How I would have voted in the Trump impeachment trial

Would I have voted to remove Trump from the presidency or would I have voted to acquit?

Fair question. Unless, of course, I was the New York Times editorial board and then I could vote to both convict and acquit.

The case against Trump is meaty. He tried to use the power of the U.S. government to strong arm a foreign sovereign to participate in the president’s re-election scheme. To pretend that what did was “perfect” is, to use Trump’s own word, “bullshit. It was wrong.

It’s difficult  for people who like his policies, as I mostly do, to concede that he did wrong. The Republican Senate closed its eyes and held its nose when it voted to acquit, not because of any great love for the crude egotist, but because it wanted to continue those policies.

Understandable, but…. The Senate should have called more witnesses, including former national security advisor John Bolton. (Bolton could have helped things by publicly disclosing what he knows.)

The Senate also should have called the Bidens and others who could have responded under oath about just what the hell they were doing in Ukraine. That they didn’t use this opportunity to clear up what certainly appears to be corruption of the Chicago style demonstrates that they were more motivated by partisan considerations than a search for truth. Better to get this over with months before the election, and in the political sense, they were right. The acquittal had nothing to do with justice.

What it comes down to is this: Trump called this storm down on himself by his excesses, rampaging ego, ignorance and the long list of other character flaws. An impeachment investigation by the House was warranted.

Having said that, though, House Democrats blew it by conducting its fatally flawed show trial with all the trappings of a Kremlin farce.

Their errors of judgment and/or malevolence are too numerous to itemize here, among them was their failure to accord Trump’s defense team due process. Like the Republicans in the Senate, the Democrats in the House failed to pursue all the witnesses that were relavent.

Their intent was clear from the outset (meaning his election)–to nail Trump whatever it takes. The end justifies the means. Yes, Democrats, process is important.

A pox on both houses.

If this was a legal proceeding, the result should have been a mistrial. Evidence was excluded that was withheld. Bias prevailed on both sides. Stink pervaded it all.

So, how would I vote? A mistrial wasn’t an option for the senators. An abstention would be the closest thing, but cowardly.

An old baseball rule applies: A tie goes to the runner. I vote, not to acquit, but to throw the whole thing out into the garbage. That means I don’t convict; I do the only thing left when justice is so clearly denied. I vote no.

Critical readers will argue that have taken the coward’s way out. Be that as it may. The spirit of the Constitution dictates that no outcome in this entire proceeding–whether to acquit or convict–is reasonable or just. Rights and duties have been trampled throughout this process.

The results in both houses of Congress are figuratively the fruit of the poisoned tree. Convict or acquit, both outcomes would have been questionable, disputable and invalid. Party loyalties, no justice, drove both sides.

So, what to do? The election is coming. Americans, while still ill-equipped with only a part of the story, will have to decide. As it should be.

dennis@dennisbyrne.net

www.dennisbyrne.net 

My historical novel: Madness: The War of 1812

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  • The House had 17 witnesses. Their case was solid and convincing. Trump told everyone in his administration not to cooperate with witnesses and documents. He was guilty as sin. And now he will take his corruption to a whole new level. A frightening prospect to be sure.

  • They should have called more witnesses. Bolton, for one. Too bad if it would have taken more time.

  • In reply to Dennis Byrne:

    If the House should have, but didn't call witnesses, why shouldn't the Senate call them? Do they have a lesser duty to our constitution?

  • In reply to jnorto:

    Maybe you didn't read my post.

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    Mr. Byrne,

    Regardless of your perception of the actions of the senators and congressmen, the questions should have come down to whether President Trump was guilty of the two impeachment articles.

    Regarding Article 1 you wrote: "The case against Trump is meaty. He tried to use the power of the U.S. government to strong arm a foreign sovereign to participate in the president's re-election scheme. To pretend that what did was "perfect" is, to use Trump's own word, "bullshit. It was wrong."

    In other words you were convinced of his guilt based on the available evidence.

    Regarding Article 2, Obstruction of Congress, you failed to comment on that article at all. Given President Trump's direction to witnesses to not testify and to defy document requests, I believe Trump's guilt is likewise clear cut on this article.

    Your "reasons" for not voting to convict appear to be based more on your agreement with Trump's policies than any kind of legal analysis.

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