Dana Milbank of The Washington Post gives it to us straight:
Trump’s lawyers, in their slashing, largely fictitious defense, claimed that Trump was “horrified” by the violence, hadn’t known that Vice President Mike Pence was in danger and took “immediate steps” to counter the rioting.
But Herrera Beutler revealed such claims to be a lie. When McCarthy “finally reached the president on January 6 and asked him to publicly and forcefully call off the riot, the president initially repeated the falsehood that it was antifa that had breached the Capitol,” she wrote. McCarthy, she continued, “refuted that and told the president that these were Trump supporters. That’s when, according to McCarthy, the president said: ‘Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are.’ ”
Her account wasn’t seriously or substantively refuted. On Saturday afternoon, senators agreed that Herrera Beutler’s statement would be entered into the trial record as evidence.
Even knowing this, most Republican senators, as long expected, voted to acquit Trump, a craven surrender to the political imperative not to cross the demagogue. But the impeachment trial was not in vain, for it revealed the ugly truth: Trump knew lawmakers’ lives were in danger from his violent supporters, and instead of helping the people’s representatives escape harm, Trump scoffed.
Read the rest here.