Impeachment ‘Trial’ Starts This Afternoon
If you have a strong stomach and want to watch the Senate impeachment “trial” that starts Tuesday, The Right Scoop is carrying it live, starting at 12 noon EST.
This gigantic embarrassment to our country will likely stretch into next week, with one break. Since one of Trump’s lawyers, David Shoen, is Jewish, he has requested that the “trial” be suspended by 5PM on Friday and reconvene on Sunday.
The Sham Proceedings
As laid out by the New York Post, the sham proceedings on the first day will go on for up to four hours, with the time divided equally between House impeachment managers and Trump’s attorneys. This is when they’re going to argue for and against the constitutionality of the proceedings before the trial begins, so be prepared for a lot of lies and false accusations about Trump.
Yesterday, we talked about what Jonathan Turley and other legal experts have had to say about this “trial” — notably, its lack of constitutionality. Trump’s lawyers will be making those same points today. Since the Democrats don’t have the law on their side, and they know it, be prepared for a hate-filled, Jake Tapper-like focus on Trump the man. Realize that the House managers can say anything they want about Trump (and his supporters) on the Senate floor, and no one can do a thing about it.
The tone of their argument will be like this: Who needs to follow legal standards and precedent and offer even the most basic rights when it’s the evil Trump who stands accused? Why, this was a “coup” staged by him and a pack of domestic terrorists to overturn a “perfect” election and the will of the American people. We have to circumvent the Constitution in this case to protect our democracy!
A Private Citizen
And Biden talks about “unity.” It occurs to me that there are actions we could have impeached President Obama for — when he was still in office — but we didn’t. I suppose that if it’s okay to impeach a president after he’s left office, Republicans in Congress could put together a list of charges against Obama, including things we learned about after he was out, and simply wait for a House majority. So far, we haven’t let Democrats drag us down to that level, and we shouldn’t, but if they insist on treating Republican leaders this way, “revenge politics” could become the norm and the whole system would crash.
But Trump’s lawyers released a very positive statement, expressing appreciation that “Senate Republican leadership stood strong for due process and secured a structure that is consistent with past precedent. This process provides us with an opportunity to explain to senators why it’s absurd and unconstitutional to hold an impeachment trial against a private citizen.”
Trump is a private citizen. And with everything they’ve thrown at him, and even a bout with coronavirus, he seems as energetic as ever. When I think of them impeaching Trump now, when he’s gone, and how ludicrous and surreal that is, I imagine him grooving to that song by the Eagles…
“And I’m al—ready gone
And I’m fee—eeelin’ strong
I will sing — this vict’ry song
Anyway, the Senate will end their first day with a simple-majority vote on constitutionality, which will probably come out the same as the 55-45 vote they’ve already taken. As Sen. Rand Paul has pointed out, this vote already tells Democrats that they don’t have the votes to convict, even with those five “Republican” senators who voted to let this farce go forward.
Since this vote will really be just a formality, we assume that starting at noon on Wednesday, each side will present its case in up to 16 hours of “trial” spread out over two days. Neither side can go over eight hours total. After the opening statements, senators will have up to four hours to ask questions. If the House managers want to subpoena witnesses and documents, up to four hours will be allowed for arguments. Or, if they decide not to go that way, the “trial” will shift to four hours of closing arguments, additional time for deliberations as requested, and a vote.
Again, Democrats can say anything they want about Trump during opening and closing arguments. They don’t need evidence to back it up. This might be their last big opportunity to trash him in such a formal setting, with TV cameras, so they’ll pull out all the stops. Imagine the worst lies ever told by Adam Schiff, Eric Swalwell and Chuck Schumer, combined, and make that to the tenth power.
(It occurs to me that you really might not want to watch this. You know what we say here: “We watch the news…so you don’t have to!”)
It Will Be Over … Until …
Speaking of Sen. Shumer, he said of this process that “if the former president is convicted, we will proceed to a vote on whether he is qualified to enjoy any office of honor, trust or profit under the United States.” Schumer is talking about whether or not Trump is to be disqualified from running for president again, but constitutional scholars have said that the presidency is not an “office of honor, trust or profit.” Those are appointed positions. The writers of the Constitution did not want senators to be able to override voters on their choice for elective office.
So — hypothetically speaking, as the necessary 2/3 vote to convict seems unachievable — if they did convict Trump and “disqualify” him from holding elected office again, the Supreme Court would have to decide if that was constitutional, and it almost certainly would not be. Most likely, in the end, the House and Senate will have wasted a week (and much more prep time) on this stagecraft, just to enjoy railing at an empty chair where their collective hallucination of Trump is sitting, and then they’ll vote, their vote will fall short, and it will be over.
Until somebody tries some other way to get Trump.
Does this whole thing sound psychotic to you? We agree with Roger L. Simon: it’s pathological.
Mike Huckabee is the former governor of Arkansas and longtime conservative commentator on issues in culture and current events. A New York Times best-selling author, he hosts the weekly talk show Huckabee on TBN.
Originally published at MikeHuckabee.com. Reprinted with permission.