Trump goes to Twitter to propose holding trial in Senate without waiting on articles of impeachment
When Donald Trump is feeling hurt, he reaches out for comfort—on Twitter. On Thursday morning, following the greatest rebuke possible, Trump is on a retweet-a-thon, reaching back days to find people who said things he can fling forward and throwing a Twitter-tantrum that demands attention from the folks at the Guinness Book of Records. As of this writing, Trump wrote a tweet just 20 minutes ago to complain about his impeachment, but in the short period of time since then, he has retweeted better than 30 other statements … and he’s still going.
Much of the material Trump is retweeting is statements from before the vote about how Democrats were going to “hemorrhage” support on the impeachment … which, at two votes “no,” was really more of a paper cut. But Trump is being indiscriminate in his search for anything that seems friendly to his position. Attacks on James Comey, lies about Christopher Steele, and an absolutely wonderful chart that paints a 0.5% change in Trump’s approval as a “surge” are all part of the apparently ceaseless comfort spew.
However, if there’s one topic that really stands out, it’s Trump’s frustration over House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s refusal to immediately forward the articles of impeachment to the Senate. Pelosi’s perfectly reasonable declaration that the House has to understand at least the basic structure of the trial in the Senate before the House can name those assigned to manage the charges is clearly extremely frustrating not just to Trump, but also to a good number of Republicans.
Their eagerness to lay hands on the articles almost makes it seem that Mitch McConnell has been in constant consultation with the White House to develop a process that turns the impeachment into a vindication of Trump and levels charges against Democrats instead. And the frustration that Trump and other Republicans are expressing almost makes it seem that Pelosi is demanding details of the big surprise that they have in store. Huh. But even if Nancy Pelosi is getting in the way of their planned holiday spectacular, Trump has an idea: They can just have the impeachment trial without the articles of impeachment! It’s genius—Trump genius.
Trump starts a tweet by quoting a snippet of the Constitution someone read to him to say, incorrectly, that “the Senate shall set the time and place of the trial.” Then he follows up by saying that if Democrats decide “not to show up, they would lose by Default!”
Not only is Trump suggesting that the impeachment works like an intramural volleyball game; he’s also saying that he can have a trial without waiting for the charges. Of course, that’s not necessarily as silly as it sounds. Since McConnell, Lindsey Graham, and other Senate Republicans have already made it clear that they’re going to acquit Trump, but are not interested in looking at the evidence, what is the point of waiting for the charges?
It seems as if McConnell and the White House have cooked up a trial that doesn’t require evidence or charges, and is designed with Trump’s help—which usually means it comes with lots of gaudy gold plating and a fresh wife. So sure, go ahead. It’s not like anyone is going to mistake the process for fair or dignified.
Donald Trump doesn’t need Democratic help to be overtly partisan, vindictive, petty, and a general shithead. He does it every day. On with the show.