Congressional Democrats’ attempt to impeach the former president out of an office that he no longer holds proves that Trump is living rent-free in the collective heads of Congressional Democrats.
It also reveals just how impotent the Democratic Party is, despite holding the White House and both chambers of Congress.
And the Senate trial gives a lopsided, kangaroo court image visible to all.
The Constitution provides that the chief justice of the Supreme Court shall preside over any impeachment of the president, in order to avoid the appearance of partisanship.
However, Chief Justice John Roberts declined — apparently because Trump is no longer the president.
In that event, responsibility falls on the president of the Senate, which would be Vice President Kamala Harris.
But that would have looked ultra-partisan.
So, president pro tempore Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., assumed that role.
Leahy released a statement on Jan. 25, shortly after his appointment.
"When presiding over an impeachment trial, the president pro tempore takes a special oath to do impartial justice according to the Constitution & the laws," he tweeted. "It is an oath that I take extraordinarily seriously."
That’s hard to swallow given Leahy’s statements since the Capitol Hill riot.
"It’s painfully clear that President Trump remains an ongoing and immediate threat to our constitutional republic. He should either immediately resign or the Vice President should invoke the 25th Amendment. Absent that, I support Congress reconvening to impeach the President," he said on Jan. 7, one day after the riot.
"Nixon committed crimes nowhere near as serious as those by President Trump, and yet Nixon knew he had to resign. Trump's crimes trying to overturn our elections and openly instigating a riot causing deaths warrant his immediate resignation or removal," Leahy said on January 12.
In a statement he released the next day, Leahy called Trump "the greatest threat to the Constitution and to American democracy in a generation."
As if that weren’t enough, in addition to serving as "judge" during the proceedings, he’ll be a juror, with the power to vote to either convict or acquit.
Finally, all senators — Democratic, Republican, and Independent—attended the Joint Session of Congress on Jan. 6 when the alleged attempted insurrection occurred, making them all potential witnesses.
A potential witness can never serve as a juror in any legal proceeding.
But this trial is hardly legal. It’s political and each participant knows it.
On Tuesday afternoon, lead impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., introduced a 13-minute video collage of the events of Jan. 6.
Although the clip included some of the former president’s remarks, most of it was dedicated to the rioting.
The destruction and violence was admittedly tough to watch.
When it was over, Raskin said, "The president was impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives on January 13th for doing that."
For doing what?
Trump never took part in the rioting, and his rhetoric was no more inflammatory than that used by other politicians.
Nonetheless, Raskin added, "That’s a high crime and misdemeanor. If that’s not an impeachable offense, then there’s no such thing."
The House impeachment managers, serving as prosecutors, announced that they haven’t decided on witnesses, suggesting they may rely largely on video evidence.
If that’s their intent, they should at least get it right.
To be admissible, video evidence must first be relevant, meaninh it must have a tendency to prove or disprove a fact at issue.
But even relevant evidence can be excluded when its probative value (its value to prove something important) is substantially outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice to the person under trial.
In this case, Raskin’s video left out a key part of Trump’s address.
"We have come to demand that Congress do the right thing and only count the electors who have been lawfully slated," Trump said. "I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard."
Also, former Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, suggested that the video may even have violated House rules for being deceptively manipulated.
But more than that, evidence is mounting that the Capitol Hill riot was planned long before the Trump’s address.
In addition, Trump offered to deploy "as many as 10,000 National Guard troops," ahead of Jan. 6 to support local law enforcement, as former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows indicated Sunday.
Everyone knows that in the end Trump will be acquitted. Senate Democrats will never find the 17 GOP votes they need to convict.
The Senate trial will, if anything, make Democrats appear impotent, having failed despite taking two bites at the apple.
At the same time, Trump’s popularity and legacy among his supporters will skyrocket.
"Two impeachments and two acquittals?" they’ll say. "Wow, he’s the best at everything!"
Michael Dorstewitz is a retired lawyer and has been a frequent contributor to BizPac Review and Liberty Unyielding. He is also a former U.S. Merchant Marine officer and an enthusiastic Second Amendment supporter, who can often be found honing his skills at the range. Read Dorstewitz's Reports — More Here.
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