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Can He Do That? – a WaPo podcast: A president acquitted. The balance of power tested

12/02/2020

About the only solid takeaway is that the Senate under McConnell is corrupted by power and an obsession with confirming ideologue judges. In addition, appalling precedents were created and may well mark an acceleration towards an evermore dictatorial presidency cloaked by a veneer of democracy

February 05,2020

The United States Senate acquitted President Trump on charges — brought by the House of Representatives — of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
The vote fell largely along party lines, with one exceptions. Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah historically voted with the Democrats to convict the president on the first article: abuse of power. That marked the first time in American history that a member of the president’s own party has voted to remove him. Romney voted with Republicans to acquit Trump on the second article: obstruction of congress.
This moment is only the third time in U.S. history that the Senate has held an impeachment trial. The Senate has never voted to convict and remove a president.
An impeachment trial in the Senate means Congress is deciding where to draw lines around presidential conduct: What’s acceptable, what’s inappropriate and what rises to the level of “high crimes and misdemeanors?”

Over the course of the Senate trial, House managers and Trump’s lawyers engaged in arguments for their respective positions. Trump’s acquittal can be interpreted as a reflection of the Senate agreeing with those arguments.And if that’s case, which of the Trump team’s arguments have established new precedent? How might this acquittal embolden not only this president, but future presidents? At the end of this partisan impeachment process, has the balance of power shifted in this country and can the pendulum ever swing back toward equilibrium?
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