Donald Trump’s acquittal in his impeachment trial turns the spotlight onto the GOP.
The final vote was 57-43 to acquit, but few observers felt the vote reflected the case which was clear and well-argued. The vote instead served as confirmation that the GOP was either complicit or so corrupt, it made a fair trial impossible.
Noel Casler, who spent six years working alongside Donald Trump on Celebrity Apprentice, was our special guest on last Friday’s After Show, along with independent journalist Sandi Bachom and our Friday regulars Greg Olear and L.B.
TRUMP ON TRIAL: GOP
By the final days of argument, the defense had all but given up arguing a legitimate case. Two things had become crystal clear: There was neither a plausible defense for Trump’s high crimes nor any possibility he’d be convicted for them. The Fifth Avenue rule he claimed for himself in 2016 appeared truer than anyone cared to admit.
TRUMP ON TRIAL: NAtional guard
One of the most striking moments of the House managers presentation was that Trump willfully avoided sending in reinforcements to save his colleagues on Capitol Hill. In fact, my research reveals Trump’s Pentagon allies effectively stood down the National Guard days before the insurrection. Reporter Sandy Bachon was at the Capitol on insurrection day and shared some unique observations and video footage from the day.
STANDING DOWN THE GUARD
On January 4, 2021, two days before the insurrection. Acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller issued new guidelines to the commander of the D.C. National Guard ordering any deployment had to be approved by the Pentagon and limited the type of gear the guardsmen could use and any action they could take.
On January 6, when the former Chief of the Capitol Police Steven Sund requested reinforcements from the Guard, he was referred to the Pentagon. Sund was included in the 4 PM call, where he requested the deployment and when it was first rejected.
It took 2-and-a-half-hours from the time the request was first made for the National Guard to arrive.