors, however broadly construed, the only conduct as impeachable. they conclude these experts by writing non-textual impeachment power undermine the constitution's effort to make the president independent of congress a central goal of the founding fathers.
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conviningly argued, over non-textual reliance on history suggesting if one's presentation of history would control, it would expressly permit conduct contrary to the express language to clearly unintended results and i tell you, i've spoken to judge ken starr at some length about this and the textual approach is something he feels very strongly about. also friendly with chuck cooper. a fine person. also happens to be a person who has strong an mouse against president trump. fine lawyer and fine person as i'm sure our friends from alabama, and no. as we discussed, the constitution for the presidency and any and other past officers are limited by one's imagination.
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further indicated by the reliance on unproven assertion if president trump is not impeached, future officers who are impeached will evade removal by resigning, impeachment or senate trial. for example, they contend citing various law professors, any official who betrayed the public trust could avoid accountability, simply by resigning one minute before the senate's final conviction vote. this argument is a complete canard. a convicted party following impeachment shall nevertheless be liable and subject to indictment, trial, judgment and punishment according to law. similarly, a formal officer not impeached is subject to the same. we have a judicial process in this country. we have investigative process in this country to which no former
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office holder is immune. that's the process that should be running its course and the appropriate one for investigation, prosecution and punishment. with all the attributes of that branch, we miss it by two articles here. article three courts provide, that kind of appropriate adjudication. that's accountability. full and meaningful accountability, not through the legislature that cannot offer safeguards of the judicial system in which every private citizen is constitutionally entitled. but more to the point here, their argument does nothing to empower a different reading of the constitution's plain text, that is, one that reads, the president in one provision but reads "the president" in the other provision to mean only the sitting president. second, red herring of the argument also fails because the
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former president did not resign. even amid calls for his opponents to do so. the senate need not decide whether it has the jurisdiction to try and convict a former president who resigned or how it might best proceed to effectuate justice. that's not this case. the plain meaning faithfully and consistently applied should govern whether the united states senate is vested by the constitution with the power to convict the private citizen of the united states. it is not. the trial memorandum is a legal nullity, appropriate because the other secondary optional remedy. not required to consider and only takes effect on a later separate vote disqualification from future office can theoretically be applied to a
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former president. the managers contend articles ii, section iv contains a straightforward rule. whenever a civil officer is impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors, they shall be removed. absolutely nothing about this rule implies or requires former officials who can still face disqualification are immune from impeachment and conviction. that's what they say. i told you that today. a president no longer holding office does not moot the entire remedy by impeachment. this, however, also fly in the face of the plain meaning of the text and canons of statutory interpretation. first of all, the managers once again choose to ignore the text. if as they cite, the word shall does, to put it mildly, imply a requirement. imperative such that the impeachment would be impossible is invalid, shall means value.
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the supreme court has made clear when a statue uses the word shall, congress has imposed a mandatory duty upon the subject of the command, as in, shall remove. indeed, the mandatory shall normally creates an obligation and wherever the constitution commands, discretion terminates. shall means mandatory, and shall be removed is not possible for a former officer no longer in office. impeachment cannot apply. here's the and argument. you may have heard about, read about if you follow such things. this is another one judge starr is big on in many of the textual scholars have written about. managers critically ignore this language in article 1, section 3, clause 7, which states that judgment in cases of impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from office and disqualification to -- sorry, from office, comma, and
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disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit under the united states. ordinarily, as in everyday english, use of the conjunctive "and" in a list means that all of the listed requirements must be satisfied while use of the disjunctive "or" means that only one of the lists requirements needs to be satisfied. judge kenneth starr subscribes strongly to this argument and understands the comma to provide further support for the reading. judge michael again recently argued the constitution links the impeachment remedy of disqualification from future office with the remedy of removal from the office that person currently occupies. the former remedy does not apply in situations where the latter is not available. conviction and removal are inextricably intertwined. if removal no longer is possible, neither is an impeachment conviction. the judge's view is consistent with that of justice joseph stori's famous commentaries on the constitution wherein the
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justice analyzed impeachment is inapplicable to officials who have left their position because removal, a primary remedy that the impeachment process authorizes, is no longer necessary. justice storey noted that he is not coming to a firm posit on this. this is his belief and this is his thought process. there's also much force in the remark that an impeachment is a proceeding purely of a political nature. it is not so much designed to punish an offender as to secure the state against gross official misdemeanors. it touches neither his person nor his property but simply divests him of his political capacity. professor phillip bobbitt -- now, i have to say, this is insulting. we heard earlier today, we don't cite any scholars. professor phillip bobbitt is the distinguished professor at columbia university who along with professor charles black wrote the handbook on impeachment used for many, many years. he is a constitutional expert on
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impeachment. he has written that there's little discussion in the historical record surrounding the precise question of whether a person no longer a civil officer can be impeached and in light of the clarity of the text, this is hardly surprising, professor bobbitt wrote. professor bobbitt, by the way, who has a rich family history in the democratic party, lbj, also asserted the following. as recently as january 27, 2021. arguing against holding this trial. he said, quote, there's no authority granted to congress to impeach and convict persons who are not civil officers of the united states. it's as simple as that. but simplicity doesn't mean unimportance, professor bobbitt wrote. limiting congress to its specified powers is a crucial element in the central idea of the united states constitution, putting the state under law. professor bobbitt and former stanford university law professor richard danzig have remarked that impeachment's
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principal of the 66th of the federalist papers makes clear is to check the encroachments of the executive. trial by jury, rules of evidence, and other safeguards are put aside, they write, because of the need to protect the public from further abuse of office. similarly, yesterday, professor eugene wrote, the constitution provides that the impeachment process is to be used to remove all civil officers of the united states. that is, people holding a government position. yet in the case of mr. trump, the house is reading the constitution as if it said the process applies to all civil officers of the united states and people who aren't civil officers but once were, exactly what it does not say. we've been told by the house managers about miscitations in our brief. i'd like to draw your attention
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to page 37. this is a substantive misrepresentation to you, i would respectfully suggest, and it reflects to me a very different view of democracy, a fear of democracy. they wrote on page 37 of their brief that the framers, i'm paraphrasing the first part, the framers themselves would not have hesitated to convict on these facts. their world view, this is a quote now, was shaped by a study of classical history as well as the lived experience of resistance and resolution. they were aware of the danger posed by opportunists who incited mobs to violence for political gain. they drafted the constitution to avoid such thuggery, which they associated with the threat of civil disorder and early assumption of power by a dictator. the citation is 178, bernard bailen, the ideological origins of the american revolution. that's this book. professor bailen, when he gave this description of the threat of civil disorder and the early
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assumption of power by a dictator and thuggery was referring to early colonists' view toward democracy. they feared democracy. that's what they call thuggery. democracy. because it's an elitist point of view and an elitist political point of view. we don't fear democracy. we embrace it. in summing up, let's be crystal clear on where we stand and why we are here. the singular goal of the house managers and house leadership in pursuing the impeachment conviction of donald j. trump is to use these proceedings to disenfranchise at least 74 million americans with whom they viscerally disagree and to ensure that they nor any other american ever again can cast a vote for donald trump, and if they convince you to go forward, their ultimate hope is that this will be a shot across the bow of any other candidate for public office who would dare to take up a political message that is very different from their own political point of view.
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that's the direction in which they wish to take our country. under our constitution, this body and the impeachment process must never be permitted to be weaponized for partisan political purposes. this article of impeachment must be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction based on what we have discussed here today and what's in our brief. the institution of the presidency is at risk unless a strong message is sent by the dismissal of the article of impeachment. before we close, i want to leave you with two thoughts. one was expressed by abraham lincoln. he comes to mind first because of the way in which our nation is now divided. we must learn from his times. he had a simple but important message about the paramount importance of doing what is right. mr. lincoln said, stand with anybody that stands right, stand with him when he is right, and part with him when he goes wrong. in both cases, you are right. in both cases, you oppose the dangerous extremes. in both cases, you stand on moral ground and hold the ship level and steady and in both you are national and nothing less than national. and the second is from one of
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mr. lincoln's favorite poets who wrote in 1849 at a time fraught with division and risk for even more. the message from that other time of division is a call for hope and unity to bring strength. it has special meaning today. poet longfellow wrote, sail forth. sail forth into the sea, o ship, through wind and wave right onward steer. the moistened eye, the trumbling lip are not the signs on doubt or fear. sail forth into the sea of life, oh, gentle, loving, trusting wife and safe from all adversity upon the bosom of that sea, thy comings and thy goings be for gentleness and love and trust prevail or angry wave and gust and in the wreck of noble lives, something immortal still survives. thou, too, sail on oh ship of state, sail on, oh union, strong and great. humanity with all its fears, with all the hopes of future years, is hanging breathless on thy fate. we know what master laid they
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keel, who make each mask and sail and rope, what anvils rang, what hammers beat and what a forge and what a heat were shaped the angers of thy hope. fear not each sudden sound and shock. 'tis of the wave and not the rock. 'tis but the flapping of the sail and not a rent made by the gale. in spite of rock and tempest's roar, in spite of false lights on the shore, sail on, not fear abreast the sea, our hearts, our hopes, are all with thee. our hearts, our hopes, our prayers, our tears, our faith triumphant over our fears, are all with thee, are all with thee.
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>> mr. president, it's been a long day, and we thank you, and we thank all the senators for their careful attention to the legal arguments and your courtesy to the managers and to the lawyers here. this has been the most bipartisan impeachment in american history, and we hope it will continue to be so in the days ahead. and nothing could be more bipartisan than the desire to recess. so, the only issue before the senate today, of course, is
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whether donald trump is subject to the court of impeachment that the senate has convened. we see no need to make any further argument that this body has the power to convict and to disqualify president trump for his breathtaking constitutional crime of inciting a violent insurrection against our government. tomorrow, we will address the amazing array of issues suggested by the thoughtful presentations by our colleagues, including the first amendment, due process, partisanship under our constitution, the bill of attainder clause and many, many more. but in the meantime, we waive all further arguments. we waive our 33 minutes of rebuttal, and we give those 33 minutes, gratefully, back to the senate of the united states. >> all time yielded back? all time has been yielded back.
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and the question is whether donald john trump is subject to the jurisdiction of a court of impeachment for acts committed while president of the united states, notwithstanding the expiration of his term in that office. >> i ask -- mr. president. >> is there a sufficient second? there is a sufficient second and the clerks will call the role. >> ms. baldwin. >> aye. >> mr. boraso, no. mr. bennett, aye. mrs. blackburn. mr. blumenthal, aye. mr. blunt, no. mr. booker, aye. mr. boseman, no. mr. braun, no. mr. brown, aye.
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mr. burr, no. ms. cantwell, aye. mrs. capito, no. mr. cardin, aye. mr. carper, aye. mr. casey, aye. mr. cassidy, aye. ms. collins, aye. mr. coons, aye. mr. cornyn, no. ms. cortez-masto, aye. mr. cotton, no. mr. cramer, no. mr. crapo, no. mr. cruz, no.
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mr. daines, no. ms. duckworth, aye. mr. durbin, aye. ms. ernst, no. ms. feinstein, aye. ms. fischer, no. plsz gillibrand, aye. mr. graham, no. mr. grassley, no. mr. haggerty, no. ms. hassan, aye. mr. hawley, no. mr. heinrich, aye. mr. hickenlooper, aye. ms. herono, aye.
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mr. hoven, no. mrs. hyde-smith, no. mr. inhoff, no. mr. johnson, no. mr. kane, aye. mr. kelly, aye. mr. kennedy, no. mr. king, aye. ms. klobuchar, aye. mr. lankford, no. mr. leahy, aye. mr. lee, no. mr. luhan, aye. ms. lumus, no. mr. manchin, aye. mr. markey, aye. mr. marshall, no.
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mr. mcconnell, no. mr. menendez, aye. mr. merkley, aye. mr. moran. ms. murkowski, aye. mr. murphy, aye. mrs. murray, aye. mr. ossof, aye. mr. padilla, aye. mr. paul, no. mr. peters, aye. mr. portman, no. mr. reed, aye. mr. rish, no. mr. romney, aye. ms. rosen, aye. mr. rounds, no.
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mr. rubio, no. mr. sanders, aye. mr. sasse, aye. mr. shotts, aye. mr. schumer, aye. mr. scott of florida, no. mr. scott of south carolina, no. mrs. shaheen, aye. mr. shelby, no. ms. sinema, aye. ms. smith, aye. ms. stabinau, aye. mr. sullivan, no. mr. tester, aye. mr. thune, no. mr. tillis, no.
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mr. toomey, aye. mr. tuberville, no. mr. van hollen, aye. mr. warner, aye. mr. warnock, aye. ms. warren, aye. mr. whitehouse, aye. mr. wicker, no. mr. weiden, no. mr. young, no. mr. moran, no. mrs. blackburn, no.
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>> the yays are 56, the nays are 44. >> on this vote, the yays are 56, the nays are 44 and pursuant
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to 47, the senate having voted in the affirmative on the foregoing question, the senate shall proceed with the trial as provided under the provisions of that resolution. >> mr. president. >> majority leader. >> i ask unanimous consent that the trial adjourn until 12:00 noon tomorrow, wednesday, february 10th, and that this order also constitute the adjournment of the senate. >> without objection, we shall stand in adjournment until noon tomorrow. >> so, there you have it. some republican crossovers and some news embedded in those numbers, which we will get to in a moment with correspondent garrett haake who all but predicted one of them. but nicole wallace, as we bring our audience back in here, paul bagala might have won social media with the following.
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trump is apparently being represented by the law firm of meandering and furious. it was, to say the least, an interesting legal presentation. it was, for mr. caster's part, the first of the two lawyers, had an ad lib quality to it, had a meandering quality to it. one of the highlights was when the man representing the former president, who insists he won by a landslide, admitted the american people had elected a new president named joe biden. and just a note for television viewers who may have been mystified by a visual when it was time for mr. schoen to present, mr. schoen had a way of covering his head while drinking water, and i wanted to read you the explanation from our friend, dan goldman.
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mr. schoen is an observant jew who must cover his head when he takes a sip of water and quietly says a blessing. since he is not wearing a yamulke, he covers his head. i've seen very few things cause consternation on social media so i'm guessing a lot of those questions were at home among our viewing audience. nicole, blessedly, it's time to hand over to you but that was the early summation. >> you know, i noticed a lot of the same things. i think that our viewers noticed. i counted this up as the seventh legal team to represent donald trump. that's not counting bill barr, who very ably represented donald trump and distorted the findings of the one-time friend, robert mueller, and it's not counted michael cohen, who ended up in prison because he represented donald trump so well in the case involving hush money and stormy daniels. so, this was team seven, and that's what team seven looked like, but when you look at that republican vote, it could have
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been linus and charlie brown. they don't care. this is a story art republican subservience. it's also always going to be the day that the gop broke up with the constitution. one of the most compelling parts of the case made by house impeachment lead manager jamie raskin and his colleagues was that the actual text of the constitution holds for a remedy precisely like what is on the table and that the republicans are staring at their toes and fidgeting in their seats and doing paperwork instead of looking at what they enabled, instead of looking at what they ushered in is the story. it is the twin headline with retraumatizing and reliving the attack on the capitol. i think the other headline out of that vote is that chuck cooper, who is, again, someone with nothing to lose or with nothing to gain, everything to lose, professionally, reputationally, and perhaps even socially, i don't know if some of these people are personal friends, he went out there and told the truth. they are now impervious to the
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truth as a political party. they are now not capable of hearing facts, so all consuming is their devotion to an ousted deplatformed ex. >> president. >> garrett haake joined us right before we got under way. garrett, to underscore what nicole just said, for members of our audience who were quite simply blown away and stunned by the raskin presentation as personal as he got, the silence he was able to garner in that senate chamber, we've just witnessed 44 votes that say, in effect, yeah, no. i'm not going to go along with that. but one of them, cassidy of louisiana, you fore shadowed in our coverage before getting under way. >> reporter: well, brian, i think what we just saw right now was the political manifestation of donald trump's line about shooting someone on fifth avenue and getting away with it. i mean, i don't know how an objective observer could look at
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the legal presentations made today by both sides and see them as equivalent, but what we saw here was based on this test vote that had happened a couple weeks ago, only one republican senator changed his or her mind today on the constitutionality of this entire proceedings, and that's republican bill cassidy of louisiana, who just got re-elected and has been working with the biden administration, has been part of these moderate discussion groups on covid relief. he joined the five other republicans who had also previously agreed on the constitutional question in affirming a majority here that says this is constitutional, they should go forward. but if you look at this as a test vote on the ultimate question of conviction, it is all but impossible to see how impeachment managers could convince enough other republicans that don't believe this is constitutional that they should convict former president trump, so a major blow to them and to nicole's point, you know, being in the chamber, lot of
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these republican senators didn't take a single note today, were barely paying attention, paying attention a little bit, not especially engaged in these arguments. if your mind was made up before you go into today, that's how you get to where we are now. >> dan goldman, for those folks following the facts and following the arguments that were made, it was clear that there was a decision made not to defend donald trump, and the first individual, mr. castor, didn't even try. that was, i guess, you could experience that as part of his charm. the other one came in hot, ended up crying and said a lot of things that didn't add up in the middle. what was your read of the trump defense? >> well, i think they switched orders, as i understand it, so that castor went first to try to blunt some of the emotional impact that jamie raskin's concluding presentation had. i don't really see how that was
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helpful to his client, but there wasn't a ton of substance that he offered, particularly on the topic of the issue at hand, the jurisdictional constitutional issue and then when brushon got up there, he suffered from presentation. it was very hard to follow and it took him a long time to get to the constitutional argument that was at issue today. but he, as far as i could tell, did not address two central parts of the impeachment managers' argument. the first is he didn't even address the disqualification clause in the constitution, and the second is, he didn't address the fact that donald trump was impeached by the house while he was in office. there was a parade of horribles of how this is all partisan and this is going to be terrible
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because when things flip, the republicans will just reach back and impeach eric holder and all this stuff. but that's not what we're dealing with here. we're dealing with someone who was impeached while in office, and they did not address that. but as we suspected, the quality of the legal argument was really incidental to the outcome of this vote. and it is possible that there may be some who don't think this is constitutional but given that the senate has now determined that it is, and rejected the motion to dismiss by a majority vote, they could follow their duty and actually consider the merits of the charge. that's what you would have to do in a courtroom, and many people would argue that's what the senators should do now. they should not be able to use this argument, legal argument, in support of a factual
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determination that he was acquitted but because this is a senate trial and not a courtroom, there are no rules governing what they can and cannot consider as there would be in a courtroom. >> also watching with us is michael steele, former chair of the republican national committee. michael, i'm curious as to what you make of listening to those 44 votes, saying, in effect, this constitutional argument, we're not buying it after no one really argued that donald trump was innocent. michael, hit your mute. >> yep. okay. there we go. yeah, the -- >> there we go. >> the arguments did not make any sense to a lot of those republicans who weren't paying
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attention. and that unfortunately was manifested in that vote. it is an unfortunate truth that as nicole rightly noted, they don't care. they've made up their minds. josh hawley was up in the, you know, in the gallery, wasn't on the floor paying attention as he should. others were, you know, having conversations, so the reality of it is the country sees this and here we are again. but i don't think it changes, ultimately, the price that the party will pay for january 6th. everything else, had it come before, you could make a case, you could argue politics, you can say whatever. but this was so searing for a lot of people. and the way jamie laid it out in those first 13 minutes to kind of walk us through and to see the relative comparison and time, you know, the crowd storming and what was going on
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on the floor, the movements inside the chamber, all of that had a powerful impact, and the fact that those senators, republican senators, 44 of them sat there, unfazed, unmoved by that, i hope dan is right. i hope that on the other side of this, they are moved to consider honestly conviction, but i think we have a precursor of the vote that we may see when this is all over and that's unfortunate. >> you know, claire, i'm struck by what michael steele's saying, that the news, if you're sort of coming home at the end of the day and you've heard this or caught this, what you will see is a snippet of that 13-minute video and perhaps some of jamie raskin talking about having his daughter on the floor of the chamber and her saying, i don't want to come back to the capitol. and if you've got kids that care about government or politics, as young as 9 or 10 years old, i don't know that you want them to
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go intern in a capitol where 44 senators aren't in favor of holding a person responsible or accountable for inciting an attack there. >> and if you really look at this, nicole, it is -- >> sorry, claire. i think we're going to listen to chuck schumer. >> it was both erudite and touching. it really got to your heart. thank you. >> he's gone, claire. go ahead, i'm sorry. >> for my friend, chuck schumer. not a problem. what i was going to say that it is really ironic in so many ways. mitch mcconnell's vote particularly, as it relates to this procedural question, because the only reason this trial did not occur while the president was still in office, mitch mcconnell. >> right. >> that's it. i mean, he was impeached when he was in office. the trial could have occurred
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immediately. they were ready. they wanted to do the trial immediately. and mitch mcconnell said, no. so, here he is voting because he caused this to happen. and you know, the president's lawyers, as daniel pointed out, never even addressed either the historical precedents for holding someone out of office accountable under these circumstances or the big elephant in the room, that is, he was impeached while in office and the trial was purposely delayed for partisan reasons. so these senators would have an excuse. i mean, he about wanted to rage on about partisanship. the whole reason this was delayed was partisanship so it really is unfortunate that that many senators went along with the fig leaf, but now we get to the meat of the matter tomorrow, and it will be, i think, become even harder and harder for them to look at themselves in the mirror and feel proud of the position they've taken.
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>> claire, the other elephant in the room, obviously -- >> sorry, go ahead, brian. bring ari in. >> no, please continue. please continue. >> claire, i just wanted to -- we haven't mentioned it yet, but the other elephant in the room was the trump lawyer invoking the word disenchan friesment. donald trump sought to disenfranchise voters, he sought to do it on a telephone call, it's part of what he was impeached for by democrats and republicans. this was so trumpian in its projection. >> yeah, the irony has so many layers, the cake you referred to earlier with three layers. this cake would be so tall, it would topple over. the layers of irony. the only reason that we are here is because the president wanted to disenfranchise the voters of this country. by, in fact, lying about the election itself.
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so, this is -- this is really -- i mean, i could go on and on about all of the ironic arguments that were made, particularly by the second lawyer, because the first lawyer, i mean, i don't think his phone's going to be ringing, i got to tell you the truth. >> let's go there with one of our counsel lawyers and that's ari melber. ari, what did you make of the lawyering you saw today? >> well, brian, i want tock as diplomatic as possible. they're dealing with the hand they have. and they have a tough hand to try to defend donald trump here. having said that, it often seemed like mr. castor had taken the vacancy left by rudy giuliani in creating real-life "my cousin vinny" moments, not to take anything away from the seriousness of the task at hand, but it was bumbling and nonsensical at times. again, they're presenting to the senate. the world can hear them. at times, the argument boiled down to, it is too early to hold this trial. you have to do more investigation to be fair to donald trump, and it's too late to hold this trial, because
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ultimately, he's left office. so, you -- really, i should amend my remarks and say it was one part "my cousin vinny" and one part cheshire cat, where basically there is no logic. on the serious part, though, all shade aside, to pick up on the points you were just discussing with former prosecutor and former senator mccaskill, mitch mcconnell made it very clear through his public leaking and through the "new york times" and other places that he was, quote, pleased about the prospect of this trial, that it would present the prospect of accountability, and ending donald trump's formal role in the future of the republican party if he were effectively disqualified. mitch mcconnell now moments ago, breaking news, we can report it, turns out not only does he not stand by any of that, he doesn't even think this trial is legal. now, do you take him at his word, and he votes today that it is illegal, which he has, again, the senate authority to do. they have votes for a reason, even the minority. or do you not take him at his word? is he lying today because he found there was no political
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support for that position? or was he lying back then? this is the state of part of the republican party, and because this is a fuse process of constitutional law and politics, because the senators are politicians and jurors, we're in that mix, and so i do think if we're going to be as fair as possible, and we'll see this in the coming days, there are what i would call legitimate defenses to donald trump's conduct. they're not what we heard today. the legitimate defenses have to do with how tight the line is between speech and action, whether -- if criminals show up at a rally and they do put on a hat but they ultimately do their own thing, who is to be held responsible for that. those are serious questions we can debate as a society. i think the senate should take them seriously. i thought we heard very, very few serious arguments here and what we're seeing here is obviously a path for republican senators to duck those hard questions by saying it's their opinion that this thing isn't valid so they don't want to deal with the rest. in fact, what the vote also means, as a constitutional matter, is the senate has decided they do have jurisdiction, so every senator,
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republican or otherwise, who wants to point to today's losing vote to shirk their duty in the coming days has the problem that just as we learned on january 6th, painfully, as it may be, we are a nation of laws. the majority tends to rule in these matters. the senate has said it has jurisdiction. so, a real process would take the coming questions the most seriously. >> we're going to bring in chuck rosenberg and i'm going to ask you to pick up on some of what ari is talking about. i think that today's vote by 44 republican senators is entirely consistent with their own disdain for the rule of law. they've not had any public-facing conduct that suggests they value it, and they've never, ever done or said anything in the last four years that would lead anyone to believe that they think donald trump isn't above it. they have always acted as though donald trump was above the mueller investigation, as though donald trump had the right to investigate, to send bill barr out to open frivolous investigations that turned up nothing, because there was
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nothing there to turn up. but i wonder what young people watching think about the republican party and the rule of law. >> yeah, nicole, it's a great question. so, i have a couple of observations to share with you. the first is, it's unusual to see the senate or members of the senate giving up authority. it seemed to me pretty clear from a constitutional standpoint that they absolutely have authority to hear this trial in the senate, and yet, to your point, 44 senators said that they didn't have that power, they didn't have that authority. that's odd. so, how do you explain it? and i think the only way to explain it is that it's a political off ramp. if you don't want to take a hard vote, then you look for an easy out. and the easy out here was to say that because trump is a former president, they don't have authority. that's not what the constitution says, by the way. so, for anybody watching it, young or old, you ought to be mightily confused by what the senate did today. what does the constitution say?
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it says that in cases of impeachment, the senate has the sole power to try all of them. sole means sole and all means all. right? so the president, having committed this misconduct while in office, having been impeached while in office, can be tried in the senate because they have the power, they have the authority to try all cases of impeachment. you have to ignore that and that's what 44 members of the senate chose to do today. and frankly, i find it not just dispiriting but disgusting. >> wow. >> let's go to dan goldman who may have an alternate view of the aftereffect of what we've witnessed today. dan? >> i want to zoom out for a second because there's no question that it's worth drilling down on this 56-44 vote, which is really not that different than what we expected going in. but i think if you're the house managers and you walk away from
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today, you did get one more vote than what you had a couple weeks ago, but i think more importantly, you dominated today. today, the takeaway from the presentations today will be almost uniformly in favor of the house managers who brought the emotion of january 6th back to the fore, who made very persuasive legal arguments, that were really not responded to in any meaningful way or any coherent or eloquent way to be sure. and remember, it's not just the senate that is the jury here. it is the american public, and polls are already moving in favor of conviction. this, in some respects, will be a very positive day, i think, in terms of how the american people look at the case that the house impeachment managers make and to the extent they engage in the law, there seems to be no question that the house managers were right, even if the republican voted otherwise. so, as the course of this trial
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plays out, and we're going to have two days of the impeachment managers' presentations and if it's anything like that 13-minute video today, it's going to be very powerful, the impact of the public opinion is not just incidental. it matters. and so, there is still some positive that i think the house managers can take from today's presentations. >> dan goldman, i wanted to ask you about whether that was behind congressman raskin's decision to say, oh, no rebuttal necessary. we're good. you can have that 33 minutes back. is that why he did that? >> yeah. you know, it harkens back to a story i had once where after a defense closing, i felt like we were in good shape and i just stood up and said, we don't need any rebuttal. that's kind of what it's like, right? we made our case. we did it well. i'm going to leave what was a fairly ineffective presentation and i'm sure in the rebuttal, they didn't have anything well prepared, it would have been off
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the cuff, and i think he was smart to kind of leave their very, very well manicured, well curated presentation as it were, particularly in comparison to the presentations by donald trump's lawyers. so, yeah, i think that, you know -- and you also saw some humanity. i mean, he's playing a little bit to the senators there, just like you would want to play to a jury, like, oh, i'm going to give you the break. we're not going to keep you here longer than we needed to after that very lengthy presentation by the president's lawyers. so you're not going to hear the complaints that we heard last time that, you know, the managers were so repetitive and trump's lawyers were very much to the point. it was the opposite today. >> chuck rosenberg, i want to get you on the record on some -- i won't call it reporting, i'll call it math that i did in the break. i counted seven legal teams, and i left bill barr, who very ably represented donald trump after your friend robert mueller
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concluded his investigation, and i left out michael cohen, who represented donald trump in his interactions and check writing to stormy daniels. this was the seventh team and i think it's something people can understand at home, that when you're seventh, you're the seventh team that's been assembled, some of them have not been paid and you're coming after sidney powell and rudy giuliani, so it's not surprising that this was what was on display today. >> it's not all that surprising, nicole. you know, in a certain way, i felt a little bit bad for them. they didn't have a lot of time to prepare, and that showed. they didn't have a lot to work with, and that showed. you know, dan just told a story about being a prosecutor. when i was a prosecutor, and a case went to trial, and i didn't understand why it was going to trial because i thought we had a very, very strong case and it should have been resolved by a plea agreement, i always worried that the other side knew
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something that i didn't know, and i waited with bated breath for their opening to see what i had missed, what i had screwed up, what i had forgotten, right, what i didn't get. and it almost never happened. when you finally hear the opening from the other side, in a case that you believe is overwhelmingly strong, it remains overwhelmingly strong, and i completely agree with what congressman raskin did today, yielding back his time and not offering a rebuttal. it's not just the seventh team, nicole. it's the notion that a former president of the united states couldn't put together the very best team of men and women to represent his interests. republicans, democrats, bush, clinton, obama, it doesn't matter. if you're a president of the united states, you can draw on the very best talent on the planet except if you're donald trump. and except if you don't pay your bills, and except if you don't have a team in place a few days before the hearing begins. so, yeah, there's a part of me
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that felt bad for them. i thought it was comical. i thought they did a very poor job of articulating to ari's point, a couple of things that could have constituted plausible defenses, but again, to what everyone has been saying so far, it doesn't seem to matter. >> former senator claire mccaskill, get ready, because i'm coming to you after we watch something for the first time. one of the unique republican crossover votes was senator cassidy, republican of louisiana. newly re-elected. if you follow this business, you know that there are two things that can coat an elected representative in kevlar, having announced retirement, they're leaving the chamber, or having been newly re-elected, which gives you kind of six years of kevlar. senator cassidy has the latter. he critiqued the lawyering on the part of the trump lawyers
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that he saw today. his critique lands squarely in the middle of our conversation. we'll play that and go to claire for her reaction. >> it speaks for itself. it was disorganized, random, had nothing -- they talked about many things but they didn't talk about the issue at hand. and so, if i'm an impartial juror and i'm trying to make a decision based upon the facts as presented on this issue, then the house managers did a much better job. >> so, claire, the question that begs, as we hear a republican speaking honestly, is about the others among the 44, the rob portmans of the world who just announced he's going to spend more time with his family, senator cassidy's louisiana colleague, john no relation kennedy, a very smart
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oxford-educated lawyer, who must, as they say, know better. so, why senator cassidy? >> it's a good question, brian. and you know, the cynic in me would say it's a century between now and his next election, but i'm going to take him at his word, that he did what his other colleagues did, listened to the presentations, and decided that, yes, i agree with most of the constitutional scholars in this country, including very conservative ones. that of course we have the jurisdiction to try this case. you know, and the lawyers, i get -- i mean, chuck rosenberg has to be the sweetest guy in the whole world because he's expressing simple for these lawyers and i get where that comes from, but he left out one of the reasons why it's hard for trump to attract quality lawyers right now. that's because of his conduct.
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i mean, his white house counsel wanted nothing to do with him. some of the finest courtroom lawyers and supreme court advocates in the country would normally just chomp at the bit to represent the president of the united states in any kind of legal proceeding. it is a career-making move under normal circumstances. people didn't want to go near this because they saw the conduct. they saw the evidence. there didn't need to be depositions. there didn't need to be identification of witnesses. america saw what happened. along with the entire legal community. so, that is why -- and these two lawyers, they did a good cop/bad cop routine. the first one thought he could flatter the senate, which was insulting to senators, talking about how great they were and how patriotic they were and gosh, the senators. and then the second one turned into the bad cop, accusing every senator who supports going forward with this trial as destroying america.
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so, it really was hamhanded and ineffectual and i'm disappointed that more senators didn't at least acknowledge as plain on the nose as their face that they clearly had the jurisdiction to move forward with this trial. >> our friend john heilemann joins this conversation. pick up on what claire is talking about. we're in this sort of underneath the looking glass world where we are affirmed that we're on the right track when we hear a far-right conservative say the same thing. that was the impact of right-wing conservative lawyer chuck cooper's op-ed in the "wall street journal." that was the impact of republican senator cassidy from louisiana coming out and affirming that what we all saw with our own eyes was indeed what we saw with our own eyes. but if you can pick up on the abdication of hearing and listening and participating. i mean, these were
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nonparticipation moves by many of the republicans who rifled papers and refused to look up. and i have not heard any reporting or any interviews where any of them suggested they were anywhere other than barricaded inside their own offices. where does this new fact immune posture come from? in a post-trump gop. >> well, yeah, i mean, unfortunately, nicole, it's not new. it's been creeping into the republican party for not just -- we always like to cite the four years of donald trump, and it's not just been that period. this is something that was becoming increasingly prevalent in your former party, you know, for years leading into it and trump, you know, kind of as we've said before, was an accelerant and a coagulant of this trend and sort of firmed it up, sped it along, and firmed it up, and you know, i heard you at the very -- after the vote when you first came in, and it struck me as often you and i agree in a profound way, but the place that i -- it goes directly to your
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question right now, but it also goes to what you were saying at the outset, right, which is it's not just that the republican party is totally immune to facts, right? it's another illustration, a very vivid illustration of the fact that republican party no longer means anything, right? i mean, if you think about the things that you and i were raised and brian were raised and obviously claire mccaskill, we all saw, what the republican party was. sometimes infuriating its fealty to certain principles. one of them in the legal realm was textualism. this is like the great grand ideological battles over legal politics was textualism, original intent, what did do the founders say? what do the founders mean? and liberal academics and liberal lawyers would say, you know, the constitution is a living document. the founders didn't have everything in mind. we have to talk about the principles and the constitution extend them into the present day. here you have -- conservatives would come back and say, no,
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it's not in the plain text of the constitution. it doesn't exist. and that would make liberals crazy. now, you have a republican party that not only abdicated any responsibility today but essentially listened to an argument that was the ultimate textualist argument. you had democrats standing up and saying, this is what the constitution says. it's right there. in the plain letter of the constitution. and every one of those, except for the handful that voted the way the six, you know, that voted the way they did, the vast corpus of -- and many of them, trained lawyers. many of them went to law school, the finest law schools in the country, you know, the ted cruzes of the world, the josh hawleys of the world, the people who learned this stuff and have sat at the knee of the scalia ideology of textualism and originalism and they heard those arguments, and they said, i can't hear you, i don't care anymore. it's aversion to fact but also aversion to the whole history, the whole ideological edifice on
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which the party had been built for the previous hundred-some-odd years. >> that's right. brian? >> i want to bring jeremy bash into this conversation. former counsel in the house of representatives, harvard educated lawyer himself. jeremy, i'm going to quote steve dennis. mitch mcconnell just voted that it's unconstitutional to try a former president after he blocked a trial of trump while he was president. do we have that about right? >> yeah, it's dead on here. if you listen to the defense counsel's argument, basically what they said was that nancy pelosi rushed this through, pell-mell. she wouldn't stop, pedal to the metal, and therefore, it's been a violation of the due process rights of donald trump. and then literally in the next breath, they said, they waited too long because had they brought this case while trump was in office, he could, of course, be removed, but they
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waited too long. they took too long in doing that. so, the argument was, they went too fast, yet they went too slow. it was totally incoherent and i think there's an old saying, you know, if the facts aren't on your side, argue the law. if the law isn't on your side, quote some random poem about sailing at the end, i don't know, chin up, some, you know, good feelings among those people who like to sail. the defense of donald trump utterly collapsed but what i think is a really interesting point here is that, so now we've resolved the legal issue, right? we've resolved that essentially the senate can sit as a court of impeachment on this matter, that in fact the president can be barred from seeking future office. he could be disqualified under the constitution. so, then, what's the next eight days going to be about? i mean, the democrats, i think, are going to put the facts before the american people to hammer the point, and in a sense, i think the republicans are going to engage in jury nullification. they're going to say the facts be damned. we still don't want him
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impeached because i think they fear his retribution, the larger tableau, the larger context is that donald trump still owns the republican party. it's very much the trump-lican party and if there's no differentiation between what the senators voted tonight on versus what they do over the next several days, that's going to be the enduring storyline for the next four years. >> i want to put up what that enduring storyline is going to have to take on. they're going to have to take on looking the other way. this is some of the tape that the house managers started with. >> usa, usa, usa.
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>> use the shield. >> we need fresh patriots to the front. >> yeah.
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>> jeremy, it's the kind of video that gets harder to watch every time, every time you see it. for me, it gets harder to watch. it's in those images that a capitol police officer lost his life and 136 remain injured. jamie raskin also made the point that an american flag was used as a weapon, literally, to torture a police officer. that is what republicans are looking the other way in the face of. >> they killed a cop, nicole. they stormed the capitol. the capitol fell. they took over the senate chamber. they killed a sworn police officer. they injured dozens more. they threatened the lives of members of congress and the vice president. this wasn't just a protest that got out of hand.
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this was a full-on insurrection that turned fatal. that turned lethal. that turned deadly violent, and it was done at the very moment when the peaceful transfer of power was going to be showcased to the entire world. if you can't look at those facts objectively and say this was the biggest violation of the oath of office ever in the history of oaths of office in our country, then essentially you're turning a blind eye to facts, and if we're nothing in our democracy, we're -- we got to adhere to facts. we got to adhere to what happened on january 6th, and unfortunately, i think that handwriting's on the wall that the senate's not going to do that, but i think it's important for the country to see it clearly. >> john heilemann, i think the x factor that republicans may not have taken into consideration is that sometimes, when they run for election, they need people who don't only put their eyeballs on right-wing disinformation, which is what it's devolved into.
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and i wonder if you think a shift in public opinion in the coming days could change the calculation for any of them. >> i don't know, nicole. i think if they were being smart, i think it would. i mean, i think the public -- i think, first of all, all, publi malleable, and it's important to understand that we've noted over the past couple of days that this process is more popular than the last, popular in the sense wanting to see trump removed is more favorably looked upon by the american public than the last one. there is no question about that. and the power of just that little presentation that raskin did at the top today is a leading indicator of where we're going to go over the course of the next two days. very powerful, very emotional, devastating. i think that public opinion could shift not by 20 points, but could shift by appreciable margins. if republicans railroad smart they would recognize that for
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most of them the tide of demography putting the medium and long-term prospects for the party at enormous jeopardy if they come to be seen as a party that rejects facts in this way and that aren't willing to adapt to -- i shouldn't say adapt to -- accept, welcome tolerate. it is completely dangerous for them? it is. will they make that calculation? will they see that writing on the wall? i am not as hopeful as i would like to be. it's possible. but i would not be overly hopeful. we don't have a lot of evidence of it over the last four years. >> right. >> and michael steele, to the very point john heilemann was just making, this may with a few more days of this and the use that we have seen the democrats willing to make of the videotape evidence that needs no agrandizement. it needs no buffing, no alteration. it speaks for itself.
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this may be the way the republican party post-trump is shown for all that it is in its greatest relief. and i'm going to repeat for our audience some of the presentation by congressman raskin of your home state. and we will talk about him and your association with him on the other side. >> we were together. i hugged them and i apologized, and i told my daughter tabitha who is 24 and a brilliant algebra teacher in teach for america, now i told her how sorry i was, and i promised her that it would not be like this again the next time she came back to the capitol with me. and you know what she said? she said, "dad, i don't want to come back to the capitol."
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of all the terrible, brutal things i saw and i heard on that day, and since then, that one hit me the hardest. >> michael, jamie raskin has been through a very public struggle. the grieving and mourning process, having lost his son. talk about the congressman raskin who you know. >> yeah, i had the opportunity to spend a few moments with jamie when a former senate president mark beller was lying in our state capitol, lying in state after his passing. and just on the capitol steps, just in that conversation with him, you could still see and feel the emotion. and what struck me in that moment that you just played was
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he was reliving that day. he was reliving that moment with his daughter. and those words hit him like a ton of bricks then and you could see him feeling, his feeling that all over again, especially on the heels of the loss of his own son. they just buried him the day before. and i thought in that moment when i heard it, and i welled up here at my desk when i was watching it, because i remembered that moment with the congressman on our state capitol steps thinking to myself how many of these damn senators actually understand what this man just said? how many people in my party get that emotion, that feeling? because i know some of them had the same kind of moment as they watched their senate staff under their desks, as they were ushered out of those halls into
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a safe place. how many of them really understand that? and then just a few hours later, 4 of them clearly didn't. and i think that's something that should not be lost on our country. >> michael steele, i want to stay on this. i mean, i am a walking, talking raw nerve. so to see someone in our broken, broken politics able to sort of have the confidence to harness what was his deepest fear, that his daughter wouldn't be safe in his place of work after they just lost his beautiful son was so searing. and the fact that after the insurrection, which all evidence suggests was terrifying for all the members, all the senators, all the members of the house, all their staff, all the family members who they made the phone calls to, the fact is a party that comes out of hiding, out of
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shelter for their lives and votes to disqualify an election they all know wasn't fraudulent is broken. >> that's a powerful question. and the two words you used, irreparably broken. and it does call into question why any of us who remain will try to fix it, because they don't want to be fixed. those 44 senators don't want to be fixed. they like where they're stuck. they like the embrace of qanon. they like the embrace of trump. they like the embrace of proud boys and white nationalism, because that's what that constitutional vote that they just cast was all about, whether or not you embrace or that you don't. now you can sit back and pretend, you know, on the legal arguments and find me a scholar
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who will find your position and support it, but at the end of the day, you swore an oath, not that scholar. you swore an oath, not those individuals who stormed the castle, if you will. but the reality of it is this is your moment. so irreparably broken does describe it. and it does beg the question. so if not this, tell us. tell us how you see this country. how do you describe what happened on january 6th, mitch mcconnell? you told us, you said that the president was responsible. you led us to believe you got it. but then the today you vote to say well, not really, not really. we're going to hang this up on a constitutional procedural question. and i think the country has just got to shake its head and say you guys are irreparably broken. so i think we all have a lot of soul-searching to do, not because we have to question
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where we stand. i think you and i, nicolle, a long with a lot of our friends know where we are. i think the country has to look and say is this really worth trying to protect these guys and say we have two viable political parties anymore? because that vote to me says we don't. >> yeah. and the other part of it, jeremy bash, is they also are suggesting some agreement with the kinds of belief systems that the department of homeland security warned in some instances could become radicalized and could be part of the extremist threat to this country. are you surprised that there aren't more republicans sort of shaken out of the trance by security questions and concerns? >> it's a great question, nicolle, because traditionally you've gotten a lot of security hawkishness from that side of the aisle, and you can debate whether it's warranted or not in this particular circumstance or
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that, but if the threat is at our door, if the threat is literally on our doorstep and crashing through our door threatening ourselves, our staff, our family, you can't argue it's not a real threat. and it's fueled by a big lie, misinformation and propaganda. and it has elements to it that blow your mind. there are people in the capitol on january 26th with t-shirts that said "camp auschwitz, where six million wasn't enough" referring of course to the horrors of the holocaust. so the idea that you would somehow tune that out or see that as not a threat to democracy or to the physical safety of americans really to me begs the question what security you for. >> thank you for that reminder however dark, from that dark day, jeremy bash, and the words from michael steele, "irreparably broken" describing the party he once chaired
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continue to linger in the air. i want to put the faces of all of our friends and guests who have helped us out during all these hours of live coverage and will continue to as long as this thing goes with my thanks to nicolle wallace for having me along. the time has come at the top of the 6:00 hour eastern time to welcome in our colleague ari melber, who continues with the next hour of our rolling news coverage. ari? >> really enjoyed being on with you, brian and nicolle, and i'll see you again tomorrow. thank you very much. i am ari melber. our coverage of this impeachment trial continues. we have a panel of experts joining us shortly. we begin right now with the newsworthy guest, senator alex padilla, democrat from california, a juror who was in the room today inside a senate chamber that served as both the crime scene and the jury box. thank you for being here after a busy day in the united states senate. what came across to you on day one of this trial? >> thank you, ari. and you hit the nail right on

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