Today I just have some random thoughts on the impeachment trials currently underway.
I see many Republicans coming out and giving interviews, and saying things along the lines that “there is nothing new here”, or “they’re just repeating the same thing”. It’s a spectacularly disingenuous thing to say, given that Republicans are the only thing standing in the way of issuing subpoenas that would provide a metric shit-ton of new evidence to consider. It’s also not a requirement that evidence be “new” to be worthy of consideration. What they are really saying is that they have no cogent rebuttal, and none of them will actually go on record saying that Trump hasn’t abused the power of his office as the evidence clearly shows.
Which leads us to the legality argument, or stating that abusing the power of the the office of the president is not actually a crime. Remember, this is not a criminal proceeding. The decision they are faced with in the end is whether or not the president is fit for office, and whether or not he should be removed. Furthermore, committing a crime is not necessarily grounds for impeachment. If for instance the President was issued a ticket for speeding (a misdemeanor BTW), nobody in their right mind would call for his impeachment on those grounds alone. That was essentially the case with the Clinton impeachment trial. However a crime is not required to impeach and remove a president from office either if the president is proven to be unfit for office. If it can be demonstrated that they used that office for personal benefit to the detriment of their oath of office, that is not necessarily a crime, but it is absolutely sufficient grounds for removal from office.
The one that really incenses me though is when they state that there isn’t enough evidence to indict the president. I mean really? REALLY? Okay, then perhaps we should, ohhhh I dunno, get all the documentary evidence that could either be use to exonerate or indict the president? I mean, Trump was bragging a mere two days ago about how he’s blocked Congress from getting their hands on that evidence, so he’s clearly proud of his ability to hide it from the light of day. If you really think that you need more evidence to indict, does it make any sense at all to say that a.) nah, we don’t need to hear that evidence and refuse to allow any subpoenas to collect it, and b.) Despite claiming that there isn’t enough evidence to indict, I’ve already heard enough to exonerate the president. I mean, even someone as intellectually challenged as the president could see that such an argument wouldn’t hold a single molecule of water.
Then there is the question of “horse trading” witnesses wherein the Republicans get a Hunter Biden to testify in exchange for a John Bolton’s testimony. I for one think that the Democrats should jump on that offer. Maybe the Democrats are playing it coy lest the Republicans see through such a charade, but I can’t imagine a scenario where calling Hunter Biden in as a witness is a good look for the Republicans. It’s a childish tactic at best, or amateurish if I’m being nice. If they really wanted to hear his testimony, all they would have to do is use their majority vote whilst continuing to refuse to allow Bolton et. al. to testify. That is precisely why I think it’s a bluff, and why the Democrats should totally call them on it. I mean, think about it? Would the Trump re-election campaign really want the son of the likely Democratic frontrunner to be given a voice in Trump’s Senate impeachment trial?
Finally, I would like to address what appears to be the complete apathy of the US citizenry. I don’t think the average citizen really grasps what is at stake here with this impeachment. Are we really so cynical that we’ll just look the other way, pretending that there is nothing to see here, or that none of it really matters? Is it to be that this is just how things are done now. Are we to expect from now on that the president will put their own priorities above those of the public’s, and that all future presidents are beholden to nobody, even Congress? It strains credulity to state that politicians in Congress should get back to working on domestic issues like the economy, job creation, gun control, healthcare, etc instead of impeaching the president, but fail to recognize that the president has failed to do just that by putting his own interests above all else? If Senate Republicans are allowed to ram this trial through to acquittal without any witnesses or without subpoenaing the evidence that Trump, by his own god damned admission, is withholding from them, then we shall cease to be a democratic republic and will descend into tyranny.