Senate Republicans took to the ether for a victory lap and some backslapping late Friday morning—immediately prompting a surfeit of pique by describing the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump as “fair.”
”The Senate conducted a transparent, impartial, and FAIR trial,” the GOP caucus proclaimed via Twitter before running down a list of numbers:
192 video clips.
“It’s time to move on,” the decidedly somewhat goading-inclined tweet concluded. “It’s time to get back to work for the American people.”
National security attorney Bradley P. Moss dismissed the Republican Party’s approach to justice as atypical of normal legal proceedings.
“Thank goodness we don’t conduct actual court cases under this laughable definition of fairness,” Moss said in an email.
Law&Crime Network host Julie Rendelman, who previously worked as a prosecutor and now owns a defense practice in New York, also disputed GOP claims of fair play and substantial justice.
“There is nothing fair about a trial when there is a complete refusal to hear from witnesses whose testimony would be probative to the ultimate outcome,” Rendelman noted.
”These are lies,” said celebrated historian and Boston College Professor Heather Cox Richardson—weighing in with a statement that will likely be salient for some time to come due to her job as custodian of, well, American history: “We will never forget.”
The prospect of the short-lived impeachment process (and even shorter Senate trial) culminating with an acquittal on both charges for the 45th president also prompted the rise of a hashtag that portended an electoral backlash over the witness-free ordeal: #RIPGOP.
“Fuck your fair trial bullshit,” said popular #resistance Twitter account @DogginTrump. “Fair trials aren’t run without witness and documents. #RIPGOP because the 82% of Americans who demanded witness & documents will not forget this #GOPCoverup #GOPCowards.”
The hashtag grew increasingly popular as reality set in:
The GOP Senators didn't give us a trial – they gave us a COVER UP.
The Real trial is between now and November 3 and on that day, WE, THE JURY, Will convict and remove Trump as well as his GOP enablers.
This will be our generation's legacy! #RIPGOP
— (((DeanObeidallah))) (@DeanObeidallah) January 31, 2020
First law school lesson I learned was from late Rep John Dingell who said about the law, "You write the substance, I'll write the procedure, & I'll screw you every time."
GOP admits 45 broke the law—but they control procedure—so they're acquitting him & screwing America.#RIPGOP
— Qasim Rashid for Congress (@QasimRashid) January 31, 2020
We want witnesses and documents. #RIPGOP there is no acquittal without a proper trial. This is unconstitutional, further proof that “conservative” is nothing short of criminal and the only thing being preserved is a billionaire white supremacist agenda.
— Lauren Jauregui (@LaurenJauregui) January 31, 2020
Senate Democrats also lambasted the idea that the process run by Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) had been a model of justice.
“They will probably get what they want,” Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) said of GOP efforts to hastily conclude the trial sans witnesses.
“The evidence that we know is available will not have been presented,” she continued. “And what that means is at its bottom line this will not have been a fair trial. And therefore they cannot walk out of this building and allege and assert there has been a true acquittal.”
Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) previously made a similar point.
“It’s simple really.” he tweeted. ”If the trial is rigged to keep hidden the most damming, most important, most relevant evidence, then it’s not a trial. Nor is it an acquittal. It’s a coverup.”
Harvard Law Professor Laurence Tribe agreed with Murphy’s take on Friday, adding: “The Senate is about to disgrace itself. And betray the Constitution. A very sad day.”
New York City-based attorney and occasional author, Luppe B. Luppen (@nycsouthpaw), who is largely famous for tweeting, simply tweeted a fuel pump emoji followed by a lightbulb emoji—a combination of symbols, which, in emoji speak means: “gaslight.”
— southpaw (@nycsouthpaw) January 31, 2020
Another famous and mostly anonymous internet attorney who goes by @bmaz, was bit more sanguine about the GOP’s audacious social media theatricality.
”Lol, this is some first rate lying,” he tweeted.
[image via Drew Angerer/Getty Images]