‘I solemnly swear (or affirm, as the case may be,) that in all things appertaining to the trial of the impeachment of Donald J. Trump, now pending, I will do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws: so help me God.’
Senate Impeachment Oath
Well that didn’t take long.
For just a moment yesterday, amid the solemnity and formal ritualization of the process, I had hope that a realization hit each Senator, an appreciation of the history, one much bigger than themselves, bigger than a MAGA movement, and certainly bigger than Donald Trump. Call me naïve. I have a pre-existing condition, forever believing in peoples’ better angels.
It only took a couple hours for Republican senators to disabuse me of the notion that they wanted facts to render truly impartial justice. Indeed, Lindsey Graham post-oath is the exact same Lindsey as pre-oath. Graham quickly let us know he had already judged the case, at least with respect to the only evidence he’ll consider, and without so much as the first proceeding, Graham informed the world of that he couldn’t take the case seriously because the case was brought by politicians acting in their political interests.
The Senator took an oath hours ago and he still has the audacity to appear on Fox News to announce his bias pic.twitter.com/KetEpaceXw
— Acyn Torabi (@Acyn) January 17, 2020
Lindsey says he is going to judge the case by the evidence assembled by the House, and he is not going to expand the record. Except Graham alone doesn’t get to determine the record, and is not free to ignore evidence introduced. He then goes on to note that he doesn’t take Schiff, Nadler, nor Schumer seriously. Graham believes the Democrats aren’t seeking the truth, only seeking to destroy Trump, and move Schumer into the majority leader’s position.
When it comes to Graham, I am particularly saddened. If you have followed politics for a while, you know that he used to be a good, level-headed guy, well-liked by Democrats. John McCain’s death didn’t help, but I have to believe that Trump has something on Graham. It would be typical Trump, and typical M.O. for Eastern European government. Graham also looks terrified. He should, he is speaking to an audience of one, and that one may destroy him.
Were Graham our only problem.
Rand Paul is out vowing to make life a political hell for any Republican senator who dares to express interest in hearing from witnesses at a … you know … trial? Isn’t that right, Politico?
Sen. Rand Paul is waging a fierce campaign to prevent the Senate from hearing witnesses in Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, vowing to force tough votes on his fellow Republicans if they break with the president or back Democrats’ demands for new evidence.
Prevent the senate from hearing witnesses. In other words, preventing an actual trial.
Take a random foreign person off the street, one who knows nothing about government or even law. Describe the process, and note that one side doesn’t want to hear from anyone who was there. That person would quickly note that the Republican side is terrified that too much truth might get out. It is a cover-up.
There is a wrinkle in Paul’s position:
Paul says if four or more of his GOP colleagues join with Democrats to entertain new witness testimony, he will make the Senate vote on subpoenaing the president’s preferred witnesses, including Hunter Biden and the whistleblower who revealed the Ukraine scandal — polarizing picks who moderate Republicans aren’t eager to call. So he has a simple message for his party: end the trial before witnesses are called.
“If you vote against Hunter Biden, you’re voting to lose your election, basically. Seriously. That’s what it is,” Paul said during an interview in his office on Wednesday. “If you don’t want to vote and you think you’re going to have to vote against Hunter Biden, you should just vote against witnesses, period.”
How does any American read that and not recoil into a fetal position, overcome with embarrassment?
Now, my thinking runs counter to many on the Democratic side. I think that witnesses are so critical to reaching justice, that I think I’d trade allowing Hunter and Joe Biden to testify, in order to get Parnas, Bolton, Hyde, Mulvaney and Pompeo.
I fail to see how Biden’s appearance at the trial would do anything but lift his campaign, a hours long commercial with the whole nation watchin, in which Biden would get to demonstrate what a real patriot looks like, someone unafraid of the truth, unafraid of questions. Hunter could testify that, yes, he got an offer, and yes, like he said before, it was likely to trade on his name. But he never broke any law, and never did anything corrupt.
The diametrically opposite positions, two witnesses hauled in without having anything to do with Trump’s behavior, but unafraid. His testimony would contrast against those who have first person knowledge, who know exactly what happened, all the illegalities, and are terrified of being called – many of whom might well take the fifth.
In my mind, it is the easiest trade. The House managers run the trial, so they can call the Bidens as the first witnesses. Upon completing the Bidens very short testimony, the country will gear up to hear from the real witnesses, ones who were there, ones that cannot cover for an illegal operation. The nation won’t remember how to spell Biden by the time the House is through with Bolton, Hyde and Parnas.
Regardless, we now know that none of the seriousness that hung in the air of the Senate chamber yesterday had any impact on Republican senators. House later they were hacking away on Fox News, spewing the same “hoax” bullshit. Graham wants us to believe that Schumer, Nadler and Schiff cannot be trusted because they’re just trying to get elected. Meanwhile, according to their theory, Trump has only the nation’s well-being at heart, and will do the right thing even if it costs him the election.
The Republicans know that they are full of shit, they just think that their base doesn’t care, indeed likes that they’re full of shit. The Republicans only goal is to make it a couple more weeks, and get in the clear. At that point, they can get back into doing Russia’s business.
It is day two.
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