The House managers put on an extremely impressive impeachment case against President Trump, but sadly, Senate Republicans are completely subservient to Trump and have zero interest in getting at the truth, let alone seeing justice done. Which means, of course, that Senate Republicans will continue to blindly and mindlessly defend the indefensible, leaving it to voters to toss Republicans out of power this coming November. Because, the fact is, voters at this point are really the only serious “check” left on Trump’s corrupt, out-of-control administration and on Trumpism more broadly.
With that depressing intro, here are some thoughts from Sen. Tim Kaine on where we’re at right now regarding impeachment. The key points: Senate Republicans “are afraid of what is in those documents…afraid of what the witnesses will say in testimony…that should tell the American public something.”
As a lawyer, I had cases in every court from the Richmond traffic court to the United States Supreme Court. I know courtrooms front, back, and center. And now I’m a juror for the first time in my life. I want to share some thoughts after the first few days of this impeachment trial:
As jurors we’re grappling with 3 questions:
1. What are the facts?
2. Do the facts establish either or both of the articles of impeachment?
3. If they do, did they establish them at such a level—a high crime or misdemeanor—to warrant removal of the President from office?
I’ve taken an oath to do impartial justice and I’m going to keep an open mind until the proceedings are done. But I’m disappointed that my colleagues have yet to embrace what anyone who’s been in any courtroom understands: you can’t have a trial without witnesses and documents. We’re either interested in finding the facts or we’re not; we’re either interested in the truth or we’re not. I do not believe that an impeachment trial should operate at a lesser standard than a trial in a traffic court in the city of Richmond—but that’s where we are right now.
The fact that the White House was so adamant against producing any documents and that the Republican majority has so far stood against the presentation of the full evidentiary record suggests that it’s not really a fair trial. But more importantly, it suggests to me that they are afraid of what is in those documents. And they are afraid of what the witnesses will say in testimony. And that should tell the American public something.