Former President Donald Trump’s defense team rested its case early Friday, with one attorney declaring the Senate’s impeachment trial has been little more than a waste of the country’s time.
Democrats this week pulled out all the stops to try to convince a total of 67 senators that the former president was guilty of “incitement of insurrection” in connection with the mob that breached the Capitol building on Jan. 6.
Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland was arguably unsuccessful in using his theatrics to convince enough Republicans to vote to convict Trump. Tried as he and Democratic Rep. David Cicilline of Rhode Island did, it’s doubtful they moved the needle.
One moment from Wednesday summarized how badly Democrats handled the case against Trump — or lack thereof — when Raskin, the lead impeachment manager, agreed to withdraw a piece of erroneous reporting as evidence.
GOP Sen. Mike Lee of Utah had challenged the veracity of the evidence, leading to some chaos. As Raskin put it, what was in the article was “not true.”
“We’re happy to withdraw it on the grounds that it is not true. We’re going to withdraw it this evening,” he said.
The House Democrats’ impeachment managers just admitted they’ve been peddling FAKE-NEWS! pic.twitter.com/P2XNNaF0RC
— Trump War Room (@TrumpWarRoom) February 11, 2021
The moment summed up the case for Democrats, who at first said Trump directly incited a riot that was actually pre-planned. The party then pivoted on that position — instead approaching the incursion as one that was incited over time as Trump challenged the election. Ultimately, they want him barred from ever running from office again, which is what this week was about.
Their arguments fell apart after a start that attempted to pull at the heartstrings, thus wasting the time of everyone involved, which Trump attorney Bruce Castor pointed out quite eloquently in his closing argument.
“Our country needs to get back to work. I know that you know that. But instead we are here. The majority party promised to unify and deliver more COVID relief. But instead, they did this,” Castor said, referring to the impeachment trial.
In a surprise ending that implicitly demonstrated just how frivolous the Democrats’ exercise has been, the attorney then vowed not to use the defense’s allotted time.
“We will not take most of our time today, us in the defense, in the hope that you will take back these hours, and use them to get delivery of COVID relief to the American people,” he said.
In a reference to the left’s cancel culture, Castor added: “Let us be clear: This trial is about far more than President Trump. It is about silence and banning the speech the majority does not agree with.”
“It is about canceling 75 million Trump voters and criminalizing political viewpoints. That is what this trial is really about,” he said. “It’s the only existential issue before us. It asks for constitutional cancel culture to take over in the United States Senate.”
Castor concluded his remarks by urging the majority party, whichever party that might be, to refrain from engaging in such partisan spectacles in the future. But the real message was that the trial was such a waste of time that it was unworthy of the Trump defense team even using its full allotted hours to make a case to counter the Democrats’ empty argument.
Indeed, Democrats haven’t wasted so much of the American people’s time — and money — since the last time they impeached Trump a year ago and failed to secure a conviction in the Senate. This effort seems certain to meet the same fate.
What are Democrats doing, though, if not wasting time and money?
The entire ordeal could wrap up by the end of this weekend. Senators could vote to acquit Trump by as early as Saturday afternoon. They are, as of now, expected to do just that.
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