The Price of Cowardice

In this screenshot taken from a webcast, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell responds after the Senate voted 57-43 to acquit Donald Trump in his second impeachment trial on February 13, 2021. (Photo by via Getty Images)

My colleague John McCormack has a valuable piece on the site today marking the third anniversary of Donald Trump’s January 6 acquittal by the Senate that contains a bizarre bit of political trivia I’d forgotten.

The same conservative scholar who provided legal cover for Senate Republicans to save Trump at the time has since become the most strident proponent for disqualifying him from office under the 14th Amendment.

That would be former judge J. Michael Luttig, who declared in an op-ed published on January 12, 2021, that Trump couldn’t constitutionally be tried for the impeachment charges once he left office on January 20. The Senate ignored that and held a trial in early February anyway, but Luttig’s reasoning was the fig leaf that gave cowardly Republicans the pretext they needed to justify voting to acquit.

Three years later, Luttig spends his days howling into the void that Trump can’t serve again as president due to his insurrectionist past. He’s going to lose that argument in court. Badly.

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