Its Reputation Tattered, Polarized Senate Faces a Steep Impeachment Test

A partisan start to the trial stands in contrast to a consensus approach struck in 1999, the last time the Senate weighed the fate of a president.

Comments: 197

  1. The only thing that will save our democracy is the ouster of Moscow Mitch. How one man could do such harm is the stuff of fantasy. There needs to be a way to address such betrayal.

  2. @Tom - A retired American The Democrats need to win the Senate back. That will take care of Moscow Mitch. As for getting rid of him, that’s up to the people of Kentucky.

  3. @Doug Lowenthal Any American citizen who cares to can contribute to Mitch McConnell's challenger, Amy McGrath. She will need all the help she can get. Think about it, if you really want to Ditch Mitch. You can also make calls for her and so on. This is still a free country!

  4. How is it that I am awake at 3:04 in the morning, worried about paying bills, and doing my best to do the right thing by my family, my neighbors, and my nation, while the President and the Senate Majority leader sleep soundly in the morass of their own corruption, greed and dishonesty? How is it that this is where we're at? How did we arrive in a place where the truth, doing the right thing, and even simple decency is such a Herculean lift? And why do we tolerate it?

  5. @Matt What can anyone outside of Kentucky do beyond throwing support in the form of money towards his opponent come this next election? To whom can one write to air one's grievances with this awful representative - a term I use quite loosely? Anyone out there have other ideas?

  6. @Matt I'm with you completely on this Matt. Many a night, I can't sleep, tossing and turning over what's going on and what continues to go on with no end in sight. My question is how do so many Republicans tolerate it and where will it all end?

  7. @Matt Because we are so lazy and inattentive that we let the gop stomp all over everything for the past 40 years or more. Because jingoism is more attractive than reality. Because we let the gop control and totally pervert language to the point that we don't even know what we are talking about, or who we are mad at. Mainly because TV is more real than reality to some. So the people you wonder about? This is all a big show to them, we are just some vague background noise. It is all about themselves, all the time.

  8. The contrast between our founding fathers, who struggled to build a democracy out of a wilderness land with a diversity (especially when it came to education, knowledge, economic) population. Each of them had farms to run and families to feed. They sacrificed all , travel many miles on horseback for one dream. The dream was so clear, to build a country that would be free for all, would never have a KING , would have a fair justice system for all not just the rich and powerful! A lot of these men lost their farms an land. Today, most Congress members leave the office much richer than to office. They work for a party that works to stay in office. They have lost touch with the average American. Their financial package ensure they will not lose “the farm”. They are set for life financially this too separates them from the average American. They use the justice system to get around the laws that their donors don’t like. They have lost the dream of the founding fathers, and why The American constitution was written as it is. Senator Mitch McDonnell is the poster boy for the Congress member of today versus Thomas Jefferson or Hamilton. America has lost the founding dream!

  9. I’ve reviewed my GOP congresswoman’s tax return. Stefanik does not pay $15 - 20 k for health insurance, $5 k medical savings account, nor $5-7 k . IRA savings. Congress should have to fund this themselves and get in touch with the people. Stefanik does not have town halls and now has time to be on trump’s reelection committee. Where does the Hatch Act come into play with trump and congress having endless campaign activities?

  10. It's hard not to regard the Republicans' contempt for partisan amity as a tactical move. Whether it's the elected officials deciding that venom rules the day or that those officials are simply riding the waves of hate that R.Murdoch has exploited to line his pockets —I don't know. I do know, though, that this impeachment process will expose the worst of Republican cynicism and sophistry.

  11. @cruciform — Thirty years ago a friend, who was a veteran journalist at The Sunday Times, warned of Murdoch’s reach. Lucky for him he didn’t live to witness those predictions.

  12. @cruciform One could assume that the worst has already been exposed and endured for quite awhile now. So then assume that this will never harm their chances at re-election one bit. There it is. How do they mange this trick?

  13. Trump can’t do all the damage he has without Moscow Mitch, both need to go.

  14. The spectacle began when the Republicans allowed individual 1 to pass their nomination process completely un-vetted in 2016. Attempting to put all this on Democrats now is not saving face. There is no covering their disgrace with their phony outrage over being called to accountability.

  15. @sentinel Still cannot get over that election? This, in a nutshell, is why so many Americans are disgusted with democrats.

  16. Cannot get over Trump and what he stands for plus the majority didn’t vote for him.

  17. @sentinel trump was vetted in 2016, but the Republicans chose to ignore the results. The collapse of the USFL, trump air, Atlantic City casinos, trump university, trump steaks, Access Hollywood tapes, 2 divorces and countless extramarital affairs. What could Republicans have possibly thought trump's Presidency would be like?

  18. This is as bad as the Civil War. I don't even believe Republicans are on the side of America any more. They block everything that Democrats try to do. The R's do not have any ideas, good or bad. They just want to stop everything. Look at the Supreme Court Justice for example. Garland was a good justice but the R's would not allow him on the court. We may end up in a civil war. McConnell is an albatross around the country's neck. And he is getting worse daily. I miss Obama but they would not allow him any accomplishments. What will it take for the R's to do good for the country? I wish I knew.

  19. @Sharon Conway There is no such thing as the Republican Party anymore. It has now become the Trump Entourage with all the members his obedient subjects.

  20. @Sharon Conway It is not quite as bad as the Civil War, but it is worse than the Nixon years. At least then we had a Supreme Court that ruled in a matter of days when an imperious President defied a subpoena. The Roberts Court has all the time in the world, and is content to let the wheels of justice spin until after the election. That's probably just as well, because a majority of them think that the 1st amendment protects the right of Russian oligarchs to finance American elections.

  21. Yes, but you forgot they also simply want to continue enriching themselves and their lobbyist friends at the cost of everyone else. It would be one thing if they at least tried to restore fair wages to many others, but they are too selfish and unethical to take any reasonable steps in that direction. These people have no scruples. None. And so many of his supporters are themselves being duped by his actions.

  22. The Senate's reputation is intact. The House? Now there is an article you can write about a tattered reputation.

  23. @2observe2b - you have it backwards. Lots of reasons, one of them being the words McConnell spoke about working with and for Donald Trump ahead of any oath McConnell might take to serve as a non-partisan juror in the Senate during Donald Trump's trial. Unless of course you mean bad reputation. In terms of the "reputation" of a legislative body, you don't think that should have something to do with respect to the Constitution?

  24. You are so wrong. The house has done its duty. Let by the brilliant pelosi, the Democrats have dine what needed to be done. Held this corrupt president accountable. It is Moscow Mitch leading the senate that needs to step up, call witnesses and conduct themselves with dignity.

  25. Senate leaders shy from votes that could threaten incumbents up for re-election. This, in addition to the unconstitutional blocking of Garland, are why the reputation is in tatters.

  26. “The far left has been desperate to get rid of President Trump since Day 1, and that has been made abundantly clear throughout this process" I don't know who the Republicans are trying harder to convince, themselves or the American public, when sentiments like the one Republican Senator Todd Young from Indiana made above has been echoed over and over again. With that kind of attitude and belief already implanted in the mindset, how in the world does he expect anyone to truly believe he and Mitch McConnell and other Republican Senators will impartially "weigh the merits of the case . . . and uphold [their] duty as an impeachment juror and carefully evaluate the legal arguments"? Really?

  27. Don't think Rwanda can't happen here. We are obviously in the middle of a Roaring 20's economic euphoria, and when the crash happens, there will be a minority of super rich tied to those who listen to dog whistles and hear from then permission to be cruel and imperial. Empires fall, usually, because of great wealth concentrating into few hands, and those 1%'ers corrupt everything including the government and the military hierarchy. Money has no nation. Still, this election cycle is fun, I get once again to listen to people using hope to inspire we poor and powerless. Every four years the illusion is presented, and then the Republicans simply shrug and take housing, health care, and food subsidies away and present income inequality as a lesson in grittiness. Hugh

  28. @John Lonergan Could you expand? I don't understand your comment. If you live in SF and are mocking my comments on great wealth concentrating in only a few hands, with the very poor losing at every turn... I am very low income. Is there any way, these days, I could move to SF? Hugh

  29. The real issue is that the Republicans needed Mr. Trump and could so far not produce a better choice. This tells more about the state of the republican party.

  30. Does it tell you anything that people would rather vote for someone they hated like Mr. Trump, over the democrat candidate? Anyone considering that when the pick the Dem candidate this time around?

  31. Switzerland already handles the link between Iran and the US. We rather send the red cross. yes huge progress has been made an new wall is built and Mexico paid for it, the US deficit doubled Global warming accelerated and more great stuff you name it. I miss John Mc Cain one of the few upright Republicans.

  32. Yes, non of them bragged about grabbing women by their private parts....or I can shoot somebody and no one will held me accountable. I love the US and do not mix Trump with your Nation.

  33. I vividly remember the Clinton trial. I think most of us in the public took a couple of looks at those Republicans very solemnly going through this very bizarre theater looking like they've never smiled a day in their lives, stopped taking it seriously and just left them to it. I wouldn't be surprised if Democrats in the Senate did the same.

  34. The entire Republican Party has adopted the philosophy that they are above reproach and should not even be subjected to questioning of their actions. They believe God gave them the right to govern and dictate what they will, without any interference from the “libs.” During the Civil War Abe Lincoln said that God always did the right thing and he hoped that he was on God’s side. Today I have a real hard time believing the GOP has any concern about being on God’s side. They seem to believe they are sitting at his right hand and are able to tell him what he should do.

  35. The article seems to treat this whole thing like a WWE match which is really annoying given that all that's at stake is the Republic of the United States of America. Leading the Team Red is Senator McConnell who told us what the outcome of the trial would be a few months ago and who thinks that hearing witnesses and demanding documents be handed over is unnecessary. Leading Team Blue is Chuck Schumer who seems not to spend enough time on TV stating obvious truths like - McConnell is a cheating liar. Fortunately, Adam Schiff is on the backup team and is going to coach Schumer on the basics like, when they tell lies, call them liars. McConnell who has over 200 bills locked away, bills passed by the House that might help a lot of citizens, cheated the system to put his preferred judges on SCOTUS and took money (reports are between 3 and 6 million in the past 2 years) from a Russian-born oligarch, Len Blavatnik. Blavatnik happens to be a) a US citizen (funny what you can buy with $20 billion net worth) b) a co-owner of Rusal which is a huge Russian aluminum company (2nd biggest in the world I think) which is interesting in that McConnell stood by while tariffs on Canadian aluminum were introduced because Canada is, apparently, a threat to our national security! Removing US sanctions against Russian oligarchs is also a service offered by McConnell. Funny how everything leads back to Russia.

  36. Unleash the forces of destruction all you want. It is the democratic party that is fractured at the moment. Two distinct parties silently at war with each other, and soon to be openly. So go ahead and stoke these flames, it is normally called self-immolation but you can use whatever term you want to sell it.

  37. Okay. I’m gonna go with honest disagreement. A clash of reasonable values. The Old Guard vs. the avant-garde. Maybe even a dialectic. What’ve you got? The current Republican debate over getting the snout further into the trough vs. open fascism? Or is it....segregation or just plain lynching? Wait, wait, don’t tell me: craven surrender to Trump or a muffled “Tut, tut,” on the way out the door?

  38. @Robert Oh Robert, you just don't get it yet. We have America First, and an America First President. In other words, exactly what we voted for.

  39. "“I’m confident this body can rise above the short term-ism and factional fever and serve the long-term best interests of our nation. We can do this, and we must.”" What utter hypocrisy from the man who has brought the work of the Senate to a virtual halt except for naming an endless series of unqualified judges. What I don't get is how McConnell and his gang can keep accusing Democrats of initiating all this because they "hate the president" when the evidence of serious presidential malfeasance is so overwhelming. Sure, Democrats dislike this president for thousands of reasons. But they also recognize abuse of power and contempt of Congress when they see it, which is why impeachment became their constitutional duty. The Senate, like the entire country, is hanging by a thread when it comes to upholding the Constitution. There aren't two versions of the law, one for Republicans, one for Democrats. Let's see if McConnell respects that.

  40. Here's where we are at. One half of the Nation believes that Trump's impeachment is richly deserved for his abuse of office and other crimes. The other half believes that this is all a hoax by the Democrats to overturn the 2016 election. What could possibly go wrong?

  41. It's not going to get ugly at all. One of the first things that's going to happen is one of the Senators is going to move to dismiss the charges. (All 100 of them have the right to do this). They'll have a vote. And it will be all over. Just like that.

  42. @Larry Thiel Meanwhile House democrats will keep dragging out the usual suspects, proclaiming "new and improved" evidence each time. Anything to keep impeachment alive for their leftwing because God help them if they let this drop.

  43. Senator McConnell decries the partisan impeachment process in the House and vows to conduct an even more partisan process in the Senate. Lindsay Graham leads the See-no-evil caucus through the public relations forest.

  44. Lindsay Graham has also predicted a short trial. This means that the trump Republicans are essentially attempting to hijack the Senate trial process in order to acquit trump before the State of the Union Address. Implicit, also, is that Graham and those who think in a similar fashion are willing to get whatever help they can, and by whatever means possible, to maintain power. The Russians have already "hacked" Burisma, which means that if Biden is the Democratic candidate in 2020 then the Burisma "documents" will be dumped into the public domain and Biden and his son will be left to explain, even if the "documents" are fabricated....a replay of 2016. Graham will be there as one of the first to "authenticate" the documents. After all, he wants to be President one day.

  45. While McConnell was reading impeachment terms I wondered if he realized how disliked he is. He has stood with Donald Trump thick and thin. Two men who love using power, twisting that power as if casting dirt that spreads over the people, no matter the ramifications for our country in the eyes of our own people, or around the world. If only that power would be for the good of people in the United States, and benefit the people instead of for themselves and a select few, and creating demise for the rest. The scene was real. We knew as McConnell was reading he couldn’t care less about us, the people, and we sincerely wondered - where has “liberty and justice for all” gone?

  46. The Republicans have long ago taken a page from the Democratic playbook which is to sue in court for social change. Not only do they do it better but they've made sure that they rig the game with court-packing. If slavery is our sin, then the electoral college is our curse. We've risen up and made so many changes for the better and it's time we take aim at getting direct presidential elections. It was done with senatorial elections. Today, we need huge ad buys and people engaged over the basic principle of fairness.

  47. @John Lonergan That's not what it was for. Not even close. It was a compromise for those who wanted the House to pick the president and those who wanted direct elections. You are repeating revisionist nonsense. It was a clerical concern of how and who would be responsible for a national election of 13 states that had a land mass of 7 times that of England. Get back to me when your candidate wins the popular vote but looses the EC. Oh, wait. That didn't happen. Those votes were fake. He won both. Trump told me so. BTW, what's a clear thinking guy like you doing in SF?

  48. There is no senate as those of us who saw the clinton impeachment remember. It is now the mitch mcconnell gang. He is already way ahead of the democrats in figuring out how to minimize the impact on our country and citizens (non-citizens as well). Closing the doors during the trial and testimony is just the beginning. And don't believe the "gang of four" will be strong in their resolve to allow witnesses. mitch knows how damaging a real trial with legitimate witnesses and documents will be to mr. trump. Democrats should watch and learn from a master manipulator. "The American People" shouldn't expect much or we will be at least as disappointed as we were after the Mueller report.

  49. The Senators are committed to defending Trump at all costs! Those costs may be very high-they may further tarnish the image of the Senate,they may turn off a lot of their constituents and they may show the rest of the world which is watching that democracy in the United States is compromised.If their conscience does not prompt them to be honest they should remember that this Impeachment is widely watched and their behavior will reflect on their reputation and that of the Senate for decades.People understand trials and in the United States they know what a fair trial looks like.This Impeachment takes place 10 months before November 2020-voters will be watching and they will remember!

  50. All I can say is 'About time.' At March 2017 Town Meeting I introduced successful advisory motion calling for Trump Impeachment based on the emoluments clause. Vermont legislators were as silent as everyone else about our action. I'm glad politicos have finally acknowledged that, even in the face of insurmountable odds, corruption in the Oval Office must be officially denounced.

  51. On the eve of the Senate Trial, I am impressed at the audacity of some Republicans saying that the House of Representatives didn't finish their investigation and not enough evidence is there to prove their case for impeachment. Baffling, because no Republicans in the House (nor the President) presented evidence counter dictating the House Democrats narrative. Instead, the President ordered staff not to testify, not present documents, and contested the procedures and processes of the investigation. The tactics may succeed in getting acquitted in a court of law, but politically it makes him look like he is acting guilty and trying to avoid accountability.

  52. @Progers9 Richard Nixon looks like Mr. open and honest compared to trump. What would have happened if Nixon had prevented Mitchell, Dean and Butterfield from testifying? Nixon would have gotten away with Watergate.

  53. Just couldn't wait and see and then report on what actually happened, could you. Nobody but nobody benefits from speculation like this.

  54. The big difference between now and Clinton's impeachment is that the person in charge, Mitch McConnell is completely without a moral compass. He is completely unscrupulous and has no concern for the integrity of the Senate.

  55. What a contrast to 1999 when Democratic Senator Robert C Byrd warned President Clinton not to “tamper with this jury.” It appears that too many senators lack respect for the senate as an institution and the constitution.

  56. This will begin as we watch the servile obsequiousness of the party of Trump as the GOP Senators stain their honor and integrity while taken "solemn" oaths pledging impartiality. It will continue with an official display of pure hypocrisy as Republicans refuse to call "first hand" witnesses, after the loud complaints about the lack of them during the House hearings. Those of us who have read the Mueller Report, and followed the House hearings, will watch this exercise in party loyalty at the expense of all that enables and sustains our democracy with sadness and disgust.

  57. Usually it takes two to tango, but not in this situation. McConnell is an expert at taking false umbrage at the slightest criticism. His methods are dictatorial, he gives speeches as though he and his ilk are pure as the driven snow, but in reality they are severely partisan. The nasty Republican modus operandi probably started with Gingrich and over the years it has infused a political pomposity throughout both chambers. For some unfathomable reason (short of political survival), the Republicans find no fault with Trump's behavior, all of it despicable, illegal, and a threat. You mentioned Susan Collins as being open to evidence, she changed her mind already in the interim, based on convoluted logic that leaves one aghast or more likely concerned for her mental capacity to even be considered for a spot on the jury. Mr. Parness implicated the President last night in the Ukraine shake down. So now what Mitch, are you going to have a call to Jesus moment and let us see all the evidence and hear from witnesses or are you going turn this trial into one big cover up, all for the likes of man that would throw you under the bus in a second.

  58. @SLF Indeed, trace it all back to Gingo because that's where the blame belongs. The disgraced man, who, when President Clinton was willing to work with Republicans in congress, the man's response was to impeach him.

  59. Call in witnesses.... we need to hear from John Bolton. If the president is not guilty, the witnesses will prove it. What is Moscow Mitch so afraid of? He started this whole charade when he refused to give Merrick Garland a chance. Mitch McConnell has destroyed the reputation of the Senate, and gotten very rich in the process along with his cabinet wife. Plutocracy here we are!

  60. "How it is handled will not only affect the perception of the quality of governance at a critical moment for our country," If McConnell reduces the Senate to a third world level body. the Republican party will find out the hard way that Americans will not accept third world government. After the Parnas interview the whole world can now see that Emperor Trump and Moscow Mitch are both stark naked.

  61. It is hyper partisanship when both sides have equal footing and are fighting simply to fight. McConnell holds all of the cards, so this is authoritarian grandstanding. The democrats are asking that all of the evidence is put in the trial. Isn't that what is expected in a court room? They aren't doing this because they are Democrats, they are doing this because the evidence is what the American people need to see. Stop the partisanship blather as if this is "normal"and report the facts.

  62. Justice, like water, always finds its way. No levee holds forever.

  63. With all that is known about Donald John Trump's sleazy business practices, why is anyone surprised by, or outraged that he would use the same methods to get what he wants as President? The Republican cabal's big mistake was in believing that he was shrewd enough to get away with doing it and that they would all benefit.

  64. This trial will merely rip the tattered remains of the mask of decency off the Republican Party and expose their true selves. Donald Trump has brought the true beliefs of Republicans, voters and legislators alike, into the light of day. The question becomes whether truth and justice are still the American Way, or whether cheating and corruption (as seen in baseball’s sign-stealing scandal) have replaced them. In a fear-fueled environment of increasing scarcity, I’m afraid that Republicans no longer believe that anyone has the right to vote against them.

  65. We should save the partisan bickering for the elections this coming November. There is no point to this, and there really never was. Leave the issue to the voters. After all, even if the Democrats were to succeed in impeaching the President, which seems highly unlikely, the Republicans could nominate him again and he, conceivably, be reelected. Then what? There would probably also be carnage at the polls for the Democrats under those circumstances. Do they really want that?

  66. Such thinking is dangerous to our democracy. Nobody is above the law, whether there is an upcoming election or not. The "people" should not be given the responsibility of solving criminal matters, abuses of power, or matters relating to impeachment. Our Constitution is very clear that is the role of the elected members of Congress, not decided via a poll, election, or other ways involving public opinion. We elect people to investigate these matters and consider the details. Citizens do not have time to do it, and suggesting they should play such a role is dangerous to our government and a threat to our Constitution. Let the process play out as intended by the framers of our Constitution. Let the Congress decide the president's faith using all the tools, power and investigative apparatus at their disposal.

  67. @jpduffy3 Such thinking is dangerous to our democracy. Nobody is above the law, whether there is an upcoming election or not. The "people" should not be given the responsibility of solving criminal matters, abuses of power, or matters relating to impeachment. Our Constitution is very clear that is the role of the elected members of Congress, not decided via a poll, election, or other ways involving public opinion. We elect people to investigate these matters and consider the details. Citizens do not have time to do it, and suggesting they should play such a role is dangerous to our government and a threat to our Constitution. Let the process play out as intended by the framers of our Constitution. Let the Congress decide the president's faith using all the tools, power and investigative apparatus at their disposal.

  68. @jpduffy3 trump has been impeached. whether he leaves or remains is the next step. he will forever be an impeached president.

  69. Conscience is clearly no longer an issue. No Republican has even tried to deny that the President used the threat of withholding aid to try to compel the Ukrainian government into doing him a personal political favor by sandbagging one of his opponents. Either they are (1) OK with that kind of behavior or (2) they are willing to tolerate it rather than risk a primary challenge. Neither position is consistent with the word "conscience". The same can be said about about the word "ethics" or the phrase "rule of law". Trump's supporters have abandoned even the pretense that any of these concepts are relevant to government. So why even pretend that any are relevant to the impeachment process.

  70. My hope is that Trumpism will continue to starve the GOP of leaders with broad-based appeal. Looking at Matt Gaetz, Josh Hawley, Doug Collins, etc. I see many people that are hard to take seriously. To hear them speak is to see that they are out of their depth. Bunch of Dan Quayles. Successful political messaging isn’t found at frat house debate night, nor is it found at some kind of apocalyptic lock-in at a fringe evangelical gathering. While the divisiveness is certain to get worse, the ability to send a positive and compelling case for America is clearly in the Democratic Party’s favor. The hard-working people of this country deserve leaders that can deliver on a message of positivity and problem solving, not on racist daydreams and industrial-grade nihilism.

  71. How can Republican senators swear to conduct an "impartial" trial before Chief Justice Roberts today when many of them, most notably Mitch McConnell, have already absolved Donald Trump and are openly coordinating their strategy with his defense team?

  72. @Jeff M The same way that democrats were talking about impeaching Trump before impeachment proceedings even began. If you want to demand fairness and objectiveness, start by demanding it from the party that first sought to impeach and only then tried to string together a case with hearsay and disgruntled bureaucrats.

  73. @Jeff M Easy. They can't, but will.

  74. Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) stated that the revelation of new evidence, regarding Trump’s impeachment, suggests that the House did an incomplete job. Note to Senator Collins: the House would have been able to present a timely and complete presentation of evidence if Trump had not obstructed Congress during the investigation. See impeachment Article II.

  75. @Donna M Nieckula Collins is setting herself up, as always, with a reason to NOT do the right thing, again, as she always does. Mainers are going to elect her opponent in November because, as stubborn as they are, even they have had enough of her.

  76. @Donna M Nieckula Mrs. Collins always finds a way to weasel out of making hard decisions.. the wrong senator from Maine left a few years ago.

  77. @Donna M Nieckula Collins got it backwards, as usual. So much for her ability to think logically. She’s less reliable than a ground hog on Feb 2.

  78. Yeah, the difference is that the Republican Party has shifted sharply to the extreme right in terms of policy-preference and in terms of authoritarian behavior, so there is no way to compromise with them unless the Democrats essentially decide to become Center-right in their policy-preferences and authoritarian in their governing behavior. See Ornstein and Mann for their well-researched work on this. We need our media to forget "balance" and start reporting the TRUTH. I'm sorry if it sounds crazy to accurately report on what the GOP has become, but that's your job. Pretending that Trump's behavior is normal, or pretending that the GOP has not become an historical outlier in America is actually not balanced, because it covers up for the GOP and what they are at this point in our history. One final point: if we ever want sanity, compromise, stability, and policies that work for the bulk of Americans and the health of the planet, we all must vote for the Democrat in every election, at every level of government.

  79. While Hulse is right that this trial may turn into a partisan circus, there are a few key reasons that solemnity and thoughtfulness may arise from the flames of partisanship and ugliness we have witnessed in US politics the past few decades. First, there is pretty clear and undisputed evidence that President Trump did abuse his power. Not a single Republican has argued the facts to date, and it shows in the polling. Americans believe the president committed a treacherous act by asking Ukranians to dig up or manufacture dirt on the Bidens. Republicans will need to manage the fallout of supporting a clearly guilty man. Second, new evidence is surfacing everyday that seems to validate the case the House made against the president. Just yesterday, Lev Parnas blew the doors off the White House and pretty much ratted out all the co-conspirators, including Barr, Pence, and the entire crew that Soundland identified. And the Senators know that more evidence is coming. So they may be a bit more careful than the House to unleash their maniacal members on partisan rants which may backfire if the Republican-controlled Senate is viewed as part of the coverup of Trump's apparent abuse of power. Finally, the Senate will have to defend a president who refuses to release any information or supply witnesses that can support his case. Hence the WH is giving the Senate a reason to punt on the defense-- they can blame the WH for not supplying the content and witnesses they need to defend Trump.

  80. The moment of truth is here for the Senate Republicans. They will uphold the Constitution or bend to will of the President and their party. Most Americans, I believe, know well that the President withheld foreign aid illegally from the Ukraine to help him in his reelection. The United States Senate is also on trial, will it stand for justice? We will see.

  81. @cherrylog754 Know what we also know? The aid you reference was never authorized by the Obama administration. Outright refused to give lethal aid. Blankets and butter only please. But Trump did give that aid, then delayed it. So what? It is the aid Obama refused to give at all.

  82. @GregP Aid to Ukraine was authorized by Congress; Trump had no authority to withhold it after the fact.

  83. We should stop fooling ourselves. Susan Collins talks the talk but does not walk the walk. She will vote as McConnell dictates end story.

  84. @butch Absolutely agree. Never been a fan of hers. Never will be.

  85. @butch, I hope you can give a few bucks to the campaign of her 2020 challenger. I have.

  86. @Marge Keller, please give to her challenger's campaign - Sara Gideon, and while you are at it support Amy McGarath in her quest to eliminate the miscreant pictured in the photograph.

  87. The president will now get a full throttled defense, which includes calling the Bidens as witnesses. They are key parties to the "corruption" at the center of Trump's case. Our laws are very clear on the rights to a defense, which includes calling witnesses. Democrats' claims that they should not be called are meritless.

  88. @AACNY ...Neither Biden committed any crime. Whereas Trump has sold the US to the Russians.

  89. @AACNY If one breaks a law in an attempt to make a victim look bad to the public, the court is not obligated to continue perpetuating slander in order to justify the crime that the defendant committed. Not how it works.

  90. @AACNY A sham excuse for witnesses by a desperate party with utterly no case. Let's see if the real witnesses to these crimes, Mulvaney, Pompeo, Guiliani, and Duffy, testify to the president's malfeasance. He's guilty as they know it, their place in history is in the balance.

  91. The moment of truth is here for the Senate Republicans. They will uphold the Constitution or bend to will of the President and their party. Most Americans, I believe, know well that the President withheld foreign aid illegally from the Ukraine to help him in his reelection. The United States Senate is also on trial, will it stand for justice? We will see.

  92. The press needs to start saying what is really happening here: the Republican Party is collectively, intentionally, systematically engaging in the betrayal of our country.

  93. History will certainly write the name of Mitch McConnell, not only over this trial, but over this sad era of the Senate. The moment he declared in 2009 that the Senate GOP would oppose everything Obama proposed, even if they agreed with him, was the moment racism once and for all became official dogma for the GOP. Trump could and does use racist tropes constantly because the Senate—the US Senate (GOP)—had already made it clear that it considered the election of the first black president invalid. That’s Mitch McConnell. Mitch is on trial along with Trump. A not-guilty verdict now, is a guilty verdict for all time.

  94. If the senate does not allow witnesses and new evidence to be submitted then your country is no longer a democracy.

  95. The Democrats’ notion of a “fair trail” is one in which only they get to call witnesses and not the defense.

  96. Yes, many on the left have wanted to get rid of Trump from day one. We knew that someone so corrupt would eventually place his personal gain over the welfare of our country. With Ukraine, this clearly happened.

  97. The ones whose reputation i in taters are those House Members that have brought this partison impeachment to the Senate. The ceremony; the "walk"; the bias will all bring down these failed "leaders". Witnesses? sure, let's bring in Bolton as well as the Biden's and those that House "leadership: refused to hear. They want a fair "trial", give us the fair trial and let's see if the Dems will have the guts to make it such. This is disgusting and could make the 2020 elections a runaway for Republicans!

  98. I want witnesses called. It will be very interesting to see the whistleblower under cross examination. When the American people see the whole thing was a setup by Schiff the needle is going to move strongly against impeachment. Hunter Biden will come off as a greedy fool, making it clear that there was some foundation to look into his enrichment in Ukraine and China.

  99. November 2020. Time for us all to fire Mitch McConnell. we Need to all get out and make sure Democrats take the Senate.

  100. The problem here are the democrats and the press presuming guilt until proving the guilt. As anyone knows, such courts belong in dictatorships not in a democracy. Kavanaugh was also guilty. The left is turning to be the big scary brother.

  101. Apologies in advance for stating this, but gosh, I detest an ill fitted pinstripe suit when the person who's wearing it resembles a cheap sack of flour or spuds.

  102. @Marge Keller My thoughts exactly! I thought this outfit looked frankly ridiculous.

  103. Why is it that there isn't even a hint of expectation that Trump himself will have to testify? Not from the left, center, right (obviously), press or public .... Clinton had to!? Just because everyone knows that he can't get past "Good Morning" without perjuring himself is a rather flimsy argument.

  104. I'm ready to march on DC if a fair trial is blocked. ALL senators must listen to all the relevant witness testimony and review documents if they are to be said to have participated in a fair and transparent trial of the president. There is no other trial option. It is a clear COVERUP if anything less takes place. If the GOP membership is worried about their jobs if they do not kowtow to Trump's efforts to evade any reconning from a public assessment of all evidence, then they are blind to the even greater risk they will face by refusing to bring all evidence to the Senate trial. There is no greater duty than their duty to the Constitution and the people of this country. The current ridiculous and moronic argument that all evidence should have been reviewed in the House, when McConnell et al knew about and supported Trump's nonsensical "absolute immunity" stance that blocked the timely presentation of all witnesses and evidence in the House will not stand up in front of Roberts. Let's see if the Senate will override this evidentiary decision by Roberts if it comes to that.

  105. Mc Connell would like to hold the impeachment proceedings in a parking lot...for fear that a more storied venue might possibly remind some of his republican colleagues of the oath of office that they solemnly swore to uphold a number of years ago. That's a problem because justice might leak out.

  106. Yes, it will be polarizing. And the fault lies with the Democrats. In 1998 Nadler was quoted saying a partisan impeachment should never be pursued. It would cause irreparable rancor and undermine faith in our institutions. Hypocrites much? The only bipartisan vote in this fiasco has been the one against impeachment. The Constitution is clear there must be a crime. Again I beg you readers to inform me of a law stating elected US Presidents or Vice-Presidents can't demand a foreign government investigate in exchange for aid. Motivation is irrelevant according to the law. Biden could demand a prosecutor be fired; whether it had to do with the investigation into his son is not a legal matter either. Abuse of power is an opinion, not a transgression. LBJ held votes when his opponents were in the bathroom. Obama passed the ACA without the House amending it by lying (if you like your doctor you can keep him) and doling out favors and pork. These weren't abuses of power? But the Republicans didn't try to impeach Obama instead they beat the Democrats in every election until 2018. The result was the most elected Republican representatives since the 1920s. This is how democracy is supposed to work. The Democrats campaigned on impeaching Trump when they had no charges. Then they wept and gnashed their teeth regarding a "sad" day because they are forced to do so. One lie and hysteria after another. Trump will win in 2020. This is the price of hypocrisy in a democracy.

  107. Republicans have made it clear they intend to clear Trump regardless of any proof provided by witnesses and documentations proving otherwise. Making this "trial" the Kangaroo court portion of the impeachment proceedings. Putin must be so pleased with Trump and McConnell continuing with polarizing and dividing America that he probably lowered the interest rates of all those loans Trump owes Russia..Good for Trump...not for America!

  108. Here is an idea: Vote every elected official in Washington out of office and start over.

  109. While Hulse is right that this trial may turn into a partisan circus, there are a few key reasons that solemnity and thoughtfulness may arise from the flames of partisanship and ugliness we have witnessed in US politics the past few decades. First, there is pretty clear and undisputed evidence that President Trump did abuse his power. Not a single Republican has argued the facts to date, and it shows in the polling. Americans believe the president committed a treacherous act by asking Ukranians to dig up or manufacture dirt on the Bidens. Republicans will need to manage the fallout of supporting a clearly guilty man. Second, new evidence is surfacing everyday that seems to validate the case the House made against the president. Just yesterday, Lev Parnas blew the doors off the White House and pretty much ratted out all the co-conspirators, including Barr, Pence, and the entire crew that Soundland identified. And the Senators know that more evidence is coming. So they may be a bit more careful than the House to unleash their maniacal members on partisan rants which may backfire if the Republican-controlled Senate is viewed as part of the coverup of Trump's apparent abuse of power. Finally, the Senate will have to defend a president who refuses to release any information or supply witnesses that can support his case. Hence the WH is giving the Senate a reason to punt on the defense-- they can blame the WH for not supplying the content and witnesses they need to defend Trump.

  110. I do not understand how anyone could see this as anything but a dangerous and criminal scheme by a president, and now his party as well. No opposition party can exist when the majority party has the resources of the governemt in its hands and uses those resources, which are vast and worldwide -- corruptly and directly against our free electoral process..this cannot stand.

  111. Abraham Lincoln must be spinning in his grave.

  112. Two words: Harry Reid!

  113. Why on earth when I click on the article entitled “Clinton Trial Got Ugly This May Be Worse” ” does it bring me to an entirely different titled article regarding the Senate and the impeachment? .

  114. Better headline: “Republicans: Spineless Sanctimonious Cowards, Then And Now”

  115. Not that it will change anything, but Cicero had the right of it, and all those senators who will ignore his council need to look deeply into the mirror ... “A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear.” ― Marcus Tullius Cicero

  116. Electoral College. Race mattered then, race matters now. Ironic if the state ends up failing because a racist anachronism has been left to fester for going on 250 years

  117. Despite the overwhelming amount of incriminating evidence, Trump's Impeachment trial will be far more rancorous and divisive than Clinton's. Never has a President been so criminal as Trump, and never has a Senate been so filled with party-first sycophants. Everything Trump touches gets poisoned.

  118. Yesterday, handing out celebratory pens used to sign the Articles of Impeachment, seriously? I mean seriously?

  119. As Scott Adams points out on Twitter... Here's how the impeachment trial should go: 1. Was there a legitimate US interest in investigating Burisma and the Bidens? (Answer: yes) 2. Vote

  120. As the ole saying goes, walk and talk backwards.

  121. Bottom line democrats, don't shoot yourselves in the foot again. A bare majority of Americans are for impeachment especially in swing states. Up to 70% of Americans want Trump lackies to testify under oath. If they don't in the Senate, boycott the trial. Being just, right and doing your job doesn't help America if you help re elect the ego maniac demagogue Trump. Learn from Lincoln, he comprised with slave owning union democrats, saved the union first and only then ended slavery because without the former he could not get the latter.

  122. McConnell & republican senators, who have already declared that they will not be a fair juror, will be taking an oath for that. And should recuse themselves (as should democrat also) & not be allowed to vote in this trial. After all the words & acts that they have committed, few if any, will have any faith that this will be a fair trial. They will be committing perjury if they do take the oath & should be indited for that act.

  123. No, no... you have it totally backwards. The Senate’s reputation is fine. House Democrats on the other hand look like fools. Sitting on the impeachment articles for a month even though Trump is ‘dangerous’.... ‘commemorative’ pens for the signing, conveniently timed to coincide with the China trade agreement signing... Only the mainstream media itself is taking this seriously. Sure it gives you something to report as ‘news’ but the vast majority of Americans know this is a farce.

  124. Senate reputation tattered? Are you sure this wasn’t a misprint. It is the House that has a tattered reputation.

  125. Good lord. This is going to be over in 20 minutes. The Dems keep grasping at straws. If.. just.. whatever. It’s a done deal, despite token republican concern and hand wringing. The show will go on because... tax cuts for the rich and unqualified judges.

  126. Susan Collins is going to vote to acquit. She just wants to manipulate the national press into portraying her as a principled moderate, but when it really matters she’ll be right there with Mitch. This newspaper and the rest of the press need to stop trying to kick that football and ignore her lies.

  127. @FW Unless she realizes that the only way she is going to get re-elected is to stand up for the common good, for a change.

  128. So Republican Senators, if Trump shoots someone while standing on 5th Avenue, are you going to condemn him?

  129. A democratic superpower in decline, in real time (a recent dutch newspaper headline). Summed it up quite wel i'm afraid.

  130. There is a big difference between the 2 trials namely the acts of the individuals and their respective parties. Trump sought the truth on Biden vs Clinton who publicly lied about his sexual relations with Monica. The end however will be the same: impeached by the House but not the Senate. It’s political pandering at its worse. The liberal left despises Trump and will make every effort to force him out.

  131. @George What truth, and how is it relevant? What a private citizen , Hunter Biden, does in the course of their career can be of no interest to a sitting president, especially one who has raised nepotism to a fine art.

  132. It is not JUST the liberal left wanting Trump out. Wanting to get such a person as this president out of office is not just a political wish; it is a purely sensical, all-American, pragmatic, wise and obvious necessity for our country, regardless of politics.

  133. Trump and his enablers have kept it pretty ugly for a long time. The imminent whitewash by the Senate which will make Trump look like the victim of an attempted coup by the Democrats will look even uglier, and there's nothing the Democrats can do about it but hope and pray for a change on election day. This is corporate/Republican hegemony doing its thing.

  134. It's going to get ugly? Please, what I have been watching and reading has gotten pretty ugly already. I watch and read both sides and the charges and the calumny on Fox, CNN and MSNBC have been ugly and one-sided. Pretty much everything in life is explained by the thirst for money, sex or power. We are witnessing the titans of our two political parties vying for power. If you're looking for justice and fairness in either house of Congress it's equivalent to that man searching for an honest man in ancient Greece. No offense intended to Greeks whom I admire and respect.

  135. A notorious trademark of totalitarian governments is their efficiency. McConnell and his ilk have a clear and efficient plan to amend the Constitution that side steps a convention for that purpose and places them in power into the foreseeable future. BTW: Collins seems dazed and confused. Is she okay?

  136. We didn't like that Bill got caught and we didn't like it when Hilary stood my him. We felt she should have thrown him out on his ear and that she was being dishonest for not having done so. That may be why she didn't get as many votes as she might have. We were disappointed with Bill, not for what he did, but for being a coward and trying to cover it up. Bill's impeachment was soap opera. Trump's raises the questions about whether or not the ends justify the means. His supporters want the white and wealthy to win. Nothing wrong with that. That's their opinion. But using bribery to blackmail a foreign government that the Congress had allocated funds to to help them keep the Russians from taking over their country anymore than they already had in the Crimea, is, well, more than just opinion. It's deplorable.

  137. @Max So on target in every way.

  138. The Constitution does nothing to explain what is meant by "high crimes and misdemeanors." It is hard to have a trial without clear standards. That makes this proceeding a political function, not a judicial function. Ultimately, most Americans don't care about this. This is not historic. It is a bridge to nowhere since the conclusion is foregone. I'm sure there are others out there like me who see this as a gigantic waste time and money. Thanks for your great leadership, Democrats!

  139. @Dino Obviously you are ready to throw out the Constitution and eliminate the overlapping roles of Congress and the President.

  140. @Dino It is the hijacked republican party making it a waste of their own party. We voters are watching their perfidy. 22 Republican Senate seats are Up For Grabs In 2020 — Vote them all OUT ! Especially Devin Nunes, Matt Gaetz, Jim Jordan...

  141. @Xylotops ...AND Louie Gohmert (Very urgently in need of removal!) AND Liz Cheney AND Steve King (Very urgently in need of removal.)

  142. Reputation tattered ? Only within the echo chamber

  143. @Joe to Many of us are happy to see impeachment handed over to a Senate led by McConnell, who is highly competent.

  144. @AACNY McConnell is clearly competent to act in his own personal interests and the President's interests. Is he competent to participate in an impartial inquiry, as the oath he'll take requires? Definitely not. He's the person who actually said that the goal of the Republicans during Obama's first term was to make sure that he didn't have a second one. Senators are supposed to pass laws to benefit people, not stonewall to hang onto their personal power.

  145. @AACNY You misspelled that word; it’s “incompetent.”

  146. Not so surprising when you have two of the leading candidates from the same party calling one another liar liar pants on fire after the debate.

  147. The charade of impeachment continues Nothing gained, no quid pro quo. It’s a joke and a distraction Outside of the echo chamber, people see through the transparent theatrics We must win at the polls rather than embarrassing ourselves on this silliness

  148. @BlackMamba the law and the Constitution is not silly until we start not caring about if we following it or not. If the law applies to one American, it applies to all not just to the people who pay their taxes, go to work every day and support their families and country. If you break the LAW there has to be a consequence or we will have to accept we live in a lawless country. Laws will not apply to the rich and powerful. Other today and in the past have tried that, I suggest you google and learn what happen to those countries.

  149. @BlackMamba Yes, the "bubble" poses a very serious threat to the Democratic Party. Speaker Pelosi is between a rock and a hard place with her peevish leftwing, which will sit out an election if it doesn't get its way. She needs them to show up. So the Speaker must keep impeachment alive to mollify the leftwing, even while the country recognizes it as a purely partisan endeavor.

  150. @BlackMamba "At the polls" is what this is all about. How can we have a fair election when the incumbent (who benefitted from Russian election tampering in 2016) is attempting to use his power as president to tamper with the 2020 election?

  151. "Its Reputation Tattered, Polarized House Faces a Steep Impeachment Test" Please read that headline carefully. "House". And ask yourself, why wasn't that article written and published many weeks ago? Why is it felt to be appropriate to attack the Senate as hopelessly partisan and to undercut the Senate's impeachment trial approach? When there was not, symmetrically, a similar article about the House's hopelessly partisan and grossly unfair process? Because the mainstream media, including the NYT, has become a part of one party, the Democrats. It's no wonder the mainstream media has lost essentially all credibility among the American public. Objectivity, balance and fairness have been tossed aside.

  152. Because the facts of the case are proven beyond doubt. The evidence is there. And yes, what Trump did is criminal and treasonous. So it is not really any longer a matter of opinion.

  153. The president, who came into office proclaiming American carnage and then proceeded to tear down every Obama achievement he could, set the tone. Once he's gone, America will find her way back to sense and sensibility.

  154. Looks like it's already "pretty ugly" with McConnell forfeiting the independence of the congressional branch of government and corruption run amok. Republicans need to remember that aiding & abetting are crimes as well and that as information emerges, each of them will be held accountable at the polls as well.

  155. As long as the press continues to call Republican intransigence "partisan," the people lose. As long as the press continues to say that what is happening is "politics," the people lose. The Republicans have jumped off a cliff, leaving behind not only the Constitution but morality. If the people let McConnell and McCarthy continue on their present course, our country is lost.

  156. The predicament the Senate finds itself in with the responsibility of conducting a fair and impartial impeachment trial in an environment of political Hatfield and McCoy feud animosity brings to mind an Abraham Heschel parable. The end of the parable finds three mountain climbers roped together who fell together when the lead climber lost their grip and footing. They find themselves on a ledge, in a poisonous snake filled pit. Two of the climbers grab the snakes and throw them over the wall. The third climber looks over the wall. Fearful and angry the two snake pitching climbers hotly challenge the third climber, "What are you doing?! We need your help! Now!" In response, "I am looking for a way out." We have a Senate constantly looking for poisonous snakes wanting to pitch them elsewhere. There are few Senators looking for a safe way out. In the case of the Impeachment trial, a safe way out does not mean no witnesses and no document; it means proceeding with the parameters of the trial conforming to the charges indicated by the Articles of Impeachment. Often times doing it correctly no matter how difficult is the safest way, and in this way means justice done. Soon we will see which Senators understand themselves to be snake-pitchers or on sentry- scout duty.

  157. Let us be candid. There isn't a single Senator who enters this trial impartial. All of the Democrats think the President is guilty as charged; the Republicans find him not guilty. The House vote was the same -- even republicans who are retiring and have nothing to fear from voters aligned with their party, The American people are similarly split along party lines. Why? Because the House didn't complete its investigation. The fact that we see potentially new information coming out in the press supports this assertion. But more obviously the President exerted his legal right to assert executive privilege. Rather than allow the American legal system to adjudicate that issue -- as was done in the Nixon impeachment -- the House rushed to judgement. The House called the President's legal right to exert Executive privilege "rope a dope". I am undecided on the case because the investigation has not been completed. I would send it back to the House and ask them to complete their investigation and adhere to the rule of law.

  158. Trump is a blatant criminal. How can you be undecided?

  159. @hopeful libertarian Except the executive privilege question had been litigated in the Nixon case. S So saying that was not a precedent which would warranty to loose in court by facelessly claiming executive privilege where there is none was only about delaying the proceeding to after the November election. Plus Trump never formally claim executive privilege, he just made noise and ask people not to comply to subpoenas including people no longer working in the white house. Oversight cannot exist with this kind of theory of executive privilege applying to anything and everything. We have seen Trump playing this game over and over again, with his tax returns, Mullers report (first inaccurately descried by Barr while still pointing out very specific obstruction of justice by Trump),...

  160. @hopeful libertarian Trump is a mortal threat to our freedoms and increasingly to our lives. How can you be undecided?

  161. “A partisan start to the trial stands in contrast to a consensus approach struck in 1999.” The trial is extremely partisan. Here’s what Sen. Graham says: "I am trying to give a pretty clear signal: I have made up my mind. I'm not trying to pretend to be a fair juror here!"

  162. What we are witnessing is then self-immolation of our government as one-by-one the branches light themselves on fire in an attempt to save themselves from...what? Democracy versus their own absolute power? First the White House, now the Senate, will the Supreme Court be next?

  163. The charges against Clinton were far, far more serious than those against Trump. Lying under oath in a federal lawsuit is a serious criminal violation. Even more so, the Left should agree, when it was a sexual harassment lawsuit. What would the Me2 generation do to Weinstein if he were to lie under oath? The charge of "obstruction of Congress" is laughable. Every President, including Obama, refuses to turn over documents by asserting privilege. This is a frivolous, specious political stunt. I hope the Senate dismisses it on its face or tosses it a few days later on summary judgment. Democrats have ensured Trump's re-election with this, just as Clinton's popularity rose afterwards.

  164. @martin why do YOU think trump and. Boys will avoid testifying under oath? The evidence is clear, he was willing too ignore the law for personal gain. Clinton was guilty of lying about sex. Trump has lied about sex with close to 30 women but he has not been under oath,, let’s get him under oath and ask the questions. Martin, either you want to live in a country that obeys it’s laws or not, just be truthful to your and realize what you decide is true for every American.

  165. @martin, The two situations regarding witnesses are very different. The Dems want to hear from witnesses who have direct knowledge of the two issues in the srticles of impeachment. Determining the validity of the 1st article, basically about the President withholding aid to pressure Ukraine to announce an investigation into his main political rival, requires that people such as Bolton & Mulvaney, with direct knowledge of the conversations, testify. The same is true for documents relating to these men & their communications. In asking that Hunter Biden be subpoenaed, the GOP is trying, again, to taint the Bidens with corruption, not to determine anything about either the President's abuse of power, or the President's obstruction of Congress. Hunter Biden has no direct knowledge related to either of those issues. Even the Ukrainian judicial system has said there is no connection between the Bidens and the aid money. Hunter Biden's involvement with the Ukrainian gas company was ill-advised, but apparently nothing illegal occurred - and even if it had (which it had not!), that prosecution would be up to the Ukrainians to pursue. It has no place in a US impeachment trial for two unrelated issues.

  166. @martin Yes, democrats worked overtime to make their impeachment march look like a serious and somber event. That they had to try that hard to make it look "official" demonstrates their struggle with having their impeachment taken seriously.

  167. My hope is that McConnell is defeated in the fall. He has blockaded and disparaged the Constitution throughout his tenure. Worse than trump who is stupid but not worse than Graham.

  168. Pelosi’s original plan was for the impeachment scam to pave the way for Joey. Joey is such a weak candidate that taking all of his competitors off the playing field is the only way he doesn’t look awful. The impeachment scam is designed by the Democrats to make sure their deep state candidate wins. They didn’t count on deep state Joey having to spend so much time in the witness chair.

  169. @Ken Pelosi was very reluctant to impeach. Trump was actually trying to goad her into it prior to the Ukraine call becoming known. For him, it is a case of "beware what you wish for."

  170. If nothing else, this show trial should raise money for the opponents of such as McConnell, Collins and whomever else we need and can get rid of. Making a joke of these proceedings while supporting Putin’s storyline should make Moscow Mitch pretty vulnerable

  171. This is not a trial. Trials are about finding the truth. This senate "event" is about one thing: making sure Trump gets reelected. There is a maxim that most trial attorneys have heard: the law does not require a perfect trial, but it does require a fair trial. Mitch, the ring master and jury foreperson, has already said he will make sure the result will be what he and his master want. To them, whether the "event" is fair is not relevant. If this were a real trial, the senators/jurors would not be allowed to vote on what evidence is presented, on what the procedure will be, and motions to dismiss. The judge would. What role the Chief Justice takes in this senate event remains to be seen. The Constitution says only that the Chief Justice shall "preside" over impeachment trials.

  172. I hope your next president has an unique personality combining an authentic, values driven political philosophy with a surprisingly pragmatic approach getting things done.

  173. I hope our next president is anyone other than Trump.

  174. @Daniel Korb The big problem with "getting things done" lies in the opposition's strength in preventing things from getting done. Few presidents have been as effective as Trump in getting things done in the face of tremendous opposition. He still manages to deliver, which is, of course, why they despise him so intensely.

  175. It is getting even or revenge or tit for tat. Bill Clinton's problem was personal and nasty. Trump's problem is America and the constitution. It is dangerous. Trump is ready to sell the country for his interest. His obstruction of justice is intolerable. He made the Senate a total unneeded dysfunctional body. We know how Putin helped him to be elected from the reports from Intel organizations. Trump is removed from office or not, he remains to be dangerous man for America.

  176. @ASHRAF CHOWDHURY Bill Clinton was President of the United States who lied under oath.

  177. @XLER About sex. In his personal life.

  178. @XLER OK. Let's have trump testify under oath. He lies multiple times a day about things big and small, about things which impact the safety and well-being of millions of people, here and around the world. I'm guessing that in less than 2 minutes (possibly <30 seconds) he will commit perjury. Would you support his impeachment then?

  179. Why are the Democrats so much better? If they are the lesser of two evils? That’s okay? SMH. Nothing will be “better.” 535 politicians create the laws and one liar in chief passes them into law. This country was sold out when oil was the currency of the world. Our politicians are all for sale, they take money to keep their jobs, hence they are all corrupt. Why is it hard for anyone to see most of us wanted Trump because the system is broken and corrupt? Character doesn’t matter, honesty doesn’t matter, nothing matters. How much really has Trump impacted a voter with a job? Someone with social media accounts? Someone not connected to the internet? Nothing has really changed except the hatred and racism now associated with politics and political party affiliation. Both parties need to go.

  180. Two speeches will be embedded in my 71 year old memory. They are Kennedy's inaugural speech and Pelosi's speech yesterday. Most Americans did not hear or fully understand Pelosi's speech. She explained why this impeachment like Nixon's is about the disregard of the rule of law and the Constitution by Trump and his top aides. She went on to draw the connection to Russia in the Ukraine affair. That connection is not 100% clear with the testimony and corroborating documents of Giuliani's assistant.The Russian money flowed from a Russian mobster connected to Putin to the Giuliani operatives and on to certain Republicans. Their goal was to do Trump's personal bidding; undermine the Ukrainian national energy company and benefit Mr. Firtash with his expulsion from the US. The plot involved all of the top levels of the Executive Branch including Pence. Since August of 2016 Trump has been in collaboration with Russia to undermine Ukraine and to undermine the Constitution. The fact that Trump gave military aid to Ukraine in 2017 does not negate these obvious facts.That was the first and successful q1uid pro quo to block the Ukranian prosecutor cooperating with Mueller. And now we are seeing how the top echelon of the GOP in the Senate are all fixers on Trump and Putin's payrolls. They have all stepped into Roy Cohen and Michael Cohen's shoes and this is just like the Daniels coverup. Further impeachment for treason should now commence in the House.

  181. The rules of an impeachment trial might allow the Democrats to highlight how convincing their case is. With senators not allowed to speak while each side makes its case, grandstanding and distractions will be extremely limited. The White House will have to present an actual defense - not by claiming that impeachment is a "hoax" and the that the call was "perfect", but by laying out factual reasons for why the President should not be removed from office. It sounds like there might be enough Republican votes to call witnesses, but if there are not, the attempt by McConnell and Republicans to ignore compelling evidence and willing witnesses, something the majority of Americans believe should happen, will be public. Although with the Republicans in near total submission to Trump, this trial, if well handled by the Democrats and the media, should expose Trump and his staff for what they are - a sleazy bunch of liars who believe they are above the law.

  182. So tired of the unrelenting left leaning slant of this paper. Un-opinionated journalism this is not.

  183. {Corrected comment- disregard earlier} Two speeches will be embedded in my 71 year old memory. They are Kennedy's inaugural speech and Pelosi's speech yesterday. Most Americans did not hear or fully understand Pelosi's speech. She explained why this impeachment like Nixon's is about the disregard of the rule of law and the Constitution by Trump and his top aides. She went on to draw the connection to Russia in the Ukraine affair. That connection is now 100% clear with the testimony and corroborating documents of Giuliani's assistant.The Russian money flowed from a Russian mobster connected to Putin to the Giuliani operatives and on to certain Republicans. Their goal was to do Trump's personal bidding; undermine the Ukrainian national energy company and benefit Mr. Firtash with his expulsion from the US. The plot involved all of the top levels of the Executive Branch including Pence. Since August of 2016 Trump has been in collaboration with Russia to undermine Ukraine and to undermine the Constitution. The fact that Trump gave military aid to Ukraine in 2017 does not negate these obvious facts.That was the first and successful q1uid pro quo to block the Ukrainian prosecutor cooperating with Mueller. And now we are seeing how the top echelon of the GOP in the Senate are all fixers on Trump and Putin's payrolls. They have all stepped into Roy Cohen and Michael Cohen's shoes and this is just like the Daniels coverup. Impeach for Treason Now!

  184. Partisan divide. New York Times has to stop being lazy, indulging in false equivalency when talking about the parties. The GOP put a radical saboteur into the White House. Meanwhile the Dems debate whether it’s better to compromise and run a centrist and hi to appeal to disaffected republicans. That’s the pattern, there’s no equivalency. The Dems have moved toward the center. The Reps have grown comfortable in McConnell’s graveyard, denying all facts and constructing elaborate myths to justify their malfunction.

  185. After the congressional vote, it is hard to imagine GOP congressmen and women not falling in line regardless of the evidence. The obstruction of congress is flagrant. The idea that legal recourses did not run out is sully because it applies to totally made up theories of executive privilege that have no precedent and have no chance to prevail in court. Invoking privilege was always about running the clock. Nixon did that and lost. Why should this be relitigated, congress oversight function has to be real overwise we do not have three equal branches, we have a king that can do whatever he wants has long as he appears to be re-elected. Since he can do whatever he wants, he would obviously take care of "winning" election using any legal and illegal means necessary. For a president with a well establish history of asking for foreign interference in our election, that not a stretch it is a fact.

  186. More than half of America is ready for this trial because this inept, corrupt and illegitimate president has done nothing but further the cause and purpose for his downfall via impeachment. The reason he is doing it is not just to gamble his reelection but to make sure he is on a screen, a front page, a twitter feed every single second of the day. Another reason for what makes him an autocrat, but not a very clever one. We all know what the Moscow Mitch faction will say and do during these proceedings. We all know what the Democrats will do as well. The outcome will lead to acquital of one man but the downfall of his party. Mc Connell knows that if the Senate lets him go with no consequence or just a censure, Democrats will be even more organized and motivated in November. If he is removed from office or given the chance to leave quietly after his term and to run from office ever again, his base will be motivated like never before, and there is something more scary than a trump voter. It’s a trump voter with a gun. If people think that a Senator like Senator Collins from my state of Maine can sway Mc Connell, they live on another planet. Poor America!

  187. After hearing opening statements in the Clinton impeach trial, Senator Robert Byrd moved for dismissals of both articles of impeachment for lack of merit. The motion to dismiss failed on a party line vote of 56–44, which only one Democratic senator voting against dismissal. The Senate then voted on whether to call wittinesses. They voted go call three witnesses. In the Trump impeachment trial, there will likely be a motion to dismiss immediately following the opening arguments. It the senators vote along party line as they did in the Clinton impeachment, the articles will be dismissed by a 52-48 vote, with one Republican voting against dismissal.

  188. The irony in all of this is incredible. Clinton lied under oath about having sex, saying he didn't, when he did. Trump did not speak with Mueller as everyone around him knew that he could not talk to Mueller without lying. Trump has lied to the American public now about 16,000 times since being in office, just not under oath. Trump bribed two women during his presidential campaign not to speak to anyone about having sex with them. And, about twenty women have accused him of sexual assault. And, we all know how Trump loves to grab women and make unwanted advances as he was recorded bragging about it, he just didn't talk about under oath. And, in Clinton's case, the sex was consensual. Clinton's actions did not threaten the security of our country. Nor, did his actions threaten how our government functions.

  189. McConnell is right to say "it’s a win-win." He's wrong to say, “That’s what this is all about.” Nor does his inappropriate conflation obliviate his legal and moral responsibility to rise above partisanship. We are not debating whether Trump is President or not. We're debating whether the 2020 election will be a fair one. The evidence so far concludes no. If McConnell thinks unfair elections are a good thing, the republic is very well lost.

  190. Its reputation may be in tatters, but something tells me, sitting on my shoulder and whispering in my left ear that both the scoundrel walking through the Rotunda, and the Sewer Rat at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue are going to survive this and thrive. That scenario fits perfectly with the surreal nightmare that our country has become.

  191. Coverup McConnell, as is the case with his entire sycophantic caucus, will only be moved to conduct a fair and impartial impeachment trial with necessary witnesses and previously stonewalled documentation available if his electoral prospects are imperiled. Kentucky voters, I hope that you are paying rapt attention to your senior Senator’s conduct and duly let him know what will happen to his political future if he continues to place blind allegiance to Trump over the good of the country.

  192. Why does Senator Mitch McConnell not want to put Trump on trial? Well, it is in order to protect himself. If the Republicans were to allow testimonies, they would want to bring the Biden family in, and this is where the problems would really start for Mitch McConnell. He and his wife would be found to be in the same predicament as the Biden family would be and that is because he and his wife are the receivers of substantial financial gifting from a Chinese company which is owned by her father. Again, we have money connected to power. If Trump were to be put on trial properly there would be a lot of those who are presently in office to also be found guilty for the very similar reason that they are personally benefiting from the corruption which seems to have overtaken those who are there to represent us. Hence, there will never be a Republican who can support this type of exposure for, unlike most of the Democrats, they all seem to have a lot more money personally. And where did they get it????

  193. Remember Nunes who was suppose to be investigating some of these crimes with Russia and the Ukraine was actually an observer and/or participant in the criminal actions. Elections matter and our undemocratic Senate will have to be changed over to more honorable people in coming elections for true honor to return to our gov. Mitch is the most cynical majority whip I can remember.

  194. McConnell and the Republican senators protecting Trump as a forgone conclusion is a larger crime and disservice to the country than Trumps own crimes. That is the tragedy here IMO.

  195. "Mr. McConnell has repeatedly denigrated the House impeachment as weak and rushed," That's because, unlike the Clinton impeachment, it was rushed and weak. The Clinton impeachment was built on the 1 1/2 year Starr Report that included definitive statements of Bill Clinton committing actual crimes, ones that you and I could be prosecuted for like perjury. Ken Starr testified at length in the House. Numerous aspects of the investigation where Congress disagreed with the Clinton Administration were taken to Court and resolved prior to final hearings. None of that happened with Trump's impeachment. Mueller did a 2 year investigation but didn't accuse the President of any crimes. Mueller wasn't part of testimony before the House impeachment committees. The House called several peripheral people, most of which did not have direct evidence of what the House was alleging, then only called a few hand selected law professors before the Judiciary Cmte. They didn't wait to litigate the legal questions surrounding their subpoena power v. the President's Executive privilege rights. Instead they impeached him for "abuse of power" (find me the criminal statute that defines that as a high crime or even a misdemeanor). They threw around words like bribery and extortion but then didn't charge those. They charged "obstruction of justice" for him doing what they weren't willing to litigate to see if SCOTUS agreed with them or not. It's not the Senate's job to do the House's job.

  196. This is such a bizarre and distorted view of reality. The Mueller committee’s job was to investigate, not “accuse,” and the House investigation had overwhelming testimony, including the president’s own admission, of his illegal behavior. According to your requirement that only testimony from “direct” witnesses should be considered, a thief who robs a store at night could never be convicted because nobody was in the store to (directly) witness the robbery. Ditto for the crooks in the Watergate break-in. In any event, more witnesses are coming, not that they’re needed.

  197. @Physprof_Santa Fe 1) The thief and crooks in your analogy committed crimes. State for me the legal statute that Trump supposedly broke. If a crime has been committed then investigations can consider lots of different testimony. Direct witnesses are best but circumstantial cases can be made. But generally judges, juries and the law are very suspect when circumstantial evidence is the only thing presented especially if prosecutors only present circumstantial evidence and avoid any direct evidence. 2) Order No. 3915-2017 Appointment of Special Counsel specifically states in section (c) "If the Special Counsel believes it is necessary and appropriate, the Special Counsel is authorized to prosecute federal crimes arising from the investigation of these matters." He did not chose to charge or prosecute the President for anything. Nor did he recommend that the President be charged or prosecuted for specific crimes "arising from the investigation of these matters". Nor did the House impeach the President on anything "arising from the investigation of these matters." 3) What illegal behavior did President Trump admit to? (bear in mind illegal behavior needs to be tied to an activity that is illegal so be sure to cite the legal statute he admitted to breaching. Also the only illegality the House even alleged was "Obstruction of Congress" for not allowing Executive officials to testify or provide certain documents. Courts never settled if he had to. Weak, Rushed, Reality.