The first three days of the impeachment trial at the Senate have gone by without any major incidents. Originally, the Republicans voted to block subpoenas for new evidence, as well as refuse new witnesses’ testimony. However, after much deliberation, the Senate set down the the trial rules allowing for a new vote to be casted after each side has argued their positions.
This is a good thing for various reasons. While it is obvious that some people within the GOP party are willing to put Trump and themselves above the country, it is also true that some are more than willing to see additional evidence and hear more witnesses without making a decision.
For instance, on December 12th 2019, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) told Fox News in and interview that he will be in sync with the White House counsel when the impeachment proceeding against Trump advance to the Senate. He said:
I’m coordinating with the White House counsel. There will be no difference between the president’s position and our position as to how to handle this, to the extent that we can.
We all know how it’s going to end: There’s no chance the president’s gonna be removed from office. My hope is that there won’t be a single Republican who votes for either of these articles of impeachment.Source: Fox News
The fact that he, and every other member of the Senate, have sworn an oath to be impartial during the trial is nothing sort of perjury, according to some journalist. Perjury is a serious offense, and under federal law a person convicted of perjury can face up to five years in prison. However, perjury is only committed once an oath to tell the truth has been sworn. So, technically speaking, Mr. McConnell is off the hook in that particular regard. That being said, there are many Senators like Mr. McConnell who have publicly spoken about acquitting Trump without even reviewing the evidence. They should have recused themselves due to their potential conflicts of interests of putting party above the needs of the country.
However, there is a still a beacon of hope for the introduction of new evidence and witnesses. The current polls show that around 70% of the US population, regardless of party affiliation, want to hear more evidence in the trial before conviction or acquittal. In fact, people like Susan Collins, have said:
“While I need to hear the case argued and the questions answered, I tend to believe having additional information would be helpful. It is likely that I would support a motion to call witnesses at that point in the trial just as I did in 1999.”Source: Susan Collins’ statement
During an interview with with Alaska-based NBC news affiliate KTUU-TV, Republican U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski said that she was “disturbed” by the comments made by the Senate leader. She further added:
To me it means that we have to take that step back from being hand-in-glove with the defense.
I heard what leader McConnell had said. I happened to think that has further confused the process.
Kevin Cramer, of North Dakota also said:
I want to be informed by the case that’s brought the prosecutors, the House managers, and listen to the (president’s) defense and then determine whether or not we need any further evidence or more witnesses
On an interview with NBC news, Pat Toomy, of Pennsylvania, stated:
I’m not comfortable with making that decision right now,” he said. “But it might come to that, Chuck. You know, there might be a lot of agreement on facts and the case that can be stipulated. I think there’s a big disagreement about what rises to a level of impeachment. So, after the arguments are made, then I think that’s the time to decide whether witnesses are necessary.
Senator Lamar Alexander was also quoted as saying:
I want to make sure I have a chance to vote on whether we need additional witnesses or additional documents,” he said, “and I’ll decide whether we do after I hear the case and asked my questions.
Ex-governor from Utah, Mitt Romney, has also expressed similar views:
There’s the Clinton impeachment model, which is to say we have opening arguments, and then we have a vote on whether or not to have witnesses that’s the approach I favor. At that point I’ll be voting in favor of considering witnesses
Texas senator Ted Cruz has proposed a reciprocity approach:
If the prosecution gets a witness, the defense gets a witness. If the prosecution gets two, the defense gets two. That means, if the prosecution gets to call John Bolton, then the president gets to call Hunter Biden. And I got to tell you, the Democrats are terrified about seeing a witness like Hunter Biden testify, because they don’t want to hear evidence of actual corruption, of corruption, potentially, of Joe Biden, corruption that occurred during the Obama administration. They blocked all those witnesses in the House. They’re not going to succeed in blocking them in the Senate. If they want to go down the road of witnesses, that means the president enjoys the rights to due process, which means he can call witnesses and lay out his defense.
It is encouraging to note that at least some members of the Republican party are open to hear evidence and facts before passing a judgment.
Others, however, are unwilling to do so. Not only are they unwilling to hear evidence, they cannot even be bothered to watch the House Hearings on Impeachment or even to read the transcripts of the depositions. Below is the case of Marco Rubio. Marco Rubio is a Republican Senator from Florida serving also in the Intelligence Committee. Despite his role in said Committee, he admits to not having read or watched any information of the Hearing proceedings.
From his Senate position alone, Mr. Rubio makes roughly $174,000 dollars a year. And yet, he cannot be bothered to watch the Impeachment Hearings, nevertheless is expected to give a reasoned vote on it all.
Days later, according to CNN, when Jerry Nadler played a video clip of Republican Senator Lindsey Graham speaking on the impeachment of Bill Clinton, Mr. Graham wasn’t even present at the Senate.
The impeachment of of sitting president is, perhaps, the most historic event of our lifetimes. At least, to the lifetimes of the U.S people. The fact that the representatives of said people show a complete lack of apathy to an event that will forever change the course of history seems to be of little or no concern to the public. Certainly not a concern for the representatives themselves. These are the same people that stood before you all and swore and oath to work for you and protect your interests. You, the people.
It seems that a lot of Republicans in the Senate are hearing the facts presented by Schiff’s team for the first time. On an interview with journalist Nicholas Fandos, Louisiana Senator John Kennedy said during a break in the trial that “I’ve learned a lot. Everybody has. Senators didn’t know the case”.
While this sort of behaviour with no regards to “representing the people” might seem outrageous to most, it isn’t and isolated event. The Senate rules for impeachment, as agreed by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-Calif), states that: “Senators should plan to be in attendance at all times during the proceedings” and should “remain in their seats at all times they are on the Senate floor during the impeachment proceedings.”
According to New York Daily News journalist Michael McAuliff, who had been present during the proceedings, at least 21 Senators from the GOP were missing on the 22nd of January during Adam Schiff’s presentation.
On the same day, January the 22nd, CNN reported 25 vacant seats. 11 from the Democratic side and 15 on the Republican side. It seems it isn’t a one-sided issue, but that in fact both parties are just as apathetic about the procedures.
Whether Donald Trump gets impeached or not it is something that should be decided by a Court of Justice and by The People.
The fact that the representatives of the people aren’t at all invested in the procedures of a life-changing event that would set a precedent to future generations speaks volumes about the current state of politics in the U.S.
If the representatives aren’t working for the people, or cannot be bothered to follow procedures while on salaries 3 to 5 times that of the average average person, it begs the question as to what exactly are they doing there and whose interests are they representing.
These are the very same people that once stood before you and told you all that you needed to elect them because they had nothing but your best interests at heart. The very same people that you once opened your wallets to. The same people that vowed to take your concerns and your voice to The House, to The Senate… Are they representing your voice, the will of the people? And if they are not, what are they doing there?
The House Impeachment Hearings and the Senate Trials certainly seem to be a sham from whichever perspective you want to look at it. On the one hand, you have a party convinced that impeachment is the only solution to high crimes and misdemeanors. From the other side, you have the other party refusing to look at evidence and facts because they have already made up their minds.
Nevermind that at least 70% of the US population wants to see additional evidence and facts to either convict or acquit Donald Trump. To them it doesn’t matter. The House had the Democratic majority and everybody voted according to party. In the Senate, the Republicans have the lead. They have all decided Trump is not guilty despite overwhelming evidence. Evidence that the average-you-and-me-Joe is willing to look at. Spend hours upon hours watching live trials and even more hours reading documents before reaching a conclusion as to whether the verdict should be guilty or innocent. Don’t bother. They have already decided for you what the outcome is going to be.
Nobody is willing to vote on principles. Nobody is willing to vote on what the actual constitution says is either legal or illegal.
Neither of them seems to be willing to hear each other out or meet each other halfway. And so it begs the question: what sort of partisanship representation do you have that is unwilling to work and represent every citizen regardless of personal beliefs and affiliation? Do your representatives represent everybody or just a select group of people? Or do they represent themselves and their sole purpose of pursuing a career in politics have nothing to do with the people but personal enrichment?
Your opinion doesn’t matter to anybody because the outcome has already been decided. It matters how much power and money you have. It matters that you can ignore every subpoena without consequences because that is exactly what you can buy with money and power. It matters that you can fill a courtroom with your friends and associates, refuse evidence and testimony, then get your acquaintances to declare you “not guilty” regardless of what you do.
This is your Justice system. The law applies equally to every peasant and every worker bee out there, but the same rule of law doesn’t apply to the landowners, to the noblemen, and to the clergy.
Welcome to America.