Nor did the passage of time convince Sasse to view the stakes any differently. “I’ve got a lot of colleagues who talk a lot about wanting to restore Article I,” he reflected on Friday, as the proceedings were wrapping up, “and this seems to me to be the most basic opportunity to restore some Article I prerogatives.” And yet, he lamented, “in that moment, folks are really willing to capitulate to mere tribalism and say, well, he had the right letter behind his name.”

When I asked whether he was worried that a conviction might poison the Senate or divide the country further, Sasse pushed back against the question. “Most of the people that are making what would be the anti-conviction argument,” he told me, “are almost all making pragmatic arguments about unity. I find them very unpersuasive so far because some of the people making those arguments the strongest are the people who also worked against certifying the election.”

As for the comity of the Senate? “I don’t care very much about the next 100 days,” he said, instantly. “I care about the next 100 years.”