Donald Trump’s impeachment defense begins—and is expected to end—today, following two days of argument for his guilt by the House impeachment managers. That prosecution was rock solid, tracing out how Trump set the stage to delegitimize an election he lost, then followed through when he did lose, insisting that the election must have been stolen. They showed that Trump himself chose the date of Jan. 6 for an event—which he promised “will be wild”—calling his supporters to Washington, D.C. on the day Congress met to certify the election results. They showed his repeated pressure and public attacks on Mike Pence, who he wanted to overturn the election. They showed how he encouraged the rally crowd outside the White House to be angry and to march on the Capitol. They showed how the mob received Trump’s instructions, saying it themselves in videos of the Capitol attack and in interviews and court documents since that they were doing what he had asked of them. They showed how terribly close to harm members of Congress—and in particular Pence—came. And they showed how Trump did not call the mob off throughout the attack.
Now his defense team begins, knowing that the vast majority of Republican senators do not care how guilty Trump is and do not care how ineffective the defense is. Expect it to be alternatively incompetent and dangerous and to show its contempt for the rule of law in its shoddiness and shortness.
It will be aired on major television news networks and streamed on their websites. Daily Kos will have continuing coverage.