Apparently, as stories like this one from the Washington Post suggest, Donald Trump fired his impeachment legal team and hired a new one because the first team wasn’t willing to use the impeachment trial to continue making Trump’s ridiculous and disproven argument that the election was stolen from him.
I’ve long since stopped expecting truth or logic from Trump. And I gather that it doesn’t matter what his lawyers argue, because enough Republican senators have already indicated that they will not vote to convict him, mostly relying on the almost-reasonable argument that it’s pointless to impeach a president who has already left office. (That’s arguable, since the conviction would lead to a second vote, barring Trump for running for office again, and that wouldn’t be totally pointless.)
To belabor the obvious, and I have no idea which of the nonsensical things Trump says he actually believes, it wouldn’t matter. The non-question of who won the 2020 election has been investigated and adjudicated and Trump lost every argument. He acknowledged as much by gracelessly leaving office on the constitutionally required day, and becoming only the second president in history to boycott the swearing-in of his successor. But at least he left, which settles the matter once and for all.
By departing, however gracelessly, Trump accepted that Joe Biden was president. He now faces a record-breaking second impeachment on whether he was guilty of fomenting a riotous and lethal assault on the Capitol in a criminal attempt to prevent the final certification of Biden’s victory.
The question now is whether Trump deserves a second impeachment for encouraging and otherwise fomenting the riot. There is plenty of evidence that he is guilty of that, but maybe he can produce some evidence that he is innocent. The first, now-fired legal team was, I assume, working on that defense. Now, to their good fortune in my opinion, they are excused from that assignment, to be replaced a team that may well argue that the election was stolen.
That argument has already been made and adjudicated. It wasn’t stolen. And Trump half-assedly accepted as much by departing. It is bizarre and insulting to your intelligence for Trump and his new lawyers to try to use the Senate impeachment trial to renew the argument that the election was stolen, which it wasn’t, and as if – even if it had been – Trump would have been within his rights to foment a deadly riot to argue that it was.
Trump lied. People died. He has expressed no regrets about anything he said or did to bring that about. And now he reportedly hopes to divert a trial about his role in that to renew his long- and oft-disproven argument that he actually won the election he lost by an Electoral College margin so big that he declared it a “landslide” when he enjoyed the same margin of victory in 2016. (Although, as I never tire of pointing out, Trump in 2016, unlike Biden in 2020, lost the popular vote and received illicit foreign assistance in 2016).