Tag Archives: Senate trial

Still committing impeachable offenses?

I am acutely aware that Donald Trump’s impeachment and Senate trial are now part of our nation’s history, that Trump will be remembered forever as the nation’s third impeached president of the United States.

I cannot get past the cowardice demonstrated by all but one of the Senate’s 53 Republican members in giving this corrupt narcissist a pass on what he did, which was to extort the leader of another country into providing political dirt on Joe Biden, the man now in position to defeat Trump in the upcoming election.

Nor can I understand the logic behind that Senate acquittal, given that since then Trump has committed — allegedly — at least two more heinous acts.

One is that he reportedly sought to move the British Open golf tournament to a resort he owns, thus seeking actively to flout the clause in the Constitution that prohibits the president from profiting materially from his public office. It’s called the Emoluments Clause and this reported solicitation is simply the latest such example of this blatant corruption.

The other is the hideous betrayal of his oath as commander in chief to care for the troops under his command. I refer to the allegation that Russia paid Taliban terrorists bounties for every American serviceman and woman killed in Afghanistan. If there is a more “impeachable offense” than that, I am totally unaware of it.

This is the bargain that every House Republican and all but one Senate Republican delivered when they decided that the “perfect phone call” to the Ukrainian president in July 2019 wasn’t enough to toss Trump out of office.

I am enough of a realist to know that impeaching Trump again is likely out of the question. I also am enough of an idealist to hope that the election this November will take care of the corruption that has influenced damn near every political decision Trump has made while sitting in the Oval Office.

Of course, an election result doesn’t prevent criminal prosecution of Donald Trump once he quick-steps out of the White House for the final time. Oh, allow me to wish once again that the day comes after this next election.

Has Trump been ‘chastened’ by impeachment? Not even!

Some of the congressional Republicans — House members and senators alike — who voted to acquit Donald John Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress talked about him learning the lessons of the impeachment and trial.

Hmm. Has the president learned anything? Is he feeling chastened by the acquittal in the Senate?

Umm. No. He isn’t. He has learned a single constructive thing.

Instead, he is feeling emboldened. Trump is proceeding as if the acquittal actually means something other than Republicans (more or less) standing behind him. Except for GOP U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah voting his conscience on the abuse of power impeachment allegation, the rest of the Republican caucus refused to budge.

Trump, though, sees it this way: an acquittal is an acquittal. It doesn’t matter how it came to pass.

He issued those 11 pardons and commutations. He fired Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire because the DNI briefed members of Congress on reports that Russia is attacking our election system this year just as it did in 2016. The president is purging his administration of those who would seek to provide critical analyses, replacing them with yes men and women, with blind loyalists.

What’s more, the president is dismissing reports about Russia’s renewed attack on our election. He is disparaging, just as he has done so many times already, the hard work of our expert and patriotic intelligence analysts who speak with a single voice on one critical point: Russia is attacking us! 

Donald Trump is unleashed. He should frighten all of us.

Impeachment saga wore me out

The Donald John Trump Impeachment Saga is now history.

The current president of the United States will be forever remembered as the third president ever to be impeached by the House of Representatives. No amount of expunging the record will erase that fact.

Now, though, we can move on to the next saga, which involves the president’s effort to win re-election to a second term as POTUS. To be candid, I am grateful to be free of the impeachment story.

It wore me out! Seriously, man! It got on my nerves. The seriousness of it gave me plenty of worry about the strength of our system, of our Constitution, of our governing bodies … and of our national spirit.

Trump got acquitted. The vote to acquit on the obstruction of Congress fell along strictly partisan lines: Senate Republicans voted to acquit; Senate Democrats voted to convict.

The abuse of power article, though, is where history occurred, with GOP Sen. Mitt Romney voting to convict Trump, becoming the first senator in U.S. history to cast a vote to convict against a president of his own party.

That’s in the past. I am now ready to move on. I want to find a way to use this blog as a forum to defeat Donald Trump in his bid for re-election. I’ll just need to get plenty of sleep to guard against the campaign wearing me out all over again.

Trump allies want impeachment wiped off the books?

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi declared that Donald John Trump would be impeached “forever,” that he would take the House’s impeachment with him to his grave.

Not so fast, say some of the current president’s allies in Congress.

Some of Trump’s GOP allies are considering whether to introduce a resolution to have the impeachment expunged from the record. That’s it. They want the congressional record to no longer reflect what is now inscribed permanently into history.

I am baffled as to how that is supposed to work.

Trump stands impeached on grounds that he abused the power of his office and obstructed Congress. The House impeached him for those counts and then sent them to the Senate, which this week acquitted him after a slam-bam trial that was devoid of witnesses.

So, does that mean the impeachment shouldn’t stand? Of course not. It means only that the Senate, led by Trump’s Republican allies, decided they would not convict him of the charges that the Democrat-led House filed against him.

An acquittal by one body does not negate the action of another body. The Constitution says the House has “sole authority” to impeach a federal official; it says the Senate has sole authority to put that official on trial.

Besides, expunging the record does not mean that (a) those of us who are alive to witness the event will forget about it or (b) historians won’t acknowledge that the impeachment occurred in the first place.

Don’t you see? Speaker Pelosi was right. Donald Trump will be “forever” remembered as an impeached president.

Don Jr. ignites angry response to a real Republican’s outrage

I practically choked on whatever it was I might have been munching on the moment I read what Don Trump Jr. had said about Sen. Mitt Romney’s history-making vote in the Senate impeachment trial of Don’s dad, the current president of the United States.

Romney became the first senator in U.S. history to cast a vote against a president of his own party; the Utah Republican voted “guilty” on the charge that Daddy Donald abused the power of his office by soliciting a foreign government for personal political assistance.

Don Jr. said Sen. Romney, for voting his conscience and trusting in God to assure fidelity to the oath he took as a Senate juror, should be “expelled” from the Republican Party.

Yep, the No. 1 presidential grifter said that Romney, the party’s 2012 presidential nominee, should be kicked out of the party because he dared to honor the oath he took to be an impartial juror and to render justice according to what he understood to be his solemn responsibility.

I hasten to note that Mitt Romney has contributed more to the Republican Party — through his term as governor of Massachusetts and as an ongoing advocate for mainstream GOP policies — than Don Jr. or his father, for that matter, ever will contribute.

For a man who’s profited materially from his father’s business interests and in recent times his political standing to call for the expulsion of an actual Republican with serious policy chops is beyond reprehensible.

I get that Junior is angry. Fine. Keep it to yourself, chump.

Sen. Romney makes a historic decision

Sen. Mitt Romney made history today. To be honest, I was unaware of it in the moment I was watching him make it.

He became the only U.S. senator to vote to convict a president of his own party at the end of the Senate impeachment trial of Donald John Trump, the nation’s current president.

No Democrat bolted when the Senate put President Clinton on trial in 1999. Neither did a Democrat vote to convict President Andrew Johnson during his Senate trial in 1868.

Mitt Romney now stands alone as the only Republican to vote today to convict Donald Trump of abuse of power. He voted immediately afterward to acquit Trump of obstruction of Congress.

The Utah Republican has demonstrated that there really is honor in politics. I was proud of him today as I listened to his speech. He stood with the sacred oath he took, with the U.S. Constitution, with his conscience.

Sen. Romney, you may count me as one American who is immensely proud of the courage you demonstrated. If only it would have been contagious when he made his momentous decision.

It’s done; now, bring on a full-throated campaign

It’s over.

The latest national nightmare is over. The U.S. Senate today acquitted Donald John Trump of abusing the power of his office and obstructing Congress.

It is an unsatisfactory ending for many millions of Americans; I am one who is unhappy with the outcome. Many millions of other Americans are happy to see Trump still standing as the current president of the United States.

Is there going to be fallout? Oh, sure.

Consider some of the chatter that developed today when Sen. Mitt Romney became the sole Republican to vote to convict Trump. Romney voted “guilty” on the abuse of power charge. The fallout is likely to occur when Trump lashes out at Romney. That’s the president’s modus operandi. He demands total loyalty. When he doesn’t get it he exacts revenge.

Trump “governs” through intimidation. Wonderful, yes? I guess it explains his bromances with international strongmen. He likes their style and seeks to emulate them here at home.

Those of us unhappy Americans, though, need to look forward. We have a presidential campaign looming out there. My fervent opposition to Trump is well-known to those who read this blog.

I still consider fundamentally unfit for this high office. I still consider him to be a danger to the republic. I am frightened beyond measure by what he is capable of doing now that he considers himself “exonerated” of all the charges brought against him.

He won’t express a scintilla of regret for making any mistakes that led to this somber and sober episode. He is likely to unsheathe his battle sword and gallop into battle, quite likely with help from at least one foreign government.

Despite the Senate trial outcome, I remain somewhat relieved that we’re done with this fight. Given the GOP fealty to Donald Trump, the conclusion surprised next to no one.

I am ready for someone to emerge as a legitimate challenger to this president who, in my humble view, needs to be defeated.

OK, let’s say so long to the also-rans

Andrew Yang, it’s time to call it quits. Same for you, Michael Bennet. Oh, and Tom Steyer … you, too.

That’s three Democrats who need to step aside. It’s time for them to “suspend” their campaigns, which is a nice way of saying they should throw in the towel.

The Iowa caucus ended in a state of Donald Trump-like chaos and confusion. Virtually all of the still-large Democratic field had staked a claim in this madness. One of the Democrats stayed out of the caucus battle: Michael Bloomberg is taking aim at Super Tuesday, which includes Texas, on March 3.

But the field has got to narrow itself to a more manageable gaggle of contenders.

It’s now down to five individuals. That’s all right with me. They all bring certain levels of competence and creativity to this fight.

But as one pundit noted today, the Iowa caucus mess, coupled with Donald John Trump’s assured acquittal by the U.S. Senate, has resulted in the Democrats’ worst week so far of the 2020 presidential campaign.

Dust yourselves off, Democrats. You’ve got some work to do.

Democrats have just messed up an electoral process at the worst time

I guess you can say this about the Democratic Party: When they mess up an election, they do it in a big way, embarrassing themselves and dousing many millions of Americans watching from afar with a huge splash of ice water.

They had that long-awaited Iowa caucus Monday. Except that the system broke down. Democrats are blaming it on a computer “app” that went haywire. They’re unable to tabulate how the caucus-goers decided to support. As I write this blog at almost noon the next day, they still don’t know who finished where in the caucus donnybrook.

Yep, they blew this one!

It could not have possibly come at a worse time for Democrats,

They have fielded a lineup of competent challengers to Donald John Trump, the current U.S. president. Four of them serve in the U.S. Senate, which on Wednesday will vote on whether to acquit or convict the POTUS of high crimes and misdemeanors. They’re scrambling now to make sense of the mess that has been spilled all over them in the Hawkeye State.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump is going to gloat. He’ll make that State of the Union speech tonight and something tells me he might use that high-profile platform to toss a dig or three at the feckless-appearing opposition that tried to conduct a time-honored process to begin the search for a presidential nominee.

Some of us — such as yours truly — prefer an even more venerable tradition in making this determination. How about voting in secret? How about just allowing voters to look at their ballot and place a mark next to the candidate of their choice?

But, no-o-o-o! We have this caucus nonsense that has been swallowed whole by technology that a political machine apparently doesn’t know how to operate.

This is not how you’re supposed to launch an election cycle.

Schiff delivers sensational closing argument

I know I am about to engage in a bit of wishful thinking, but humor me for just a moment.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, the lead House manager in the impeachment trial of Donald John Trump, delivered one of the more stirring political speeches I’ve heard since, oh, I can’t remember.

He made the case — to my admittedly biased ears — for the conviction and removal of the current president of the United States, whom the House impeached for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

Those two allegations are enough to kick the president out of office. Furthermore, he said that Trump cannot be trusted to do the right thing, that he has no moral compass that guides him toward the light. He’ll never change, Schiff said.

I couldn’t help but think what some of the senators who listened to him might be thinking, particularly those who are known to be ready to acquit Trump of the charges leveled against him.

I had to wonder: Are any of them moved to at least reconsider their decision?

Here is Schiff’s closing argument. He speaks with absolute clarity.

I know that he was preaching to the proverbial choir when he spoke to me. I just want to share this historic example of statesmanship.