Van Der Veen Owns Impeachment Trial Fourth Day

In the senate impeachment trial the Democrats have generally won the show and tell with video, as the Republicans will win the case. Although, the Republican lawyers were better on Friday. This is likely due to the advice of Senators Cruz, Lee, and Graham.

Friday’s Standouts

Standouts on Friday were the performances of Trump lawyer David Schoen and Michael van der Veen. Bruce Castor was better on Friday, but continues to disappoint, as when he referred to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger as Ben Roethlisberger, an NFL quarterback.

The Republicans did suffer, as has been widely noted, from a disadvantage on comms. The Democrats have had a slick and persuasive media presentation, albeit a tad redundant, while Republicans have relied on one short video clip, produced with bizarrely inappropriate music in the background, that they played over and over again without respite.

Perhaps it is because Democrats enjoy broad support amongst entertainment types that they were able to put together a superior show. As someone who produced and directed GOP media for twenty years I can tell you, Republicans really need to up their game in this department.

The Democrats proved Friday they are good reading presentations but are horrible extemporaneously, as van der Veen ripped them apart piece by piece and Schoen nailed them on hypocrisy, as did van der Veen, numerous times. Democrats Plaskett and Castro especially were more than once the victims of their own missteps, savagely pounced upon by van der Veen.

Related: Lindsey Graham Predicts ‘Not Guilty’ Impeachment Votes Are Growing After ‘Absurd’ Arguments From Democrats

Republicans Get Aggressive 

As for the chronology, the Republicans opened up the day aggressively.

They challenged Democrats on every point of law and common sense and got surprisingly personal with the Democrat House managers, showing them engaged in exactly the same type of behavior they accuse Trump of, hence the accurate charge of hypocrisy. But the fun really didn’t start until the question and answer period.

Senators sent one sided questions to the advocates on their side of the aisle, some senators sending a question to both sides to try and illustrate a point or trip up the opposition.

One thing must be said at this juncture. Despite earlier concerns, Democrat Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont played it right down the middle as judge. He has behaved honorably and professionally.

Related: Lindsey Graham Rips Impeachment – ‘We’re Doing A Lot Of Damage To The Country Because People Hate Trump’

Republicans Win Q&A

The Republicans overwhelmingly won the Q&A, as Democrats lied, stumbled, and tried to spin their way out of trouble, to no avail. Bill Cassidy, Republican of Louisiana, interestingly sent a question up that helped the Democrats. He’s probably a solid vote for conviction, though he may just be protecting his moderate flank.

Van der Veen, taking a major page out of the message control handbook, responded to Democrat questions by going back to his own script and almost ignoring the questions. Well played.

So while the Democrats win on comms points, the Republicans ate their lunch during question and answer. On to Saturday and the conclusion of the trial. Our guess? 56-44 for conviction. 11 short of the vote needed to convict. That’s give or take a Republican surprise or two.

That gives the immediately former president two senate impeachment exonerations in about 13 months. There could also be later votes on censure and disqualification for office. Those are simple majority votes and Trump could be in trouble there.

This piece was written by David Kamioner on February 13, 2021. It originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.

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Toomey Doubts The Senate Will Convict

Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, along with Ben Sasse of Nebraska, perhaps the sharpest members of the Senate, doubts the Senate will convict the immediately former president of “incitement of insurrection”, regardless of any evidence pro or con.

Toomey Speaks Out


“Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., who has been a top critic of former President Trump and called for him to resign after last month’s riot at the Capitol, said in an interview Sunday that it is unlikely that the Senate will vote for a conviction on the one count of ‘incitement of insurrection.’

The 50-50 Senate is preparing for another trial that many Republicans say will serve no purpose other than to fuel the divide the country. They say Democrats want nothing more than to score political points with the trial and get one last parting shot in against Trump.”

“You did have 45 Republican senators vote to suggest that they didn’t think it was appropriate to conduct a trial, so you can infer how likely it is that those folks will vote to convict,” Toomey told press.

Toomey is correct. The trial is a sham, a waste of time, meaningless Democrat show and tell with a preordained win for the immediately former president.

Related: Trump Lawyer’s Demand Senate Impeachment Trial Be Dismissed, Top Dem Admits ‘Not Crazy To Argue’ It’s Unconstitutional

Michigan State Professor Weighs In

As such, in related news,  Michigan State Professor Brian Kalt wonders why the Trump defense team took one of his articles out of context. With a slam dunk win coming up, why the stretch?

“The article favored late impeachability, but it set out all the evidence I found on both sides–lots for them to use,” Kalt said. “But in several places, they misrepresent what I wrote quite badly.”

A “more problematic thing” he noticed, was that “they suggest that I was endorsing an argument when what I actually did was note that argument — and reject it.”

“When a President is no longer in office, the objective of an impeachment ceases,” a Trump memo said, citing page 66 of Kalt’s article.

But Kalt posted a screenshot of pages 66 and 67.

He says that this argument “has textual appeal” and “an admitted degree coherence,” citing Article II Section 4 of the Constitution, which refers to the removal of the “President, Vice President and all civil Officers[.]” He said that by mentioning “Officers,” this would seem not to apply to former officers.

RELATED: Dead On Arrival: 45 Republicans – Including McConnell – Vote That Trump’s Impeachment Trial Is Unconstitutional

Kalt Doubles Down

“Late impeachment, so the argument goes, which is also not self-evident,” the footnote continues, “would have also required specification if the Framers wished to include it as a possibility.” Kalt then cites page 37 of the article, showing some states discuss late impeachment in their constitutions.

“Citing me that way, they make it sound like I was making that argument. But I wasn’t,” Kalt continued. “On page 37, I raise that argument as something a critic might say, and then I refute it…”

“A critic of late impeachment could argue that things like two-thirds majority requirements are not self-evident, and therefore require specification; and that late impeachment is similarly counterintuitive…” Kalt added. “Therefore, allowing late impeachment is the self-evident proposition, not the counterintuitive one, and failure to explicitly bar it while specifying other limitations on the impeachment power is a telling omission.”

This piece was written by David Kamioner on February 8, 2021. It originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.

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Biden focuses on stimulus plan as Dems gear up for Trump’s Senate trial

Former President Trump's Senate impeachment trial begins on Tuesday, with Democrats, who have 50 seats in addition to VP Harris's vote, gearing up to convict him of inciting the Capitol insurrection. Meanwhile, President Biden is focusing on his $1.9 trillion pandemic stimulus package. Special Correspondent Jeff Greenfield joins Hari Sreenivasan to discuss.

Manchin Comes Crawling Back After Trump Guilty Vote

By David Kamioner | February 14, 2020

By making the vote to acquit the president a partisan affair, and making the guilty vote a bipartisan action with the Romney defection, Joe Manchin had to know there would be a price to pay.

We did a piece on it in LifeZette. It was obvious, as he had teased he might vote to acquit. So now his olive branches to the White House just look like pathetic groveling.

Also, according to LifeZette sources on Capitol Hill, the phones have been ringing off the hook in Manchin’s office and the response to his guilty vote has not been pretty. Calls are running over 2 to 1 for the president and against Manchin on the vote.

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Oh no, says Joe. Everything is hunky dory. He and president will soon be buds again.

So not to burden with a lot of his blather, his rationale for the optimism is that when Trump did his best to unseat Manchin in 2018 they had lunch a week after his reelection. The insinuation is that this is just a game on the part of the president and soon bygones will bygones.

But hold on.

Manchin said one of the reasons he voted guilty was because he didn’t like the president’s message at the State of the Union address the night before his impeachment vote, “I saw the State of the Union, and I said: ‘It’s not who we are.’ There’s so many good things that we can do better. I hope he changes,” he told Politico. “I’m looking for that person that has heart and soul and compassion.”

So the president does not currently have “heart, and soul and compassion” according to the senator.  But Manchin expects it to suddenly appear in his case? Oh, of course. That’s a gimme because we all know Donald Trump is politically easygoing. Doesn’t hold grudges at all. Nahhhh…

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Lindsey Graham is trying to smooth over feathers between the two. He correctly points out that the GOP, with 53 votes, will need Democrat votes to achieve 60 and get GOP and presidential legislation out of the Senate and to the president’s desk for signature into law.

That’s true. But it may be up to the GOP Senate to make nice with Manchin right now. If Trump acts like Trump, always a good bet, then Manchin still has some time left in the dog house.

This piece originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.

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Manchin Is A Political Dead Man Walking

By David Kamioner | February 6, 2020

Years ago I went to a great winter resort in West Virginia. Along with smoking cigars and drinking bourbon, I sampled some of the down home culinary delights.

But throughout the entire sumptuous country breakfast inventory I did not witness even one example of a piece of toast that walks and talks. That is, until I saw Joe Manchin making a Senate floor speech on impeachment.

Not trusted by the Democrats because he votes with the Republicans too much. Manchin is a Democrat who only reluctantly endorsed Hillary Clinton in 2016. Those factors made him a pariah in his own party. He only won 2018 reelection over his GOP opponent by less than 20,000 votes out of over 560,000 cast. That works out to a too close for comfort 0.3% margin of victory in a deep red Trump state.

RELATED: Nancy Pelosi RIPS Donald Trump’s Speech in Half After His SOTU Speech

Without those Trump crossovers in 2024 he will become, as mentioned above, a warm breakfast morsel. Thus, his vote to convict the president and remove him from office currently all but guarantees Manchin’s defeat in four years.

However, his pariah status has been somewhat mitigated by the fact that as he voted with the GOP much of the time he was treated as a fifth Beatle on occasion by the president and Mitch McConnell. Even with this vote that might have continued, after a decent interval, if Manchin had not sent out mixed signals on his vote.

Just a couple of days before the Wednesday impeachment votes he told the press he preferred a Senate censure of the president to conviction. He claimed that could get a bipartisan majority. A censure is an essentially toothless slap on the wrist from one politician to another.

When asked, given he was asking for an alternative to removal from office, if he would vote to convict the president he hemmed and hawed. The press, including this analyst, and GOP senators took that as a trial balloon and publicly put him in the leaning towards acquittal category. Manchin did not dissuade them.

And then he voted to convict.

RELATED: CNN Ratings Continue to Struggle, Fox News Gets a Huge Boost From Impeachment Trial

Democrats breathed a small sigh of relief but Republicans felt sold out. The consequence of his guilty vote is that Manchin will go from being the GOP’s favorite Democrat to just another palooka to be crushed.

All for a vote he knew the Democrats couldn’t win anyway. Just like your 2016 endorsement of Hillary Clinton that you admitted was a dumb move, this one will cost you, Joe.

This time, it will cost you your Senate seat.

This piece originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.

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Romney to Vote to Remove Trump from Office

By David Kamioner | February 5, 2020

Utah GOP Senator and Trump political enemy Mitt Romney sanctimoniously parroted Democratic talking points on Wednesday, as he announced his vote to convict the president in the impeachment trial before the Senate.

Romney’s rationalization that his faith brought him to this decision is understandable, if by faith he means his unhinged hatred of the president of the United States.

His speech and vote will go over very well with the media, the hard left and the Democrats. His own party, Utah voters, and the American people are likely to strongly disagree with him.

This will probably result in a GOP primary challenge to Romney in the 2024 Senate race in Utah.

RELATED: Nancy Pelosi RIPS Donald Trump’s Speech in Half After His SOTU Speech

But until then he will be feted by Hollywood, the media, the pop culture and all else who feel lies and hearsay are enough to remove the nation’s chief executive.

He may even leave the Senate early to avoid being thrown out and take a position in one of the bellies of the liberal beast. Perhaps he’ll then be comfortable at Harvard, Yale, or a foundation that has great dinners and does not do a hell of a lot more.

Mitt will be right at home at those places. The same cannot be said of his future in the Republican Party.

This piece originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.

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What U.S. senators said on day before vote to acquit or convict Trump

It is the eve of the final day of President Trump's Senate impeachment trial. Senators are scheduled to vote Wednesday whether to convict Trump of the two impeachment charges brought against him: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Although acquittal is all but certain, the lawmakers still seemed to take very seriously the opportunity to share their own views. Lisa Desjardins reports.