The presentation defending Donald Trump in his second impeachment trial is expected to be short. His lawyers are inexperienced and unqualified. These factors don’t matter. Neither do the facts of the case which were not so much presented by the House Managers, as confirmed by them. After all, we heard the lies and incitement with our own ears and we saw the violence with our own eyes. We then saw and heard Trump’s response to the violence; and no one even disputes that he never called in the national guard or condemned the attacks that left 140 law enforcement officials injured and led to five deaths. He delighted in the violence and he was thrilled by the loyalty his patriots showed him. That fits perfectly into the behavior pattern of someone with his suite of psychological pathologies. In a lot of ways, this trial is less about Trump and more about his enablers who have supported the manifestation of these pathologies at every step of his presidency, through all the lies, through all the kowtowing to dictators, through all the back-turning on allies, and sadly, through a sociopathic response to the pandemic that resulted in a hell of a lot of unnecessary American carnage. And now, these same enablers, in many cases fellow inciters, and in many more cases fellow promoters of the big lie that underpinned the insurrection, will act as a jury in a case in which some of them should be co-defendants. Not satisfied with that, after the House Managers completed their arguments, “three of Donald Trump’s chamber allies, Sens. Lindsey O. Graham, Mike Lee and Ted Cruz, were seen entering a room to meet with the former president’s attorneys.” The jury is advising the lawyers. This is a farce. It’s a continuation of a crime. And like the big lie, the violence, the breach of the Capitol, and the desecration of values, the country is the victim. Susan B Glasser in The New Yorker: “Trump alone never could have wreaked such mayhem on our democracy, on our Capitol. His mob is not just the thugs who attacked cops with flagpoles on January 6th; it also includes some of the elected officials inside the besieged building, the ones in suits who advanced and promoted Trump’s election lies, just as they had advanced and promoted so many of his other lies for the previous four years. Of course, they are standing by him now.”

+ How bad is the damage caused by an unwillingness to denounce the big lie? This bad. “Nearly all Democrats (98 percent) and roughly three-quarters (73 percent) of independents believe Biden’s 2020 election victory was legitimate. This is a minority view among Republicans. Nearly two in three (66 percent) Republicans say Biden’s election win was not legitimate.”

+ Here’s the latest from CNN and The Guardian.