“Dead Letter”: Almost Half Of The Senate Votes In Support Of Motion Challenging The Constitutionality Of A Second Trump Trial

In a critical vote at the start of the second Trump impeachment trial, almost half of the Senate voted in favor of a motion by Sen. Rand Paul challenging the constitutionality of an impeachment trial for a former president. The motion was subject to a tabling motion, making this a procedural vote and does not necessarily lock in any member. However, it was the first test of the view of the body on this unresolved question. After spending a good amount of time with all of the Republican senators just before the vote, I was not surprised by the 45-55 vote. Members on both sides of this issue had a good faith and civil exchange on the historical and constitutional basis for such a trial. Figures ranging from President Joe Biden to Sen. Susan Collins (R., Maine) have said that they believe it is clear that there are insufficient votes for conviction and that Donald Trump is likely to be acquitted. Other senators are now calling the trial a “dead letter” or “dead on arrival.

As before the first Trump Senate trial, I was asked to come and present the historical and constitutional issues facing the Senate with all 50 GOP senators. It is an extraordinary and in many ways an inspiring experience. In such private settings, the senators can have frank and substantive exchanges.  I will not discuss what was said by any senator but there was a full range of perspectives and a demonstration of a great depth of knowledge among the members. These senators were struggling with the same issues that many of us have struggled with as scholars for decades. I was impressed by not just their knowledge but their honest efforts to get this right as an institutional matter.  There was a diversity of opinions and questions but it was a civil and substantive discussion.

As I have said repeatedly, this is not an easy issue and people of good-faith can disagree. As stated recently with regard to a letter from scholars in favor of the impeachment, I still consider this to be a close question where I have repeatedly reworked the constitutional text and history in my own mind. There is precedent that can be cited on both sides of the issue. Indeed, the only two cases in the United States — Blount and Belknap — would seem to favor different sides of the question. I presented that history and the conflicting positions.  One case, Belknap, shows that historically impeachment has been used where removal was not purpose of the trial since the accused was already out of office.  English cases like Warren Hastings can also be cited for the proposition, as I have discussed in my prior scholarship. None of these cases involved a former president.

Moreover, there is no question that retroactive trials can have a value in condemning wrongful conduct and also securing disqualification. Over twenty years ago, I wrote a law review article explaining the basis for these cases and I still believe that. See Jonathan Turley, Senate Trials and Factional Disputes: Impeachment as a Madisonian Device, 49 Duke Law Journal 1-146 (1999). I stated that such trials play an important dialogic role even on a retroactive basis. I still believe that. Accordingly, I would change little in the widely cited excerpt from my 1999 work on the obvious non-removal purpose demonstrated by the Belknap trial. (I would add discussion of the countervailing textual and prudential issues that favor Blount over Belknap).

There is a legitimate desire of many to condemn the actions of President Trump. I joined many in that condemnation. Indeed, I criticized his speech while it was being given, opposed the challenge to the electoral votes, and objected to the President’s false statements concerning the authority of Vice President Michael Pence. I still favor a censure motion that could garner bipartisan and bicameral support.

There are however tough textual and logical hurdles that face these senators. I do not envy them and I tried to offer them the best background that I could on the issue. Each must decide if this is constitutionally permissible. That has divided scholars for decades.  There are a variety of opinions, though virtually all scholars who have written on this issue have said that it is a very close question. Professor Cass Sunstein sees strong arguments on both sides and agrees that the answer is not clear. However, he believes that the House cannot impeach a former official but the Senate can probably convict one. I believe that the balance of the textual analysis favors the narrower view, but (as I said to the senators) there is ample room for debate.

The second question goes to whether this is a sound constitutional practice. In my view, this impeachment shows that the value of retroactive trials is outweighed by the costs. I will not repeat my earlier arguments on that question.  However, those costs are greater with the use of a snap impeachment to bring this case to the Senate without any record from a hearing or witnesses.  Again, I have not changed my view of the historical record on retroactive trials or the value of such trials. Like most scholars I did not focus on this issue in earlier writings, but my view has evolved on textual barriers.  Yet, while my textual view has tightened in the last 20 years, I continue view impeachments as having an important dialogic value separate from the question of removal. That is why I believe the Senate can remove a president up to the last day for the same reason. These trials play an important role in renouncing abusive or corrupt practices. I would still reject a snap impeachment but, if they have hold a hearing and create a sufficient record for the Senate, the value of such impeachments include the condemnation of conduct and not just the removal itself.

As I discuss in a column today in the Hill, there remain prudential concerns that the senators will have to address as well as the lingering constitutional issues.  The procedural vote does indicate that Trump will prevail in the trial and secure a second acquittal. The Senate refused to call witnesses that the House did not call in the first impeachment.  Absent such witnesses, there is no direct evidence of intent by Trump to incite an insurrection. Without such a record, a conviction would be exceptionally unlikely.

151 thoughts on ““Dead Letter”: Almost Half Of The Senate Votes In Support Of Motion Challenging The Constitutionality Of A Second Trump Trial”

  1. Mitch declared that he would not hold the trial before the inauguration, but now says there can be no trial because the inauguration already happened. We now have the precedent, supported by 45 Rs, that the Senate can avoid trying a President just by delaying the trial until they are out of office.

      1. The Constitution does not give former presidents immunity for impeachment. And Trump was impeached while in office.

        1. Impeachment is a political indictment of a President. To borrow a phrase, the House can indict a ham sandwich if they are so inclined. Given the fact the subject of this indictment is no longer the President, it stands to reason prosecuting a civilian to remove him from office is moot. Of course this means the motive of this prosecution has nothing to do with removing this civilian from office. And since the prosecution team knows their efforts will fail to convince the jury of a conviction, it’s obviously a political calculation that will not accomplish anything other than to further entrench Trump supporters and further divide the nation at a time when the current President claims we need to unite.

          So go ahead, make my day.

          1. I am ok going though all of it just to get on record which Senators think that what Trump did was acceptable.

            1. I am ok going though all of it just to get on record which Senators think that what Trump did was acceptable.

              If acceptable were the impeachment standard, we’d need to install a revolving door in the White House, Executive branch offices and court houses. Congress would be holding impeachment trials instead of legislating. Hmmm? You might be on to something there. Anyway, you could save a ton of money and precious time by just asking them.

            2. What is OK for Nancy to declare publicly that Trump and the GOP “highjacked” the 2016 election? Highjacking is a felony crime DEMONKRAUTZ. Was is legal for Maxine to tell DEMONKRAUTZ to find and attack Trump employees? Was it OK for Ka-MAH-la (her pronunciation) to promise antif and blm riots would continue after the election?

          2. Olly, you ignore the constitutional option for denying future office for an impeached officer, an option which makes no sense unless available for those out of office.

            PS I know you don’t GAF about this “constitutional” BS, so can you quit pretending you do?

            1. you ignore the constitutional option for denying future office for an impeached officer

              What Officer would the Senate be convicting?

              You’re right, I don’t GAF about this or any other “constitutional” BS. That’s your qualifier, not mine. After 4 years of your BS, you’re the last person whose opinion on the rule of law and justice anyone should ascribe.

            2. Too bad for you our intrepid Turley quoted the Constitution which states, Re. impeachment, “convict and bar from future office holding” or similar. It does not say OR. Lacking the first half the 2nd half does not exist.

              As someone else already posted: If the Dems rightfully won the 2020 election vs. Trump, how are you not happy if Trump wins the 2024 nomination? Why do you suspect you might lose in 2024 if you rightfully won in 2020? What’s all the fearmongering about? Why so troubled about fighting against the known loser Trump? Why don’t you welcome nominee Trump with open arms? Why are you such a chicken s-it scardy cat of this Hitlerian loser Trump?

              1. Princess, and/or makes no difference as to the Senate’s course to achieve barring from office.

                I’m fine with the Democrats chances of beating Trump for a 3rd time, I’m not fine with the GOP’s continued descent into crazy land. I’m among those who value responsible opposition, even to my own party and it’s principles. As long as the GOP remains a cult under the thumb of this a..hole – actually under the thumb of voters stupid enough to vote twice for him – they continue poisoning debate and governance.

        2. Semantics are damnable thing indeed. The House sent articles of Impeachment to the Senate in the Democrats first attempt to remove President Trump from office and the Senate rejected those articles of Impeachment. The House has again sent articles to the Senate, will they vote to reject these most current articles, I have no idea. But to say that President Trump was impeached is not in any way correct he was never found to have violated any law for which to be impeached. You can howl at the moon all you like and claim your righteousness but you are still wrong. What you profess is asinine and ingenious, impeachment is a two part course, first the articles are presented to prosecutors and if approved they are then sent to the jury for deliberation, if the jury agrees then there is an actual Impeachment if not then there never was an impeachment, just charges that the prosecutors presented.

        3. “The Constitution does not give former presidents immunity for impeachment. ”

          MollyG needs to learn that the Constitution defined the rights government had so what she is saying is a non sequester. Add to that her statements on Sen Cotton and we see another person who is as contemptible as Joe Friday.

          1. you idiot we are talking about an allegation and a trial 2 separate things…you cannot have a trial for impeachment of a citizen…Trump is an ex-President…how can you be so stupid

        4. Trump was not impeached until the single article of impeachment was delivered to the Senate. 5 days after the end of the Trump administration. And. The constitution enumerates the President, Vice President fall under Congresses power of impeachment. Also appointed officers, and judges.
          Citizen Trump fails to fall under any of the constitutional enumerated impeachment categories.

          That is not my opinion. That is the opinion delivered by Chief Justice Roberts.

          “The Chief Justice SHALL preside over the impeachment of the President.” The Chief isn’t there. So which officer or judge is on trial?

    1. The Constitutional question of whether a president can be impeached after leaving office is separate from the one of whether an impeachable act occurred. Proof is required for the latter. Under the Brandenburg test there is none in this case. There should be proof of intention to incite and the instigation to violent action must be imminent to the words uttered. Neither is evident in the Trump speech which anyone can read for themselves.

        1. No. Democrats looked long and hard, extensive committee work, interviews, evidence, and debate. Democrats created exactly one article of impeachment wholly resting on the singular speech of 1-6-21

    2. Molly:

      “We now have the precedent, supported by 45 Rs, that the Senate can avoid trying a President just by delaying the trial until they are out of office.”
      *******************************
      Yeah and we don’t try dead people after they die — ’cause it’s stupid. Damn Republicans! They hate stupid.

    3. So what is your point? You ignore the purpose of impeachment, and exactly who it serves. The people. Congress is a safety valve serving as a proxy for the people. If the senate abuses the trust of the people by abusing their power, the ultimate authority always rests with the people. But then that is the real problem isn’t it? Those messy grubby commoners, ignoring their intellectual, and moral betters.

  2. Yesterday speaking with a friend living in Borroloola, Australia about a report from Yulara that there is a remarkable decrease in the largest Mob of Osphranter Rufus. He did some research and found that the Boomer of the Mob had organized a trip to Washington DC to be in attendance at a trial. The report stated that the Boomer was taking his favorite Jill along with the majority of the troops; they should arrive before the trial starts in February. He will be giving testimony concerning the (validity- legitimacy) of the charges at the trial. He has previously given testimony at various venues about rules of the court and acceptable charges that may be presented. He did allude to the fact that persecutors in the Osphranter Rufus court system may bring any charges, appoint the Judge to conduct the trial, and establish any rule or rules while the trial is conducted. The Boomer was then asked if he will view the Declaration of Independence or request a copy of the Constitution of the United States of American as amended. He indicated he will not take the time away from the trial, and asked why should he, stating they have no relevance to the proceeding he is attending. While leaving the Boomer was asked what political affiliations he may have, he stated the only affiliation he has is with the Osphranter Rufus Court System and was grateful for the invitation to give testimony at the trial.

    1. Not to forget that Cuomo did a complete 180 on opening the economy just as Biden was coming into office and the infection levels in NY were still extremely high. Suggests Cuomo damaged his own small-business sector for months just to hurt Trump’s reelection.

      HOW’S THAT FOR ABUSE OF POWER? Should we cue up an impeachment for Cuomo to make sure he doesn’t ever serve as President?

      1. Or it suggests, as governor, he was forced to ‘open up’ prematurely just to placate an infantile president who actively punished states that didn’t enter into his full on Covid denial.

        Elvis Bug

  3. The Republicans do not want to have to vote on whether to convict Trump which is why they are so afraid of the Trial. But they will have to go on the record knowing that in the fullness of time as more evidence of corruption emerges, their voting to not convict him will damage their legacies. It will be amusing to watch the Trump terrorists blame their leader’s claims of a stolen election in order to justify their actions in a bid to excuse their criminal conduct while the Republicans will attempt to throw them under the bus by claiming that they were “insane”- not unlike Antifa thugs- but not “real” Trump supporters.

      1. He needs a math course. 45 out 100 leaves 55 and 67 is needed. Dems come up short. Another futile impeachment and a waste of time and money.

    1. You would be right if they did not know they have 55 votes to acquit out 100 votes. That does not give the
      Dem a 2/3 vote. They end up with 45 when 67 votes are needed to convict.

    2. They would not convict because they supported Trump’s effort to overturn the election. The Rs have abandoned the concept that elections should decide who governs.

  4. Chief Justice John Roberts will NOT preside. He could have chosen to but decided not. There’s that already.

    Leahy will preside instead. Leahy survived his hospital visit because heaven doesn’t want him and hell’s afraid he’ll takeover. HE’S THAT BITTERLY PARTISAN.

    Whether this trial is constitutional or not, the public will likely take a dim view of the real motivation behind it.

    1. Could it be he is following the Constitution where the chief Justice presides over sitting presidents. Trump is a former president.

      1. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said in an interview on MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show” on Monday that “it was up to John Roberts whether he wanted to preside with a president who’s no longer sitting… And he doesn’t want to do it.”

      2. Bengalmomma, I doubt Roberts would explain why he declined. Anything he might say is bound to make somebody mad.

        1. it’s blatantly unconstitutional and he is not gracing the pretense

          if Congress wants to impeach a private citizen, they need to amend the constitution first.

          and probably in more than one place too. this might implicate the ex post facto law or “corruption of the blood” clauses too

          it’s amazing that they took what was not illegal– Trump’s inflammatory rhetoric, which was fully within the range of protected speech under a long and strong line of cases– but they now want to launch an illegal impeachment trial, to condemn lawful speech.

          obviously, they are in a state of mania. one hopes Biden will have the strength to reign in the crazy.

          I don’t hold out much hope for it, however. I prayed for Pelosi to remain the adult in the room, and she disintegrated under pressure. Im praying for joe too. God grant him grace!

          Sal Sar

            1. This article is a roundup of 6 well known and important SCOTUS cases which sets the limits for speech a lot farther out than most folks realize.

              https://www.thoughtco.com/hate-speech-cases-721215

              if you actually read the case facts, it’s quite amazing how far we can go. Trump was not anywhere near the line.

              However, ACLU is probably not out there objecting, since, ya know, gotta be a team player

              Sal Sar

          1. one hopes Biden will have the strength to reign in the crazy.

            Let’s see if Biden can count backwards by 7s.

            1. no just the constitution., donald will be fine, it’s the republic your blessed leaders are wrecking

              but let it come

              excuse me i have to go check my winnings in #NOK and #AMC

              sal sar

          2. Anonymous (saloth sar), your argument is flawed for one simple reason. You say it’s unconstitutional to impeach a private citizen. That’s true. However trump was not a private citizen when he was impeached. He was still president.

            Impeachment and removal are two different actions. The term “impeachment” isn’t about removal. “Impeachment” is congress charging a government official. Just like a court charging a person. Holding a trial to decide to convict or not is not impeachment. It’s two different actions.

            The process is. Trump was charged as a president which is still constitutional. The process doesn’t stop just because he is no longer president. He still has to answer for the charge. You don’t just walk away because your title changed. It’s no different than being charged as a citizen of a state and suddenly you become a citizen of another before trial. You don’t just become immune from being tried because you’re no longer a citizen of the charging state. You’re still accountable.

            Trump may be a private citizen now. But he was not when he was charged. He still has to stand trial.

            What republicans are doing is saying any president can do what he wants in the last days in office and get away with it because he is no longer president. Everything stops the moment he is no longer in office. Biden could commit a serious impeachable offense a week before his term ends and be impeached, but if he leaves office before the trial he’s not accountable for anything he did. Are you really going to defend Biden if he did exactly the same thing?

    2. Your question is reasonable, and Schumer was trying to imply exactly what you suggested, but the reality is that Schumer was weasel-wording. Roberts probably just said, “no, thanks.”

      1. The cadaver synod attempt failed when Roberts refused to preside. Now it is openly understood to be kangaroo court

        Sal Sar

    3. Chief Justice John Roberts will NOT preside. He could have chosen to but decided not. There’s that already.

      Nope, not even close. It is not a choice. It is a constitutional requirement. “The Chief Justice SHALL preside over the Senate Trial of the President.”

      The CJ did not make a choice, he is following a constitutional mandate. The President of the United States is Joe Biden. Joe Biden is not the defendant. The constitutional language is clear.

  5. Us citizens just sit back and laugh at a total dysfunctional government and so does the rest of the world…the constitution specifically says only a,the,sitting President can be tried by the Senate…nobody heard or read his speech January 6th…he wanted a PEACEFUL walk to the white house just like the walks of Martin Luther King…does anybody hate MLK…NO…Rosa Parks…NO…Obama…NO…but all democrats HATE Trump…why not just burn up the constitution if we are not going to follow the damn thing?…Twitter is full of hate speech for Trump…never removed…a former friend…a MD…pediatric neurologist said to me Trump should be in jail for life or WORSE…now talk about sick and off the rails talk…that’s a felony!!!…the democrats just keep punching Trump even out of office…what would happen if a bunch of white thugs beat up and killed a young defenseless black girl after raping her…and then admitted the crime…all would be on death row…the left just keeps beating and beating up Trump…just like a bunch of thugs…50 to 1…if 50 grown people attacked you or your wife or your kids…what would you do…the left would just say poor things just give them money and jobs and sensitivity training and they will be fine…you might say but my wife or child is dead…the left would say you’ll get over it in time…just like OJ…free as a bird.

  6. I stated that such trials play an important dialogic role even on a retroactive basis.

    The ‘dialogic’ role they want it to play is buttressing a false claim that Trump is responsible for the broken windows, the theft of hag Pelosi’s laptop, and the killing of Ashli Babbitt.

    Note, that not one Democratic Senator was willing to declare that impeaching an official who is out of office is humbug and that only one of the five Republicans who dissented in that caucus does not have an antecedent record of antagonism to Trump. The notion the merits were of interest to any but a count-on-your-fingers minority is rubbish.

    1. “The notion the merits were of interest to any but a count-on-your-fingers minority is rubbish.”

      It is rubbish to even those five. The Dems +5 like to throw rubbish and they have been doing that for greater than 4 years.

  7. Prairie, Trump set the day and time and promised big results. That day he and his fellow speakers incited the crowd to violence.

    “WASHINGTON (AP) — The House impeachment debate on Wednesday heard a distorted account of President Donald Trump’s remarks to his supporters a week ago when he exhorted them to “fight like hell” before they swarmed the Capitol.

    REP. GUY RESCHENTHALER, R-Pa.: “At his rally, President Trump urged attendees to, quote, unquote, peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard. There was no mention of violence, let alone calls to action.”

    THE FACTS: Trump’s speech was a call to action — a call to fight and save the country.

    “Our country has had enough,” he told those who went on to stage the violent siege of the Capitol.

    “We will not take it anymore and that’s what this is all about. To use a favorite term that all of you people really came up with, we will stop the steal.”

    Reschenthaler accurately quoted a line from Trump, when the president told supporters “I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.”

    But throughout his remarks, Trump spoke of the need to “fight,” to be angry, to stop President-elect Joe Biden from taking office.

    — “We fight like hell and if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.”

    — “We want to go back, and we want to get this right because we’re going to have somebody in there that should not be in there and our country will be destroyed, and we’re not going to stand for that.”

    — “Nobody knows what the hell is going on. There’s never been anything like this. We will not let them silence your voices. We’re not going to let it happen. Not going to let it happen.” The crowd repeatedly chanted “Fight for Trump!” “Thank you,” Trump said.

    He assailed “weak,” “pathetic” Republicans who were not standing with him in his push to overturn the election results, and said “there’d be hell all over the country” if Democrats had been robbed of an election win.

    “But just remember this,” he went on. “You’re stronger, you’re smarter. You’ve got more going than anybody, and they try and demean everybody having to do with us, and you’re the real people. You’re the people that built this nation. You’re not the people that tore down our nation.”

    —“We will not be intimidated into accepting the hoaxes and the lies that we’ve been forced to believe over the past several weeks.”

    He told his refuted stories of “ballot harvesting” and thousands of dead people voting.

    —“And we got to get rid of the weak congresspeople, the ones that aren’t any good, the Liz Cheneys of the world, we got to get rid of them. We got to get rid of them.”…”

    https://apnews.com/article/fact-check-trump-us-capitol-remarks-221518bc174f9bc3dd6e108e653ed08d

    1. Still in that remedial posting class, Gainesville? Again you hit the “reply” button under the comment you want to respond to and not the general reply. Hey, are you auditioning for a job in the Biden Ministry of Truth? Lol you’re hired!

    2. Friday, regrettably, Turley is defending Trump like his good friend Barr. He cannot be objective when he is working for Fox/Trump TV. He self-censors himself by not disparaging Trump on-air. He is paid to defend him when he is called upon by the opinion hosts.

    3. Rhetorical fight is used by politicians of both sides and the fact that the vast majority of protesters did not take it literal shows that. Add to that all that went in were not Trump supporters and arrived to start their damage 30 minutes before Trump left the stage. Read District of Columbia arrests and Affidavits. It was a mixed bag of nutters that caused violence.

    4. “Trump set the day and time and promised big results.”

      Methinks it is way more complicated and involves more than meets the eye. Whether Trump is involved, I have no idea.

      P. 133-134 of Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes.

      Perhaps I’m too cynical. It’s looks more like nasty melodrama than just an unexpected, organic descent into a mob.

  8. Folks….as usual the salient point is missed by the Left who comment here.

    Turley stated he was invited by the Republicans to offer his scholarly analysis of the issues relevant to this Second Impeachment….which he did.

    That is not the missed point…..the point being missed….is the Democrats refuse to do the same and invite Turley to come make the exact same presentation to them.

    That lack of intellectual curiosity by the Democrats paints their partisan bias in big bold colors for all to see….except for those that refuse to see which know makes them the most blind of us.

    The first Impeachment failed exactly as Professor Turley told the Democrats it would and for the exact reasons he cited.

    They did not like it then when he told them under the blaring lights of public Hearing.

    This second Impeachment is based upon an even more preposterous basis and the Democrats know exactly what Professor Turley is going to tell them and they do not want to hear again….especially as they know him to be right yet again.

    Folks….the definition of “Stupid” is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

    Democrats re being stupid here and it shall be proven to them as the Senate hands Nancy Pelosi another horrible defeat which is going to cost the Democrats dearly in the future.

    The Democrats should use their way of ending Wars they lose….remove the troops and simply declare Victory for having done so.

    1. Chappell, I wonder if Turley suggested that the Republicans should censure Trump which Turley advocates in his writings? We’ll see if ANY Republicans call for Trump’s censure…..

      1. The House rejected the Censure effort offhand and did the Snap Impeachment simply because all they seek to accomplish is prevent Trump from being able to run in 2024. They fear and hate of Trump blinds them to reality. They could have succeeded with a Censure but that would not an Trump from running again…..thus they cut off their own collective noses once again!

        Deal with reality as it is…..not that you wish it were!

  9. The 9/11 Commission left out a large area for reform. The 9/11 Commission never dealt with Senator Frank Church’s “Church Committee” unconstitutional abuses using Cointelpro style tactics, by multiple agencies in the 1970’s.

    In October of 2001, the national American Civil Liberties Union warned that with 21st Century computer technology and Attorney John Ashcroft introducing practices that violate the American Oath of Office – America in 2001 had the perfect environment for a “Cointelpro-On-Steroids”.

    Cointelpro style blacklisting is the worst form of torture program used by the American government. Trump’s extreme wing will likely be the top target of this torture program. This is a lifetime torture program.

    Trump supporters should be urging their members of Congress to convene a “21st Century Truth Commission on Unconstitutional Authoritarianism” and asking Congress to specifically include “Cointelpro style tactics” as part of the federal statute. Ronald Reagan banned all torture in the United States and this form of blacklisting is the most evil program in existence. Some Trump supporters are target #1 in 2021.

  10. Correction. Headline should read “Most Republicans Challenge Motion. Lose to Bipartisan Majority”.

    Like we would expect anything different from Turley or this sorry excuse for a political party. It’s a cult.

    1. Comrade Joe:
      Still smarting from reality, I see. Don’t worry. Plenty of seats still available for this kabuki theater. Oh and (spoiler alert) the hero of the play lives to run another day. Meanwhile, Sleepy Joe continues directing the band on the Titanic. The midterms and 2024 can’t get here fast enough. I expect more marches on DC in the coming months. BLM and ANTIFA have shown many the way to get things done and the Dims have only themselves to blame for the anarchy around. Btw, don’t hear much about defunding the police now that Dims have their pants full of scared. Such a clown show.

      1. Mespo, you lost the election.

        (Points to the scoreboard.)

        Your predictions are eagerly anticipated by your mother.

          1. today Texas will vote to succeed from the union…if it passes and I expect it will the US is done and other states will follow and I hope they kick ALL demorats OUT!!!

  11. Biden will be up for impeachment within a year. The information about money coming from Commie China to sonny boy Hunter and then into Bidens pocket will come out soon.

      1. Just wondering whether you might have read Peter Schweitzer’s PROFILES IN CORRUPTION. The first chapter is devoted to Kamala. It’s scary to think about the order of succession – first Kamala, then Nancy.

  12. Translation: 90% of Republican senators voted against hearing the evidence in a trial (again), despite many of them complaining that courts supposedly did the same with Trump’s lawsuits about the election, and, unlike in those cases, there was a crime (much worse than Benghazi, it was Americans killing Americans) and significant evidence of Trump’s involvement in it.

    Will JT be Trump’s defence lawyer, or does he like to be paid for his work?

    1. Scooter….you missed something…..the House did. not bother to hear any evidence in this second Impeachment to begin with….so why should the House expect the Senate to again be the place where that is done?

      If you read the Constitution….that pesky thing that keeps tripping up the Democrats….it is the House’s duty to do the evidence gathering and present it to the Senate as the basis for the Articles of Impeachment.

      Hearing of the evidence under the Due Process Clause demands the accused be able to offer its response and any evidence it has….and the prosecution is supposed to offer any and all exculpatory evidence it is aware of or have in its possession.

      That is why the Senate has rejected both of the Impeachments offered up by the Democrats.

      Thus proving the Founding Fathers are were a damn sight far smarter than today’s Democrats…..they saw you coming over two hundred years ago and put in place a procedure that presents rule by Mob.

      1. Sure Ralph, being a personality cult that doesn’t have the decency to clean up it’s own mess – again – had nothing to do with it and of course it would have been a violation of the Constitution for the Senate to hear a 1st person witness on the event in question.

        Whahhh, wait, what?

      2. Please quote where in the Constitution it says the House has to collect the evidence? You can’t because it is not there.

    2. Turley said in an earlier article: “In his speech to a massive rally on Jan. 6, Trump did not call for violence; rather, he called on his supporters to go “peacefully” to Capitol Hill to show support for senators backing an electoral-vote challenge and opposition to those who opposed it. Such protests are common in capitals, from statehouses to Congress, during legislative sessions.”

      Of course, this is a lie because such electoral challenges don’t result in attempting to kill legislator! But Turley concedes that Trump should be censured for the following reasons:

      “Such a joint statement of condemnation by the two houses could be based on three grounds.

      First, Trump — as well as his son, Donald Jr., and his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani — whipped the Jan. 6 crowd into a frenzy before the rioting in the Capitol. While Trump’s speech would not constitute criminal incitement, it was inciteful and unpresidential. Before that, on Twitter, he called thousands to the city for a “wild time,” and then worked some into a frothing mob.

      Second, Trump repeated clearly false statements about the constitutional process and made the unconscionable demand that Pence should usurp that process by “sending back” electoral votes. As many of us said repeatedly for weeks, Pence had no such authority and could not unilaterally act as Trump demanded. Yet, Trump continued to tell his followers that such authority existed — leading many of them to launch a hashtag campaign to “#hangmikepence.”

      Third, Trump was conspicuously silent as this riot engulfed the Congress. It was not until the next day that he clearly denounced all of the violence and called for the prosecution of those responsible. On the day in question, he gave a widely ridiculed statement thanking his supporters and saying he understood their anger. It may not have been criminal incitement — but it was an outrageous failure to denounce the violence, immediately and unequivocally.”

      No mention of Trump’s Big Lie that the ELECTION WAS STOLEN. That lie is what motivated the crowd to storm the Capitol, but Turley will never mention this pernicious lie because it was enabled by his employer Fox News. And Turley has NEVER suggested on-air, to my knowledge, that he believes that Trump should be censured. That is an opinion which he dare not say on Fox because the opinion hosts refuse to broach the topic of censure. It is a pathetic that what Turley states on this blog, he knows better not to say on Fox.

      1. Good play Jeffery, quoting Turley on reasons for a censure. I hope someone reads that during the trial.

        Ignored here is the fact that Pelosi begged the GOP to clean up this mess itself so we wouldn’t have to have another impeachment. They couldn’t get it up. Again. And still can’t. He’s the GOP permanent stain and they’re trying to blame it on Nancy and the Dems.

        1. Friday, You know as well as I do that Republicans will not censure Trump, nor will Turley advocate for it on Fox! He states a case for censure so as to separate himself from Trumpism- after all, he has to preserve somewhat his academic credibility. Turley has a knack for appealing to both sides- 1) sure you can Impeach Trump for his Ukraine call, but the Democrats’ case lacked enough evidence; 2) sure you can impeach a president after he leaves office to condemn his conduct, but not unless the House Democrats hold months of hearings lest there is a “snap” Impeachment; 3) sure there was sufficient grounds to appoint a Special Prosecutor to investigate Trump, but Meuller did not indict; therefore, Turley parrots Trump’s lie of “no collusion” when Turley knows that Meuller specifically stated that he did not exonerate Trump.

          1. Jeffrey Silverman, After reading Turley’s long winded column on his wishy washy back and forth “conundrum “ it is clear that Turley is trying very hard to put his square logical reasoning into a round hole. If one were to describe the kinds of mental contortions Turley’s is making it would resemble a nest of garter snakes.

            I think you’re right, Turley doesn’t really want to say what he knows he needs to say because of his employment at Fox News. It’s a lucrative exposure for preening his credibility as an “expert”.

            What I found amusing was Turley’s ample praise for republicans “knowledge” of the constitution. I don’t but the pretty picture he painted with his meeting. It would make more sense that the republicans wanted Turley to find a believable excuse for nof indicting Trump.

            All the democrats need to do is bring up his own supporters as witnesses. The ones who have already very publicly admitted that they did it because they knew it’s what the president wanted, that they were just following Trump’s implied actions. Republicans would have a real hard time ignoring that direct link to the incitement.

        1. Joe, Silverman, and Svelz, the anti-Turley hate squad checking in daily on Turley’s blog.

          Strange how those who dislike him so much are so eager to play in his sandbox

          Sal Sar

    3. The Republican Senators voted on the constitutionality of having the trial. Not against hearing evidence. Just like a jury is prohibited from hearing the ” fruits of the poisonous tree”, even though that evidence is solid, Trump could admit to this ” insurrection” and it would not matter. Those 45 Senators think the whole process is unconstitutional. Therefore, they will never vote guilty. Which they should not given the circumstances. So this whole process is a waste of time and money. Just the party of tolerance, diversity, ( except for thought) and unity seeking retribution from a guy who sent mean tweets.

  13. Turley: everything you said just solidified my thoughts that this second trial has to take place. Not just because it’s the logical effect of a president who clearly incited a mob of entitled white people to overrun and butt f^&k the Capitol. To me this further clarifies that it may just be time to scuttle impeachment altogether and make it possible to indict a sitting American president. There is a strand of legal academe, exemplified by yourself, that clearly has wavering standards on what constitutes a ‘good’ impeachment and the whole issue seems stagnant beyond. By using bits of the Constitution to squash other bits of the Constitution, Republican lawyers such as yourself have managed to cripple the system…

    Pat yourselves on the back, Jon…, it is indeed quite the accomplishment on your end.

    And I love your endless optimism by listing the vote as 45-55 like this is a tennis match in which the score is recited according to who holds serve. That’s a telling mindset, Jon…

    Truthfully though, taken in terms of opinion polling going into a trial that has not yet happened, the do nothing about trump caucus is behind by ten points. Dems can make the case of this being about barring trump from running again, and it would be awesome if, going with the sentiment that trump is now a private citizen, that he be called to testify. Put Hawley and Cruz up as well — they’re like the drunken frat boys that whipped the party up into date rape territory just as Trump did.

    Hard to see, anything other than sheer political corruption on the part of the Republican party how trump can skate past his statement blared through a microphone that his crowd should fight like hell and that he was going to walk with them down to the Capitol. Run that on a loop, watch the minute by minute destruction (and the capacity for the situation to have become so much worse so quickly) and put seditionists on the stand, giving them enough rope to hang themselves.

    Elvis Bug

    1. God you’re an ugly cuss.

      Insult the messenger and advocating stripping the Constitution as a form of tantrum therapy.

      All because you want vengeance on Trump.

      Vindictive, insulting and self-important.

      1. And yet I have much more respect for Turley than you do.

        “God you’re an ugly cuss.”

        So glad you think this, Jethro because if you agreed with me on anything it would be an insult.

        Elvis Bug

        1. Indeed Elvis. There will be evidence in the Senate this time. We can hear about Trump happily watching the riot while it occurred while GOP Senators object on procedural grounds and quote Turley

          Good times!

          1. You mean evidence that the riot started 30 minutes before Trump left the stage. Evidence such as members of groups that do not support Trump.

    2. The fact that you trolls address Prof. Turley personally like he is your bud and this is a PM gives away your age, and your age gives away plenty more in relation to what you type (which if you are paid, may or may not even reflect your true thoughts). Your ilk are either snowflakes or someone that raised snowflakes. Everyone should be welcome in a conversation. Incessant invective hurling is not generally regarded as such.

      1. Waste of a paragraph, chin. You said nothing but right wing media invective. Step up and stop being such a wussy snowflake.

        Elvis Bug

    3. there is no jurisdiction to impeach a private citizen.

      consider perhaps that at best it is a waste of time, at worst, blatantly unconstitutional

      or, perhaps, it might even create a president that other living presidents might not like

      we can be fairly certain, this thing is dead now. but, feel free to keep exerting emotional energy on it if that pleases you

      Sal Sar

  14. development in the United States would never have happened like this if the Soviet dictatorship had not fallen. Now the United States is moving towards a communist dictatorship. I wonder if the American people realize that. We who lived under communist dictatorship do not understand what you are doing?

    1. The younger, and growing radical contingent (and a few of the old ones) through their unprecedented historical and personal ignorance honestly think they WANT something akin to Soviet Communism. I agree with your statement completely, but we are staring real live, bonafide indoctrination and entitlement in the face.

      1. Love when right wingers talk about Soviet communism like they know anything about what they speak of. Or that Uncle Vlad didn’t have trump so wrapped.

        Elvis Bug

        1. A question for you….exactly how many Communists have you met face to face….especially the ones with guns trying to kill you?

          Some of us have…and know first hand how evil the Communist method of dealing with those who resist their doctrine can be.

          How. many Millions of people have been murdered by Communist Regimes down through history?

          Sorry but when it comes to Communists and Communism there is but one sure fire way of dealing with them.

          One true test of the competing philosophies is to measure the rate of defection from one direction to the other isn’t it?

          How many “Boat People” do you know of that risked death to flee to Cuba or to South Vietnam after the North Vietnamese took over….or Hungarians, Poles, or East Germans.

          Now convince me of why we do not see millions seeking a place in the various Workers Utopias under the Communists as compared to those seeking freedom under our capitalist societies?

          1. maybe similar to why they keep on showing up to hate on Turley at Turley’s web page. they are evangelizing the unbelievers

            sal sar

  15. The vote by senate republicans almost guarantees the end of the filibuster. Also, the passage of HR1 and the federal takeover from the states in federal elections and signature identification of ballots. Obey the collective.

  16. In 2016 did you oppose the Democrats challenge to election results? What is your opinion on the desperate measures of Democrats using the FBI and DOJ to punish Trump for winning? What is your opinion today that all discourse from conservatives be canceled and all members punished. Being a victim of this practice of discrimination I’m very interested.

    1. Phyllis, in 2016 no one knew about the protest challenge to the vote in 2016 because the candidate and leadership didn’t support.it and no senators did either. YOur scumbag candidate claimed he was cheated months before the 1st vote was cast and had a majority of your House members going along with the charade.

      The Democrats did not investigate Trump. The IG Horowitz investigated the FBI – rub by Republican Comey – and found the it was started on a sound basis and there was no politics or “spying” involved.

      Quit being sloppy with the facts.

      1. Really? You just barfed up the propaganda you were fed. In the newly unclassified documents on the Russia probe Brennan admits the whole thing was preplanned to cover for Clinton’s emails and use of an illegal server. There was lying to the FISA court in order for them to “surveil” the Trump campaign. Surveillance is spying. Educate yourself with true facts.

      2. Joe F BTW there is video of Nancy Pelosi, Schiff, Schumer and others calling out Republicans for cheating and Hillary still says the election was stolen from her.

      3. I was well aware of it in 2016 and had no complaints. How did you miss it? No it never went to Congress because after a recount and at least in one state Trump got more votes. That’s called quitting while you are ahead. Are you aware that there are still states in the process of auditing their election?

  17. Don’t believe your eyes or your ears! Shameful and appalling. The Republican members of the Senate are shameful and appalling and so are you. The American people know what they saw and heard but never mind. Trump can order his hordes to do anything including attack the Congress and threaten the execution of members of Congress and kill police officers but never mind.

    Smarmy, arrogant and morally bankrupt. They have set the stage for the next demagogue. Happy now, Professor? We are no longer a country of laws but of men….sick, angry, vengeful and authoritarian men who can literally get away with murder.

    1. Justice Holmes ( a joke of a name ), I believe you are psychologically practicing transference ( favorite Democrat ploy ). Your vitriol, hate, and anger projects a stench off the screen towards the reader.

    2. Read the speech. He did no such thing.

      There were a lot of useful idiots in that crowd, though.

    3. get back on your anti-psychotic drugs and increase the dose…you are a very sick and evil human…the psych ward is a good place for you before you harm yourself or others.

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