Seth Abramson @SethAbramson Attorney. @Newsweek columnist. NYT bestselling author of a book on Trump's Iran policy, Proof of Conspiracy (Macmillan, amzn.to/2sQBWYL). Professor. Dec. 11, 2019 2 min read

NOTE: The Senate impeachment trial will primarily be a vote on whether to abolish the Impeachment Clause of the Constitution—because if a president can categorically deny Congress all witnesses and all documents whenever he feels like it, there *is* no Impeachment Clause anymore.

NOTE2: One of the first steps to ending a democracy and erecting an autocracy is making it legally impossible to remove the head-of-state. Do I think many D.C. Republicans are aiming for that? Of course not. But a vote to acquit on Contempt of Congress pushes us toward autocracy.

NOTE3: By the same token, a vote to acquit on this particular Abuse of Power allegation is a vote in favor of foreign governments getting a say in our elections. So if the Senate GOP votes to acquit on Abuse of Power, your vote just lost 75% of its power. Please understand that.

NOTE4: So the question becomes, if what's at stake in the impeachment trial is no more or less than (a) the U.S. remaining a democracy, and (b) our elections remaining free and fair, how much marching and protesting should Democrats and all patriotic Americans be doing right now?

NOTE5: The Democrats—in a major paradox—are bad at politics. They're struggling to explain a simple point: if you want a DEMOCRACY, and if you want FREE & FAIR ELECTIONS, your vote on impeachment must be to convict. If you want AUTOCRACY and FOREIGN-RUN ELECTIONS, vote to acquit.

NOTE6: There *is* no "But I *like* Trump!" The impeachment is about *much more* than Trump. Once the Impeachment Clause and prohibitions against foreign interference in our elections are gone, they DO NOT RETURN. They are PERMANENTLY GONE. So all Americans should act accordingly.

NOTE7: So why do I support impeachment? And why do many of you? Because we want to live in a *democracy*. We want our votes to matter. And when a president acts like an autocrat, upends rule of law, and destroys our electoral process, that president doesn't get to stay in office.

NOTE8: Republicans imply America will get ripped apart if our democracy and elections are protected. NO. The result of IMPEACHMENT is Trump retires to start Trump TV and make—for the first time—billions, and Pence becomes POTUS. Does that thrill me? No—but it's the actual result.

NOTE9: So here's the bargain the GOP is howling about. They must choose between

(1) President Trump, autocracy, foreign-run elections

OR

(2) President Pence, Trump as Trump TV CEO, democracy, and free and fair elections

And right now *100% of the GOP* is leaning to Option #1.

NOTE10: My message to Democrats or Republicans in Congress scared to choose the *actual* right answer—Option #2—is this: you have skillsets; you have value; you *will* get a job if your constituents vote you out because they want autocracy and foreign-run elections. So calm down.


You can follow @SethAbramson.



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