Writing for the Washington Post on Monday, conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin explained that the most important thing that Congress can do is ensure Donald Trump is properly prosecuted for his crimes.
A whopping 45 Republicans tried to escape holding Trump accountable by voting that the impeachment was unconstitutional because Trump is no longer president. Rubin explained that it's a bad precedent to set.
Over the weekend, The New York Times reported that not only had Trump fired his whole legal team, but it may have been due to a debate over the "stolen election" defense over the constitutionality defense.
"Mr. Trump had pushed for his defense team to focus on his baseless claim that the election was stolen from him, one person familiar with the situation said," said The New York Times. "A person close to Mr. Trump disputed that that was the case but acknowledged that there were differences in opinion about the defense strategy. However, Mr. Trump has insisted that the case is "simple" and has told advisers he could argue it himself and save the money on lawyers. (Aides contend he is not seriously contemplating doing so.)"
According to the report, the decision was "mutual" for Trump's lead attorney to resign. They didn't have any "chemistry."
While Trump has managed to find other attorneys, Rubin wondered if the real effort from the Trump team is to "rely on spineless Republicans to acquit him based on a specious constitutional argument. In none of these scenarios, however, can we expect a sober, informative trial on the merits."
The upcoming trial is likely to showcase the recordings of the former president's shakedown of Republican leaders in Georgia demanding that they "find" 11,000 votes for him. Then there's the matter of the videos of Trump speaking to crowds of his supporters demanding that they "fight" for him.
"If the Senate will not ban him from holding office, a criminal conviction — should Trump be found guilty — would almost certainly do the trick (or at least, we should hope it would in the era of right-wing conspiracy theories)," wrote Rubin.
If Trump wants to continue to defend himself based on "the big lie," she said, it's his prerogative. However, it makes the criminal prosecution of Trump all the more important, Rubin said, citing former acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal.
"Let's get real," she closed. "The only one trying to cheat or rig the election was the former president. This includes his efforts to discredit mail-in voting, to hobble the U.S. Postal Service, to threaten Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, to pressure Michigan canvassing officials into rejecting the election results and to call on rioters to march on the Capitol. The nonstop antics were designed to mislead voters, attack the legitimacy of his successor and, somehow, force a change in the electoral college vote. However insane the conduct, there is plenty of evidence that the president attempted to subvert the election. We need a full, transparent adjudication of precisely those sets of facts."