Saturday, December 14, 2019

Dems need Judicial Branch to rule against McConnell

Mitch McConnell
The House Judiciary Committee has voted to pass the impeachment amendments against Donald J. Trump as a result of sufficient evidence and witnesses testimony.  

The next steps are to submit the impeachment articles to the full House of Representatives to allow all Representatives to vote.  Impeachment is expected to pass there where Democrats are in the majority.  

As was seen in the impeachment inquiry, the vote was split along party lines.  Despite overwhelming evidence by all witnesses and even public disclosure of culpability by the President and his staff, Republicans refuse to see the evidence as indicative of impeaching Trump.

And now, Mitch McConnell, while speaking publicly on a right wing media show, has confessed that the jury trial of Donald J. Trump in the Senate will be a scam.  McConnell has admitted that he is coordinating with the White House and the President will be acquitted.  Americans should be outraged at the arrogance of the Senate majority leader.  

The Senate is sworn to allowing a fair trial and these remarks by McConnell represent it will be anything but fair.  The Senators are the jury in the trial of Donald J. Trump and when the jury, before having the trial, declares that there is no way the President will be convicted, it is a travesty of justice.

Democrats cannot allow this Senate trial to proceed without the legal intervention of the court system.  If the Democrats allow a vote in the House and then pass the impeachment proceedings on to the Senate, America is guaranteed that all of the evidence against this President will not be considered.  McConnell has said as much.  It will be the real sham impeachment trial, that Republicans have been accusing the Democrats of.  

Perhaps forty percent of Americans want this President to remain in office, but McConnell's admission essentially cheats the majority of Americans of a fair trial.  Furthermore, if there is no penalty to Donald Trump, you can be assured that he will continue to cheat in the 2020 election with renewed fervor.

Assuming the Democrats can sue McConnell for such public notice of disdain for the rule of law and American Constitutional justice, McConnell would have to explain to the court just why the impeachment trial can be run as a Republican sham trial.   If it drags out the impeachment proceedings into next year, so be it.  The negative publicity that McConnell and all Republican leadership would receive would almost certainly make them lose votes in 2020.

And maybe it can bring up new litigation against those Republicans who would dismiss American Constitutional justice and with it, American democracy.

Sue McConnell now!

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Chief Justice Roberts is not a Trump Sycophant

Chief Justice John Roberts
Despite what the GOP Congressional leaders want you to believe, it is obvious and undeniable that Trump has committed acts that are abuse of power and obstruction of Congress and deserving of impeachment and removal from office.

But based on recent House impeachment hearings, we know the Republican party will not save America.  House Republicans have shown that they will not vote to impeach Trump.  In fact, despite evidence to the contrary, the GOP defends and praises a "victimized" Trump.  They want America to think that the impeachment is a partisan ruse to remove a duly elected President.  It is not.

In the Senate, where Republicans are in the majority, Senator McConnell wants a fast and speedy acquittal of Trump.

Many believe that partisanship runs so strong that the Republican majority in the Senate will not remove Trump from office and it will be up to the American people to vote Trump out in 2020.  But how confident should we be that the American people will vote him out?  With little being done to prevent it, we can't be certain that Russia won't influence or change the voting results.  Is there any hope that the 2020 election will be fair?  Is there any hope that something or someone may help Americans understand the seriousness of Trump's constitutional infractions?

By most polls, more than half of America wants Trump impeached and removed from office.  Enter Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts.  Will Roberts treat Trump's violations of the Constitution with the seriousness it deserves?  Chief Justice Roberts will be presiding over Trump's impeachment trial to be held in the Senate.

Roberts has described the SCOTUS role as that of impartial interpreters of the constitution.  When questioned about partisanship, Roberts has stated that the Supreme Court must not be partisan and must fairly interpret the laws and constitution without consideration of party membership.  It was Justice Roberts that allowed the Obama administration's Affordable Care Act to become law, so he seems to act according to his philosophy.  Incidentally, Trump was extremely annoyed to the point of insulting Roberts for allowing the ACA to pass.  They are not on great social terms.

Roberts could have a major part in intervening in the trial between partisan Senators.  An important aspect of his role in the proceedings is to rule on questions of evidence.

The Trump administration has denied the House Intelligence and Judiciary Committees any evidence in the form of documents and witnesses during their impeachment inquiry.  If asked, it may be possible that Roberts may approve requests for those documents or witnesses in the Senate trial.

For example, Mick Mulvaney has direct knowledge and has publicly announced that there was a quid pro quo in the Ukrainian dealings.  Trump had not allowed him to be questioned in the House committees.  Perhaps Roberts will.

Another personality of importance is Don McGhan.  Being a close counsel for Trump, McGhan knows a lot about Trump's character, behavior and infractions.  McGhan voluntarily participated in the Mueller investigation after which Trump fired him without warning.  Recently a court has ruled that Trump cannot shield McGhan from testifying in the impeachment hearings.  If McGhan is asked to be a witness, it is likely the GOP will object, but Roberts may intervene and force McGhan to testify.  It's true that articles of impeachment do not touch on Trump's actions in the Mueller investigation, but McGhan may be a good witness to provide examples of Trump's behavior in that investigation and it's consistency with the obstruction impeachment articles.

Rudi Giuliani is another witness that Roberts could force to testify in the Senate trial.  Giuliani was the central figure assigned by Trump to convince Ukraine to give a public announcement of an investigation into the Biden's.

Add to that list John Bolton, Mike Pompeo and Vice President Pence.  All were involved in the Ukraine quid pro quo.  Roberts would do America a huge favor by having them approved to testify.

The degree to which Roberts controls the trial may depend on his observations of irreconcilable differences between the parties and prior understanding of the actions that Trump is being tried for.

For example, Chief Justice William Rehnquist presided over Bill Clinton's impeachment trial but did not influence that trial much at all.  The difference in the seriousness of constitutional infractions between Clinton (who had sexual improprieties) and Trump (who withheld needed military aid for election interference from a foreign government) may account for that.

Chief Justice Roberts will most certainly review the reports that came out of the Intelligence and Judiciary Committees before the Senate trial.  He should be well versed in the types of infractions being charged and the extreme partisan differences in behavior between the Republicans and Democrats.  Because of that, my belief is that he will take a much larger part in the trial than Rehnquist did with Clinton's trial.

A Senate trial may be run with more decorum than the House Committee meetings, but it will be good to see an impartial intermediary like Roberts help control the proceedings.  Roberts is a reasonable and intelligent individual.  That means he will make good judgements and attempt to keep the participants honest.  The truth must be told.

Although most analysts believe Trump will be acquitted, if the truth is told and Republicans do not convict, they will pay politically for not removing this President from office.