Tag Archives: impeachment trial

It only takes one …

Texas senators have 16 chances to rid the state of an embarrassment and they need to agree only one of them to boot state Attorney General Ken Paxton out of the office that, in my view, he has disgraced.

Senators are deliberating today for the second day on the impeachment charges brought by the House of Representatives. It has been a sh** show, clown show and a riveting time as prosecutors and defense counsel have grilled witnesses on allegations that Paxton abused his office.

I believe he has done so … but it isn’t my call, as I am sitting out here in the Collin County peanut gallery awaiting what I hope is a verdict to send the guy packing.

Nine Senate Republicans need to join their Democratic colleagues to convict Paxton on any of the 16 charges, which center mainly on his relationship with Nate Paul, a big-time real estate mogul and campaign contributor.

I’m going to wait patiently for the Senate to do its job. More to come later … I am sure.

Lt. Gov. deserves props

Dan Patrick deserves a good word from this blogger today … for the way he is conducting the trial of his fellow Republican, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

Patrick, of course, is the GOP Texas lieutenant governor who at the moment is presiding over Paxton’s impeachment trial. Patrick pledged to be impartial and non-biased when the Senate received the overwhelming impeachment articles from the Texas House.

I had harbored private doubts that Patrick could be faithful to his pledge. I was mistaken.

So very often in high-profile judicial or, in this case, quasi-judicial proceedings, the presiding judge seems to hog the spotlight. Example given? Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Lance Ito, who presided over the so-called “trial of the century” in 1995 in the case of OJ Simpson and whether he killed his former wife and her friend.

Ito let the lawyers go on and on, ad nauseum, refusing to constrain them, which he could have done as the presiding judge.

Dan Patrick has been hardly mentioned in this first week of the Paxton trial. Which is a good thing. He has let the lawyers for Paxton and the House have the floor and has administered the proceedings efficiently and without bias.

Why was I concerned about Patrick? Hey, he’s a politician … and a gregarious one at that!

Whether this impeachment trial results in a conviction or an acquittal shouldn’t hinge on Patrick’s conduct as the presiding officer. That doesn’t appear to be the case and for that I, as a keenly interested Texas resident, am grateful.

Round One: House managers win on a TKO

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

The first round of Donald J. Trump’s impeachment trial goes to the prosecutors who serve in the House of Representatives.

I know what you’re thinking: Sure thing, pal … you want Trump to be convicted; spare me your bias.

OK, fine. Think that if you wish.

The House managers presented compelling arguments that Donald Trump violated his oath of office, that he incited an attack on the government he took an oath to defend and protect. The attack occurred on the Sixth of January with the mob of terrorists storming the Capitol Building.

The managers provided a graphic and hard-to-watch 13-minute profanity-filled video of terrorists beating police officers, smashing windows and breaking through doorways.

Donald Trump’s legal team’s response? Incoherent, particularly the hour-long presentation delivered by Bruce Castor. I watched all of it and I cannot at this moment tell you what he was trying to say in defense of his client.

So, Round One goes to the House managers.

Will it affect an anticipated outcome, which means an acquittal on the charge of incitement of insurrection? I doubt it.

Then again, if any of the 100 senators sitting as jurors are actually keeping “an open mind,” well … one shouldn’t slam the door shut on a correct outcome.

Trump won’t testify … imagine that

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

This likely is the biggest non-surprise of the lead-up to next week’s impeachment trial of Donald John Trump.

It is that Trump won’t testify in his own defense on the floor of the U.S. Senate. Democratic House trial managers had summoned the former president to testify in the trial that will determine whether he committed “incitement of insurrection,” as spelled out by the U.S. House of Representatives impeachment.

Why won’t Trump testify? My strong guess is that he would have to swear to tell the “whole truth” to the Senate that will act as jurors. The trial managers would have put Trump under oath to tell the truth. Failure to do so would result in perjury, which is a criminal offense.

Do you get where I am going with this? If not, here it is: This individual cannot tell the truth! He is incapable or unwilling to tell the truth, even under threat of criminal punishment.

The evidence of what Trump did on Jan. 6 has been recorded for posterity. He stood before a mob of terrorist rioters and told them to march on Capitol Hill to “take back our country.” They must not act out of weakness, the president said. The terrorists took him at his word and stormed into the Capitol Building to stop the certification of the 2020 election, which Congress was in the process of doing.

The mob killed five people, including a Capitol Police officer. They shouted “Hang Mike Pence!” while looking for the vice president. They shouted for Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

They acted on the instigation of Donald Trump.

My lingering thought is: How does Trump defend his conduct? 

Defending the indefensible is too steep a hill to climb, especially for a pathological liar who would have to swear to tell the truth.

Trump likely to escape … again!

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Virtually all of me wants the Senate to convict Donald Trump of “incitement of insurrection.”

No matter how much I want to will the Senate to do the right thing, political reality is staring all of us in the puss. Conviction requires 17 Senate Republicans to join their Democratic colleagues in convicting Trump.

A conviction won’t remove him from the presidency. A clear majority of voters did that on Nov. 3 when we elected Joe Biden to be our next president. Oh, I am so happy to among the 81.2 million Americans who spoke loudly and clearly.

Let  us face reality, though.

Donald Trump still commands the attention of too many Senate Republicans, who fear the Trumpster Corps scattered across the land. The Trump cultists are rattling their proverbial sabers, threatening senators with dire political consequences if they vote to convict their guy, The Donald, the former Liar in Chief, the huckster, the con man, the phony, the fraud … stop me before I run out of breath.

Only five GOP senators voted this week that the trial is constitutional. They are right. The 45 Rs who stuck together are wrong. The Constitution doesn’t require a president to be in office for the House  to impeach him. Indeed,  the House did impeach Trump — for the second time! — just a week before he left office.

Now he is gone. The aim of the Senate is to secure a conviction and then to cast a simple-majority vote to deny Trump from ever seeking public office.

Here,  though, is another reality. Donald Trump will not be elected president ever again! His sounding the bugle for the terrorists who stormed Capitol Hill on the Sixth of January sealed his political fate.

If only the Senate could find enough Republicans with sufficient courage to convict him. I fear the worst outcome, that Donald Trump will skate through this latest Senate trial.

Let the trial begin …

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer has made it official.

The U.S. Senate will commence the second impeachment trial of Donald Trump on Feb. 8. That’s fine for a couple of key reasons.

The House will send the Senate the single impeachment article on Monday, triggering the eventual start of the trial. The House of Representatives impeached Trump on a charge of incitement of insurrection. You saw what he did on the Sixth of January, inciting the riot that stormed Capitol Hill while Congress was meeting to certify President Biden’s victory on Nov. 3.

Why is the delay in the trial a good thing?

For one, Donald Trump is entitled to the best defense he can get. A delay allows the former president to assemble a legal team to defend him in the Senate. For the life of me I don’t know how you defend what I witnessed was the indefensible. Trump’s team will try to accomplish what I consider to be the impossible.

Secondly, delaying the trial enables the Senate commence on the important task of confirming President Biden’s Cabinet nominees and get to work on important legislation concerning pandemic relief, climate change, immigration reform and other issues the president has deemed critical.

I get that the Senate can “walk and chew gum at the same time,” as senators have noted. Delaying a trial won’t do any harm to determining the outcome. A delay allows Trump’s team to get its stuff together; it also allows House managers to do the same.

And so … let the trial begin eventually and let Congress get to work repairing the damage that the former president inflicted on our government.