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Always check the footnotes

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Looks like Paul isn’t the only scholar to have his work misrepresented by Trump’s eighth-string impeachment counsel:

A legal scholar cited by Donald Trump’s lawyers in arguing that it is unconstitutional to have an impeachment trial for a former president said Trump’s defense team misrepresented his work “quite badly.”

Michigan State University law professor Brian Kalt told Reuters in an email that his research was “definitely not” accurately described in a 78-page document filed by Trump’s lawyers on Monday, the day before his second impeachment trial begins.

In the brief, Trump’s lawyers denied he had encouraged the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol by hundreds of his supporters on Jan. 6, while disputing the constitutionality of the trial.

Kalt, however, has joined other legal scholars in arguing the Senate trial is constitutional.

“They didn’t have to be disingenuous and misleading like this,” Kalt said later on Twitter, adding that “in several places, they misrepresent what I wrote quite badly.”

The argument that the impeachment trial of Trump is unconstitutional is incredibly weak, but it will be good enough for Senate Republicans, because the alternative of actually accepting Trump’s argument on the merits is even worse:

President Donald Trump was “horrified” when violence broke out at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, as a joint session of Congress convened to confirm that he lost the election, according to his defense attorneys.

Trump tweeted calls for peace “upon hearing of the reports of violence” and took “immediate steps” to mobilize resources to counter the rioters storming the building, his lawyers argued in a brief filed Monday in advance ofTrump’s impeachment trial in the Senate. It is “absolutely not true,” they wrote, that Trump failed to act swiftly to quell the riot.

But that revisionist history conflicts with the timeline of events on the day of the Capitol riot, as well as accounts of multiple people in contact with the president that day, who have said Trump was initially pleased to see a halt in the counting of the electoral college votes. Some former White House officials have acknowledged that he only belatedly and reluctantly issued calls for peace, after first ignoring public and private entreaties to do so.

[…]

“It took him awhile to appreciate the gravity of the situation,” Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), one of Trump’s most loyal supporters, said in an interview with The Washington Post two days after the riot. “The president saw these people as allies in his journey and sympathetic to the idea that the election was stolen.”

That same day, Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) told conservative radio broadcaster Hugh Hewitt that it was “not an open question” as to whether Trump had been “derelict in his duty,” saying there had been a delay in the deployment of the National Guard to help the Capitol Police repel rioters.

“As this was unfolding on television, Donald Trump was walking around the White House confused about why other people on his team weren’t as excited as he was as you had rioters pushing against Capitol Police trying to get into the building,” he said, indicating that he had learned of Trump’s reaction from “senior White House officials.”

And yet, Honest Ben will happily go along with Mitch McConnell’s argument that there was somehow never a time at which Donald Trump could have been tried for fomenting insurrection.

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