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Dishonest and toxic: The first 2 days of the Senate impeachment trial

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Yesterday was the first full day of President Trump's impeachment trial, the third in American history. It also marked the third anniversary of Trump's first full day as president. That day, then-press secretary Sean Spicer told the Trump administration's first lie by claiming Trump had "the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period”. In honor of the occasion, President Trump’s lawyers began this impeachment trial by essentially telling the Senate and American people not to believe their eyes and ears.

You may have seen some coverage depicting the start of this trial as a bitter circus with "both sides" going into their partisan corners. That is falsely equivalent framing. The dishonest and undignified behavior was far from equal. House Democrats represented the interests of the US Constitution. Senate Republicans represented the interests of the president. And President Trump's impeachment lawyers represented a false reality upheld by a foundation of Fox News-enabled disinformation.

Day one was focused on debating the rules of the trial proceedings. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) was forced to make two key changes due to pressure from more moderate Republicans. Rather than 24 hours and two days of debate allocated to each side, the debate........

© Independent