It looks like relatively few, maybe no, Republicans will vote to impeach Trump in the House and same for conviction in the Senate. This result basically sends the message that Trump is above the law and free to do similar acts in the future.
The day after the trial in the Senate Trump is on the phone with Putin and his advisors creating and implementing new plots, using taxpayer dollars to bribe and cajole foreign leaders and running any sort of political errand. Not a good outcome for democracy. How can this outcome be prevented?
There are alternatives to impeaching Trump. Censure him and impeach and remove Barr, Pompeo and Mulvaney and any government official who took part in the effort to rig the 2020 election.
The issue is deterrence not punishment or justice. Economists and lawyers often prefer going after the managers who commit crimes rather than the corporation because going after the corporation hurts shareholders, customers, workers and other innocent parties. Here is one article on whether one should punish corporations or managers.
Republicans argue that removing an elected president from office, overturning an election, is too drastic a remedy. The solution is to remove and punish the managers that facilitated the crime or abuse of power.
Trumps bribery scheme could not have gone forward without assistance from State, OMB, Justice and the Department of Energy. Ambassador Sondland testified that everyone knew it was a quid pro quo. Many participated.
Trump is successfully using executive privilege to stop his aides from testifying against him.
Barr, Pompeo, and Mulvaney do not have the executive privilege accorded to the president.
Doing nothing gives Trump and Putin a green light to do whatever it takes to win in 2020. Acquittal in the senate does the same. We need a better option.
David Bernstein is a retired economist living in Colorado. He is the author of the policy primer Defying Magnets: Centrist Policies in a Polarized World.