Tag Archives: Senate trial

Not sure POTUS has learned anything from this impeachment

Do you think Donald John Trump has learned how to handle international affairs in the wake of the impeachment trial that is about to conclude later this week?

U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst, an Iowa Republican who is likely to vote to acquit the current president, thinks Trump has learned his lesson. He won’t seek foreign government interference in future elections, Ernst said.

Really, senator? Hmm. Well, call me a skeptic, but I have this nagging feeling that Trump won’t take a single lesson away from this impeachment saga.

He sought a political favor from the president of Ukraine in exchange for military aid. I cannot say this with any more clarity: Trump abused the power of his office.

The House of Representatives impeached him for it, and for obstructing Congress. Trump is going to be saved by Republican senators who will stand behind the president rather than defending our national security.

Trump’s expected acquittal will embolden him. Trump well might believe he is empowered further to do whatever he wants. I mean, he has said as much, declaring that Article II of the Constitution grants him unlimited power. It does nothing of the sort.

Will this president ever heed the advice of others who seek to counsel him, to guide him toward a more restrained view of his power? I want to be proven wrong. I just have my doubts that Donald Trump will be able to control his more bizarre impulses.

Having an O.J. moment

This might sound weird in the extreme, but I am beginning to have an O.J. moment while awaiting the virtually assured verdict of the 100 U.S. senators who have conducted what is supposed to pass as a trial regarding Donald John Trump.

Senators heard what I believe is convincing evidence that Trump abused the power of his office and obstructed Congress; both offenses have earned him an early exit from the presidency.

Flash back to 1995. A Los Angeles Superior Court jury sat in judgment in an interminable trial involving Orenthal James Simpson, the former pro football great who was accused of killing his former wife and her friend.

From my faraway perch I knew Simpson was guilty. I believed the mountain of evidence the cops had compiled. The trial went on for months. The jury had been sequestered. Twelve citizens sat there and heard every word, watched every demonstration by lawyers on both sides. They endured a miserable experience.

Jurors deliberated for about four hours and then acquitted Simpson of the crime. Was I shocked? Yes. However, I do not question the validity of what the jurors decided. They had been filled with enough “reasonable doubt” to set Simpson free.

It is with that same sense of anticipation that I am awaiting what we all know what the Senate will decide. The number of senators who will vote to convict Trump will fall far short of the two-thirds majority prescribed by the Constitution.

I believe what the House managers presented. However, I am not facing re-election from constituents. Senators are enduring enormous political pressure. What do they do? What should they decide?

It’s easy for little ol’ me sitting out here in the heart of Trump Country to make judgments about what I believe the president did. I am not in any of the hot seats occupied by the 100 men and women sitting in the U.S. Senate.

They will make their decision. I won’t like it any more than I liked he verdict that the O.J. jury delivered in 1995. However, I will not challenge its validity. Why? Because I am too far from the pressure being applied on those who must make the call.

And yes, by all means, the U.S. Constitution will have worked. It didn’t produce the result I desired. I will continue to honor the sometimes-rickety system of government that our brilliant founders crafted for us.

Will there be any expression of regret? Hah! Hardly!

On the day the U.S. Senate acquitted him in an impeachment trial in 1999, President Bill Clinton expressed regret.

“I want to say again to the American people how profoundly sorry I am for what I said and did to trigger these events and the great burden they imposed on the Congress and on the American people,” the president said.

Donald Trump is likely to be acquitted next week when the Senate polls its members on the two counts for which the House of Representatives impeached him.

Some of the Republicans who have stood with him now say that Trump did solicit foreign government help. They opposed his impeachment and they will vote to acquit him. Bill Clinton’s foes in the House and Senate expressed disdain, disgust and disappointment over what he did: lying to a grand jury about the affair he had with the White House intern.

For that, Clinton expressed regret.

Do not hold your breath waiting for a similar expression from Donald Trump. Oh, no. He’ll prance and preen and declare it was all a witch hunt, a hoax, a vendetta, a coup, an attempt to negate the 2016 election.

We likely will get to witness in real time a lesson in political boorishness … as if we could expect any better from the current president of the United States.

In this case, it is in our ‘best interest’ to remove POTUS

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, a one-time foe and critic of Donald John Trump, is one of those Republicans who’s had a serious change of heart and mind about the nation’s current president.

“Just because actions meet a standard of impeachment does not mean it is in the best interest of the country to remove a president from office,” Rubio said.

Let me ponder that for a second.

OK, I’m done pondering.

If someone’s action do meet that standard, then it seems to me that it’s damn near imperative that we remove that individual from office.

The House of Representatives has impeached Trump on abuse of power and obstruction of Congress allegations. They House made the case. Trump should be kicked out, sent to Mar-a-Lago. It won’t happen. The Republicans who control the U.S. Senate are going to acquit the president on Wednesday.

However, Sen. Rubio — once the butt of tasteless, crass quips from Trump back when the two of them competed for the 2016 presidential nomination — says that impeachable behavior is not a reason to punish the doer of that deed. Is that what he really means?

Goodness, gracious alive. What in the world has happened to us?

What if we had a President Pence?

It makes me chuckle a bit when I consider that Republicans who are so wedded to protecting Donald John Trump are actually shunning a true-blue conservative who — in my view — would be suited much better to the agenda many GOPers are touting.

Think of this for a moment.

Suppose Donald Trump were to be convicted in the Senate trial that is about to conclude next week. He gets the boot. Enough Republican senators join their Democratic colleagues in convicting Trump of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

What then? We get Mike Pence, presuming he would escape the clutches of the scandal that at times has seemed to ensnare him as well.

If you’re a conservative Republican, wouldn’t that be actually better? I mean, Pence is deeply religious; he has a long record of supporting conservative public policies; he doesn’t even allow himself to be alone with a woman other than his wife. The guy’s as straitlaced as you can get!

Trump? Well, let’s just say he isn’t.

Don’t get me wrong. Pence is not my kinda guy. I don’t want him sitting behind the big desk in the Oval Office … ever!

Still, the question has been rattling around in my noggin: What in the world are Republicans thinking when they stand with a Republican In Name Only like Donald John Trump when they could get the real deal in Mike Pence?

Not so fast on the high fives, POTUS’s legal team

Conservative media personalities and other defenders of Donald John Trump have been back-slapping and high fiving the legal team that represented the current president in the Senate impeachment trial that appears to be barreling toward acquittal.

The Senate has rejected in a 51-49 vote a motion to allow new witnesses and other evidence into the Senate to testify about the case against the president.

It is true that Trump’s legal eagles seem to have won the argument on the floor of the Senate. How much of a hurdle, though, was it for them to clear? Not much of one, if you want to know my view on it.

To me the result was equally clear. Trump abused the power of his office by seeking foreign government political help and obstructed Congress by ordering his staff to ignore congressional subpoenas. The president should be removed from office!

Republicans control the Senate. To a person the GOP majority has stood behind Trump. POTUS legal team hasn’t changed a single mind. It hasn’t needed to turn any votes in their favor.

In fairness, I need to suggest that there might be a Democratic senator or two (or three) who could vote to acquit the president. They likely will be senators who represent states that Trump won in 2016 and they might be senators who are up for election or re-election this year. I present to you Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Doug Jones of Alabama and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona.

Were they persuaded by the presentation given by Trump’s team? Allow me a brief chuckle. I doubt it. They were swayed by the political dynamics back home.

So here we are. We’re going go get an up/down vote on Wednesday. The deal is done. The result, if you’ll excuse the cliché, has been “baked in.”

Republicans will stand with Donald Trump while Democrats will stand with the Constitution of the United States.

House managers might as well talk to the furniture

I cannot shake the belief that House of Representatives managers seeking to persuade U.S. senators to allow additional witnesses in the trial of Donald John Trump must be feeling an unbearable sense of frustration.

Surely they know that the Republican-led Senate has dug in to oppose any witness testimony and to likely acquit the president of high crimes and misdemeanors.

Yet the managers, led by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, are slogging forward with their arguments to allow “fact witnesses” to tell senators what they know about Trump’s soliciting a foreign government for political help.

They are better men and women than I would be were I put into that position.

These individuals might as well be talking to the furniture arrayed before them in the Senate chamber. Most of the individuals who are sitting in their chairs are conducting a shameful sham that they are presenting to us as a trial.

Impeachment drama set to end quietly, quickly

Is it just me or does the Donald John Trump impeachment saga, the one that seemed headed for a dramatic crescendo, now appears headed for a relatively quiet — but rapid-fire — finish?

John Bolton, the current president’s former national security adviser, emerged as a key potential witness, who would offer first-hand testimony to what he reportedly has written in his soon-to-be-published book that Trump offered a quid pro quo to Ukraine: a political favor in return for a military aid package.

Then just like that, the air left the room. U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, the lame-duck Tennessee Republican, announced he would vote against allowing Bolton to testify. The Senate trial appears headed for a conclusion later today and a vote on whether to convict or acquit Trump will seal the deal. Alexander’s statement seemed a bit quizzical. He said the House managers have “proved their case,” but that the charges leveled against Trump don’t “rise to the level of impeachment.”

So, POTUS stays put, doing even more damage to the country.

Damn! But … I won’t cry in my brew over it. The deal was done from the get-go, or so it appears. GOP senators — along with their House colleagues — seem to owe more loyalty to Donald Trump than to the Constitution.

Whatever. We have an election tap.

I am prepared to do whatever I can from my measly little perch out here in Trump Country to seek the ballot-box ouster of the most unfit, unqualified man ever to hold the presidency.

About to throw in the towel on impeachment

As an interested American observer of this impeachment trial, I am afraid my impeachment fatigue has reached critical mass.

I am officially ready for it to end. It’s not that I want it to end. It’s just that the finish line is appearing out there and we all know the outcome that the end of this grueling event will produce.

Donald John Trump is going to survive this trial. The U.S. House of Representatives sought to make the case that Trump abused the power of his office and obstructed Congress. The House trial managers’ message has fallen on deaf ears. The Senate Republican majority is hearing none of it.

I do have some hope that former national security adviser John Bolton will be able to testify, telling senators what he heard — that Trump sought a foreign government to interfere in our upcoming presidential election. It won’t matter. Bolton’s testimony won’t sway enough Republican senators to convict Trump; he might not sway any of ’em! They’re wedded to the president, ignoring what I believe is an obvious violation of his oath of office.

I am worn out. I am whipped, man! I am ready now to get on with the next phase in what I hope is a concerted effort to get rid of the man I deem to be unfit for the office of president.

The election is coming on.

Let’s get busy. Shall we?

Dershowitz does it! He turns the trial discussion onto himself!

I had this nagging rumble in the pit of my gut that Alan Dershowitz might end up hogging the limelight at the U.S. Senate trial of Donald John Trump.

I did not anticipate him doing so in the manner that he did.

Dershowitz took the floor this week in defense of Trump, who is standing trial after the House impeached him on abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

The esteemed Harvard law professor, Dershowitz, long has been known as a grandstander, a fellow known to call attention to himself. Well, he did so during the Senate trial by positing what many observers believe is a preposterous notion.

It is that the president can do anything he needs to do to help his re-election if he deems it in the national interest. Anything at all! That includes seeking foreign government help in digging up dirt on a U.S. citizen who happens to be a potential opponent in the next presidential election.

Professor Dershowitz is now the talk of the town. Hey, he’s the talk of the nation!

I cannot pretend to know more about the U.S. Constitution than the distinguished legal professor. However, it seems to me that his idea borders on the idiotic.

The framers could not possibly have written anything into the Constitution that allows for a president to do what Trump has done. He called the Ukrainian president; he took some expressions of gratitude from his colleague for all the support the United States has given Ukraine; he asks for more military aid; Trump says, “sure,” but then says he would like to ask Ukraine for a “favor, though.”

Trump said he would hold up the aid until Ukraine announced an investigation into Joe and Hunter Biden.

Professor Dershowitz said in defense of Donald Trump that it’s OK for the president to do that?

I do not think that is right. Not … at all!