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Trump’s Impeachment Trial, Day 9: And the Winner Is...

Illustration for article titled Trump’s Impeachment Trial, Day 9: And the Winner Is...
Photo: Mario Tama (Getty Images)

Wednesday marked the first day that senators got to ask questions of both the House managers, aka the A-Team, and Trump’s defense lawyers, aka National Lampoon’s Goes to Congress.

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And the winner for best question of the day goes toooooo...Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), who asked, “is the president a lying bitch or a bitch that’s lying?” well...I’ll just let Supreme Court Chief Justice Roberts read it:

ROBERTS: The question from Sen. Harris is for the House managers. President Nixon said, quote, “When the president does it, that means that it is not illegal.” End quote. Before he was elected, President Trump said, quote, “When you’re a star, they let you do it, you can do anything,” end quote. After he was elected, President Trump said that Article 2 of the Constitution gives him, quote, “the right to do whatever he wants as president.” End quote. These statements suggest that each of them believed that the president is above the law. A belief reflected in the improper actions that both presidents took to affect their re-election campaigns. If the Senate fails to hold the president accountable for misconduct, how would that undermine the integrity of our system of justice?

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If you are wondering where you’ve heard that Trump quote before, then let me help you out: It’s from the infamous Access Hollywood hot mic “Grab ‘em by the pussy” tapes where Trump bragged about women allowing him to do what he wants because he’s a star. And by “allow him to do whatever he wants,” he’s talking about sexual assault.

And Kamala Harris not only got Chief Justice Roberts to read the quote aloud, but it’s now a part of Trump’s impeachment trial record. Sure, she skipped out on the best portion, and yes, she padded it with a Nixon quote, but in the end, she got it into the impeachment trial and that might be as impressive as Rep. Hakeem Jeffries’ Notorious B.I.G lyric.

So what now?

Well, expect Thursday to be more of the same, as it’s the second and last day of senators’ questions. Politico reports that there was a little action “outside the Senate floor, with Sens. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) all coming out against a call for new witnesses.”

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Who are these people, and more importantly, who gives a shit? These no-name, off-brand senators were always going to vote along party lines and them announcing that they don’t want any new witnesses to testify is akin to President Trump announcing that he’s in a same-sex relationship with Vladimir Putin. We already know this.

What else?

Oh shit! Wait one second; I almost forgot because I was so proud of Kamala Harris in all her black girl magic that I failed to point out the dumbest shit that happened Wednesday.

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Trump’s lawyer, Alan Dershowitz, aka “I got a massage at Jeffrey Epstein’s crib but I kept my underwear on,” was attempting to answer a question from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who asked: “Does it even matter if there were a quid pro quo?” Cruz is referring to the crux of Trump’s impeachment, which alleges that during a phone call with the president of Ukraine, Trump withheld congressionally approved aid that would only be given up after the Ukrainian President Hyphen Sir Noodlestrap (seriously, what is this guy’s name?) announced that he was opening an investigation into political rival Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.

And with all of his Harvard background behind him, Dershowitz actually argued in front of God, the Senate and all ’em that “If a president does something which he believes will help him get elected in the public interest, that cannot be the kind of quid pro quo that results in impeachment.

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Nigga, what?

I. Can’t.

What to expect?

Thursday is for all the marbles as it’s the last day to try and sway the senators who may be on the fence about hearing from witnesses in a trial. At least Republicans are being honest about how shitty they actually are. They’ve basically come out and said, “Look, we aren’t even going to waste your time and taxpayers’ money by bringing out witnesses in a trial where we would never vote guilty because we love this ‘bama!” But even if it’s a pointless effort, Democrats are still going to try. The trial is set to begin at 1 p.m. and it’s expected to be another long-ass day.

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The witness vote is on Friday and senators will either decide to allow for witnesses to be called or will issue a final verdict on Trump’s presidency and residency going forward.

Senior Editor @ The Root, boxes outside my weight class, when they go low, you go lower.

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DISCUSSION

If a president does something which he believes will help him get elected in the public interest, that cannot be the kind of quid pro quo that results in impeachment,”

So does that mean it’s fine to do things in the public interest even if it benefits him politically/personally (obviously true, or we’d have to go after each president for not immediately nuking the White House with himself in it) or that believing his reelection to be in the public interest is enough to qualify an action that benefits his reelection as in the public interest?

This is, of course, in the context of the fact that it really doesn’t matter if there was a quid pro quo, as 80% of foreign policy is quae pro quibus, but rather whether a public quid was being offered for a private quo.