Donald Trump’s trial for incitement to insurrection is bound by two key facts. First is the fact that all but three or four Republican senators will vote to acquit him no matter what. The second is the nature of ‘incitement’ as a crime. Incitement is at the outer bounds of what we normally consider to be criminal actions inasmuch as it amounts to using words to get other people to do things absent compulsion. It is a crime, as it should be, but in a criminal trial context it is a high bar for prosecutors to meet. Still, we are left to consider how much the President inspired and directed what happened on January 6th, 2021.
The House managers are doing a good job of it. But in terms of what the President thought he was doing … well, he told us in real time.