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The Senate Impeachment Trial slogs on. The forgone conclusion is Donald Trump will be acquitted.
One of Trump's personal lawyers, Jay Sekulow, vowed to challenge the allegations that there was any "quid pro quo" with Ukraine -- an investigation into the Bidens in exchange for military aide. He wouldn't say whether he thought his side would need all 24 hours of arguments allotted. But Sekulow promised to wrap up arguments in an "orderly" and "systematic" fashion and said the president would be acquitted. ABC News
The trial is more of a political process than an evidentiary proceeding. It appears Donald Trump is not very worried about the outcome either.
"NO PRESSURE," Trump tweeted as the trial continued. ABC News
There is no indication that any republican will waiver on an acquittal vote even if some, or more, witnesses are called. However, there is a strong indication that 57% of likely voters want Trump removed, a striking figure that flows against the GOP political plan to acquit. Mitch McConnell’s Senate, however, appears to be ignoring the apparent shift in public opinion.
The GOP is pandering to its base. Ninety-three percent of Democrats support removing Trump from office, along with 67 percent of independents and 15 percent of Republicans. Hispanics and African Americans strongly support removal from office, at 78 percent of Hispanics and 77 percent of African Americans. Among whites, just 52 percent back removal. The GOP knows that 85% of Republicans oppose removal. The GOP is working to keep that voting base happy, a base that the GOP candidates for office need to win their respective nominations.
The GOP also knows many Congressional districts are gerrymandered to be GOP strong holds. They know that in these districts their base will vote. They know an acquittal will motivate their base to vote. If a GOP candidate wins the nomination, they know the GOP candidate will win election. The same holds true for Senate seats, if the GOP candidate wins the nomination the acquittal of Trump will help motivate that base to vote in the general election. This trial is all about the base and keeping the GOP base happy.
The Trump/GOP base refuses to listen to facts, as is evidenced by many comments coming from that base on social media. Take the following an example of the GOP base’s thought process:
Bart Brannon This whole impeachment from the very beginning has been a blizzard of lies why would you expect it to stop now? Comment in response to onePolitics post The Trump Impeachment Trial: 45% Say Remove, 31% Say Dismiss & 58% Say Trump Abused Power
The GOP knows that its base thinks the entire impeachment is based on lies. It knows, regardless of the facts, that the base will always believe that the impeachment is based on lies. Hence, the GOP message that the impeachment is a political witch hunt based on lies.
The message is a winning one with the base. The GOP Senators will vote with the base hoping for two things:
1. They keep their offices and a majority in the Senate while gaining a majority in the House of Representatives.
2. Donald Trump wins the 2020 election in the same way he won 2016, helping the GOP keep its political power in Washington D.C.
Therefore, unless something changes Donald Trump will be acquitted. This is why Trump tweeted “NO PRESSURE.”
The consequences of such an acquittal will not be known until November 2020.
Stuart James (Stuart is a litigation attorney who has worked on and advised political campaigns including races for the United States Senate, Governor, The House of Representatives, County Commission and City Council)