Source: The Washington Post - Link
For if they voted to convict, their constituents — far from giving them credit for doing their patriotic duty — would turn on them. Perhaps viciously. Perhaps violently. And with the incitement, no doubt, of the twice-impeached president.
Days before the verdict, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) forecast the inevitable. He said that Trump would be acquitted on a technicality, what he called “an easy gate out”: the misgotten notion that it’s unconstitutional to hold an impeachment trial after a president has left office.
And then there was this whopper offered by defense lawyer Michael van der Veen, who said the Jan. 6 insurrection was “premeditated by ‘fringe left and right groups.’ ”
The specious argument that impeachment was somehow unconstitutional was the escape valve for Republicans. It allowed them to appear to have it both ways.