Reprinted with permission from Alternet
Fifteen of the 50 Republican Senators refused to show up for at least "the first few hours" of Thursday's arguments by the Democratic managers in the Senate impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump, CNN's Manu Raju and Forbes report.
That's 30 percent of the Republican caucus in the Senate, or nearly one-third of the GOP members.
"Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Rand Paul (R-KY) were both away from their desks, for instance, while Sen. Jim Risch (R-ID) was in the basement on his phone, CNN's Manu Raju reported," Forbes adds.
"Many within the chamber were preoccupied with other activities: Sens. Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) were reading papers, while, according to CNN's Jeremy Herb, Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) 'had a blank map of Asia on his desk and was writing on it like he was filling in the names of the countries.'"
Worse, at least one Republican Senator has already violated his oath to deliver "impartial justice."
Senators are required to swear or affirm that he or she will "do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws."
But Senator John Boozman (R-AR) "said Thursday that he has decided he will vote to acquit Trump because he believes the trial is unconstitutional, putting himself on record among Republican senators who are likely or certain to oppose conviction," NBC News reports.
"This was unconstitutional. And so it makes it difficult to back up," Boozman told reporters Thursday afternoon.
Legal experts say that's false. The Senate, as a body, voted 56-44 that it indeed does have jurisdiction in this case, and that trying Trump after he left office is constitutional. Senators do not have to flexibility to make up the rules as they go.
CNN legal analyst Elie Honig, a former federal prosecutor, on Wednesday tweeted, "Now that the Senate has voted that trial *is* constitutional, Senators should not rely on an unconstitutionality argument for final verdict."
CNN's Raju also caught one of Trump's impeachment attorneys skipping out on Thursday's proceedings, opting to do a live interview with Fox News instead of paying attention.
"Why do a break from the trial and do this live shot in the middle of your trial?" Raju asked David Schoen.
"It's more of the same thing, they're showing points that don't exist," Schoen reportedly replied. "It's offensive quite frankly, in reference to the healing process, to continue to show the tragedy that happened here that Donald Trump has condemned," he claimed.
Trump, who has never shown any remorse or taken any responsibility for the domestic terrorism he incited and that was carried out in his name, has never urged healing, and did not condemn the attack on the Capitol until a week after the insurrection.
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