Ben Douglass is an old grumpy white guy who writes poems, novels, reviews, essays, and short fictions, for his own amusement and the amusement of others.
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Tonight Mitch McConnell and cohorts made good on their pledge of no witnesses during the Senate trial of President Trump. The vote was along party lines, 51-49, and no surprise. This trial now is an official defacto coverup. The fundamental core of any trial is for both sides to call witnesses. Having no witnesses during a Senate impeachment trial is historically unprecedented since 1804. And there have been 13 impeachment trials in the Senate chambers.
The Senate has held just two prior impeachment trials against Presidents - Clinton and Johnson. Both included witnesses. 41 for Johnson and 3 for Clinton. The Senate lists 19 people prior to Trump who were impeached by the House, including 14 judges, a Senator, a Supreme Court Justice and a Secretary of war. The 13 that actually made it to the Senate for trial had witnesses. 8 yielded a guilty verdict and 5 found not-guilty.
But in the final analysis - all had witnesses. How can Mitch McConnell and his fellow Republicans still call themselves the "most deliberative body in the world?" The only answer to this citizen is a GOP coverup. We really needed to hear from Pompeo, Bolton and Mulvaney under oath, since they had the most direct knowledge of anyone involved.
From the beginning of this whole mess it was obstruction & coverup.
A president under impeachment inquiry who refuses to turn over critical documents, and then orders his staff not to testify or participate in said inquiry, is called obstruction of justice. Obstruction of justice is a crime and is impeachable. (800-plus constitutional scholars from all political persuasions who signed and sent a letter to the House Judiciary Committee can't be all wrong.)
The Senate Republican leadership in refusing to review documents and subpoena critical witnesses, has engaged in activity that breaks historical precedent since 1804. The only conclusion as I said previously is a complete coverup! The Senate leadership and Justice Roberts have drank the hemlock of the Cult of Trump. It is now up to the American people to fix this mess in November - that is, if they have the moral courage to do so.
If President Trump gets a second term, history will not look kindly on Congress or the American voter.