Former George W. Bush speechwriter says "Trump still lost" despite being acquitted in his second impeachment trial.
"The 57–43 margin wasn't enough to convict under the Constitution. It wasn't enough to formally disqualify Trump from ever again seeking office in the United States. But practically? It will do as a solemn and eternal public repudiation of Trump's betrayal of his oath of office," David Frum wrote in The Atlantic.
"You say that you are disappointed? That a mere rebuke was not enough? That justice was not done? It wasn't. But now see the world from the other side, through the eyes of those who defend Trump or even want him to run again. Their hope was to dismiss this impeachment as partisan, as founded on fake evidence, as hypocritical and anti-constitutional—to present this verdict as an act of oppression by one half the country against the other. That hope was banished today," he explained. "It's not half against half. It's a clear American majority—including a sizable part of the Republican Senate caucus—against a minority. And even many of the senators who voted to acquit went on record to condemn Trump as an outlaw and a seditionist."
Frum explained how the vote could impact Trump's legal liabilities.
"Things will get worse for the 45th president. The 57–43 margin in the Senate flashes a green light to federal and state prosecutors that, if they find evidence of crimes, proceeding with legal action against Trump would be politically safe," he wrote. "The impeachment did not prevail. But Trump still lost."
Trump faces massive civil liability atop everything else. And at every trial for everyone hurt by Trump's wrongdoin… https://t.co/TWbQs05raf— David Frum (@David Frum)1613268934.0