February 14, 2021

"I NEED A SHOT OF REDEMPTION":

Ben Sasse's Conviction: Trump's Lies Caused This (CHARLES C. W. COOKE, February 13, 2021, National Review)

What happened on January 6 of this year, Senator Ben Sasse told me on Monday night, represented "one of the most egregious Article II attacks on Article I in all of U.S. history."

For Sasse, who was one of only six Republican senators to argue that the impeachment was constitutionally sound, at stake in the trial was nothing less than the integrity of the Constitution itself.

"This is not," he told me, "really about Donald Trump. It is really about a signal to future office holders about what kind of behavior is appropriate." After all: "The old meaning -- the nonpolitical meaning -- of the word impeach, to impeach someone's character, is to decry certain kinds of behavior."

Sasse, the junior senator from Nebraska, was among the seven GOP senators who voted to convict Trump on "incitement of insurrection" Saturday. In a series of interviews with National Review over several days leading up to that vote, Sasse sought to explain his thinking. The question at hand, he contended on day one of the impeachment trial, should be seen as "chiefly an Article I vs. Article II conflict, not chiefly as a partisan tribal conflict.

"The president is supposed to be not the just barely-smaller-than-King executive figure in the American system," Sasse told me. "It's supposed to be an administrative job where you faithfully execute the laws. When you're affirming the peaceful transition of power and the Article II branch tries to stir people up by sowing more distrust in that, I have a really hard historical time coming up with anything analogous in terms of an Article II attack on the constitutional order. That is an unbelievably egregious attack on a constitutional system."

Posted by at February 14, 2021 12:00 AM

  

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