Numerous critics of the second impeachment effort against former President Donald Trump have argued that it is unconstitutional for the Senate to go forward with a trial against a private citizen.
For Fox News Channel host Tucker Carlson, though, the biggest complaint was that the entire ordeal is a “ridiculous” waste of time.
“We didn’t watch any of it”
His remarks on the first day of the impeachment trial came during his monologue on Tuesday night, during which he confirmed that neither he nor his staff watched any of the events.
“You’ve probably been glued to the tube all day,” he told viewers. “Donald Trump’s second impeachment proceedings started. We didn’t watch any of it.”
Carlson said he had heard about the lackluster performance by Trump attorney Bruce Castor, but acknowledged only that the news might be “mildly interesting” on a “slow day.”
He went on to dismiss the entire ordeal as irrelevant, adding: “At this point, honestly, who cares? Impeachment? The whole thing is ridiculous. They are literally impeaching a president who isn’t even the president anymore. They’re yelling at someone who’s already left the room.”
As for the question of whether impeaching and trying a president after he has left office is constitutional, the matter was settled on Tuesday prior to the commencement of the trial. Six Republicans joined all 50 Democrats in the chamber to vote that it was a constitutional process.
Democrats present selectively edited video
After that issue was settled, opening arguments began. For Democrats, that included a 13-minute campaign-style video of the Jan. 6 Capitol building breach that juxtaposed Trump’s words earlier in the day with footage of the rioters.
The video was clearly intended to evoke emotion rather than present facts, but it appears to have advanced the narrative that the then-president encouraged his supporters to storm Capitol Hill.
Of course, the video did not include Trump’s words about “peacefully and patriotically” walking to the Capitol, nor did it provide information later discovered about how the riot was planned as much as weeks in advance of the rally last month.
Castor was widely criticized for flubbing his first day of arguments, which will likely influence public perception regarding Trump’s role in the events of Jan. 6 — and really, the entire impeachment process seems to hinge on public perception.
In reality, Democrats know that they will need 17 Senate Republicans to vote with them in order to convict Trump, which at this point appears all but impossible.