The acquittal hoax

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President Donald Trump is right. Impeachment was a hoax and a sham. The impeachment trial, that is.

Who ever heard of a trial with no witnesses, and a jury where the foreman announced ahead of time that he would work with the accused’s legal team toward acquittal?

Wednesday, Feb. 5, is a day that will live in infamy. It’s the day when 52 U.S. senators voted that it’s OK for a president to do as he pleases — that as long as he has a majority of support in the Senate, he won’t be held accountable for abusing his authority.

They chose partisanship over patriotism.

But there is one shining star in the madness. Though U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff warned that any senator who dared to vote for conviction could risk having his “head on a pike,” there was one senator who had the courage to uphold his oath and vote for conviction on the first article of impeachment.

History will look kindly on U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, also the former governor of Massachusetts.

In an emotional speech before Wednesday’s vote, Romney called Trump’s actions “perhaps the most abusive and destructive violation of oath of office that I can imagine.”

He called out Trump for abusing his office in an attempt to pressure Ukraine to investigate political rival Joe Biden, who is running for president in the Democratic primaries.

“The president’s purpose was personal and political. Accordingly, the president is guilty of an appalling abuse of public trust,” Romney said. “The grave question the Constitution tasks senators to answer is whether the president committed an act so extreme and egregious that it rises to the level of a high crime and misdemeanor. Yes, he did.”

Romney said he was guided by his faith and conscience. “Does anyone seriously believe that I would consent to these consequences other than from an inescapable conviction that my oath before God demanded it of me?” Romney said during his speech.

And, as Schiff predicted, Trump and his supporters pounced, calling Romney a RINO and a Democratic operative. At a prayer breakfast of all places, Trump mocked Romney’s reasoning. 

“I don’t like people who use their faith as justification for doing what they know is wrong,” Trump said.

It’s silly, of course, given that Romney was once the Republican nominee who lost a presidential bid to Barack Obama.

Facts and evidence aren’t something Trump or Republicans put much stock in these days. They prefer “alternative facts,” as Kellyanne Conway put it. We call them lies and distortions.

Laurence Tribe, the respected Harvard professor, wrote of Romney’s vote, “His calm, convincing explanation should put many fellow Republicans to shame, although he was careful to diss none of them.”

Romney’s vote was a glimmer of hope on an otherwise dreary February afternoon. There are some politicians with a moral compass stronger than their party.

History won’t be so kind to the other Republican senators and, particularly, U.S. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, who some thought might cross party lines. Collins said she thought Trump would “learn a lesson” from the impeachment proceedings.

That lesson is that he truly can get away with anything. Unlike President Bill Clinton, who apologized to the American people after he was acquitted at his impeachment trial, Trump has taken a victory lap with no remorse. On the contrary, he removed a decorated military veteran from his White House duties for testifying at the impeachment proceedings in the House. Clear retribution to Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman. He also removed Gordon Sondland, his own crony-choice of ambassador to the European Union. And on Tuesday, the Department of Justice undermined the sentencing of Trump associate Roger Stone, leading four federal prosecutors to resign in protest.

And while Trump has called the Senate votes a “total acquittal,” there is this interesting perspective from Vox.com.
“On the surface, President Donald Trump can claim popular vindication after Wednesday’s impeachment vote. Senators voted 52-48 to acquit him on charges that he abused power, and 53-47 to acquit him on obstruction of Congress charges,” the website wrote. “The reality, though, is that the only reason a majority of the Senate voted to keep Trump in office is that the body is configured in a way that systemically advantages Republicans. The blue state of California has 68 times as many people as the red state of Wyoming, for example, but both states still receive two senators.”

The Democratic-controlled seats in the Senate actually represent the most populous states. “This means that overall, the current Republican Senate ‘majority’ represents about 15 million fewer people than the Democratic ‘minority,’” Vox reported.

Sound familiar? It’s like the Electoral College all over again. Democrat Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes, but lost on the number of electoral votes.

Structural distortions aside, the common explanation for spineless Republican support for Trump is that the members of both houses are afraid of Trump’s great power to punish them, in Congress and at the ballot box. This power in the end, though, is not “taken” by Trump: Rather it is heedlessly and willingly given up by narcissistic politicians who delude themselves into thinking that their personal persistence in office is actually of any value to any of us. Susan Collins is the only one who cares about Susan Collins’ re-election woes. And on and on. Consider this: What would happen to Trump’s power over Congress if Congress actually voted for what they know is right rather than what Trump bullies them into? We’d all see the undressed emperor for what he is, and we’d get closer to the shared leadership we need and the Constitution called for.

Which gets us to our final point on impeachment. There is still a way to show this president that his actions are inexcusable and intolerable, but it’s going to take the Democrats getting their act together after the Iowa debacle, choosing a candidate that the entire party can get behind, and convincing the nation’s independent voters to join in defeating Donald Trump.

It can be done. It must be done.

26 COMMENTS

  1. His abuse of power, immediately after his hoax acquittal, by his interference in the judicial branch of our government, continues— while he takes his sick revenge against real patriots. Trump is a criminal and his boot licking sycophants aid and abet his continued obstruction of justice. And all the racist white authoritarian fake Christians cheer their homophobic, racist, misogynistic hearts out. Basket of deplorables doesn’t begin to cover it.

  2. The writer should remember that while an impeachment trial may resemble a criminal trial, it is manifestly different. The task of senators is to determine if the House has proven its case and to decide whether they should remove the president from office now—or wait and let the American people vote to make that decision. The Senate is not a committee of investigation, but a court of impeachment. Its constitutional job is not to complete an investigation that the House didn’t complete. Senators already had much evidence to consider. They had, the entire House impeachment record, totaling 30,000 pages. Both sides have filed hundreds of pages of trial briefs, memoranda and appendices. Senators have heard attorneys from both sides present their cases—repeatedly making the same claims in a figurative waterboarding. Attorneys had also answered questions from senators over several days. In the Democratic-controlled House, Democrats said it was fair to let Democrats on the Intelligence and Judiciary Committees issue subpoenas unilaterally, while requiring Republicans to get Democrats’ permission. Was it fair of Nadler, D-N.Y., to deny Trump’s side the chance to call or question witnesses in the House impeachment inquiry—unless Trump first agreed to make available all witnesses Nadler demanded? Then there was the failed attempt by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., to hold the House impeachment articles hostage until the Senate promised to run Trump’s trial the way she wanted. The Dems want fairness for what they want and when they don’t get it, they call it a cover up. One may not like the outcome but the process is fair and based upon Congressional rules. Lawrence Tribe doesnt approve but Dershowitz does.The fact that the process was 53/47 should affirm that the process is highly political. Roger Stone getting 9 years for lying and outside the guidelines for that crime when Clapper and Brennan lied to Congress and get nothing and never will. Rape on average gets 4 years and robbery on average gets 3 years. 9 years for a political crime of lying? Bill Clinton admitted he lied to Congress and got no jail time and should not have. As for Vindman, the President can hire and fire anyone he wants. They serve at his pleasure. It might be vindictive but it is still his prerogative. I assume the writer believes that the owner of MV Times can fire him anytime he wants and for any reason.

    • your points are false and your take is wrong. Trump was given AMPLE opportunity to present ANY kind of witness, which he refused. It was NOT Nadler denying anything. Your Fox(faux) News repeating is typical. Every point you just made is wrong, except saying its not the senates job to investigate. Thats true, however the case was clear with what they presented. MCCONNELL IS the reason for holding impeachment articles, HE SAID HE WAS WORKING WITH THE WHITE HOUSE before it even got to them, that illegal. Holy crap, thats why she held them, wake up man.noone covering anything up but trump and his cronies, you CANT ACT LIKE THEM THEN ACCUSE OTHERS OF BEING CORRUPT. My god, you cant retaliate against someone who said you did wrong….thats also illegal. unbelievable spin

      • History will not acquit Trump, no matter how much his cult supporters lie, deflect and carry on about Clinton, any Clinton. Trump is guilty, guilty, guilty and all the evidence says so. History will also be as kind to Trump supporters as they deserve.

    • yeh…but still… you had numerous highly respected credible witnesses who testified to the same facts. Irrespective of whether you think the House process was unfair, the witnesses speak for themselves.To discard their testimonies suggests a blind-sided willingness to tolerate Trump at any cost. As perhaps you may (or may not ) discard the testimonies of the scores of women who alleged sexual abuser, or the numerous businesses bilked out of payments over the many years of shady practices.
      Please.Just admit that some will support this man at any cost (perhaps even a 5th ave shooting).Translates as a bitter distaste for all things liberal.

  3. trump is openly abusing his power yet again in plain sight.
    “The Trump administration won’t let New Yorkers apply for or renew Global Entry due to ‘sanctuary’ law”

    He has told the governor of New York he will reverse that decision if the state of New York drops all criminal investigations against him.
    Is that a “quid pro quo” for personal gain ?
    And then he refers to Gov Cuomo’s brother as “Fredo”, again.

    What a great negotiator.

  4. Amazing how the Democrats will do anything to oppose Trump except field a strong and sensible candidate who can appeal to people outside of New York, Massachusetts and California. The current DNC should rename itself the Trump Re-Election Committee.

        • TQ– the right wing mantra that all liberals hate trump just because he beat Hillary in the electoral college is a pathetic attempt at belittling a large group of people with legitimate concerns.
          Let me tell you some of my concerns, and just a few of the reasons I don’t like him.
          He is a liar. A flat out full time liar.
          He is only interested in what will benefit him. His actions are motivated by greed and power and are only occasionally tangentially beneficial to the well being of the country.
          He blatantly disregards the rule of law.
          He is abusive in his bullying of anyone who disagrees with him.
          He throws children in cages, and then tries to blame Obama for it.
          He is doing his best to destroy the environment.
          He care nothing about any living creature save for a few close family members
          He has no sense of decency, and even mocks handicapped people
          He pardons convicted war criminals and then awards the presidential medal of freedom to a racist.
          He is a racist
          He has no respect for women.
          He has cheated on all his wives.
          He is widely mocked by world leaders as the fool he is
          I am paying the tariffs of his impulsive trade war
          He is systematically undermining every institution our democracy is built on
          His blatant abuses of power are turning our country into a third rate banana republic run by a gang of thugs
          The United States (which I love btw ) has lost it’s moral standing in the world
          He plays too much golf at my expense
          He is the dumbest president we have ever had.
          He lies
          He lies
          he lies.
          There are plenty of reasons to dislike the man.
          Can you tell me why you like him ?
          Oh, please don’t go on about the great economy he inherited from Obama, unless you mention the staggering debt he is accumulating.

          • This was a lot to read but still just makes a dent…TQ would be easier if you could tell us what you DO like about this president? Is it to your economic benefit ? Is it the packing of the courts with conservative judges so that we can FINALLY start taking back human rights ? Are you tired of this planet or maybe just bored and love the idea of killing it ? If Trump were your children’s math teacher, scout leader or camp director would you support him even if he were “brilliant” at what he teaches ?
            Character matters

      • Ah, the wistful “It should have been” fantasy, still hard to let go of 4 years later. I am not a partisan voter and am currently undecided in 2020, and I’ll vote for whoever makes a more clear and compelling case. I’m utterly baffled by the Democrats- they seem like they are determined to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory….and they will.

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