The Second Trump Senate Trial: Think Belknap Not Blount

As we look ahead to a second Trump Senate trial, many are referencing the impeachment of Sen. William Blount, who was already expelled when he was impeached. That case has always been anomalous as the impeachment of a former legislative figure. It was rejected by the Senate. The more relevant case to the immediate issues is that of former Secretary of State William Belknap.

I have written about these impeachments in various academic works.  Here is what I precisely wrote on the Blount and Belknap impeachment in The Executive Function Theory, The Hamilton Affair, And Other Constitutional Mythologies, 77 North Carolina Law Review 1791 (1999):


1. William Blount (1798-99)

The impeachment of Senator William Blount of Tennessee may have been the most interesting both factually and legally. Factually, Blount stood accused of a conspiracy with Great Britain to take over territory in Florida and Louisiana (where Blount owned considerable property). The conspiracy was revealed in a hand-written letter in Blount’s hand. Despite the fact that the Senate had expelled Blount from its membership, the senators believed that a former officer could be impeached; however, the Senate did not believe that a senator, or any legislative officer, was a “civil officer” for the purposes of impeachment. Accordingly, the Senate dismissed the case on jurisdictional grounds. Notably, while clearly dismissing on the exclusion of legislative officers from impeachment procedures, the Senate did not question seriously that the underlying conduct would have been worthy of impeachment despite the fact that the conduct was not viewed as violating any senatorial duty or criminal law. Professors Hoffer and Hull note in their review of this case that “Blount was not accused of any recognized crime or any violation of the law. His misdemeanor was to mis-demean himself; to misuse his office for his own speculative ends.” Blount was never charged criminally for any act connected to the conspiracy and he was never accused of any misuse of his office.

7. William W. Belknap (1876)

The impeachment of former Secretary of War William Belknap represents a critical case in the congressional view of the scope and meaning of impeachment. Since Belknap was no longer in office at the time of his trial, the Belknap case indicates that resignation from office does not prevent trial on articles of impeachment. In this case, there was no need to impeach to protect the public from any additional harm or to assure the proper functioning of government. There was no “threat” to the system in keeping an official in office, as advocates of the executive function theory often emphasize. Instead, the House impeached and the Senate tried Belknap as a political response to a political injury, a corrective measure that helped the system regain legitimacy. Link to the text of the note

Belknap was charged with accepting bribes for contracts associated with the Indian territory. The House managers charged that Belknap had “disregarded his duty as Secretary of War, and basely prostituted his high office to his lust for private gain.'” Belknap first raised the jurisdictional argument that impeachment did not extend to former or retired “civil officers.” The Senate voted on this threshold jurisdictional question and reaffirmed that it had jurisdiction over former officers by a vote of thirty-seven to twenty-nine. Professor Pollitt correctly noted, however, that many senators continued to question jurisdiction and apparently voted for acquittal on this basis. There was little question of guilt, especially in light of the fact that Belknap refused to answer the articles of impeachment. Ultimately, only three senators believed Belknap was innocent, but twenty-two senators had doubts on the jurisdictional issue. The final vote on the closest article was thirty-seven to twenty-five in favor of impeachment. This vote, however, was only four votes short of the number needed for conviction. Since only three senators cast their votes based on lingering doubts of guilt on the merits, Belknap’s acquittal can be attributed to one senator who questioned jurisdiction.

The Blount impeachment was flawed on a number of levels.  Expulsion was clearly with the authority of the Senate. It was rejected on jurisdictional grounds.  Few people view impeachment as the appropriate remedy in such cases today.  His impeachment also was surprising in its language. Blount was accused of effectively betraying the country by conspiring with Great Britain. The motivation appeared to be land speculation and profit. Yet, the articles of impeachment was comparably vague.  Notably, Blount went on to serve in state office of the remainder of his life. Blount is most relevant as precedent in his threshold refusal to accept the validity of the trial and the dismissal of the trial as constitutionally flawed.

Belknap is closer to the current dispute as an executive officer.  Belknap notably was impeached after leaving office as opposed to Trump who was impeached shortly before leaving office. However, there remains the threshold question of the trial of a president for removal who is in fact an ex-president who has already left office. That is the subject of my column today in USA Today.  Almost half of the Senate voted on a threshold challenge to reject the very basis of the trial. He was ultimately acquitted.

I have been discussing this issue for 30 years, including the differences in impeachments in Great Britain, the colonies, and the United States. This includes the use of retroactive or post-service impeachments in Great Britain.  We may now have to answer this question directly and concretely with the Trump impeachment.


134 thoughts on “The Second Trump Senate Trial: Think Belknap Not Blount”

  1. The election was stolen. Hey Joe Biden: Stolen elections have consequences.

    We are now the Resisters! In protest, hang your American flag UPSIDE DOWN. Joe Biden is #Not My President! Not now. Not today. Not ever. RESIST!

    1. Bumper stickers: Trump Won!

      USA Flag upside down.

      I mean at least 70% of Americans knows Biden, the Dims& some Rinos stole the 2020 election. We already see people in mass Booing Graham, Romney, etc.., shaming them in public.

      Now that they are in possession of a , not a pickup truck, but a Stolen Republic, how can they expect the owners, (The Citizens), of our stolen nation to go alone with those Mafia Commie/Fascist B@stards?

  2. After reading your comments about President Trumps rhetoric, I am unsure if you are aware about that two seperate rallies took place in DC on 1/6/21: One organized by President Trump and the other by Antifa. This counter protest was announced on 1/1/21 and 1/2/21 via Twitter and Facebook saying: “We need numbers to show up No Fascist In DC – March Against Fascism spread the word Comrades!” IMO its very important to seperate these two events as the had different goals.

    Please check which is still active! In the meantime BLM activist John Earle Sullivan (founder of a group called Insurgence USA) has been arrested and charged in connection with last week’s Capitol incursion (

  3. Professor, I have three questions:
    1. Could you be so kind and reference those words from President Trump speech that – in your opinion – are impeachable?
    2. Why is it constitutional that President Trump wasn´t heard prior the verdict?
    3. Are you aware of other politicians holding an office in goverment and used “inciteful, reckless, and wrong” rhetoric that leads to violence by their supporters?

    1. @Barbara Nelson,

      While good questions… First the transcript of what Trump said would be easily obtained. From what I’ve seen neither Turley or Dershowitz have advocated impeachment. To that point, nothing said would be impeachable.

      In addition, if as the FBI has already stated, the attack on the capitol was planned and thus not incited by Trumps statements.

      And to your point, there is ample evidence that proves your point. 😉

      1. Yes, a counter protest was announced on 1/1/21 and 1/2/21 via Twitter and Facebook saying: “We need numbers to show up No Fascist In DC – March Against Fascism spread the word Comrades!”

        Please also check which is still active!

        In the meantime BLM activist John Earle Sullivan (founder of a group called Insurgence USA) has been arrested and charged in connection with last week’s Capitol incursion (

  4. The police were already there. No one had to call them.

    She and others broke into the Capitol and made their way to an area they had no permission to access. More info here –

    She was shot as she was attempting to climb through a window over a door into the Speaker’s Lobby. That lobby adjoins the floor of the House, and there were still lawmakers on the House floor, as noted in the link above. She wasn’t shot behind the door.

    You can see her fall from the window ~5 seconds in, in the lower left screen –

    1. Was she armed? They clearly had other options and the officer did not have to shoot. Note that there were other armed police right there.
      Excessive force.

      Yet no riots. Now why is that?

      1. She was one of the rioters who broke into the Capitol. Haven’t you seen videos of those rioters?

        I’m going to wait for the conclusions of the investigation into whether the shooting was justified. They’ve already arrested more than one of the other rioters there, and they can all testify. Hopefully they’ll arrest more of them, like the guy in the fur hat who broke the glass on the window she climbed through.

    2. “Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.”

      – Henry David Thoreau

  5. Ashli Babbitt. World weightlifting champion? She could have torn the politicians limb from limb with her bare hands. No reports claiming that she was wielding a weapon. It doesn’t matter she could have ripped them apart with her superhuman strength. This is why she deserved to die. She worked out at Anons gym don’t ya know. Anon saw her in action.

    1. Who said she deserved to die? Not me. I only said that I’ll wait for the investigation to be completed before I conclude whether or not she was murdered.

      1. She was murdered

        Funny how when police shoot a black dude carrying a weapon, who was the reason 911 was called because said black person was posing a threat to family or neighbors, Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Nancy Pelosi, all Democrats and MSM call for riots, anarchy and arson. No Justice No Peace they thunder.

        An unarmed woman, decorated Veteran, no one called the police on her, was shot behind a door where multiple LEO had elevated loaded weapons, shoot first, ask questions later. Without batting an eye, the Left quietly patiently deferentially waits for an investigation with folded hands calmly asserting “if and whenever the cops get around to it”. But, they demand thousands of Federal troops to defend the same locale to prevent violence and anarchy: “Stop the Insurrection!”

        1. Well said. Everyone knows how this would have played if the officer were white and the woman a black BLM protestor.

          There is a big disconnect happening in this country.

        2. My 9:52 PM comment was supposed to have been posted as a response to you, but became decoupled.

      2. Anon, in your comments you have tried to say the killing was justified by her actions. You were the judge and the jury concerning her crimes. Now you say you want to await justice for the man who shot her. A more fair arbiter than you can not be found.

        1. “Anon, in your comments you have tried to say the killing was justified by her actions.”

          No, TIT, I haven’t.

          If I wanted to say that the killing was justified, that’s what I’d say. I didn’t say it because I don’t know whether or not it was justified.

          YOU want to read that into what I wrote, even though I haven’t said that. I don’t know whether or not it was justified, and I’m going to wait for the conclusions of the investigation.

          Are you willing to wait too?

  6. Does anyone know if only Trump supporters are on the “Terrorist Watch List” or all Republicans? How does one get on the list and get removed? Is it based on criminal records or legal First Amendment activity?

    1. Does anyone know if only Trump supporters are on the “Terrorist Watch List” or all Republicans?

      Dick Morris provides some clues

      The Coming Democratic Reign Of Terror
      By Dick Morris

      Like Robespierre, Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden are taking no prisoners. A new Democratic reign of terror is upon us — endangering our free speech, free press, political playing field, and personal liberty.

      Watch your back.

      The Democrats are using the outrageous and unsupportable Capital riot the same way that Hitler used the Reichstag Fire of 1933 — as a pretext for an authoritarian crackdown.

      The re-impeachment of President Trump and the banning of his emails, tweets, texts and Facebook posts are merely the first examples.:

      But the threat of punitive actions and censorship in this new reign of terror hangs over us all.

      • Will we be banned from using the communication tools of modern technology? Will Twitter, Amazon, and other tech giants determine what messages and what content can be sent out?

      • Will books we would like to read be dropped by their publishers because of the author’s lawful constitutional activities?

      • Will our favorite cable TV news stations have to face organized boycotts by their advertisers or be banned by cable systems if they criticize the election of the government?

      • Will the left use “lawfare” to sue frivolously for defamation, bankrupting their opponents with legal fees to defend their right of free speech

      • Will the Democrats equate our political speech in citing the frauds and irregularities in the 2020 election with sedition, subjecting us to fines or imprisonment just for challenging the election of 2020?

      That is the new premise of the coming Democratic reign of terror: That political statements charging that the election of 2020 was stolen or riddled with fraud are, by themselves, inciting violence by Trump supporters.

      This approach harks back to efforts to suppress opposition to the World War I draft, the Alien and Sedition Acts passed by John Adams in 1798, and the 1954 law criminalizing membership in the American Communist Party. (Communist Control Act of 1954). All three laws tried to criminalize political speech as seditious. They were all equally offensive to our Bill of Rights.

      The reign of terror is trickling from the president on down.

      The left is trying to frame the remarks of Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Josh Hawley (R-MO) — and those of President Trump and his supporters — as incendiary, false, and designed to cause a riot, thereby allowing them to criminalize it.

      But bear in mind:

      • Trump never advocated entering, much less taking over, the Capitol building and always explicitly opposed violence.

      • The charge that he “incited” the riots only refers to his peaceful exercise of free speech, denouncing the election of 2020 as the result of fraud and saying that it was “stolen.” That is the essence of free speech that is protected by the First Amendment.

      • Impeachment is a vengeful kick while the President is down. A purely symbolic act, removal from office is a logistical impossibility within the time remaining until inauguration day. Although the Speaker and her minions claim that President Trump is so dangerous to the country that he must be removed immediately, they speak of a trial in a few months!

      The reign of terror rolls on.

      The publishing firm of Simon & Schuster abruptly decided to drop Senator Josh Hawley’s (R-MO) new book The Tyranny of Big Tech. The publisher said: “we take seriously our larger public responsibility as citizens, and cannot support Senator Hawley after his role in what became a dangerous threat to our democracy and freedom.”

      Note that Simon & Schuster published anti-Trump bestsellers by Bob Woodward, Mary Trump, and John Bolton…and a major flop by Paul Begala.

      What was Hawley’s role in the rioting? After protestors surrounded his home, banging on the door and threatening his wife and newborn daughter, he said:” Violence is not how you achieve change, violence is not how you achieve something better.”

      And the Terror may soon call former Trump staffers to the journalistic guillotine.

      Randall Lane, Forbes’ Chief Content Officer, announced that Forbes Media was “holding those who lied for Trump accountable.”

      Lane mentioned five top Trump aides as examples of “the people paid by the People to inform the People.”

      His hit list includes former White House press secretaries Sean Spicer, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and Stephanie Grisham, current spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany, and senior counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway.

      Lane beeches us not to “let the chronic liars cash in on their dishonesty.” Alluding to book deals by previous White House spokesmen, he said “Trump’s liars don’t merit that same golden parachute. Hire any of Trump’s fellow fabulists, and Forbes will assume that everything your company or firm talks about is a lie.” (The Forbes family no longer owns Forbes the media company).

      Hari Sevugan, former senior spokesman for the Barack Obama presidential campaign, announced “we just launched the Trump Accountability Project to make sure anyone who took a paycheck to help Trump undermine America is held responsible for what they did.”

      And Stuart Stevens, Mitt Romney’s former media consultant said that “At @ProjectLincoln we are constructing a database of Trump officials & staff that will detail their roles in the Trump administration & track where they are now.” He added that “they will be held accountable & not allowed to pretend they were not involved.”

      The Serbian war criminals hunted down by The Hague never received such scrutiny.

      The Daily Mail reports that JP Morgan, Citibank, Marriott, the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and the parent company of Commerce Bank have all said “they too are suspending donations to the group dubbed ‘the treason caucus’ by critics. (The Treason Caucus apparently includes Senators who voted not to certify the Electoral College votes.)

      And, comically, Mississippi Democratic Congressman Bennie Thompson called for Senators Cruz and Hawley to be added to the no-fly list.

      The Daily Mail also reports that: U.S. digital payments company Stripe is to also stop processing payments for Trump’s campaign website following the riot.”

      For the president, the reign of terror may mean impeachment and seeing his his e-mails, tweets, posts and texts banned from Twitter, Facebook, and Google.

      Where will it end?

      When will it begin? It just did.

      1. No, gun buyers have to pass a terror list screening, and regular Republicans are not on the list. Gun sales continue

        Maybe that comes later, or maybe not. We gonna find out

        Sal Sar

      2. VP Pence should make an emergency Application to SCOTUS President Trump is to be “CARE TAKING PRESIDENT” until all legal matters have been determined, this as no valid Electoral College counting has been able to be done due to fraud, etc.

        -Senator Kamala Harris is the real instigator of riots AFTER the election. IMPEACH her instead of President Donald J Trump. 14th Amendment s3.

    2. Hmmm. Some Americans on Obama’s Terrorist Watch list didn’t fair so well. Then there is that nasty NDAA he signed that authorized the indefinite detention of Americans, but, oh, wait, Obama added that ridiculous signing statement that, well, he’d never do such a thing. Nevermind the violation of the 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th Amendments.

    3. Ah…..the Patriot Act post 911 rears its ugly head again…….where were the protests about the violation of civil rights when that bit of wise action by Congress was being proposed?

      Just like Red Flag Laws….where is the Due Process concerns?

      The complaints are heard when it is a different OX being gored.

      The goal is admirable but the process does matter…and it should be done with every consideration of Due Process and provide a rapid method to resolve appeals…..and be based upon real…verifiable demonstration of threat being posed by that individual.

      No more actions like what went on in the Russia Collusion conspiracy by the DOJ, FBI, FISA Court, and the Intelligence Agencies using a bogus Dossier to go after political enemies.


    “Former star baseball pitcher-turned-conservative firebrand Curt Schilling has accused insurance giant AIG of canceling his policy because of his “social media profile.”

    As I warned below: might be a good idea for Republicans and Trump supporters in general to dump Twitter and Facebook. We might be approaching a Chinese Communist Social Credit System.

  8. Cassidy asked below, “Do you have any thoughts about how those who reject this new authoritarian regime can move forward proactively?”

    Not many. If you have supported the President or are a Republican it might be wise to dump Twitter and Facebook immediately. When they were connecting you with friends they seemed fairly benign. Not now. But, like Charles I, they have stuck their flags in the ground in the favor of an authoritarian society working hand in hand with the Democrats. Your getting out of big tech as much as you reasonably can won’t be noticed by them, but it might be needed for self protection. We might be moving toward a Chinese Social Credit system that will draw heavily on information about you hoovered up by the tech companies. Already one can see reports of people losing their jobs or being denied employment just for supporting Trump and some Democrats in media and Congress are referring to Trump supporters as domestic terrorists.

    After Twitter and Facebook banned Trump they saw a combined market loss of $51 billion dollars. We can hope it will be much more. It doesn’t seem there are many sound reasons for Republicans, and particularly Trump supporters, to continue participating with these companies but you may see it differently. That is only my opinion at the moment.

    Get in touch with your state legislators to insist they adopt laws like the one under consideration in North Dakota that would allow censored citizens to sue Facebook and Twitter. We need more laws like that. The Texas Attorney General is contemplating legal action against Big Tech, so the AG of your state might be urged to do the same.

    There are many other things to consider. Remember, autocracy didn’t turn out well for Charles I either.

    Never forget.

    1. People disliked Cromwell even more, though, if I recall. He was a party-pooper.

      1. Yes, Cromwell was a pain. Charles II was fun but James II had to go. No telling how our mess is going to end up.

  9. An Antifa and BLM supporter was on video boasting of posing as a Trump supporter at the Capitol and breaking windows. He may have been part of the event that led to the fatal shooting of an unarmed, female veteran, Ashli Babbitt..

    The shooting may have been murder. The officer whose name was withheld contrary to DC law appears to have been a black, Brazilian immigrant named David Bailey who reportedly threatened to kill Trump supporters for months on Facebook. Apparently he got his wish if that truly was his boasted desire. Odd that we aren’t hearing about this 24/7 by the media. But then the victim was only a former member of the US Military and not a cherished criminal like George Floyd who appears to have died of a drug overdose.

    1. Sullivan isn’t on tape breaking windows. He’s on tape videotaping.

      Babbitt was committing a crime when the officer shot her. She had already broken into the Capitol and she was climbing into the Speaker’s Lobby, which opens onto the House floor, while there were still Representatives in that room. His job was to protect the Representatives. She was warned that an officer had a gun, and she chose to try to enter the Speaker’s Lobby anyway. I’m willing to wait til the investigation is completed. Are you?

      1. Apparently Sullivan can be heard on tape boasting about breaking windows and inciting violence. Don’t you believe him?

        But then who ever heard of an Antifa/BLM person engaging in violence and the destruction of property? They are like bedbugs of society; they will bite because that is what they do.

        What happened on your side of the growing divide to the idea of warning shots against rioters [actually forbidden in Portland] or shooting someone in the leg as so many on the left have argued? But, but, but . . . .

        If she had been a black BLM person and shot by a white police officer in exactly the same circumstances the entire country would be in an uproar.

        Forget about ‘Unity’. That ship has sunk.

        1. Why do you say “apparently”? Don’t ask if I believe HIM when you’re asking me to believe YOU. Present the video where he says whatever you’re talking about. The first video in the article you linked to didn’t play for me. Is that the one you’re talking about? Let’s check whether he’s talking about the window that Babbitt climbed through or if he was talking about a window somewhere else.

          When I watched the tape of the events before Babbitt was shot, I didn’t see Sullivan break any windows and I didn’t hear him say he was breaking windows. Did I miss it? Post the video you’re talking about, and we’ll find out.

          If you haven’t watched, you can watch the one that Allan posted in his 2 PM comment –

          About 3 minutes in shows the guy in the fur hat who breaks the door window that Babbitt tried to climb through. She talks about Sullivan elsewhere in the tape and if I’m remembering right it shows video from someone else with images of Sullivan taping.

          “What happened on your side of the growing divide to the idea of warning shots against rioters [actually forbidden in Portland] or shooting someone in the leg as so many on the left have argued?”

          She had already committed a felony, and she was trying to get into the SPEAKER’S LOBBY WHILE REPRESENTATIVES WERE STILL ON THE FLOOR. Deal with the relevant details.

          1. When people are calling you domestic terrorists there isn’t a lot of room left for amity.

        2. I’ve skimmed his indictment. It quotes him after he broke a window, but the window he broke wasn’t in the door to the Speaker’s Lobby where Ashli Babbitt was killed.

        3. Interesting list of confessions and evidence regarding Sullivan, at Zero Hedge:

          TL, DR:

          ZH: Which leaves us with three questions:

          1) Does this mean CNN gave a platform to a domestic terrorist?

          2) Did Trump incite this man to commit insurrection too?

          3) If he was aware of riotous plans “on underground chats” before Trump’s speech, does that mean Trump did not incite “domestic terrorism”?

          We won’t hold our breath for the treasonous answers.

          A newly released court filing says John Earle Sullivan, 26, told FBI agents last week that he was at the Capitol when the breach happened. He said he entered through a window that had been broken out. He also said he was present when Ashli Babbitt, an Air Force veteran, was shot dead by a U.S. Capitol Police officer as she tried to climb into the House Speaker’s Lobby through a window.

          Sullivan showed agents some of the footage he captured inside the building, which he and others entered illegally.

          Videos showed Sullivan and others breaking through a barricade, with the Utah man shouting:

          “There are so many people. Let’s go. This [Expletive] is ours! [Expletive] yeah. We accomplished this [expletive]. We did this together. [Expletive] yeah! We are all a part of this history. Let’s burn this [Expletive] down.”

          During one conversation with others while inside, Sullivan said, “We gotta get this [expletive] burned.” At other times, he said, among other things, “it’s our house [expletive]” and “we are getting this [expletive].”

          Sullivan told U.S. Capitol Police officers to stand down so that they wouldn’t get hurt, according to the court filing (pdf). He joined the crowd trying to open doors to another part of the Capitol, telling people “Hey guys, I have a knife” and asking them to let him get to the front. He did not make it to the doors. He later tried to get the officers guarding the Speaker’s Lobby to go home, telling them: “Bro, I’ve seen people out there get hurt.”

          Sullivan spoke to a slew of media outlets after the breach, including CNN and ABC.

          He told The Epoch Times that he took steps to blend in with the crowd so he didn’t “get beat up.” He said he’s known in the activist community as being a member of the far-left, anarcho-communist group Antifa. He denied being a member of the network.

          He told The Epoch Times he knew of plans to storm the Capitol and that he saw them on “undergrounds chats and things like that.”

          He posted information about the plans on his social media, but didn’t inform the law enforcement. “I’m not a snitch,” he said.

          Sullivan has posted in support of Black Lives Matter. He leads a group called Insurgence USA, which says it was founded in the wake of the death of George Floyd, a black man, in police custody in Minneapolis last year.

          “The lack of care for the human life was unacceptable so we set out to end police brutality. We then set out to empower and uplifting black and indigenous voices,” the group’s website states.

          Sullivan was charged with rioting and criminal mischief in Provo, Utah, based on his activities around a protest last year in which a person was shot and injured.

          BLM inc. threatening to “rip the president out of the White House”

          They say they won’t wait until the next election.

          They’re openly calling for a revolution.

          This is domestic terrorism on full display, out in the open. They don’t even try to hide it.

          — Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) August 29, 2020

          Sullivan was charged this week with unlawful entry, disorderly conduct, and attempted obstruction of law enforcement.

        1. No, not over.

          You don’t read very carefully. That entire paragraph was about the officer who shot her, not about anyone else.

          “Babbitt was committing a crime when the officer shot her. She had already broken into the Capitol and she was climbing into the Speaker’s Lobby, which opens onto the House floor, while there were still Representatives in that room. His job was to protect the Representatives. She was warned that an officer had a gun, and she chose to try to enter the Speaker’s Lobby anyway. I’m willing to wait til the investigation is completed. Are you?”

          You said “The shooting may have been murder.” Are you going answer the question? Are you willing to wait til the investigation is completed before you judge whether the shooting was a murder?

          As for Sullivan, lots of people have been indicted for crimes they committed at the Capitol, and I’m glad for him to be indicted along with others. Here’s another guy who was there when Babbitt was killed –
          I’m waiting to see news about the guy in the fur hat who broke the window. Did I miss it?

      2. Normally neither police nor private citizens are allowed to shoot tresspassers.

        That couple in St Louis got in big trouble just for showing guns, and they didn’t fire them or hurt anybody

        I think that cop has something answer for in shooting that lady cold and dead just because she was trying to shimmy into their socalled sacred chamber

        Say her name– Ashli Babbitt! A nutty lady perhaps, a trespasser or a rioter perhaps, but a human life worth something, snuffed out needlessly.

        1. Yet again, it’s not about a “sacred chamber.”

          The Speaker’s Lobby opens directly onto the floor of the House, and there were still Representatives on the floor of the House.

          That officer’s job is to protect the lives of the Representatives. Maybe they’ll decide that Ashli Babbitt was murdered, but maybe they’ll decide that it was justified. I’m willing to wait for officials to complete the investigation of the shooting, are you?

      3. Just to clarify, when I wrote “Sullivan isn’t on tape breaking windows. He’s on tape videotaping,” I was referring only to tapes of Ashli Babbitt’s killing, not to any other tapes of Babbitt. I don’t know whether he broke anything elsewhere.

  10. The twisting of history is not a new phenomenon. It is usually done many years after an event because people’s memories will fade and the twisters can get away with the twisting. Today the attempt to hide history is undertaken only a few days after the occurrence of the event. A man says in a speech that protesting peacefully is how things should be done. The twisters say he said to destroy property and kill people. A women says that you should continue protests where property has already been destroyed and people have already been killed. The twisters create a false reality in one instance and excuse the encouragement of property damage and death on the other. The common phrase is twisted morality. They throw out the twist and their captured servants jump into the twisting tornado. I don’t have to name you. You can be found here everyday.

      1. Anon, You could answer the points of my narrative. This is your chance. Instead you use the never fails “I’m rubber and your glue and what you say bounces of me and onto you” answer to any argument you can’t dispute. People notice.

        1. Pointing out that you, yourself, engage in the behavior that you criticize others for IS answering you. If you cannot recognize this behavior in yourself, that’s ironic.

          When you say “The twisters say he said to destroy property and kill people,” can you quote some of the twisters you’re referring to? Let’s see if you’re twisting what these people really said.

          1. Anon, Kamala Harris: The protest (riots) will and should continue. You surely know of this statement made by your worshiped Queen of Hearts. She did encourage protests not violence. She knew what had already happened. Did she think that Antifa heard the part about no violence. Did she think that BLM would somehow stop looting if “protests”
            were to continue. She expects us to believe her to be that naive. Then there’s the part about her encouraging The raising of bail for Antifa and BLM rioters. Just peaceful protest, wink, wink. Remember she said “fweedom”.

            1. Notice that I asked “When you say ‘The twisters say he said to destroy property and kill people,’ can you quote some of the twisters you’re referring to?” and you didn’t do it.

              Instead, you attempted to deflect to Kamala Harris, who I didn’t ask about.

              Are you going to deal with my question? When you say ‘The twisters say he said to destroy property and kill people,’ can you quote some of the twisters you’re referring to? Let’s see if you’re twisting what these people really said.

              To be clear, I don’t worship Harris or come anything close to it. I criticized her long before she ever became a candidate, as I don’t find her honest enough. I was disappointed when Biden chose her as V.P. Also to be clear, she was NOT talking about “riots,” that’s your word, and another example of you twisting reality. HER statement was only about “protests.” You can watch the exchange, ~5:25 in –

    1. The twisting of history is not a new phenomenon.

      True. it has been our normal since the 1960s

  11. If you care about your children and grandchildren, the best long term solution is a “21st Century Truth Commission on Unconstitutional Authoritarianism”. You won’t get blood and it may not seem like justice but it’s the only reform to get the nation back on track.

    Dick Cheney’s “unitary executive theory” is one of the root causes. It’s a theory that we elect dictators every 4 years, not presidents with limited constitutional authorities oath-sworn to follow the U.S. Constitution (a wartime governing charter). This administration was a huge 200 year detour in American history adopting torture techniques from the Spanish Inquisition, violating the FISA Act, restoring the illegal Cointelpro style covert blacklisting torture, kidnapping and imprisoning people without charge, trial, judge, jury or guilty verdict. We could go back farther, like Richard Jewel, but these unAmerican practices should be the primary focus. Bush officials actually broke more laws than Trump. Trump incited others to break the law.

    It would start by offering immunity from criminal prosecution to the Bush torture attorneys, torture doctors, intel/national security officials and others, in exchange for truth-telling. These disclosures would be used to mandate reforms. In other words, Bush officials would be revealing scores of felony crimes and betrayals of their oath of office, but receive immunity from criminal prosecution.

    Simply blaming the other party as to how low we can go will never result in substantial reforms for future generations. The Bush officials that committee felonies have never been held accountable, most were promoted. We could start a “Truth Commission” with Bush and end with Trump but mandate reforms follow.

    1. Comrade, if you come forth with the truth we will set you free. If you make your confession you will receive your freedom. Of course we must be assured that you are telling us everything. Comrade, if we suspect that you are not revealing everything you know you must remain in the Gulag. You can make something up if you need to. Let the Comrade Carter Paige incident serve as an example. There may be a way out for you after all.

    2. Comrade Ashcroft. We want to nominate you as The Chairman of The Truth Commission. Please write out the rules for us. We have to know exactly what the truth must be. How will you make sure that all the truth has been revealed. If I may make a suggestion? An extra slice of bread at the evening meal has been effectively used in the solicitation of complete evidence. Alas there are those who will still resist and stronger measures may be required. Please help us formulate our laws for truth. We are eager to bring your suggestion to fruition, but more exact instruction must be codified. Anxiously waiting for your reply. Such genius.

  12. Impeachment doesn’t necessarily require a crime to be committed. Even Turley acknowledges this. The purpose of impeaching Trump and trying him after he leaves office is so that he can never hold office again. After the disaster that he created, one that even forced Mitch McConnell to basically say “this is enough”, Mitch is perfectly willing to get rid of trump. He is no longer useful.

    Trump won’t be able to pardon himself because he’s already been impeached twice and the constitution explicitly says a pardon cannot be given to someone who has been impeached.

    The biggest debate will be whether it means impeached AND removed or just impeached. Because these are two different processes and the constitution only mentions impeachment. Any constitutional originalist would be hard pressed to say impeachment also includes removal. I don’t think that argument holds water because Trump is on record of already being impeached despite still holding office. It can mean that while he wasn’t removed he won’t be able to run for office ever again once he leaves.

    The reasoning lies in why was he impeached in the first place. There was enough reason to determine trump acted in defiance of his oath and he cannot run for any office again.

  13. In referencing the BLM/Antifa riots Pelosi said, “I just don’t know why there aren’t more — why there aren’t uprisings all over the country and maybe there will be.”

    Should she be impeached?

    1. Well, maybe not impeached, but certainly censured if, as Turley has argued, Trump should be censured for his conduct. Turley essentially argues that Trump should be censured for acting un-presidential. Did Pelosi’s calling for uprisings all across the country, in addition to countless other instances of making false, inflammatory and fighting words, conform to conduct becoming a congress-thing (we’re not allowed to use pronouns anymore). Turley embarrasses himself for arguing in favor of censuring Trump for his conduct while not simultaneously calling for Pelosi to be censured. Weak sauce. For shame.

      1. Turley essentially argues that Trump should be censured for acting un-presidential.

        I asked this yesterday, how is “acting presidential defined?” I would argue that voters decide what acting presidential looks like. It’s not as though in 2016, candidate Trump “acted presidential” and then once elected he dropped the charade. His public personality today is the same as it was in 2016. And in 2020, millions more voted to reelect Donald Trump as president. So in the eyes of those voters, they effectively defined what they considered “acting presidential” looks like. President Trump has now been impeached, not because he actually violated his oath of office, but because Democrats (and their base) didn’t perceive him as “acting presidential.” That is not the standard we should be measuring those elected to office. If it were, then they need to amend the constitution defining the qualifications for office and change the oath to include “acting presidential.”

    2. Pelosi is going to be arrested and imprisoned. Those thousands of new cells in Gitmo are not by chance.

    3. “Pelosi’s alleged riot quote — “I just don’t know why there aren’t uprisings all over the country. Maybe there will be” — was said over two years ago about the Trump administration’s policy of separating migrant children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border.”

      video here –

      1. Anon, it doesn’t matter what the time frame is. An uprising is an uprising any way you put it. Pelosi could have used the word “protests” or the words “speak out against”. As the leader of the Resistance, she used the word uprising on purpose. She is certainly educated enough to know the effects of her words. She chooses her words to gain the results she wants. Long live the Resistance. She still wears her hippy beads from the sixties.

        1. Imagine her jumping dancing at Woodstock without a brazier, her casabas dancing in her shirt. Hmmm

          Amazing she has become such a wicked old witch. Most women with a fulsome bosom have generous and kind personalities. Not her!

    4. LOL! According to the Left’s response to Louie Gohmert quoting Pelosi, they want Gohmert gone for inciting violence throughout the country, not Pelosi.

  14. I just read your contribution in USA Today. To quote the Woody Allen movie, how you got to be a professor of anything is beyond me. Your wilful disregard of all the salient circumstances and equal disregard for future consequences are staggering.
    Yes, Trump has to have a permanent impeachment AND conviction on his record; and yes, it must be done quickly (which in absolutely zero ways invalidates it)

    1. There will not be a trial. Consider the practical situation. A trial will be time consuming with Trump needing to retain counsel and adduce evidence. Evidence will likely lead to presentation of facts indicating the breaches were pre-planned, by person with no connection to Trump, took place prior to Trump’s speech concluding, and involved parties ranging from Q nuts to Antifa provocateurs. There will also be unwelcome evidence of using Twitter, FB and Google to organize, along with the extent of prior warnings from law enforcement. The receipt of those warnings, what was done and not done, etc., will prove embarrassing. Plus there will be an aggressive push for maximum breadth of discovery given the recent disclosure of evidence kept “quiet” by the DOJ & others during the Ukraine Affair. There are far too many risks to far too many interested persons/parties w/far too great a chance Trump could emerge in pretty good shape from any proceeding. I mean, do you really think Eric Swalwell would be named as a House Manager if anyone thought a trial would occur?

  15. In the USA the war between the Smiths and the Jones lost credibility when after generations of conflict, no one remembered why they started fighting in the first place. Today, fake news tries to make everyone stupid, but history somehow always reveals itself over time.

    Today we know that Biden is totally corrupt even if only 10% of what we know is Truth. Trump surely has 10% blood on his hands just knowing how American Businesses are run. The corruptness may be in the same or different areas, but Biden has been in Govt for 47 years and we know that all of congress are corrupt one way or another.

    So, in the end – were Trump to ask Biden for a pardon – it might be a good idea to play it safe and pardon Trump because there is great saying; BE careful who you Step on while on your way up as you may meet them again on your way down.

    Since I am A Political – but am a Biblical/Constitutionalist – I am simply stating the obvious as I see it. May God have mercy on all your souls and ours.

  16. Mitch has stated he will not address impeachment until after Joe is sworn in. Doesn’t that make the Senate trial moot?

          1. I’m sure you’re aware that as facts come forward it is becoming clear Trump might benefit from a trial. It will never occur

            1. If the House delivers the Article of Impeachment to the Senate, I think it is very likely to hold a trial, especially once McConnell is no longer the Majority Leader. If we simply wait, we’ll find out.

              1. Oh, that would be great. Better that then enacting a crazy legislative agenda

                I think a trial will just enflame the “resistance” and it has no true remedy since he is gone in a week

                Not good for the US as a whole but clearly Democrat leadership doesn’t care about us do they. No.

                Sal Sar

                1. Funny s..t Kurtz, after the majority of GOP House members tried to overturn election results from the states. Yeah, you’re a real defender of the greater good, and no doubt, like the GOP is claiming now “Unity”.

                  You didn’t have a problem that lying scumbag Trump the billionaire sowing discord, calling names, pumping conspiracies, and starting snipe hunts. He was your guy, or have you forgotten?

                  1. Joe, you should welcome Joe Biden’s legislative agenda to be acted upon if you believe it is wise

                    or do you prefer to fixiate on Orange man bad, indefinitely?

                    Seems like blue counterpart to the obsessive Republican focus on Obama, long after he was gone, which, in case you remember, i also criticized on many occasions

                    feel free to focus on Trump if it pleases you. Im moving on

                    Sal Sar

                2. Enjoy your $2k Saloth…., although something tells me you may be well outside the qualifying tax bracket.

                  Elvis Bug

          2. Chuckles. You need two votes, one to impeach and a second to disquality. The first requires a supermajority. Happy trails.

          3. Actually the Constitution states that “the federal Constitution limited impeachment to federal government officers (including the President and Vice President).”. Trump will no longer be a federal government officer and therefore cannot be under the jurisdiction of the Senate. I’m sure Pelosi and Schumer will try to find some way around this inconvenient truth, but the Constitution says what it says.

            1. You claim “Actually the Constitution states that ‘the federal Constitution limited impeachment to federal government officers (including the President and Vice President),’” but you’re not quoting the Constitution in the internal quote. You’re quoting this analysis:

              I already linked to an article by UT Austin law professor Steve Vladeck. He notes that Article I Section 3 says “Judgment in cases of impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust or profit under the United States,” and points out that “by the time the Senate votes on disqualification, the officer has already been removed. In other words, disqualification, at least, is itself necessarily a vote about a former (as opposed to current) officer.”

              Do you dispute that?

              1. CTHD– What does the UT Austin law professor say about the number of senators needed to convict?

                There weren’t enough even to convict Bill Clinton for having an intern suck him in the oval office and for lying under oath in a separate legal matter. Never mind that thing with the cigar.

                As for Biden, he is not at risk of being impeached and convicted as much as he is at risk of being civilly committed for his own safety.

  17. For those here who insist that Antifa and BLM were not involved in the Capitol disturbance note the arrest of a Democrat activist and son of a New York judge.

    The disturbances started before Trump finished speaking to his supporters.

    Antifa and BLM started early and then infiltrated Trump supporters. That is why there is the picture I posted a few days ago of Trump supporters trying to protect a policeman from violent rioters.

    During the last five years or so Trump events have been remarkably free of violence except when attacked by BLM and Antifa as in San Jose.

    By contrast, Antifa and BLM have consistently gathered to commit violence and destroy property and loot. Why expect them to act any differently at the Capitol?

    The Democrat politicians now attacking Trump have been recorded many times praising the riots and urging them to continue. Kamala supported a bail project to get them from behind bars and into the streets again.

    Trump supporters will not forget.

    1. Do you think it is possible that someone could be both a registered Democrat and a Trump supporter? This guy has given interviews saying he thought the election was stolen.

      1. A lot of Democrats polled said they believe the election was stolen. They appear to be happy about it.

    2. A bail project gets people out of jail pending trial, something that generally already happens for the middle class and wealthy. Bail was raised for Kyle Rittenhouse to keep him out of jail pending trial. Do you object to that too?

      Aaron Mostofsky isn’t a Democrat activist. The criminal complaint cites a video interview Mostofsky gave to the New York Post while inside the Capitol building, where he says he believed “the election was stolen.” He’s a Trump supporter –

      1. Question for you…..Must you be a Trump Supporter to think the Election was “stolen”….meaning corrupt, fraudulent, manipulated, or interfered with by Big Tech and the Media…or that the Courts failed to hear and actually try cases where the evidence and testimony of witness were heard and examined for accuracy?

        Corrupt elections should concern us all….Republican and Democrat.

        The Left today wants to ignore the questions and challenges because they won…..unlike in 2008 and 2016 when they lost.

        There was plenty of protest by the Democrats in those two elections and in the case of 2016 continue till today even.

        1. We should all be concerned about corruption in the election process. In early 2019, Nancy Pelosi introduced HR-1, stating that election reform was her priority. We need election reform, but not necessarily the type of reform that Pelosi had in mind.

        2. I’m not trying to ignore anything. I’ve read some of the court documents, listened to discussions, etc., that’s not ignoring.

          “Must you be a Trump Supporter to think the Election was “stolen”?”

          No. But Mostofsky IS a Trump supporter. He bizarrely thinks 85M voted for Trump.

          The election wasn’t stolen. Fine by me to have a congressional investigation as long as it also includes Trump’s attempts to pressure state officials, like he did in his phone call with Raffensperger. Let Congress subpoena the call records from his other calls. Are you willing to have an investigation that does both?

          Courts don’t hear cases where the plaintiff lacks standing. Are you suggesting that all courts now ignore issues of standing for all court cases?

          Some of the cases moved beyond issues of standing and were rejected on the merits.

          You think the Democrats lost in 2008? What are you talking about?

        3. Yes, I think you have to be a Trump supporter to believe the election was stolen. Not all Trump supporters believe this (because, well, objectively it is not true) but I cannot think of a single non-Trump supporter who believes the election was stolen.

          That is not to say Democrats don’t have concerns about election integrity generally (indeed, Democrats insisted on paper trails for machine ballots which is why they were able to recount in Georgia) or Republican efforts to close down polling stations in Georgia or make it more difficult to vote generally. But in this particular case, Biden won by several states and a landslide in both the popular vote and the electoral college; this is just sour grapes from Trump and his supporters feeding on and reinforcing each other.

      2. This guy’s dad is a judge in New York, I heard on the radio. He seems a little confused or perhaps nutty to me. I wonder if some of these people were just flat out drunk or something. Not really the potsmoker crowd but who knows.

        Enough demonstrations and blowing off steam. Get serious about political organization and make plans that will have some real impact.

        People need political education. All the drivel about Marxism and communism as bogeymen has to stop. Right now it should be completely and totally obvious what I was saying ad nauseam before this Goatfk incident, BILLIONAIRES ARE THE ENEMY

        Look past the mobs, past the mercenary politicians, to the systems of power and control that are operating against us. Just smiting one group of mercenaries does nothing. They will always be able to hire more.

        The Federal Reserve ginned up an extra Trillion dollars worth of wealth for the billionaires this past year. If they were going to trash a place in DC it should have been the Federal Reserve bank

        Sal Sar

        1. Actually, there’s some taped q tard footage talking of “lighting up” in the Capitol. Then again, apparently things also went hard into porta potty territory also.

          Elvis Bug

      3. Anon, here’s a little factoid for you. The bail fund for the riots endorsed by Democrats was $35,000,000. Your equation of this with the bail for Kyle Rittenhouse is missing the = sign. Do you ever stop to think that your are always finding a picture that will correspond to the portrait already created in your mind and all else must be rejected?

        1. TIT, you regularly twist what people say in order to advance your arguments.

          I said “A bail project gets people out of jail pending trial, something that generally already happens for the middle class and wealthy. Bail was raised for Kyle Rittenhouse to keep him out of jail pending trial. Do you object to that too?”

          Notice that you couldn’t bring yourself to answer the question.

          Also notice that I did not equate the bail fund with bail for Rittenhouse alone. I equated it with the ability of the middle class and wealthy to pay bail and be released pending trial. You say “The bail fund for the riots endorsed by Democrats was $35,000,000.” The comparison would be how much middle class and wealthy defendants paid in bail. I don’t know how much that is, and I bet you don’t either, but I think we can be pretty certain that it comes to more than $35,000,000.

          Kyle Rittenhouse paid $2,000,000 in bail. He is not wealthy. He was able to pay it because he raised it through donations. Do you object to people donating to his bail fund? If not, why do you object to others getting contributions to pay their bail pending trial? Remember: these people haven’t been convicted of a crime. Why do you want them in jail prior to trial? Seems to me that the only people who should be in jail pending trial are those who are determined to be a continuing danger or a flight risk, and society is better off without cash bail otherwise.

          “Do you ever stop to think that your are always finding a picture that will correspond to the portrait already created in your mind and all else must be rejected?”

          No, because I don’t do that. Perhaps you imagine me doing it because it’s more comfortable for you.


        Watch him hesitate as he waits on his lethargic CPU to retrieve the previously entered “talking points,” including that “this election was stolen.”

        This registered-democrat clown is a “patsy,” not dissimilar to Lee Harvey Oswald, a well-trained “seminar caller” as Rush tags them.

        Fake dossier, fake FBI, fake FISA warrants, fake Mueller investigation, fake Ukraine, fake impeachment, fake election, fake nation.

        America is now a continuous, “black” (i.e. covert and off budget), American Communist Deep Deep State regime-change operation.

        “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex.

        The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”

        – Dwight D. Eisenhower, January 17, 1960

        “We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false.”

        – William Casey, CIA Director

    3. “will not forget” hahaha
      Trump supporters can’t remember what lie they believed 24 hours ago.

    4. Young, you are correct. Trump supporters will not forget. However, it will be difficult for reasonable people to move forward with a proactive agenda precisely because the opposition party appears to have the wind at its back. They tormented Trump before his inauguration four years ago and never let up. They managed to change election protocols before the 2020 election, thereby enabling outcomes, that otherwise might not have occurred. The centerpiece of Joe Biden’s campaign was that he was not Donald Trump. He refused to discuss matters of policy and steadfastly remained noncommittal on issues of critical importance to voters. At the same time, a complicit media refused to cover the story of his son’s international escapades. Was it just a story about Hunter that was suppressed or was it a story about Joe? Now the giant tech companies have effectively suppressed political discourse. Do you have any thoughts about how those who reject this new authoritarian regime can move forward proactively?

        1. Biden was not forthcoming in the few media appearances that he held. He refused to answer questions.

          1. Both Trump and Biden answered some questions and refused to answer other questions they were asked.

            Both of them answered questions in the debates.

            If you’re going to condemn Biden for refusing to answer some questions, you’ll have to condemn Trump for the same reason.

            1. All the attacks on the executive branch has left Biden in a weak spot compared to Obama.
              He will have a legislative agenda but needs Pelosi to drop the obsession over Trump to get it moving in Congress.

              I’m going to pray for old Joe Biden. We better hope he can put things on a good course after 2020, what a mess.

              The billionaires got him by the short hairs so to speak. But he too will be able to rouse support from the workers and middle class, just as Trump did, if he speaks to our interests.

              I’m a believer that there is such a thing as free will and who knows what surprises 2021 has in store., They may all not be bad

              Just take a look at who recently said the lockdown was too severe for the people — Cuomo! Hope springs eternal
              Better late than never i guess

              Sal Sar

  18. It is hard for me to contain my disappointment at the continual sideshow circus of impeachment when the far more critical issue facing us is big tech oligarchs and 6 news owners controlling and shaping public opinion. Our presidents and our congressional exploits and silly games mean nothing if we’ve relinquished free speech. Phrases echo like “baseless claims”, pinging and ponging in echo chambers constructed by powerful financial interests, so silence whatever claims might be made: slavery in China, subversion of systems at home, demotions and de-funding of dissidents, shrieks for purges of cleansing of opposition. The world is watching. Perhaps this will be the solution to our immigration difficulties: nobody will want to live here when we become just like every place else, where the rich and powerful become richer and powerful, and those in District 9 serve or die. The New York Times continually praises everything China does, and what has happened to Hong Kong’s protest? What will we do to help Taiwan, our ally? Crickets, as the dissidents are oft to say. How is the “moral equivalent” so very different between the Democratic party’s encouragement of riots, vandalism, looting and destruction in city after city for many months, destroying minority businesses, and a two hour (tragic) attack on the Capitol, after which they were back in business? The tone deaf media is tone deaf because their masters tell them to shut up. We are living in an atmosphere of terror. But go ahead, everybody. Parse impeachment details. The cities are burning. Thank Trump for his peace announcement, and move on.

    1. I think that says it all. Coming from that place 90 miles down from Key West, I know exactly what you mean. But it gets worse. Look at what they are teaching our kids.

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