While the outcome — Trump being acquitted on the single charge of incitement of a riot — seems likely, there are still considerable stakes here. Among them: How potential offenses by future federal elected officials will be treated by Congress and Trump’s role within the GOP moving forward.
I watched the first day of proceedings, which was pretty exclusively focused on whether or not it is constitutional to impeach a former president, and jotted down some takeaways. They’re below.
* Disqualify without removal?: I thought one of the most intriguing arguments put forward by the impeachment managers — Neguse, to be specific — was that there is nothing in the Constitution that suggests that the Senate couldn’t vote to ban Trump from ever running again whether or not he is convicted and, at least technically speaking, removed from office. Which is interesting! Now, to be clear: The Senate is almost certainly not going to do that. Unless Trump is voted guilty by 67 senators — and it’s very, very unlikely he would be — there is an almost 0% chance that the Senate Democratic majority will hold a vote to disqualify Trump from future office by a simple majority vote.