“The President, Vice President and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.”Article II § 4 of the Constitution
With the opening salvos fired in the House Impeachment hearing, the sad process of impeaching a President begins. And it would do us all well to remember this is not something to celebrate regardless of one’s political position. The removal of a President through the impeachment process is the most terrible thing that can happen to this nation short of war.
We are a long way from seeing this happen. We should be more concerned at this point that the law is followed and politics left aside then what the ultimate result may be. For if we allow the taint of politics to infiltrate the process—the very foundation upon which these allegations are based—the results will not matter, except to tear this country apart.
The House can only craft an Article of Impeachment. It remains for the Senate to try the President—under the watchful eye and judicial guidance of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court—and determine if the matter rises to the level of removing the President from office.
Therein lies the hope of the nation, in the non-partisan hands of the Chief Justice. For if we cannot have faith in the position of Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, we are lost as a nation.
The talking-head, twitter-feed, partisan rhetoric means nothing, has no value, and distracts from the most significant power granted under our constitution. All it does is drive the wedge between us deeper into the soul of the nation.
We would do well to listen to the words of a fictional, yet profoundly wise, character from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle;
“It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.”Sherlock Holmes (A Scandal in Bohemia) Sir Arthur Conan Doyle 1891
There are witnesses yet to testify and evidence to be presented. Mr. Trump is entitled to a vigorous defense and the American people are entitled to an equally vigorous presentation of the evidence.
Yet it will come down to the integrity, sense of duty, and character of the members of the Senate.
And therein lies the concern.
The partisan divide has never been more acrimonious, at least in public. If such behavior wins elections then the American people have no one to blame but themselves for continuing to elect such candidates, including Donald Trump.
Perhaps the only way, sad as this will sound, to allow Senators to follow their conscience in voting based on the evidence and testimony in an Impeachment Trial is to mimic the process of other courts and make the vote a secret ballot. Thus, we could remove the pallor of political concerns and allow for a vote based on the evidence.
This would require a rule change. Yet Mitch McConnell has never been shy about changing rules to make his job easier, damn the effect on the country. This might be a way for him to recapture some sense of honor in his long decent into a nothing but a Trump sycophant. And he could do it without letting anyone know he and some of his fellow Republicans do have the best interests of the nation at heart.
Do I think it will happen? Probably not, but there is always hope.
But if the vote is 51-49 against impeachment, we will have all the evidence we need of the character of our Senators and the content of their souls on both sides of the aisle, and a glimpse at the dismal future of this nation.