Senate Republicans have pinned their fortunes to Trumpism and he will make them demonstrate their loyalty with outrageous acts, which they will have to endorse. They have assured the wayward Trump that he can stay in office, and thus have given him permission to keep on vandalizing our democracy.

Trump may wait out the Senate proceedings, in order to avoid provoking a Republican or two to vote against him, but the humiliation of becoming just the third president ever to be impeached will inspire him to plan a string of awful stunts. He’ll likely continue to deploy nasty nicknames and to exploit divisive issues — abortion, racial justice, climate change, election security — to destructive effect all the way to November 2020.

The impeached-but-not-removed President Trump, who has long called any investigation into his actions a witch hunt, will not accept any responsibility for the crisis he created. He has said that the call he made to allegedly twist Zelensky’s arm was “perfect” and this is the claim he will repeat over and over again.