Today, the House Impeachment Managers published their 80-page Trial Memorandum in the second impeachment of the former criminal president (lower case “p” intentional). In their memorandum (at the beginning in fact), there is a line that hit me like a gut-punch: “The line of succession to the Presidency was endangered.”
Of the many things I have considered in connection with the criminal, seditious acts by Trump and his co-conspirators that day, this nugget is an important fact that didn’t quite click with me. Trump not only endangered our democratic Republic and the life of Pence and Pelosi (the intentions of his insurrectionists to kill our then Vice President and the Speaker of the House is a fact we know from their own words), but in doing so, he took it a step further. He endangered our very line of succession.
I have to hope this will count for something very heavy in weighing and levying charges not only against Trump, but also against all those who aided and abetted him, including those who seem to have been active participants, like Boebert who live tweeted that the “Speaker left the Chamber.” We don’t know whether or not the FBI will determine that the intent of the message was to direct them to skip going to the chamber and instead head straight to Speaker Pelosi’s office so they could get her. But if they do connect Boebert, I certainly hope the new DOJ includes this fact in her indictment.
From an evidentiary standpoint, the absence of this connection would not be fatal to the claims of what Trump and others did on January 6, 2021. But, from probative standpoint, when being weighed by a juror who is thoughtfully considering the scope and impact of just what it was that these people did that day, it packs a powerful and surreal punch.
The House Impeachment Managers and the DOJ should also latch on to the fact that as we were being attacked, the Secret Service saw no need to usher Trump away to a safe bunker. Instead, they let him hang out and watch TV – for hours. There has to be a reason for this serious breach in protocol, and no scenario I can think of is “good” for Trump.