The impeachment trial will not result in President Trump’s removal, but it could well result in Republicans’ removal from the Senate majority. A slew of Republican incumbents were below 45 percent approval even before the trial began, including Susan Collins (Maine), Joni Ernst (Iowa), Thom Tillis (N.C.), Martha McSally (Ariz.), Cory Gardner (Colo.) and John Cornyn (Tex.). In their refusal to allow new witnesses and documents, their determination to acquit even before the trial began and their conduct during the trial, they are creating a plethora of opportunities for opponents’ ad makers.

The anti-Trump Lincoln Project has already launched one against Collins:

Think of the ads that may highlight the total lack of professionalism by senators who read books, doodle, wander off, fall asleep and sneer at the House managers.

NBC News reported: “Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., was spotted with a purple [fidget spinner] on his desk, and later Thursday he was seen playing through the entirety of arguments against Trump from Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., frequently making gestures and playfully chuckling with Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa.”

In addition to reading a book during the trial, Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) was back to her old tricks denigrating a war hero. The Post reported:

Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) went after [Rep. Adam] Schiff on Twitter for “hailing Alexander Vindman as an American patriot” during his testimony.
“How patriotic is it to badmouth and ridicule our great nation in front of Russia, America’s greatest enemy?” Blackburn tweeted.
In a second tweet, she continued her degradation of Vindman calling him vindictive over her allegation that he leaked the contents of the July 25 call to the intelligence agency whistleblower.
This isn’t the first time Blackburn has questioned Vindman’s loyalty to America. After he testified in the House impeachment probe in November, she derisively called him the whistleblower’s “handler.”

Far too many Republicans have conducted themselves in ways that many grade school teachers would not tolerate. (Put the book down, Ms. Blackburn! Mr. Cotton, is something amusing to you about this?)

There are the lawmakers who play dumb, suggesting that there is no evidence of guilt. There are senators who whine that they are bored. Some simultaneously claim that there is nothing new and that they don’t need to hear from witnesses. Collins and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) were peeved that House manager Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) suggested that refusing to allow witnesses was akin to enabling Trump’s cover-up. (Wouldn’t it be?) If only they found the president’s lying, abuse of power, obstruction of Congress and betrayal of national security as vexing.

There are the senators such as Republicans John Neely Kennedy (La.) and Ted Cruz (Tex.), who have regurgitated Russian propaganda. There are the senators who parrot the utterly discredited position that abuse of power is not impeachable.

Other senators, such as Ernst and Gardner, simply run from answering the most obvious questions. Why won’t you subpoena more documents and testimony from witnesses if you think the evidence is in doubt? Would you allow a Democratic president to refuse to produce any documents in a congressional investigation? Do you think it is acceptable for your political opponents to go to a foreign leader to announce a bogus investigation of you?

So far not a single Republican has upheld his or her oath to “administer impartial justice” by demanding to see all relevant new evidence, although hope springs eternal that some may come around after the two sides have presented their cases. In behaving as they have, Republicans are managing not only to deprive the president of a legitimate acquittal in the eyes of Americans (who overwhelmingly want a real trial), but also to convince voters that Republicans should not be entrusted with power.

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