You are browsing the archive for 2021 February 09.

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Conservative argues that Republicans who 'instigated' the insurrection must be 'held accountable'

February 9, 2021 in Blogs

By Alex Henderson

Tuesday, Feb. 9 marked the beginning of former President Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial, and impeachment managers will try to convince U.S. senators that Trump incited the violent insurrectionists who stormed the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6 in the hope of preventing Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory. Never Trump conservative Sarah Longwell doesn’t need to be convinced of Trump’s guilt, but in an article published by The Bulwark on February 9, she stresses that Trump is hardly the only Republican who encouraged the January 6 insurrection.

Longwell notes that according to CBS News, more than 200 people are facing federal charges for their alleged roles in the storming of the U.S. Capitol Building.

“If convicted, many rioters will likely face years in prison,” Longwell writes. “But what of the elected officials whose months of lies agitated and radicalized the crowd, even before it was incited to insurrection? Former President Donald Trump will face his second impeachment trial this week for ‘incitement of insurrection.’”

Longwell, who has been active in the anti-Trump conservative group The Lincoln Project and co-founded Republicans for the Rule of Law, notes that a long list of Republicans joined Trump in making debunked, totally false claims that widespread voter fraud occurred in the 2020 presidential election — from Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas to Senate Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama. And like Trump, Longwell argues, they did their part to fire up the January 6 insurrectionists.

“Remember: prior to the attack, more than a quarter of Senate Republicans had publicly announced plans to object to certifying the election results,” Longwell writes. “Many of them are now trying to retcon these objections as ‘just asking questions’ and not an attempt to overturn the election itself. But their calls for investigations into voter fraud and irregularities — despite dozens of court losses and then-Attorney General Bill Barr’s assurances that there was no evidence of widespread voter fraud — were nothing less than hype-man interjections meant to bolster Trump’s claims that he ‘won in a landslide’ and that the election was being stolen.”

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An accused insurrectionist's posts show clear evidence of Trump's incitement

February 9, 2021 in Blogs

By Alex Henderson

More than 200 people, according to CBS News, are facing federal criminal charges for their alleged roles in the January 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol Building. One of them is Bruno Joseph Cua, an 18-year-old resident of Milton, Georgia. Reporter Colin Kalmbacher discusses Cua’s case in an article published by Law & Crime this week, stressing that Cua believed then-President Donald Trump wanted him to “fight” on his behalf when he went to Washington, D.C. that day.

“An apparently fervent acolyte of former President Donald Trump, Cua’s alleged Parler account offers potentially key information for the U.S. Senate impeachment trial beginning Tuesday afternoon,” Kalmbacher explains.

A post on the Parler account Brunocua read, “President Trump is calling us to FIGHT! DOJ, #SCOTUS, #FBI, His own cabinet, everyone has betrayed him. It’s Trump & #WeThePeople VS the #deepstate and the #CCP. He knows this is the only way to save our great country, show up #January6th. It’s time to take our freedom back the old fashioned way. #Thisisour1776.”

That post, according to Kalmbacher, referred to a tweet from Trump in late December that said: “The ‘Justice’ Department and the FBI have done nothing about the 2020 Presidential Election Voter Fraud, the biggest SCAM in our nation’s history, despite overwhelming evidence. They should be ashamed. History will remember. Never give up. See everyone in D.C. on January 6th.”

Kalmbacher notes that according to the FBI, Cua attracted law enforcement’s attention after “at least two tips” identified him as one of the January 6 rioters.

In an Instagram post that came after the January 6 attack and is mentioned in a criminal complaint, Cua wrote, “Yes, for everyone asking I stormed the capital (sic) with hundreds of thousands of patriots. I’ll do a whole video explaining what happened, this is history. What happened was unbelievable…. Yes, we physically fought our way in.”

Cua is facing multiple criminal charges at the federal level, including civil disorder, assaulting a federal officer and obstructing an official proceeding.

According to the Atlanta Constitution Journal reporter Shaddi Abusaid, “Cua’s mother has a photography business, and his father is the vice president of lifestyle brands and managed development for …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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'I have no idea what he's doing': Alan Dershowitz is baffled by a Trump lawyer's argument

February 9, 2021 in Blogs

By Cody Fenwick

Alan Dershowitz panned the performance of President Donald Trump’s first lawyer in his Senate impeachment trial, Bruce Castor, in an appearance during the proceedings on Tuesday. Dershowitz appeared bewildered at the opening remarks.

“I have no idea what he’s doing,” Dershowitz, who defended Trump during his first impeachment. “Maybe he’ll bring it home, but right now, it does not appear to me to be effective advocacy.”

Castor’s rambling and unfocused argument was widely criticized. Noting that Castor had seemed to go out of his way to praise the Senators, Dershowitz said: “Maybe they want to be buttered up, maybe they want to be told what great people they are and how he knows two Senators, but it’s not the kind of argument I would have made, I have to tell you that.”

Instead, Dershowitz, who was recently exposed for trying to get presidential clemency for convicted child sex trafficker George Nader, said he would have argued that the president’s alleged incitement of an insurrection was protected First Amendment speech. Many other experts and scholars have argued, however, that the First Amendment does not cover Trump’s conduct.

Watch the clip below:

…read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Trump's argument against impeachment is 'our Founders' worst nightmare,' Rep. Raskin argues

February 9, 2021 in Blogs

By Alex Henderson

Former President Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial got underway on Tuesday, as he faced a charge of “incitement to insurrection.” Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin served as the lead House impeachment manager. The Maryland Democrat offered some insights on the historic basis for impeachment during a speech, emphasizing that Trump is exactly the type of “opportunist” and “demagogue” the United States’ Founding Fathers were worried about many years ago. And he warned that the claim that Trump can’t be tried for impeachment now that he’s out of office creates an untenable “January exception.”

“The ‘January exception’ is an invitation to our founders’ worst nightmare,” raskin said.

Raskin noted that according to Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, “The greatest danger to republics and the liberties of the people comes from political opportunists who begin as demagogues and end as tyrants — and the people who are encouraged to follow them. President Trump may not know a lot about the Framers, but they certainly knew a lot about him.”

Along with the other impeachment managers, Raskin is arguing that when a violent mob attacked the U.S. Capitol Building on Jan. 6 and tried to stop Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory, it did so with Trump’s encouragement. Some Senate Republicans have been making procedural arguments against the impeachment trial, saying that Trump was impeached too late in his presidency and that it is unconstitutional to hold an impeachment trial for someone who is no longer president. But Raskin flatly rejects those claims.

Raskin, during his speech, explained, “Their argument is that if you commit an impeachable offense in your last few weeks in office, you do it with constitutional impunity. You get away with it.”

The congressman went on to say, “Given the Framers’ intense focus on danger to elections and the peaceful transfer of power, it is inconceivable that they designed impeachment to be a dead letter in the president’s final days in office — when opportunities to interfere with the peaceful transfer of power would be most tempting and most dangerous, as we just saw.”

…read more

Source: ALTERNET

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​'What is this dude rambling about?': Trump impeachment lawyer's terrible opening argument stuns observers​

February 9, 2021 in Blogs

By Cody Fenwick

Bruce Castor, former President Donald Trump’s impeachment lawyer, gave an opening argument in the Senate trial on Tuesday so baffling and confusing that many observers and commentators struggled to understand the point he was trying to make. He seemed to be ad-libbing, rather than reading from a prepared outline or text. While wearing an ill-fitting suit, he made disjointed references and claims, and he employed examples in which he couldn’t remember the specifics.

At some points, he seemed to be gesturing toward an argument about the First Amendment, contending that Trump’s speech to the mob that attacked the Capitol couldn’t be considered an impeachable offense. This is a poor argument that has been widely rejected by constitutional scholars, though some have said it’s the best of the poor options Trump has to defend himself.

But for much of the discussion, it wasn’t even clear if Castor was making an argument at all. Much of it clearly wasn’t focused on what was ostensibly the first topic for the competing sides to address: whether holding a trial for a president out of office is constitutional. At one point, though, he made a claim that will almost certainly be rejected by most conservative legal thinkers: that precedents in pre-revolution British law are irrelevant for understanding the meaning of the U.S. Constitution. In fact, many originalists — a form of jurisprudence favored by Republicans and conservatives — look back to this period to try to understand what the “original meaning” of the text teaches us about how it should be applied today.

Here’s what some of the observers, including many legal experts, had to say about Castor’s opening argument:

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With Biden in Office, Has Macron Lost His Zeal for Euro‐​Self‐​Reliance?

February 9, 2021 in Economics

By Doug Bandow

Doug Bandow

In late 2019, French President Emmanuel Macron became one of the fiercest critics of the transatlantic alliance. “What we are currently experiencing is the brain death of NATO,” he famously declared.

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He doubted the continuing value of the alliance’s Article V guarantee of collective defense: the pact “only works if the guarantor of last resort functions as such. I’d argue that we should reassess the reality of what NATO is in the light of the commitment of the United States.”

Which led him to break dramatically with Europe’s continued reliance on America. He advocated that the continent become a “geopolitical power” and “in control” of its own destiny. Last year, he insisted: “We cannot be the United States’ junior partner. I’m impatient for European solutions.”

He continued to advocate “strategic autonomy” after the November election. “We need to modernize our structures and create a level playing field for everyone,” he declared, opining that the “way forward is a strong and political Europe.” He believed this stance was necessary in dealing with America, which, he added, “will only respect us as allies if we are earnest, and if we are sovereign with respect to our defense.”

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Which makes sense. The continent’s interests differ from those of America in many ways. Even when it …read more

Source: OP-EDS