The impeachment trial of President Trump is coming to an end. It is likely today there will be a vote on the calling of witnesses. That vote will probably be about 49/51 and therefore not enough to pass. If this happens, Trump will be acquitted shortly thereafter.
There have been many irregularities that need to be clarified. Here are my reflections.
Hypocrisy is evident in both sides: Democrats and Republicans. Two decades ago, President Clinton was impeached in the Republican controlled House of Representatives but acquitted in the Democrat dominated Senate (just the opposite of the current composition in Congress). Some of the current key players on both sides were also quite involved in the Clinton trial (Lindsey Graham, Jerry Nadler, Zoe Lofgren, Mitch McConnell, and others) and they are on record arguing for ethical and procedural positions on witnesses, documents, etc., in that trial that are just the opposite of what they have affirmed in the current situation. Although it is possible for people to change their minds on ethical principles, in this case the tribalism and hypocrisy are quite evident. We the people are naïve if we don´t recognize that many politicians change their moral principles to suit their personal or political ambitions. We the people should call them out, Democrats and Republicans alike, for their hypocrisy.
Witnesses – According to U.S. history, we have had fifteen previous impeachment trials in the Senate (of Presidents and others). In every one of these trials, there have been witnesses. If no witnesses are permitted to give testimony in the Trump trial, it is a complete break with precedent.
A bogus argument – The White House lawyers have repeatedly claimed that the Democrats in the House did not do their job, because they should have called witnesses like Bolton. As a consequence, the lawyers argue that the Senate should not call witnesses just because the House Democrats failed to do their job. This is the height of hypocrisy and I hope that most citizens see through this guile. The lawyers know quite well that Trump defied every single subpoena for witnesses and documents. When subpoenas are defied, the lawyers claimed the House should have gone to court to obtain this testimony, but they know quite well that appeals to the court would take months to work through the judicial system. (the House did take their subpoena of previous White House Counsel Don McGahn to court, but nine months later, the courts have still not given their final decision) This is stalling. What makes it worse, early on the WH counsel said that taking the subpoenas to court was illegal. Arguing that the House could not go to court and then arguing that the House should have taken the extra months and/or years by going to court is a sham. Most Americans recognize this as hypocritical.
In an earlier blog weeks ago, I expressed the need for eyewitnesses to testify. Eyewitnesses like John Bolton and Mick Mulvaney are the ones whose testimony under oath could confirm whether President Trump is innocent or guilty. Both of these men were appointed by Trump. Both are Republicans. Rules could be established that limit their testimony to one day or one week. To vote against calling these witnesses is an admission of not wanting to seek the truth.
Not hearing from the most relevant witnesses gives the appearance of hiding the facts and covering up misdeeds. John Bolton´s book will eventually be published, and his understanding of the truth will be made public. Let it happen during the trial and not when it is too late.
4 thoughts on “The Impeachment Trial and Hypocrisy”
Pres. Trump defied subpoenas because of executive privilege provided in Article II in the Constitution. In impeachment the House is the court and the Senate is the jury. After the House passed the impeachment it is to be sent to the Senate. Why did they take 33 days to present it? Because they knew how weak it was? And then when they present their “best” witness he cannot testify because he was just released from prison and his ankle location devise would be interfered with? Joe Biden was right. They only care about their “facts” and not the truth.
Thanks for your comment. I respectfully disagree with two points. The Democrats asked for four witnesses and none of them fit your description of being recently released from prison. Those four witnesses are acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, former National Security Adviser John Bolton, Mulvaney’s senior adviser Robert Blair, and Associate Director for National Security at the Office of Management and Budget Michael Duffey. They’re all current or former members of President Donald Trump’s administration who are believed to have direct knowledge of his discussions with Ukraine about political investigations and military aid. They are eyewitnesses who could make public the truth. The truth will come out anyway (Bolton´s book).
President Trump´s defiance of all subpoenas might barely be legal (the courts would need to decide this) but, from my perspective, it was completely immoral and unjust. He and his lawyers were stalling and stonewalling. They knew that if the Democrats took the president to court, it would drag out for months or years, way past the election (the defiance of McGahn´s subpoena has been tied up in the court for ten months and is still not resolved). If Trump has nothing to hide, why does he refuse to provide non confidential information to the American public? This is typical of his lack of transparency (why is he the only president who has refused to make public his tax returns?)
So how did Bolton’s manuscript work out ? Personally I’d like to see all politicians release their tax records. Defiance of subpoenas is legal but I’d hardly call it immoral. It’s an option used by businesses and politicians of both parties. Pelosi’s is one I’d love to see along with “Mad Maxine” Waters. Pelosi’s husband made out pretty well too.
I have three responses to your comments:
a. My choice of the word immoral was intentional. Trump was trying to lay a trap for Democrats by defying the subpoenas. It’s the old “heads I win, tails you lose” mentality. If the Democrats do not take this defiance to the courts, they don’t have the most important eyewitnesses. If they do take it to the courts, the process would go way past the November elections. Although the procedure is technically legal, it is unjust and immoral. The true trial will take place on election day when the American people will vote on whether Trump committed crimes or not.
b. Your appeal to Bolton’s manuscript is surprising because it proves my point. The White House is blocking the release of his book under the guise of national security, when it probably has damaging eyewitness evidence. What is Trump hiding?
c. We do agree that all presidents and candidates for that office should release their tax records. We need to know if other people or nations have leverage over the president. I would also like to see the complete medical records of Trump, Bernie Sanders and all the rest. We deserve to have the truth.