From Esquire, by Charles P. Pierce:
He arrived at the event waving a newspaper with the banner headline “ACQUITTED” over his head and, when Dr. Arthur Brooks, the conservative religious leader in charge, made the mistake of referring to the obscure Christian concept of loving your enemies, the president* had a ready response to that heretical notion.
Arthur, I don’t know if I agree with you.
At which point, the president* brought out the hammer and drove the nails into his own palms with his usual alacrity.
As everybody knows, my family, our great country and your president have been put through a terrible ordeal by some very dishonest and corrupt people. They have done everything possible to destroy us and by so doing very badly hurt our nation. They know what they are doing is wrong, but they put themselves far ahead of our great country.Weeks ago and again yesterday, courageous Republican politicians and leaders had the wisdom, fortitude and strength to do what everyone knows was right.
As dozens of attendees stared into their fruit cups and longed for the sweet release of the Rapture, the president* continued to read from Paul’s Second Epistle to the Hannitites.
I don’t like people who use their faith as justification for doing what they know is wrong nor do I like people who say, ‘I pray for you,’ when they know that’s not so. So many people have been hurt and we can’t let that go on. We have allies, we have enemies, sometimes the allies are enemies but we just don’t know it. But we’re changing all that.
From the Washington Post:
Trump attorney Alan Dershowitz, responding to a question from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) about whether it matters if there was a quid pro quo, argued that it didn’t if the president believed he was acting in the nation’s interest.
And, Dershowitz said, Trump believes that him staying president is in the public’s interest.
Every public official, Dershowitz said, “believes that his election is in the public interest. If a president does something which he believes will help him get elected in the public interest, that cannot be the kind of quid pro quo that results in impeachment.”
Dershowitz said it shouldn’t be impeachable for a president to think, “I’m a great president; I think I’m the greatest president there ever was; if I’m not elected, the national interest will suffer greatly,” and act accordingly.
So, essentially, anything goes if you believe yourself to be a very stable genius who deserves to be re-elected. Lie, cheat, steal, bribe. It’s all good. My god.
From the NYT:
Mr. Kushner, who has been overseeing Mr. Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign, has generally stayed quiet on the impeachment investigation. On Wednesday, he waved away the impeachment proceedings as “silliness” and said he preferred working on immigration reform and infrastructure.
Mr. Kushner also noted that over his three years in government, the White House has “cycled out a lot of bad people,” but he declined to name names.
From the NYT:
By Monday morning, several Republican senators had angrily called the White House trying to determine who at the administration knew about Mr. Bolton’s manuscript, which aides there have had for several weeks, and what was in it. They told the White House they felt blindsided, according to people briefed on the calls who insisted on anonymity to describe private discussions.
One reason for their ire is that Mr. Bolton’s account flies in the face of the rationale the president’s lawyers have offered the Senate for his actions, and which many Republicans have latched onto themselves as a defense of his conduct.
Republican Sen. John Cornyn told reporters that President Trump “probably had a mixed motive” for withholding aid to Ukraine.
Cornyn said it’s “a little hard to believe” that it was “solely” about Burisma. He said the Obama and Trump administrations “were concerned about burden sharing with our European allies” and corruption.
Asked if he thought that Trump wanted to hurt former Vice President Joe Biden’s political campaign, Cornyn said, “I mean that’s the other thing. Biden hadn’t even won the nomination.”
“I just think it seems a little far-fetched,” he said.
“Based on my experience with Republican colleagues in the House, I suspect that many Senate Republicans are hearing the facts of this case for the first time.”—- Justin Amash, an independent member of Congress (and former Republican) from Michigan
From the New York Times:
So President Trump’s impeachment trial poses a unique and particularly onerous challenge for the 100 senators of the 116th Congress: a daily vow of silence that will be in effect beginning at 1 p.m. and for the duration of the proceedings, sometimes long into the night.
Senators will be confined to their desks, forced to stash their cellphones in cubbies and barred from speaking, even in hushed tones, as seven House impeachment managers and Mr. Trump’s defense team debate whether the president committed high crimes and misdemeanors.
To remind them, sessions of the trial will begin each afternoon with the Senate sergeant-at-arms uttering a dramatic command that dates to 1868 and the nation’s first presidential impeachment trial: “All persons are commanded to keep silence, on pain of imprisonment.” (There is no record of a Senate forcing jail time on one of its own.)
Asked about the limitations, Senator James Lankford, Republican of Oklahoma, joked that “all of us are taking bets on Lindsey Graham,” the garrulous South Carolina Republican who spent the Clinton trial as an impeachment manager, making the case that the president should be removed from office for lying about an affair with a White House intern.
“That’s the only one I really know of that I’m really worried about for six hours,” Mr. Lankford said of Mr. Graham.
“Isn’t it about time Lindsey goes ape shit for me like he did for Kavanaugh?”