Senate votes against hearing witnesses in impeachment trial

The US Senate has voted 51-49 against hearing witnesses in the impeachment trial of Donald Trump. Two Republicans voted for witnesses, not enough to change the expected outcome.

While Republican leaders had wanted to complete the process this week, before Tuesday’s State of the Nation speech by Trump, the prospects of length delays led to an agreement between both sides to allow senators to speak at a resumption on Monday to explain their decisions, and then an acquittal vote will be held next Wednesday.

The decision against hearing witnesses makes this bizarre sort of trial, but it is very political and a number of senators had made it clear what they would decide before it started the pre-ordained outcome isn’t surprising.

Acrimony and the partisan divide will no doubt continue unabated.

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56 Comments

  1. Duker

     /  1st February 2020

    Impeachment has now become just a ‘vote of no confidence’ with no real effect.
    At least during Clintons Senate trial they heard witnesses and the final process was conducted in a bi partisan manner by both Senate leaders.
    I a just world the GOP Senate will pay for this at election time and lose control and Trump lose the presidency. But unfortunately theres only one way to get rid of demagogues

    Reply
    • duperez

       /  1st February 2020

      Is getting rid of demagogues like getting rid of those who pose an imminent threat? Is it a moveable feast? Like ‘protecting the nation’s interests.’
      The funny thing about ‘imminent’ and ‘imminent threat’ and ‘protecting the nation’s interests’ is who defines them. There is only one who can, only one is allowed to do that.

      Reply
    • Pink David

       /  1st February 2020

      “But unfortunately theres only one way to get rid of demagogues”

      What’s that then?

      Reply
      • duperez

         /  1st February 2020

        I don’t know what Duker thinks. I suppose they get ‘taken out.’ Not to McDonalds. Nothing wrong with that is there?

        Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  1st February 2020

      It’s odd that no one has tried, although he’s obviously wearing a bulletproof vest.

      Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  1st February 2020

      You don’t like elections then?

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  2nd February 2020

        I didn’t say that.

        I have been involved with quite a few and they are quite exciting.

        Saying that it’s odd that no one has taken a pot shot at Trump isn’t the same as saying that one doesn’t like elections, there’s no connection between the two things.

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  2nd February 2020

          Question was for duperez.

          Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  3rd February 2020

            Oh, I did wonder. Often it’s obvious that a reply is meant for someone, but it wasn’t in this case.

            Poor old Trump showing his ignorance of US geography; what a howler.

            Reply
  2. MaureenW

     /  1st February 2020

    Democrats lose again .. they’d be better off coming up with some decent policies than chasing Trump around like the Wile E Coyote.

    Never a more deserved slap-down to a bunch of useless prats

    Reply
  3. PartisanZ

     /  1st February 2020

    Justice follows democracy to the grave …

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  1st February 2020

      Except democracy elected Trump.

      Reply
      • PartisanZ

         /  1st February 2020

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  1st February 2020

          Still 45% of Americans think Trump is doing a good job and he is likely to be reelected. Lessig wants public funding of campaigns which will just perpetuate in power those already in power and in prime position to get most of it.

          Reply
          • Sorry to inform you Alan. Actually? No matter what Trump says, or Trump supporters, or Republicans? The voters? Actually elected Hillary Clinton as president by the majority of the votes. But? The Electoral College stole the will of the people and gave it to Donald J Trump. He did not win the popular vote, and if the Electoral College was not even existence? Then Trump? Would never had sat in the White House.

            But you all keep living in your delusional Twilight Zone world. I love how that tax cut for the rich allowed 60 companies this year to not pay one single dime in taxes on profits of billions. And how much tax break did you get on your earnings this year there Alan?

            Most middle and lower class people? Some who are working two jobs to make ends meet because their employers refuse to pay them a livable wage while they take home about ten times an hour what an employee makes in year, and if it were not for that employee? The owner would not be making squat…

            Have found out last year? They either got less in refunds, or had to actually pay some taxes for the first time, or had to pay more in taxes, cause all those deductions they used to get? Are no longer there. And all those supposed raising in the Child Tax etc? Does not make up for all the other deductions they lost.

            And this year? It is even going to be worse for middle and lower class taxpayers, while those multi-millionaires and billionaires laugh all the way to the bank by not paying any taxes at all, or even getting refunds.

            So you tell me how your refund, or your tax payment compares to those rich people now. Bet you aint one of them either.

            Reply
            • David

               /  2nd February 2020

              Its quite preposterous to say someone who won an election under the rules didnt actually win because the looser did better under a system that doesnt exist.
              By that logic Ardern is an illegitimate PM.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  2nd February 2020

              You are not informing me about anything. Trump won democratically under the rules provided by the Constitution to prevent the few big states riding roughshod over the rest. Let me inform you that the Founders valued the states’ autonomy and deliberately created a separation of powers for them. Since you appear to be an American and I am not you should know and value that more than I do.

    • The 49 Senators who voted to call witnesses represent 170 million Americans.

      The 51 Senators who blocked witnesses represent 151 million Americans.

      In the US Senate the majority (democracy) doesn’t rule.

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  2nd February 2020

        For good and deliberate reason. See above.

        Reply
      • Pink David

         /  2nd February 2020

        The founders were smarter than you. That system exists for very good reasons.

        Reply
      • So you were ok with the hypocrisy of the Repugnants who during the Clinton impeachment trial? They demanded extra witnesses and documents. But it was ok for them to be hypocrite and pigs and deny first hand witnesses and documents, including the actual, real, transcript of the phone call of Trump to the Ukrainian President.

        The hypocrisy of you Trumpsters and Repugnants never ceases to amaze me. Truly. And you are all going to lose big time for it. You actually think you are all going to win again with what has been exposed? Sorry dude. But Traitor Trump is going down and losing, along with Moscow Mitch and Leningrad Lindsey and a whole bunch more Russian Repugnants who sold us out to Traitor Trump and Putin.

        Reply
  4. The House Managers say their case is incontrovertibly proven, yet they still want to call witnesses. It’s either one or the other, surely?

    Quite what the purpose of calling witnesses is in proving Trump’s intent in a matter I am not sure. It’s either documented or it’s not. In this case, it’s not, and there has been all manner of smoke and mirrors to obfuscate that fact.

    Reply
    • Funny how the Republicans said all they got was hearsay. And when Bolton or Mulvaney, were called to testify? Who actually have first hand knowledge? Why the Republicans did not want that.

      Why are they so afraid of Bolton and Mulvaney testifying?

      How come Trump will not release the real, actual transcript of that supposed perfect phone call that is locked up in a password protected, limited access server?

      How come the Republicans would not allow entered into evidence the reports from the investigations that cleared Hunter Biden of anything Trump and Guiliani are proclaiming Biden Sr and Hunter did? How come they will not allow the evidence that shows the prosecutor claimed fired by Biden to protect his son? Shows how it was the United States and many of our allies who were working with the Ukraine to defend against Russia’s invasion of and annexation of Crimea and the proxy war they are fighting against the Ukraine, all demanded that prosecutor be fired because he actually? Refused to investigate real corruption? Or how the evidence shows that Hunter Biden only joined Burisma long AFTER the Ukraine cleared Burisma of any wrong doing?

      Oh that is right. The Russian propaganda story, promoted by Trump and his synchopaths is that it was not Russia that interfered in the 2016 election and that the Ukraine has one of Hillary’s servers which will hand her even for that Pizzagate lie spread around about her that got an innocent pizza owner and his family and employees terrorized, held hostage, their business burned etc all because the Trumpsters and Republicans hate Hillary so much? They will spread lies to get innocent people harmed and not even care? They got innocent people harmed by doing so huh?

      I am going to tell you outright. If Barack Obama, Bill Clinton or any Democratic, or any other Republican had done even one tenth that Trump has done while he has been in office? I would demand they be impeached and removed from office. I even supported Clinton’s impeachment. And I am a Democrat.

      Or? If I had heard Obama, Clinton or any other President supporting, defending and praising a Russian President like Trump does with Putin? Taking the word of Putin over ouw own people? Our own military? Our own CIA? Or other security organizations? Or our own State Department people of both parties? I would be demanding they be arrested and charged with High Treason and taken care of at Gitmo.

      I do not give a damn who you are. YOU do not praise a Russian President and take his word and promote his word over your own peoples and then call yourself a Patriot. We have executed common people for doing less.

      But that is just me.

      Reply
      • Pretty much everything you just said is wrong, and I don’t have the time to rebut that much crazy.

        Reply
      • David

         /  2nd February 2020

        Thats quite a list of wrongness, too much to bother rebutting but are you aware that the Democrat controlled Congress ran the investigation and could call and did call all the witnesses they wanted. They chose not to wait to have Mulvaney and Bolton testify, if they want to still can and bring fresh articles to the Senate.
        Are you aware the Dems didnt allow cross examination of the witnesses by WH counsel, didnt allow the Republicans to call their own witnesses and while they passed over 17 witness documents they didnt put over the 18th witness account who was the IG of the spooks. But apparently its the Senate that is the problem..huh.
        Probably a good reason why Hunter Biden, fired from the military for drug use left a meth pipe in a rental car and is claiming he cant pay child support to the stripper he cheated with despite driving a 120k car, was paid millions by a dodgy Ukrainian gas company despite him having no background in gas and doesnt speak the language. Seems legit.

        Reply
        • You’re a liar. The House did in fact? Invite Trump and his attorneys to appear and be there to ask questions, etc. It was Traitor Trump who backed down from doing so with his lame excuses.

          But you keep defending this POS and the Russian Repugnants all you wish. We True Patriots of this country are going to show all you traitor Trumpanzees and Russian Repugnants how it’s done and what we do to traitors of this country real soon.

          I figure it this way. If you Psycho Trumpsters and his psycho ChristoTaliban can all call for a Civil War if Traitor Trump is impeached and removed from office? We can all start a Civil War for the Russian take over Repugnant Party denying true Justice and allowing Traitor Trump the Putin Puppet to continue destroying the Constitution and Rule of Law.

          You all better remember, it is you punks yourselves who called for a Civil War and now? We are going to throw that shit right back into your Traitor Trumpanzees treasonous faces.

          Reply
        • So tell us, you think little twatwaffle Ivanka, and Diaper Donnie Jr and Eric all earned what they got? You think Trump earned everything he got? LMFAO. Traitor Trump got started begging money from his daddy. But hey, as with you twisted troglodyte Traitor Trumpanzees? Your hypocrisy shines all the way through the darkest of caves you all crawl out from. Heck Traitor Trumps professors all called him the dumbest student they ever had. But again? You are ok with calling out Hunter Biden while in your hypocrisy? You fail to call out Diaper Donnie Jr, Eric Trump and Ivanka Trump, And what credentials does Ivanka’s hubby has to be doing what he is doing? Heck three of the things he has worked on so far has fallen all to shit. Or how about Melania? What did she qualify for to get a genius visa to come into this country? That she could say anal is 500 in five different languages? That she is a genius for posing naked in lesbian layouts while you all melted down like the hypocrite snowflakes you all are when Michelle Obama went to church in a sleeveless dress, calling her an unclassy woman and an insult to the First Lady position? Or how the Obama girls were at a swimming hole with friends in shorts and tank tops and you all called them sluts and hoes”, but it is ok for this skank First Slut to parade around in see through blouses and leather mini skirts and whore high heels to go to church dressed in and none of you peep about it, matter of fact? You called her classy for it.

          Trump, Trumpanzees and the Russian Repugnants have totally destroyed the Repugnant party and that is a great thing. Cause you are all in for one hell of a surprise come the next election, just like you all were shocked when the Democrats took back the House in the mid-terms.

          Reply
      • You must do a lot of reading between the lines. Try reading the actual lines.

        Reply
    • duperez

       /  2nd February 2020

      Okay, the House Managers with ‘incontrovertibly proven’ yet wanting witnesses denotes being all over the shop.

      And you suggesting intent (and actions) are not documented and everything is all manner of smoke and mirrors to obfuscate facts when witnesses are not allowed to give evidence?

      That’s not all over the shop, that’s all over the biggest Westfield mall.

      Reply
  5. Funny how it was perfectly alright for Graham and other Republicans to demand more witnesses and evidence in the Clinton trial but not in Trump’s. And why not? They proclaimed that Trump was not given a fair shake in the House, but he was. He was invited to be there, his lawyers were invited, etc. But he refused and chickened out. Then? They said all they heard was hearsay, but then when it came time for actually hearing from first hand witnesses? They hide on that one.

    What were they so afraid of Bolton and Mulvaney testifying about?
    How come Donald J Trump will not release the actual, real transcript of his supposed Perfect Call that is still locked in a secure server?
    Why are we to believe Trump when he has been bagged in so many outright lies?
    Why are we to believe Trump and Guiliani over all the others who have testified? Most of them were Republican or appointed by Republicans or even Trump?

    Honestly? If President Barack Obama or Bill Clinton or a Democratic Senate had done any of this? Republicans would be screaming not only impeachment…but with all the times that Trump has stood up and praised Putin and taken his side over our own military, our own CIA and others? The Republicans and Trumpsters would all be demanding that Obama and Clinton be tried for High Treason.

    The hypocrisy of the Republicans and Trump supporters never ceases to amaze me. It is the good old do as we demand and do as we say and not as we do.

    Reply
  6. Grumpy

     /  2nd February 2020

    I was amazed at the quality of Trumps lawyers, especially Philbin.
    He demolished every Democrat’s point easily and made them look stupid in the process.
    The entire Impeachment process was invalid and the incompetent and impetuous Pelosi did not obtain the required resolution of the House to launch the investigation making all subpoenas invalid

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  2nd February 2020

      Not the case . Congress committees can issue subpoenas on any executive branch department at any time, the courts have never restricted that except in case of close advisers to the President. Congress has sole power to conduct impeachment , that is its NOT subject to review by the courts or Trump. they can do it how they like, just as the Senate decided to not hear from witnesses the House can do its impeachment ‘their way’
      There was a resolution of the house about impeachment , once they had gathered some evidence , on Oct 31. It doesnt make those subpoenas before that date invalid as its the job of Congress to have oversight of the government.
      Trump never allowed subpoenas before or after the Oct 31 date anyway. No President has had a blanket ban like that. Some former employees ignored the ban.

      Reply
      • David

         /  2nd February 2020

        Eric Holder and Fast and Furious

        Reply
        • And Benghazi

          Reply
          • Duker

             /  2nd February 2020

            Fact check on Benghazi
            “Trump Wrong About Obama Documents”
            “The Obama administration did resist turning over some documents sought by congressional investigators in at least two cases, but it hardly refused to hand over any documents. In fact, the Obama administration handed over hundreds of thousands of documents in response to various congressional inquiries — and it turned over tens of thousands more under court order.”

            How many did Trump hand over ? Zero.

            Fast and Furious ?
            “A July 31, 2012, joint staff report from the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the Senate Judiciary Committee notes that its review at that time was based on “more than 10,000 pages of documents, 6,989 of them produced by the Justice Department pursuant to subpoena.”
            In 2014, under a court order, the Justice Department produced nearly 65,000 pages of documents related to Operation Fast and Furious that had been sought by the oversight committee. And two years later, pursuant to a federal court order, the Justice Department handed over thousands of additional pages of documents related to the case.

            Trump ? Zero.

            Solynadra ?
            “A year later, the White House produced 432 pages of email communications and other documents related to Solyndra. Those documents were in addition to over 187,000 pages of Solyndra-related documents provided to congressional investigators ”

            Trump documents provided under subpoena ? Zero
            https://www.factcheck.org/2019/03/trump-wrong-about-obama-documents/

            Enjoying losing everytime over Trumps wild claims are you

            Reply
            • Pink David

               /  2nd February 2020

              “Enjoying losing everytime over Trumps wild claims are you”

              Strange kind of losing given Trump is still President and is highly likely to get 4 more years.

            • “is highly likely to get 4 more years”

              I don’t know how you can claim that. It has to pretty much 50/50 at this stage, not knowing what the polls/voter reaction will be to the impeachment debacle, not knowing how Trump will react, not knowing what trump will do between now and the election, not knowing who the Democrats will nominate and how their candidate performs up until the election.

              There were some who predicted with confidence that Hillary was highly likely to win the last election.

              Making bold predictions this far out is meaningless.

            • David Moore

               /  2nd February 2020

              “I don’t know how you can claim that.”

              It’s easy, so easy I can do it twice. Trump will almost certainly win this election.

            • David Moore

               /  2nd February 2020

              Damn, all the pink has washed off!

    • Huh?

      Philbin? Who blamed House Democrats for both rushing to judgment and also taking too long to get there….

      Or Dershowitz? Who blamed House managers for attempting to impeach a president merely for seeking to cheat in his reelection (in fairness, that’s what they were accusing him of)….

      Or Ken Starr? A guy whose own ethics advisor resigned in 1998 saying he’d “violated [his] obligations under the independent counsel statute and [had] unlawfully intruded on the power of impeachment” to tut-tut at Democrats for using impeachment “too frequently”….

      Bondi? Paid US$115k a month to tell us how she was SHOCKED, SHOCKED I TELL YOU! that Hunter Biden could get paid $50k a month for his seat on the Burisma board… then lecturing us about nepotism in defence of a White House which allows Jared and Ivanka Kushner access to every foreign leader on the planet, and paying Rudy Giuliani’s large adult son $95,000 in taxpayer money to act as a “liaison to the sports community”, and Chuck Grassley’s son, who has sucked $1.2m from the government teat, and Bill Barr’s son-in-law, who scored a cruisy $100k a year sinecure at the White House…

      Cippolone? Who claimed the House managers hid evidence, when he himself WAS A FACT WITNESS to this stuff and he said nothing about it….

      Sekulow? Who argued for ‘absolute immunity’, an argument designed for the Senate. When Noel Francisco makes basically opposite arguments before CJ Roberts, he won’t be able to deny the hypocrisy….

      ———

      So Trump gets to defy all subpoenas and all the material evidence therefore Impeachment is wrong?

      I said a couple of months ago that an acquittal was a forgone conclusion, but it was pure GOP Kangaroo Court not Democratic cluelessness that has brought us to this point.

      That Senate trial was not a failure of process, but a failure of courage, and a failure of a corrupted GOP defending tribalism above accountability, democracy, and the Constitution.

      Still the GOP gets to deal with the fallout from saying the evidence is enough to convict, at the same time they refuse to convict. It’s not the legality of their actions, it’s the immorality.

      Reply
    • Funny how Repugnants, during Clinton’s impeachment demanded witnesses and documents huh? And how the Repugnants were screaming, foaming at the mouth, how there were no direct eye witnesses, but when it came time to hear from direct, eye witnesses like Bolton and Mulvaney? Why hey, we do not need to hear from them. And then? How they already stated? They were going to break their oath they swore to at the start of the trial, basically committing Perjury the moment they raised their hands to take that oath because they knew? They were never going to keep that oath.

      And again? If Barack Obama or Bill Clinton had done any of these things? All you Trumpsters and Repugnants would be demanding they be brought to Gitmo and executed for high treason for kissing the dick and butt of Putin like Traitor Trump does on a regular basis.

      Reply
  7. …..Fast and Furious AND Benghazi

    Reply
    • And pizzagate
      And Ted Cruz’s father’s ties to President John F. Kennedy’s assassin
      And Obama’s birth certificate
      And emails “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails”
      And the “total and very expensive” climate change hoax that was “created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive”
      And windmill cancer
      And… and… and…

      Reply
    • 7 hearings on Benghazi and not one charge. But not one witness or evidence allowed during the impeachment trial by the Repugnants. And again? They sure did demand witnesses and other documents during the Clinton impeachment trial now didn’t they? I wonder why they did not want Mulvaney and Bolton to testify? I wonder why they will never release the actual, real transcript of that supposed perfect call by Trump to the Ukranian President? Hmmmm.

      Reply
  8. Alan Wilkinson

     /  2nd February 2020

    So the impeachment circus winds to its predicted and inevitable end and the Dems are still full of sound and fury signifying nothing.

    Pelosi as Lady MacBeth. No problem casting the three witches either.

    Reply
  9. Reply
    • David

       /  2nd February 2020

      Lets hope Farrar is right. The last 2 goes have been appalling partisan ridiculousness.

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  2nd February 2020

        He’s wrong of course. Congress will continue to be sensitive primarily to their reelection prospects and therefore to their electorates. A president who acts against overwhelming public opinion will be held to account.

        What it does do is signal an end to using impeachment for partisan obstruction of the administration. Good riddance.

        Reply
        • I would have more comfort in what you say if the electoral system in USA were a fair one. However the system is fundamentally flawed as the last election results demonstrated:

          Trump won 46.1% of the popular vote but won 57.3% of the electoral college vote
          Clinton won 48.2% of the popular vote but only 42.7% of the electoral college

          Then there is the frenzy of gerrymandering that occurred after the GOP captured several pivotal state governments in 2010. The Wisconsin State Assembly, for example, is so thoroughly gerrymandered that Republicans control 63% of the seats, despite the fact that Democrats won 54% of the popular vote in the most recent election.

          Key outtake? Overwhelming public opinion counts for very little in the face of the electoral college vote and the gerrymandered large swing states.

          —–

          A candidate who narrowly wins the battleground states will win the presidency, regardless of the margin of victory in the rest of the country. That means there’s no incentive for candidates to campaign in any noncompetitive state, whether it has a massive population like California or the opposite, like North Dakota.

          The winner-take-all bias that elevates the battleground states overruns all of the other biases. If the big states were close and competitive, the big states would decide US elections — as they did until fairly recently. But they don’t.

          Republicans argue that Democrats won the popular vote because of their big margin in California, and that the Electoral College properly protected the rest of the country against an imperial California or New York.

          But that’s not what happened. Trump’s victory in the Electoral College was mainly because of strength in the traditional battlegrounds, not lopsided and inefficient Democratic strength in their regional bastions. Trump actually did just as well in his base states as Clinton did in California.

          But the traditional battlegrounds (where Trump support is strongest) are whiter and less educated than the country as a whole. Clinton’s gains came in well-educated and diverse states that tend to be less competitive, including red states like Arizona, Texas and Utah.

          The dynamics of the 2016 election could well reverse themselves in the next decade. Republican gains among white working-class voters could go unrewarded, now that they’ve flipped nearly all of the mostly white battlegrounds. And perhaps Democratic gains in the Sun Belt might some day flip states like Texas, Georgia and Arizona.

          But the electoral college offers no incentive for a candidate to appeal to a place he or she can’t win. In fact, there is no reason that Trump (who complained about how he did in California) needs to put his name on the ballot there at all.

          ———-

          As for gerrymandering, court decisions in Florida, Pennsylvania, and Virginia have weakened Republican gerrymanders, and ballot initiatives in Michigan and Ohio have sought to prevent either party from gerrymandering those states ever again.

          But the GOP’s congressional gerrymanders remain intact even as the state legislative maps have changed. For example, Florida could backslide, in large part because all seven seats on the state Supreme Court are held by GOP appointees.

          ——–

          Until America nationalises and reforms its electoral system by federal mandate nothing will change, and overwhelming public opinion won’t matter a damn.

          Reply
          • MaureenW

             /  3rd February 2020

            It’s fair when the candidate you want to win, wins.
            All the candidates know the rules – Clinton couldn’t be bothered campaigning in many locations – Trump’s never stopped campaigning. Perhaps there’s something in that ..
            Poor Hillary didn’t manage to apathetically slide into the presidency.

            Reply
            • Let me paraphrase what I wrote above: the electoral college offered no incentive for Clinton to appeal to a place she couldn’t win.

              No system is fair when it rewards a candidate who won 46.1% of the popular vote with 57.3% of the electoral college vote, or when it enables gerrymandering so that Republicans control 63% of the Wisconsin State Assembly seats, despite the fact that Democrats won 54% of the popular vote in that state.

              That’s not a fair electoral system and it doesn’t result in fair representation by, of, or for the people.

        • Alan, there’s also an argument that there was overwhelming public support for witnesses at the senate impeachment trial – and that overwhelming support didn’t matter a damn to the senators who voted against hearing witnesses:

          From last week’s Quinnipiac Poll
          Three-quarters of the public (75%)

          And while that numbers includes almost unanimous support for witnesses among Democrats (95%), it also shows a large majority of independents in favor of witnesses (75%) and even a near-majority of Republicans (49%).

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  3rd February 2020

            Quinnipaic always biases to the Left. The country split 50:50 on impeachment. Both sides had to go with their own voters.

            Reply
  10. A salient reminder that impeachment and removal from office is not just partisan obstruction by Democrats. Here’s what lifelong Republican, Keith Hennessey, who served as George W. Bush’s Director of the U.S. National Economic Council, has to say:

    “President Nixon cheated. By removing him for this, our self-correcting democracy partially repaired the damage he caused. President Clinton lied in court. I thought that was a high crime and supported removing him then. We failed, lowered the ethical bar, and weakened our democracy. Both comparisons are relevant today.

    Like Nixon, President Trump cheated in a presidential election. Even worse, President Trump’s attempt asked a foreign government to interfere. To me this is also worse than what Clinton did, and I thought Clinton should have been removed. Our democracy needs to self-correct, as it did with Nixon and failed to do with Clinton.

    I think President Trump’s cheating in the next presidential election, and his use of his office in an attempt to involve a foreign government in that cheating to help himself, are together an abuse of power and a high crime. I recommend the Senate find President Donald Trump guilty of abuse of power and remove him from office.

    I find many of the arguments in and on the margins of the Senate impeachment trial to be distractions or secondary.
    – I don’t care whether President Trump tied explicit conditions or threats to his request for a “favor” from the Ukrainian president. The ask was the bad act.
    – Nor do I care that his cheating failed. An inept cheater who fails to achieve his objective is still a cheater.
    – I don’t care much whether his action violated a criminal statute, as I think this is not necessary to constitute a high crime.
    – I would err on the side of being over-inclusive on witnesses and evidence but don’t need more of either to draw my conclusion.
    – Others who also cheated should be or should have been punished. The right answer is to raise the ethical bar, not lower it.
    – The prosecution’s flaws, failures, and in some cases corrupt motives do not mitigate President Trump’s bad act or guilt. Two wrongs don’t make a right.
    – Relative peace and prosperity, good poll numbers, anticipated citizen anger, or an upcoming election do not excuse a president from being held responsible for trying to deny me my right to vote in a fair election. We should hold all elected officials accountable for their worst actions, not just those who are unpopular, unsuccessful, or whose policies or political style we dislike.

    It is a privilege to live in a society where we can speak our minds, vote, criticize our elected leaders, and hold them to account. I cherish these freedoms and rights, and our democracy that protects them. As permitted by the Constitution, the Senate should remove from power anyone who attacks that democracy. That includes our president, Donald Trump.”

    https://keithhennessey.com/2020/01/31/on-the-impeachment-of-president-donald-trump/

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  3rd February 2020

      Last paragraph is utter blithering nonsense. Trump hasn’t attacked US democracy or its freedoms. Instead he has enjoyed them.

      Reply

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