By James Fitzgerald
Senators voted by 56 to 44 in favor of the impeachment process on Tuesday, on the question of whether an impeachment of Donald Trump was constitutional. This followed about four hours of presentations by the respective legal teams on historical and legislative interpretations of the Constitution.
It made a strange spectacle following the election of Joe Biden with reportedly the largest vote in the history of the Republic. A quote by Trump at one of his early rallies came to mind: “I will gladly take all those slings and arrows for you.”
The Capitol Hill buildings are still fenced in and surrounded by thousands of soldiers and the senators and staff in the House sat with black masks over their faces, as if attending on open pyre funeral where the deceased had died of cholera. Trump’s absence from the proceedings made them seem even more like a post-mortem.
We can discuss the points of argument and the performances of the lawyers, but the outcome of the vote seemed to be pre-determined. Afterall, the attendees constituted what Trump had described early on in his presidency as “the Swamp”. Many of those senators — career politicians who had become accustomed to wheeling and dealing in the way that perhaps that Roman Empire powerbrokers had done in the time of Caligula and Nero — must have wanted an exorcism from the public taint that had befallen them under Trump and who had been drawn out into the open in their public opposition to his policies and rhetoric. In that sense, this pre-trial was an attempt to bury the spectre ofRead More