It all felt terribly preordained.
A Senate trial with next to no jeopardy – apart from a sudden jolt of it on the final day, when Democrats toyed with calling witnesses and the whole process looked like it could take weeks to conclude.
In the end, it finished as we knew it would – with Mr Trump acquitted of inciting an insurrection.
Democrats did have more on their side this time – an event the world watched play out on TV screens, rather than a confusing call to Ukraine. It was visceral, not abstract.
They had a team of managers with a wealth of powerful material, who were far more cogent and less grandstanding than in the first impeachment trial.
And they had the benefit of Republicans who had already publicly expressed indignation at Donald Trump’s conduct and language on 6 January.