Sifting Through The Ashes, Part 37 – Should the 2d Impeachment happen?

Greetings and Salutations;

Today, #3×2’s remaining lawyers spoke at length on the Senate Floor, arguing that the Senate Trial should not happen at all. They supposedly had two major points to demonstrate why this action was illegal.

  • They were planning to argue that it was not a Constitutionally valid action because it goes against the Language of the Constitution.
  • They were planning to speak at length about how #3×2 was simply exercising his First Amendment rights to free speech.
  • IN addition, because of these First Amendment Rights, his words were simply opinion, and, not inciting an insurrection.

Well, The House Impeachment Managers stepped up to the podium, and presented such a powerful, well prepared explanation of exactly why the actions and words of #3×2 leading up to the attempted coup warranted this trial, the defense was shaken, and apparently was forced at the last moment, to change their strategy.

The reality that the defense has almost nothing valid to base its objections on, and, their presentation was so disorganized and convoluted that a first year law student would be failed if they presented it. All of the speeches I mention are available online, of course, as the Internet Never Forgets. There are clips and discussion of the presentations by Coster and Schoen on Youtube that are worth watching, if one has not followed the sequence of events. In short, though, what follows are some of the arguments their pitiful presentation included. By the by, my characterization is shared by even Republicants out there….

  1. This trial is nothing more than a group of enraged people (I assume these are Democrats) who are seeking revenge.
  2. This trial is punishing #3×2 for using his First Amendment Rights.
  3. #3×2 has not been afforded “Due Process” rights guaranteed to all citizens.
  4. This trial is UnConstitutional because it is being applied to a citizen…not the President.
  5. The goal of this trial has already been reached…the offending person has already been removed from office (In this case, by a massive vote of the Citizens).

There were several other smallish points in the rambling presentations by Castor and Schoen in their attempt to get the Senate to vote NOT to allow the process to continue. However, there is not one true Premise in the list.

  1. While it is true that many Citizens are enraged by the events of Jan 6, this is hardly seeking revenge. If, for example, this were the case, I suspect that a group of Liberals would have already kidnapped #3×2, and, after forcing a video confession, strung him up from the Golden Gate Bridge. Since, though, Liberals do respect the rule of law and the Constitution, this is a valid trial being handled under the common rules applied to all such actions. While I, personally, will not like it if #3×2 is not convicted, I, and many others, are NOT going to engage in Vigilante Justice. I would be disappointed in anyone calling themselves a Citizen who is not enraged by the hateful and vitriolic speech that lead to the coup attempt on Jan. 6.
  2. The issue of First Amendment rights to free speech is without merit too. Just to remind anyone who might have forgotten, there are three aspects of this Amendment that are important. A) The First Amendment controls the interaction between the Government and the Citizens. It is there so Citizens can express opposition to the Government, without fear of retribution. B) The president, by virtue of the Office, does not have the same protections that the Citizens have. The fact that the president’s words have the power of the state behind them causes the issue of point “A” to kick in. C) The Rights of Free Speech are not unlimited. Specifically…such things as inciting insurrection, making viable threats against another person, Slander or Libel, and even the classic example of yelling “FIRE” in a crowded movie theatre when there IS no fire, are examples of speech that are NOT protected and can subject the person using them to penalties and consequences, either from fellow citizens, or the Government. This Link leads to a more complete list and discussion of the types of speech that are NOT protected.
  3. The argument about “Due Process” is appealing and sounds very valid. However, alas, it, too, is without merit. The concept of “Due Process” is limited to Criminal and Civil actions in a court of law. Impeachment is a political process, and the Constitution itself lays out the parameters, including whatever “Due Process” is required. Here is a somewhat more detailed explanation of this issue.
  4. This premise is so out in left field that it approaches being a complete joke. It stinks of desperation, though. To run over the facts…#3×2 was impeached by the House in December of 2020. He was, at the time, still occupying the Oval Office. The ONLY reason that the trial did not happen in December was because the Senate had adjourned, and Moscow Mitch dug his heels in, and refused to call any Senators back to consider the charges. The lawyers also tried to blame Nancy Pelosi for this delay…Again…a totally false premise, as she was quite eager to get the trial over with, and, since she is Speaker of the HOUSE, she has no control over the actions of the Senate.
  5. This wily argument certainly sounds reasonable at first. However, yet again…There are no merits to the premise. Why? The lawyer carefully ignored two major facts. A) There is precedent for impeaching and convicting elected officials after they have left office. Amusingly enough, in this article detailing the precedents, the very first one listed is of our own William Blount! (No…it did not turn out well for him.) B) The Trial by the Senate has to determine two things…not one. The first question, of course, is removal from office. The second question, which is still relevant, is “Should this person be banned from holding any public office again?” There is no question, in my mind that the answer to this second question is “Yes”. However, #3×2’s lawyers carefully ignored this second issue to be determined in their presentation.

I do not know if it is significant, but, Castor has one major mark of infamy to his name. He is the Prosecutor who refused to indict O. J. Simpson for the murders he committed. He has also represented at least one other high-profile sexual abuse case, and, he, himself was subject to accusations (which he settled out of court).

Schoen, while in his earlier years, did do some good work in the area of Civil Rights and such, his recent history has been less than stellar. He, for example, has represented both Roger Stone, and was scheduled to represent Jeffery Epstein before his untimely death. Were I looking for a lawyer, these two cases alone would cause me to walk away from him. In addition, he is yet another person caught up in the personality Cult. He has pushed sketchy, conspiracy theories, apparently putting the success of his friends and clients above his responsibilities to the Court and the Constitution. For example, he cast doubt on the Mueller Report and its findings. Here is an article looking at the history of Castor and Shoen in the law, and in connection with #3×2

In closing, I want to add my opinion about why it is vital not only to hold this trial, but, if at all possible, pressure enough Republicant’s to vote for conviction that it will become a done deal. If we do not prosecute the Impeachment indictment, it will send an unmistakable message to any other president who is totally unable to behave in an ethical, empathetic manner that (as some commentators are calling it) they will have a “January exemption” where they can do anything they want to in the last month or so of their term without fear of consequences. This is, obviously, a direct attack on the rule of law, and the concept built into the Constitution that NO one is above the law, and malfeasance will be dealt with under the law. In addition, the lack of consequences will show any coming fascists that they can get away with ignoring the law, and overthrowing the Constitution to put them in power forever. We were lucky this time. #3×2 certainly had the desire, but he lacked the IQ or ability to implement this coup successfully. I can almost guarantee that the next fascist will not have ANY of these failings. They are likely to have the ability to inflame the masses by pandering to their hate and fear. They will also be smart enough to understand where they need to build power in order to overthrow the Constitution. No matter the outcome, we must do two things. First – Push through this Impeachment trial to the end. Secondly, every Citizen has GOT to remain vigilant, watching for the signs of such an attempt happening again. As a part of this, we must each understand what the Candidates stand for; what their record is; and then vote for the Candidate that is best for the WHOLE country…not just our little tribe.

God Help Us All (Bee safe…wear your mask, social distance…wash hands…minimize trips out)

Bee Man Dave.

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