The precedents they have set are alarming. Trump’s defense partly argued that a president must violate a specific crime in order to be impeached.
The defense made the argument, probably with the guidance and support of the right honorable Mitch McConnell and co, who than affirmed it. This whole debacle was an exercise in providing cover for Republicans to make their predetermined votes. And their complaints about the House Democrats amount to “it’s their fault for bringing this to the Senate when they know we rigged it – what did they think was going to happen?”
But imagine the following scenario: This weekend, Trump tweets that he will pardon anyone who engages in blatant voter suppression or voter intimidation before the November election. Hundreds of henchmen take it upon themselves to act, helping ensure his reelection. Trump’s legal and constitutional authority to pardon them is unquestioned. It would be a corrupt abuse of presidential power, but not a crime.
Trump now has a blank check. We all know that he will try to cash it.
He’ll cash it, and cash it, and cash it, with the Senate Republican’s co-signing and cackling the whole time.