This impeachment has uniquely reflected the Trump era of politics. It’s demeaning, anticlimactic, and insults the intelligence of anyone who’s watching. It degrades the nation. But in the end, winning will occur.
As Jonah Goldberg noted in an open letter to senators, Alan Dershowitz has placed himself in the very short line of impeachment precedent-setters along with Benjamin Curtis, Andrew Johnson’s lawyer. Curtis argued that Johnson’s abuse of power wasn’t impeachable. Johnson was acquitted–by one, arguably bribe-bought vote.
Of course, Dershowitz denies saying what everyone who heard him knows he said. He indicated that a president’s actions in seeking re-election is always within the national interest and therefore the president can’t be impeached for it. Let’s bring back Nixon, then.
Dershowitz refined himself to merely mean the president can’t break the law when he abuses power.
Read Goldberg’s letter (and a host of other legal opinions) to see how Dershowitz is spouting nonsense. Not only nonsense, but nonsense that could become a valid precedent for defense in a future impeachment. That in itself is worthy of some kind of rebuttal by the senators.
Based on Dershowitz’s spirited and vigorous defense of his client, on every possible legal, table-pounding defense lawyer, thin-ice approach (is that Chewbacca?), senators should unanimously vote to convict and remove Donald Trump from office. But we know the opposite is true. The senate will vote to acquit Trump, and that outcome was solidly established before Chief Justice John Roberts took his oath.
In fact, it now looks like Majority Leader Mitch McConnell may have squared away enough votes to block any witnesses. “Cocaine Mitch’s” reputation as a shrewd operator will be the stuff of legend–by announcing he didn’t have the votes, he touched off a small avalanche of phone calls to senators who had something to gain/lose by their stance. One by one, GOP senators like Lisa Murkowski, Susan Collins, and Lamar Alexander, have gone silent or changed their stand on witnesses.
It will be a mercy killing to end this impeachment.
Even the Q&A is insufferable. Senators have treated the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court like a Teddy Ruxpin doll, giving him lines to repeat that echo their own biases and conspiracies. The worst of these is when Chief Justice Roberts refused to read a question from Rand Paul, because it purportedly contained the name of the protected whistleblower.
If Roberts refused to read the question, it likely would have violated federal law if he had read it. Paul undoubtedly knew this and asking the question was an exercise in jackassery.
Not to be outdone, Elizabeth Warren asked a real winner, and Roberts had to read it aloud.
“At a time when large majorities of Americans have lost faith in government, does the fact that the chief justice is presiding over an impeachment trial in which Republican senators have thus far refused to allow witnesses or evidence contribute to the loss of legitimacy of the chief justice, the Supreme Court, and the Constitution?”
What a schmuck.
Do we really want to subject ourselves to more of this? What’s next? Will we see Bernie Sanders come out in a tux and tails, dancing with a cane to the tune of “The Internationale?”
Let’s end this sad, degrading episode. Let’s just make it go away before something truly awful happens.