Joaquin Castro ended his second speech last night with these words:
He swore on a Bible to preserve, protect, and defend. And who among us can honestly say they believe that he upheld that oath? And who among us will let his utter dereliction of duty stand?
According to CNN, Republican Senators, while admitting that the Democratic description of the attack on the Capitol is compelling, are still inventing excuses for voting against convicting Donald Trump for it.
For most Republican senators, Wednesday’s presentation did not seem to affect how they’ll vote. Many are on record decrying the trial as unconstitutional since Trump is now a former president, and the punishment for conviction is removal. If convicted, however, Trump could also face a vote in the Senate barring him from ever again serving in public office.
Yet GOP senators including Marco Rubio of Florida would only say Trump bears “some responsibility” for the riot and argued the Senate should have no role in trying a former president.
“Who wouldn’t be?” asked Sen. Ron Johnson, a Wisconsin Republican, when questioned if he was shaken by the footage he saw on Wednesday.
But when asked if he held Trump accountable, Johnson said, “I hold those people responsible.”
That means it remains likely that Trump will be acquitted in the Senate.
Which is why the import of what Castro said is so important. It’s not just what Trump did do that makes him so dangerous: it’s what he didn’t do. Trump chose to do nothing to protect the Capitol as it was attacked by terrorists.
And most members of the Republican Party are okay with that, with a President who did nothing as the nation was attacked by terrorists.