Trump impeachment lawyer argues conviction could incite a “civil war.” So what if it does?

“David Schoen, one of lawyers defending Donald Trump against impeachment charges, warned senators on Tuesday that convicting the former president could bring about a second civil war,” CNN reported on Tuesday, February 9, 2021, the first day of Trump’s 2nd impeachment trial.

“Schoen accused Democrats of knowing that ‘the so-called trial will tear the country in half, leaving tens of millions of Americans feeling left out of the nation’s agenda, as dictated by one political party that now holds the power in the White House and in our national legislature. This trial will tear this country apart, perhaps like we’ve only seen once before in our history,’ he said.

Read story here.

I’m curious: When Schoen represents clients in court, does he refer to the proceedings as a “so-called trial in a so-called court before a so-called judge and a so-called jury” within the hearing of the judge and jurors?

There’s nothing “so-called” about an impeachment trial. It’s a trial, not a so-called trial, in the United States Senate, not a so-called senate. The procedure is authorized by the Constitution, so there’s nothing so-called about it. He’s welcome to argue the constitutionality of impeaching a former president or other official no longer in office, but “so-called” isn’t a legal argument, at least not want any competent attorney would make.

Warning senators that convicting Trump might lead to a civil war could be construed as a threat — it comes across as “if you convict my client, he’ll go on a killing rampage” — but giving Schoen the benefit of doubt, it may be just a factual statement about what he thinks might happen if the Senate convicts Trump. Let’s say that’s what it is — and skip over the point that this isn’t a legal argument, either.

Schoen undoubtedly is correct that “millions of Americans [are] feeling left out of the nation’s agenda,” and he may be right that convicting Trump might trigger a civil war.

So what?

We just held an election, and the majority of Americans voted for Biden and the Democratic agenda, not Trump and the Republican agenda. That’s how we settle things in this country; that’s what elections are for. If your candidate loses, he doesn’t get the office, and if your party loses, you don’t control legislation. That’s fair, as long as it cuts both ways, although it’s clear that many Republicans are now resigning from that long-standing system and insist on getting their way no matter what.

Parenthetically, although Republicans and Democrats each have 50 Senate seats, it should be noted that the 50 Democratic senators collectively got something like 40 million more votes than the 50 Republican senators got, but despite that obviously undemocratic disparity, nobody on the Democratic side is questioning the legitimacy of that division of the Senate’s 100 seats. We have a system that favors Republicans in the Electoral College, Senate, House, and state legislatures, yet Democrats accept that system with all its inherent unfairness to their side.

The Trumpers? If Schoen is right that punishing Trump for inciting insurrection by barring him from future office will set off violence, even a civil war, instigated by his supporters — that’s on them. The Democrats didn’t incite it. It’s lawlessness by a lawless element.

We don’t have to hand over our country to thugs who pull guns on us. We shouldn’t. If they do that, we should exercise our right to defend ourselves.

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  1. The trial is about law breaking not partisanship #

    The trial is what the rule breaking, law breaking proud not grown up yet boys did, stirred up by trump.

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