The writing is on the proverbial wall. It appears that Republicans in the Senate are poised to conclude their cover up of Donald Trump’s criminal behavior. The vote on whether to allow the testimony of additional witnesses (such as Trump favorite, John Bolton) will likely fail. That would make this first impeachment in history not to include witness testimony. This travesty of justice was set in place with the announcement by retiring Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander that he would vote against further witnesses and documents.
Alexander’s principle argument is that the decision to remove Trump from office should be made by the American people at the ballot box, not by the Senate. If so, he needs to explain why the Framers included impeachment in the Constitution. And his argument doesn’t even address the prospect of an election being subverted by a president who intends to cheat, making it impossible for the people’s choice to prevail.
However, Alexander isn’t even being asked to remove Trump from office yet. The question at present is only whether to permit the introduction of new witnesses and documents. Alexander could still decide later not to remove Trump. In the meantime, he’s preventing the American people, who he thinks should make the decision, from hearing all of the evidence. So he’s advocating that the people make an uninformed decision. That’s something that Trump will surely appreciate, because it’s what he does all the time.
Alexander’s full statement on his decision is a bundle of hypocrisies and contradictions. he actually concedes that “the House managers have proved” their case with “a mountain of overwhelming evidence.” So Alexander has seen sufficient evidence to declare Trump guilty. “There is no need for more evidence,” says Alexander, “to prove that the president asked Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter,” and that “There is no need for more evidence to conclude that the president withheld United States aid.”
In other words, there is no need for further evidence to establish the quid pro quo that Trump used to coerce Ukraine, but has denied repeatedly, despite having actually admitted it on national TV. Alexander was not alone in his assessment of Trump’s guilt. Senators Toomey, Collins, Romney, Murkowski, and Portman are among those who have considered approving more testimony (but will likely vote no anyway). However, Alexander’s vote appears to be based on something entirely different than the facts that he himself has presented:
“It was inappropriate for the president to ask a foreign leader to investigate his political opponent and to withhold United States aid to encourage that investigation. But the Constitution does not give the Senate the power to remove the president from office and ban him from this year’s ballot simply for actions that are inappropriate.”
Really? Does Alexander know what the word “inappropriate” means? For the record, it means “not suitable or proper in the circumstances.” For example, cussing in front of children. Or wearing sweats to funeral. Or bragging that you can grab women by their genitals because you’re a celebrity.
It is a shameless depreciation of Trump’s flagrant criminal activities to dismiss them so cavalierly. The effort to impeach Trump and remove him from office is not because he committed “actions that are inappropriate.” It’s because he violated the law, the Constitution, and the moral duty to serve the public interest. And any Senator that votes to deny witness testimony – and to acquit Trump – is complicit in his crimes and the cover up. Which is, to say the very least, inappropriate.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.