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Republicans who acquitted Trump put their careers over duty, honor and the Constitution

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The second trial of Donald Trump is over. Trump has been acquitted of betraying his oath and his country. He was guilty of these charges, and so is the Republican Party, despite a handful of exceptions in a 57-43 vote that allowed Trump to escape conviction and a permanent ban on holding federal office.

The Democratic House managers did a magnificent job, marshaling elegant rhetoric and ironclad logic far beyond what Trump’s obvious guilt required. Their case will stand for years as an example of civic virtue. Trump’s defense team, composed of a personal injury lawyer and a few other nonentities, was incompetent and whined like Trump himself about “Democrat managers” and “cancel culture.” They managed to make ambulance chasing seem noble by comparison.

And none of it mattered. The outcome was foreordained. On a weekend we once reserved for honoring the births of Abraham Lincoln and George Washington, so-called “constitutionalists” like Sen. Mike Lee of Utah gleefully betrayed everything for which Lincoln lived and for which he was murdered in cold blood. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, barely able to contain his smirking, made the case within minutes of Trump’s acquittal that the former president was probably guilty anyway, but hey, maybe someone else can take him to court — just somewhere other than the Senate.



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