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Former Washington Journalist
Contributor on The Bipartisan Press
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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and those House Democrats leading the impeachment of Donald Trump have become boxed in as Republicans obstinately, loudly and very publicly deny the clear and criminal case they have brought against the 45th president of the United States.
House Democrats may well vote to make Trump only the third president in US history to bear the ignominy of impeachment, but a number of Senate Republicans–particularly those at the top in leadership–are already declaring their intentions to find Trump not guilty before he’s even been formally impeached.
The behavior of these Republicans is not merely improper; not only corrupt. It is a direct violation of the oath each senator will take just prior to the start of the impeachment trial:
”I solemnly swear (or affirm) that in all things appertaining to the trial of ____, now pending, I will do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws, so help me God.”
Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has gone so far as to vow “total cooperation” with the White House in regards to the impeachment trial in the Senate.
Imagine a jury foreman coordinating with a criminal defendant and the defendant’s legal team “to put the fix in” before the trial gets underway.
That’s what McConnell has promised here.
Pelosi and House Democrats at this point know that, if they impeach, they are sending that impeachment to a corrupt, fixed, sham trial.
The thing about it, though, McConnell and his cohorts are making no attempt to hide their corruption. Like Trump, they are doing it right out in the open.
To carry on with the legal metaphor, Pelosi and the Democrats should declare a mistrial.
It likely would only increase Trump’s personal sense of aggrandizement to be exonerated by a Senate trial after impeachment.
The optimal path would be for Pelosi and the House to vote to impeach, to impart that historical stain to Trump, but decline to send it on to Senate for trial so that Trump will never be able to feel that sense of exoneration he so desperately craves.
Unfortunately, that option is not likely constitutional. So perhaps Pelosi should huddle with House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and other key leaders to determine whether impeachment with a sham trial truly is worth it.
Or perhaps the patriots in the House should consider censure or another worthy measure to mete out justice in a manner which won’t be washed away by the corrupt scoundrels of the Senate.
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