As the impeachment trial of Donald Trump enters into its final phase, the litigants on both sides are presenting their best arguments to persuade senators to vote for or against conviction. The President’s counsel are sticking to their complaints about the process and the partisanship of the Democrats. The Democrats, on the other hand, are pleading with members to act on the facts that many of them have publicly conceded have been proved.
Adam Schiff, the House Intelligence Committee Chairman and lead manager for the Democrats, delivered a powerful closing argument that is certain to have a place in history. He distills much of what has been revealed in testimony and documentation into a concise indictment of Trump and the justification for removing him from office. In short, Schiff warns that Trump “has betrayed our national security and he will do so again. He has compromised our elections and he will do so again. You will not change him. You cannot constrain him. He is who he is. Truth matters to you. Right matters to you. You are decent. He is not who you are.”
Well, that last bit may be debatable as Republican senators fall in line behind Trump despite conceding that what he did was wrong. Some – for example Joni Ernst and Lamar Alexander – even said they believe that Trump won’t repeat his crimes now that he’s been impeached. However, there is no evidence that Trump has ever been chastened by attempts to hold him accountable.
The six minute oratory (video below) is profoundly moving and worth listening to in its entirety. The passages quoted below are from the very beginning and the very end of Schiff’s remarks. They serve as elegant bookends to the information contained in between.
“History will not be kind to Donald Trump. I think we all know that. Not because it will be written by never-Trumpers, but because whenever we have separated from the values of our nation we have come to regret it. And that regret is written all over the pages of our history. If you find that the House has proved its case and still vote to acquit, your name will be tied to his with a cord of steel and for all of history. But if you find the courage to stand up to him, to speak the awful truth to his rank falsehood, your place will be among the Davids who took on Goliath. If only you will say ‘enough.'”
“I put my faith in the optimism of the founders. You should too. They gave us the tools to do the job. A remedy as powerful as the evil it was meant to constrain. They meant for it to be used rarely, but they put it in the Constitution for a reason. For a man who would sell out his country for a political favor. For a man who would threaten the integrity of our elections. For a man who would invite foreign interference in our affairs. For a man who would undermine our national security and that of our allies. For a man like Donald J. Trump. They gave you a remedy and they meant for you to use it. They gave you an oath and they meant for you to observe it. We have proved Donald Trump guilty. Now do impartial justice and convict him.”
Unfortunately, Republicans in the Senate are going to vote against the Articles of Impeachment regardless of the facts. They are only interested in preserving their power and demonstrating loyalty to the Cult of Trump. But thanks to Schiff and others on the House Managers team, the historical record will outlast their cowardice, complicity, and deceit. And the consequences for their weakness may be dealt out as soon as this November.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.
History will not be kind to Donald Trump.
Because truth matters. Right matters. And decency matters.
It may be midnight in Washington, but the sun will rise again.
I put my faith in the optimism of our Founders.
You should too. pic.twitter.com/JJ2tGnQqxK
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) February 3, 2020