Tag Archives: Senate trial

Trump is still a ‘phony’ and a ‘fraud’

I didn’t vote for Mitt Romney in 2012 when he ran for president against Barack H. Obama. I felt at the time — and I do at this moment — that the incumbent president was better for this country than his Republican opponent.

But then Mitt had to make a speech in 2016 that spoke for many millions of his fellow Americans. Here it is …

He called the then-prospective GOP nominee a “phony” and a “fraud.” He was right then. He would be right today — were he to muster the nerve to say it about the fraudulent politician who went on to be elected president of the United States.

I just want to share this video once again to offer a glimmer of hope that now Sen. Romney, of Utah, will muster up some guts to break ranks with his Republican Senate colleagues.

Sen. Romney says he wants former national security adviser John Bolton to testify in the ongoing Senate trial of Donald John Trump. Bolton heard Trump’s infamous phone call to Ukraine’s president in which he asked the foreign government for a political favor. Bolton reportedly was alarmed at what he heard.

The House has impeached Trump on abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Trump’s legal team has begun its defense of the president. No one in the Senate or the House who purports to support Trump has stood up for the man’s character.

Sen. Romney damn sure isn’t.

The speech attached to this blog post speaks volumes — and it speaks them loudly — to the essence of the man who sought the presidency in 2016 and who has abused the power of his office ever since he swore an oath to defend the Constitution.

Russia, Ukraine … which one attacked us in 2016?

Donald John Trump’s defense team today introduced, albeit gently, the notion that Ukraine might have joined its mortal enemy Russia in attacking our 2016 presidential election.

Trump is on trial for his job in the U.S. Senate. The House of Reps’ managers gave it their best shot in their opening argument. Now it’s Trump’s turn.

So what did the legal eagles representing the current president offer? They suggested that Ukraine might have attacked the U.S. election in 2016. But wait!

Russia and Ukraine are at war. Russia re-annexed Crimea, a part of Ukraine. Russia-backed rebels are fighting Ukraine government forces. Thousands of people have been killed.

An alleged Ukrainian attack on our election, of course, is a Russian propaganda talking point, which Republicans in the Senate and House have been parroting. Moreover, U.S. intelligence experts have concluded unanimously that Russia acted alone in attacking our system in 2016, even though Donald Trump keeps denying their findings and disparaging their expertise.

I have to ask: Does it make any semblance of sense for Ukraine and Russia to — and pardon the expression — “collude” to interfere together to influence the outcome of a U.S. presidential election?

My head is spinning.

Should Democratic candidates recuse themselves?

My quest for fairness compels me to wonder aloud: Given that this blog — published by me — has insisted that U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is unfit to sit as a “juror” in the trial of Donald John Trump, might there be a case to be made against the four Democratic senators who are running for president?

McConnell has said he won’t be an “impartial” juror, even though he took an oath to deliver impartial justice in the Senate impeachment trial of the current president of the United States.

What about the individuals who are running for their party’s nomination to oppose Trump in the November election? Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Amy Klobuchar and Michael Bennett have made up their minds on how they intend to vote when they get the order to cast their vote. They will vote to convict Trump. Period.

I can think of a few other Republicans as well who’ve said they have made up their minds, that they don’t need no witness testimony or evidentiary documents. Lindsey Graham? Ted Cruz? John Kennedy? Give me a break.

However, this pre-judging disease spreads across the aisle.

The four Democrats have staked out their views already. Sure, they insist on witnesses and documents. It remains to be seen whether they’ll get ’em. It’s beginning to look to me as though the fix is in. Republicans who comprise most of the 100 Senate seats aren’t likely to admit witnesses, even though they have plenty to offer.

The four contenders for the Democratic Party presidential nomination, though, need to think long and hard whether they are any more qualified to serve with impartiality than the Senate majority leader who’s admitted he will do nothing of the sort.

Hey, fair is fair … right?

Dershowitz needs to explain his change of mind on abuse of power

Alan Dershowitz has been recruited by Donald John Trump to join his defense team that will fight to stave off the current president’s potential conviction and removal from office.

The U.S. House of Representatives impeached Trump on two articles: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. To my mind, the House impeachment managers have made the case. He abused his power by asking Ukraine to interfere in our 2020 presidential election and obstructed justice by blocking all White House officials from answering congressional subpoenas.

The president’s team will seek to rebut them.

Dershowitz, though, is going to argue — as I understand it — that the impeachment articles somehow violate constitutional precepts, that abuse of power is not an impeachable offense.

I hate to disagree with an esteemed law professor emeritus at Harvard University … but I think I will.

Moreover, Dershowitz said precisely the opposite in 1998 when the House was impeaching President Bill Clinton. Twenty-two years ago, Dershowitz said an abuse of power was impeachable, but now he says it isn’t? What’s changed between then and now?

We all know the answer. Nothing has changed!

It’s too bad senators are required to sit there silently in the Senate chamber. None of them is allowed to object to what they might hear.

Indeed, I would find it highly objectionable for esteemed professor Dershowitz to say out loud that a president cannot be impeached for abusing the power of his office when, truth be told, he most certainly can.

I am so-o-o-o-o looking forward to hearing how Donald Trump’s team seeks to defend him.

Planning to listen intently to POTUS’s defense

Now that the Democratic impeachment managers are getting set to wrap up their arguments to toss Donald John Trump out of office, I want to declare my sincere intention for the next phase of this historic event.

The current president’s defense team is going to take the U.S. Senate floor Saturday to begin its effort to persuade senators that they should acquit Trump of the allegations that have been leveled by the House of Representatives.

I want to listen to every bit of it live, in real time, to the extent that I can. My wife and I are otherwise busy the next couple of days, but my intention is to devote as much time as I can to hearing how Trump’s defense team plans to defend this guy.

The House impeached Trump on abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, stemming from that infamous July 25 phone call in which Trump asked Ukraine for political help, asking the Ukrainians to help him cheat his way to re-election later this year. He wanted them to dig up dirt on Joe Biden and withheld duly appropriated military aid to Ukraine.

The House managers have made a compelling case that Trump put his personal political interest over the interests of the nation and then blocked Congress’s efforts to get to the heart of the matter.

How are Trump’s team planning to defend him?

I am going to wait with bated breath for someone — anyone! — on Trump’s team to say the following: Donald John Trump never would do the things he has been accused of doing.

I am going to wait for them to defend the president’s character. I want to know if they dare say such a thing about a president who they likely know did what has been alleged in the articles of impeachment. If such a defense is not forthcoming, then what is the Trump team’s next available option?

Will they continue to attack the motives of those who want him removed from office? Will they insist that the Trump foes are so filled with hate of the man that they are willing to subject the country to the sickening drama that is unfolding? Will they keep insisting that Trump was looking to root out corruption, even though the managers have proven that the president exhibited zero interest in Ukraine’s government until after Joe Biden decided to run for president?

I do not shy away from my own bias. However, I am ready to hear Donald John Trump’s team make their case. I am even more ready to hear someone on that team stand up for the president’s character, proving to us that this man never would put his personal political benefit above the oath he took to defend the Constitution.

I’m all ears.

How can the Senate acquit this guy?

I am sitting far from the action, way out here in Trump Country, in the Peanut Gallery. I have been watching much of the Senate trial of Donald John Trump — maybe too much of it — and I have come away so far with this conclusion.

Based on what I have heard, I am finding it impossible to believe how a senator can vote to acquit the current president of the United States.

The House of Reps has impeached him on abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The House managers who have presented their case have done so with clarity, purpose and passion. They have the facts and evidence on their side.

Very soon, Donald Trump’s legal team will suit up and make its case to keep him.

I am waiting to hear one thing from the president’s team. It is that they must say that Donald Trump “never would do the things that the House managers have alleged.” 

So far the president’s defenders have not stood up for Trump’s character. They haven’t argued on behalf of the man’s love of country, his commitment to all Americans. They haven’t yet produced any evidence to support his contention that he is driven to root out corruption in a foreign government and that Joe and Hunter Biden just happen to be in the way.

Oh, the 2020 election and Joe Biden’s candidacy to seek to run against him? What about that?

If the president’s team is able to disprove all of it, then I am willing to accept that. But so far they have attacked the process. They have attacked the motives of Trump’s accusers.

The House managers and Trump’s defenders are talking past each other. The prosecutors are arguing the facts and evidence; the defenders are arguing motives and process.

Out here in the Peanut Gallery, I am at this moment sticking with the prosecutors. They are making the case for Trump’s conviction and removal from office.

How will POTUS leave office, gracefully or clumsily?

I have good news regarding Donald John Trump: This man will not be president forever. There is an end — if you’ll pardon the phrase — to our “long national nightmare.”

It might come in one of three ways: The U.S. Senate could convict Trump of the impeachment charges it is considering, he could lose his re-election bid this coming November or — and perish the thought — he will walk out of the Oval Office for the final time on Jan. 20, 2025.

Let’s be real: Conviction by the Senate isn’t likely to happen, no matter how many facts senators hear about Trump’s effort to pervert the oath he took to defend the Constitution. Then we have the election in November. I am not going to even venture a wild-a** guess about how that will turn out. I mean, I never thought this guy would be elected in the first place. The end of a second term almost is too hideous to ponder.

My thoughts, however, turn to how the president is going to leave office. Will he pledge a smooth transition with whomever will succeed him? Will he commit his staff to working hand-in-glove with his successor’s staff? Or … will he yammer about a “rigged election” if the successor happens to be from the Democratic Party? Will he order his staff to turn their backs on successor’s staff members who need help and counsel as they seek to assemble their own governing team?

You might laugh at the last scenario. I feel the need to remind you that Trump has obstructed his staff already to ignore congressional subpoenas, held back key documents and, yes, obstructed Congress in its effort to perform its constitutionally mandated right to conduct oversight of the executive branch.

The sooner he’s out of there, the better. You know that’s how I feel already. By the time the end of a second Trump term arrives, though, it likely will seem like a countless number of lifetimes has passed.

Just remember: There is an end to this madness.

Cruz joins McConnell in pre-judging POTUS’s Senate trial

The Cruz Missile has launched a podcast on which he intends to vent his belief that Donald John Trump, the nation’s current president, is innocent of the charges brought forward by the House of Representatives impeachment of him.

Impartial justice, anyone? Anyone?

Sen. Ted Cruz has begun a podcast titled “Verdict.” He is one of 100 U.S. senators who swore an oath to judge the president with impartiality. Nope. Not gonna happen.

He has aligned himself with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in pre-judging this case. The House impeached Trump on abuse of power and obstruction of Congress charges. We haven’t heard any witnesses … yet! However, Cruz is ready to declare that Trump hasn’t committed any crimes.

That remains to be seen.

Many Senate leaders have warned their colleagues against pre-judging this case. They want to remain faithful to the oath that Chief Justice John Roberts issued to them.

Has the Cruz Missile followed that oath? In the first episode he labels the impeachment as a partisan political attack.

McConnell has demonstrated that he is not going to adhere to the oath he took. Now he has Ted Cruz joining him in revealing how intends to vote when the time arrives.

Trial muzzles loquacious group of lawmakers

Hear ye! Hear ye!. All persons are commanded to keep silent, on pain of imprisonment.

One hundred Americans who now serve in the U.S. Senate got that command at the start of a trial to determine whether the current president of the United States, Donald John Trump, gets to keep his job.

Four of those 100 senators are running in a primary campaign for the right to face that president in an election later this year.

I am trying to imagine the difficulty it was for those senators, a group of men and women with enormous egos — many of whom are deeply in love with the sound of their own voices — to hear that mandate come from the Senate sergeant-at-arms.

The late Sen. George McGovern once said that the first prerequisite for a successful politician is to have a large ego. So the Senate is now sitting on its hands, its collective lips zipped while House members — from that “other” legislative branch — argue on behalf of the case that produced an impeachment of the Donald Trump.

My goodness. It’s bad enough for these men and women to have to sit there and not say a word. What makes it worse is that they are being forced to listen to House members talk for hours on end about a case they have brought to the “World’s Greatest Deliberative Body.” Senators tend, as I understand it, to look down on their colleagues in the House. Except for those few sparsely populated states that have just a single House member in Congress, senators represent their entire states while House members represent a “mere” congressional district. Senators have greater power, or so they believe, than their House colleagues.

The impeachment accuses Trump of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

You and I are all quite certain that senators have plenty to say about those articles of impeachment. Except they cannot say a word about it, other than to comment — when the media ask them for their comment — on the presentation they are being forced to hear without being able to respond in real time.

In a strange sort of happenstance, we are witnessing the members of one legislative chamber elevating their profile to the same level as the members of the other.

I find it entertaining.

Yes no Bolton, no on Hunter Biden!

I am now willing to accept the strategy being played out in the U.S. Senate trial of Donald John Trump, the current president of the United States.

House of Representatives prosecution managers want to summon John Bolton, the former national security adviser, to testify before the Senate; they believe he would be a material “fact witness” who could tell senators what he heard on the day Trump made that fateful phone call to the president of Ukraine, when Trump sought a political favor from a foreign government.

The strategy enacted by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is to decide whether to allow witnesses such as Bolton after opening arguments are concluded. Fine.

However, some GOP senators keep insisting that they also need to hear from Hunter Biden, the son of the former vice president who is at the center of this impeachment matter. Why? Because they want to establish that Hunter Biden is somehow corrupt, that he took a lot of money for working for a Ukrainian energy company.

Hunter Biden is not a material witness. He is a target of GOP senators who want to conduct a sideshow, distracting us from the issue under discussion: It is whether Donald Trump violated his oath of office by seeking foreign government interference in the 2020 election by asking Ukraine to dig up dirt on Joe Biden’s role in Hunter Biden’s employment.

Let’s see. Oh, yes! The Ukrainian prosecutors have said categorically that Joe and Hunter Biden did nothing illegal. That isn’t dissuading the GOP “outfitters” who keep wanting to take the Senate on a fishing expedition … that won’t catch any fish.

I remain afflicted by acute impeachment fatigue. I want the trial to end sooner rather than later. The House managers are doing a fine job in presenting their case, in my view. We’ll get to hear from Trump’s legal team soon. I want to hear their side of the story. I want to hear whether they will attack the evidence as presented or whether they will continue to assail the process that brought us to this history-making point.

Then let’s hear from witnesses with actual knowledge of the issue at hand and let’s dispense with the sideshow.