Can Trump survive "virtual impeachment"?

Due to Wednesday’s shameful, world-watched putsch at the Capitol, Twitter and Facebook locked the outgoing president’s powerful accounts, stripping him of some of his most important weaponry and leading to a nearly unprecedented day-long stretch of silence. For the first time in his tweet-driven presidency, Trump wasn’t able to employ his preferred method of communication to stoke or incite supporters. He wasn’t able to launch at leaders of his party his usual mob-boss loyalty tests. And he wasn’t able to distract and divert and defend himself in the telltale ways to which Americans have grown so accustomed.

“It’s like he disappeared off the face of the earth,” Tony Schwartz, the co-author of The Art of the Deal, told me, “not being on Twitter.”…

“Trump’s dependence on Twitter,” Michael Cohen, his former attorney and fixer, told me, “supersedes even his basic need of oxygen to breathe.”

“The thing that was most powerful about Trump’s Twitter platform was it enabled him to operate as the executive producer of the global news cycle. It really was that powerful. With one click, he could send tremors through every newsroom in the world, every capital and just reframe the focus squarely back on him in an instant,” said Kevin Madden, a former adviser to Mitt Romney. “That power is gone,” he said.