McConnell Pushes to Speed Impeachment Trial as Trump Requests Swift Acquittal

On Monday, the president’s lawyers asserted he did nothing wrong and urged the Senate to “swiftly reject” the charges against him.

Comments: 156

  1. I feel like I'm living in a Kafka novel after reading how McConnell is ramming through rules that negate the very essence of the impeachment process. Since when does the accused. get to determine how he'll be tried and push for acquittal on the basis of his assertion he "did nothing wrong"? Man, courts would race through trials if every indicted defendent could get away with that. This impeachment process simply tells me how much the rule of law means nothing when it comes to presidential malfeasance. in fact, our country is descending into a two tier system of government whereby the majority party asserts the law is whatever it says it is.

  2. @ChristineMcM One can only imagine what the Republicans would be saying if the President was a Democrat they wished to impeach and convict. Imagine their high and mighty references to the "Founders" and the "separation of powers" if they had half as much dirt on a Democrat President. Imagine the glee of McConnell and company if they could have dug up this sort of dirt on President Obama. The Republicans value power above democracy. It amazes me that millions of American, especially the so called "Christians" have willingly joined this cult of Trump. We are in deep.

  3. @ChristineMcM Well since Roberts has been sworn in to preside. He could call for a temporary recess than ‘stipulate to the Senate’ how they will schedule the proceedings, present evidence & so forth. That Congressional rule making is granted by The USC is a true statement not vice versa. So that rule making cannot conflict with provisions explicitly stated in The USC. The judicial branch exclusively interprets the laws of our nation not the other two. Roberts should recess (can’t have a trial without him) than re-commence on his terms & conditions for insuring fairness.

  4. @ChristineMcM Just one cottection, it is not the majority party, they just happen to have more senators, who are not representative of the majority of the American people. Some understanding of democracy, and that of a country that educated us after the Nazis and gave us our democracy, Hard to swallow.

  5. So Republicans really were a cover band all along? And now they’re playing a Nixon cover-up set?

  6. Wouldn't it be great if some of the GOP Senators got a little backbone and actually let a trial commence with evidence and witnesses. It's what Americans expect out of their politicians.

  7. : It's not a matter of courage, Glenn. Instead, Republicans have become amoral people.

  8. @Glenn-GOP Senators are between a rock and a hard place. Trump has been using federal funds to "invest" in key states; the bulk of the farm bailout money went to Southern states as did the climate change federal dollars. He's also using the power of the federal government to punish states; exhibit A: The Trump/Republican so-called tax overhaul that unfairly taxes blue states. If Republican Senators don't vote to hold a fair trial per their oath of office and hold him accountable based on the evidence, they will be nullifying their power to check him going forward.

  9. The House Intelligence Committee should call Parnas to testify, subpoena Bolton, Pompeo, Barr, and Mulvaney and jail them if they fail to comply. If these people are not called to testify in the Senate they can be heard under oath in the House. The future of our republic is at stake.

  10. When your stated objective is speed rather than thorough, unbiased fairness.....that's a problem.

  11. "It's a cover-up and the American people will see it exactly for what it is." Yes, this sums up the misrule of 45 succinctly.

  12. Would be good if McConnell considers the future and his role in this before he rushes the Senate to acquit the current occupant of the WH. History will not be kind to him and his ilk, I suspect.

  13. @Sue Do you think the unwoke will even know that MCCOnnell did this eg Mc Connell is the senator for Kentucky along with R. Paul. Kentucky is :: 1/ #46 in Educational attainment.. 2/ #46 in Poverty. 3/ #43 in Employment. 4/ #43 in Medicare quality. 5/ #5 in receipt of federal subsidies 6/ 8th highest in obesity in the USA. 7/ Has 14.67% of its population on food stamps The Kool aide propaganda is the water in other Red states as well.

  14. Tells you how much energy he uses for the people of Kentucky, doesn’t it? He's as bad or worse than Trump. Mitch has a power-hungry personality disorder. He's got a lot of power and he wields it with a heavy hand. He finally is getting some "respect" from our so-called president. He's on top of the world.

  15. What good are 'checks and balances' if the Good Old Boys Club can just change the law, or make new ones?

  16. If we keep writing Checks to the PACs, we’ll see the effect on our bank Balances.

  17. I just keep asking myself WHY? Why would Republicans blatantly rig this impeachment trial to protect an ignorant wanna be dictator who cares nothing about our Country. Why can’t they be fair and let the evidence dictate the verdict? Who do they see when they look in the mirror within the private confines of their homes?

  18. @William I believe the answer is pure and simple POWER , they will do anything and I mean anything to hold onto the power they hold. It’s that simple.

  19. @William Follow the money. Trump and Trumpism is good for the rich. And our government is of, by, and for the rich.

  20. They are complicit?... perhaps Nunes is the tip of the Iceberg?

  21. Frivolous? Impeaching a man for lying about an affair is frivolous. All one has to do to see Republicans as liars is to imagine if Hillary Clinton had withheld military aid in exchange for the favor and called it legitimate “foreign policy”; it would have taken Republicans about a nanosecond to impeach her. In fact, she would already be removed from office based on the Mueller revelations of compulsive lies and obstruction of justice. Whether it takes Republicans a nanosecond or many months, their absolution of Trump and calling the claims frivolous reveals them as the amoral hypocrites they are.

  22. @Sherry Imagine the reaction of Republicans if a President Clinton had installed her daughter and son-in-law into the White House power structure.

  23. If McConnell was a Democrat, Harry Reid would be very proud if this maneuver. The fundamental problem is how the Senate rules allow the majority leader to twist things beyond recognition. Reid did this as much and as well as McConnell.

  24. The Democrats are playing chess while McConnell, Trump, and the rest, are playing complete nuclear obliteration of our Constitution. McConnell’s version of Impeachment as Theatre of the Absurd is disheartening, infuriating and most of all - frightening.

  25. For his entire life, Trump has managed to avoid any legal consequences for his corrupt behavior and his acquittal in the Senate will follow the pattern. How is it that this despicable man, devoid of any moral compass, never faces the consequences of his actions? He has succeeded in testing every American institution and he has shown us the weaknesses in a system in which he can violate norms with complete impunity. It is incomprehensible to me that McConnell, one man, detested in his home state of Kentucky, wields such enormous power that he is singlehandedly able to orchestrate a sham trial with an outcome that was inevitable, no matter what evidence is presented. Trump is untouchable and that points to a system that is no longer functioning. Trump is a pernicious virus thriving in a culture in which truth and justice are irrelevant and disposable as long as the GOP maintains its stranglehold on power. I am relieved Trump has not shot anyone on Fifth Avenue because his attorneys would claim executive privilege and his followers would claim the victim just wanted to overturn the results of an election. I am trying to convince my adult children to move to Canada. We are very, very broken.

  26. I guess the Oath he signed by Chief Justice is worthless. Forget impartial because it will be a Hoax Trial. Slogan for all Republicans running for re-election we care more about the party and ourselves then you the voter.

  27. Here's a question. Does Mitch McConnell understand that he's Senate Majority Leader of the Senate of the United States of America and NOT of the Trump States of America??

  28. Among many flaws with the Times' coverage of the proposed presidential removal process, I am disturbed by the Times' constant characterization of the impeachment last year as having been "mostly along party lines." Most people could care less about this partisan circus but those that have followed it know the earlier impeachment was totally along partisan lines, with all Republicans and even a few Democrats opposing it. It is exactly what those great legal scholars (quoted in the defense brief), Jerry Nadler and Patrick Leahy, said should not happen... in 1998 Why won't the Times cite the facts?

  29. A "trial" without evidence or witnesses isn't a trial -- it's an admission of guilt.

  30. I'm no lawyer but based on my experience as a witness, a member of a jury and an observant off several court cases, and having a commonsense understanding of the law, as regards the dictatorial demands of the president, the outlandish statements of his defense team and the mockery-of-justice proposals of Senator McConnell, this will be no legitimate trial. For Republicans who applaud what the Trump Team is planning to do, consider if this is how you would like your day in court to go if you were an offended party. If you were a victim of fraud, assault, theft or any other crime, would you want your case in court subject to the proceedings that Mr. McConnell is planning? A rushed hearing, no evidence from the grand jury, no evidence from the prosecution. And to top it off, more than half the jury goes on record belittling your case and your attorney even before the trial begins. Senator Schumer is right, “It’s a cover-up, and the American people will see it for exactly what it is.” What puzzles me most is why Republican senators, with eyes wide open, are going along with this flagrant jury nullification. No discerning senator can possibly convince him or herself that what they are doing is right; and for certain, none will convince the American people or history that what they are doing is right. Nor will they be able to excuse this injustice and the part they play. This is the defining moment of their lives; they will be remembered for how they choose to act.

  31. @JABarry It will be two to four years before the majority of Republican senators face re-election and they know that they can count on Americans having a short memory.

  32. @JABarry What is right does not matter to these people, it is not even part of their calculation. And despite appearances, loyalty does not matter either. Everything they say and do is about self-serving opportunism. If the Republican Senators thought for a millisecond that their reelection chances were improved by voting against Trump they would not hesitate to do so. All that matters to any of them is their own prosperity and power. Maybe that is cynical of me but everything I see points to the conclusion that their actions are directed to a single major objective, keeping their Senate seats. Nothing more noble than that.

  33. @Ed.C - if our government lasts that long.

  34. The President's lawyers are currently arguing in a separate case in New York, that he can't be investigated, indicted or tried for any crime, either federal or state. Doesn't that turn the argument that the impeachment must cite a specific crime into utter nonsense?

  35. @Kvetch, you point out the "utter nonsense" of Trump's mutually contradictory defenses in two different legal forums. But when has patent self-contradiction ever hurt Trump or his allies? They have turned politics into a post-truth forum for bombastic rhetoric and bias; they have banished the canons of reason from political debate. Why would they refrain from doing the same in a court of law and in a Senate trial? It will be the next administration's most compelling challenge to restore rational, civil debate on any political issue. I'm kvetching too!

  36. Well, clearly this country is not about the people anymore, it’s about Donald John Trump, and the ramifications of his narcissism. his personal needs, ideas, wants, desires on large or small scale. The country was warned by professionals regarding Trump’s demeanor and the state of his mind at the beginning of his presidency. Those professionals were scorned instead of heeded. But in actuality, even the beginning of his presidency was too late for serious warning. He had stepped into the White House, hung his hat (red one), planted his feet (bone spurs and all), and brought in all his president’s men (and women - that have come and gone in rapid succession). Now we are paying the price with hard earned taxpayer money to Trump’s chosen legal representatives, again, for him to undermine important elements of our democracy: truth, justice, protection. The sadness that overbears us, this country, the people, our future, our grandchildren’s future, is like a virus that just keeps spreading and worsening. We would think in the United States there would be a cure, but this infestation is like no other this country has endured and the detoxification would need a very strong formula. We just can’t seem to find it.

  37. Moscow Mitch is conducting a cover up. And he scarcely bothers to conceal that fact any longer. Any Republican not explicitly protesting his offenses are complicit.

  38. I’m hoping McConnell May win a battle but lose the war. Americans need to wholly reject republicans in November in response to this insanity.

  39. “Moscow” Mitch is effecting yet another coup, this time with the assistance of an assortment of “Don” Trump's favorite under bosses and enforcers. Schumer et al are going to have to do better than cry foul.

  40. It’s a shame that our political system was created to have a strong class identity. It was married to a form of rabid corporate lead capitalism . We had many crossroads as a nation and sent “ handsome johnnie and then johnna to War “.... many wars. Only one War we fought was important to the Nations soul. We had Lincoln give us the Emancipation Proclamation and his carpetbaggers under Impeached Johnson refused to emancipate the slave culture properly in states clinging to economies destroyed. Many former slaves tried to start communities in the southern wildernesses of Florida and other barren states in the immigration westward. These towns completely surrounded the first generations of freed slaves with a community of successful living. Whites have felt threatened and destroyed these positive initiatives since the 19 th century. In the 1920’s when investors from the north moved to Florida they finished off all these places. Historical facts exist. Many stories have been written. So now Moscow Mitch and Trump are successfully destroying our weakly created republic and our less than perfect constitution along with our untouchable justice system and presidential controlled military junta . It disgusts news junkies and intelligent dabblers in historical precedent that our congress is a rolling train wreck since Reaganomics destroyed hope for the middle class and placed the burden of caring for the poor; mostly people of color and white people with drug and alcohol issues on us.

  41. Mitch knows that “sunlight is the best disinfectant”, which is why he wants the facts to remain hidden. So no witnesses, and a rushed trial conducted while America sleeps. This is starting to feel like a banana republic. Write your Senators. The truth shall set us free.

  42. A gross, tragic, incomprehensible, vile and unforgivable abdication of responsibility that makes me not only livid, but sick. If these Senators cannot play by the rules and protect our Constitution, then they need to be fired. November 2020. But I still find it impossible to believe that we have sunk to this low.

  43. @Tom - A retired American Yes we have really and truly sunk this low. I for one have PTST ( President Trump Stress Disorder ) and now suffer from daily anxiety and worry about the future of this once great country.

  44. What stops the House from simply impeaching Trump a second (or third, or fourth...) time on the same (or additional) charges and sending it again to the Senate until McConnell shows a willingness to actually admit witnesses and evidence? Asking for a friend.

  45. It is not a cover-up because something that is in plain sight and already admitted by all sides, cannot be covered-up unless there is something to produce collective amnesia. This is a blatant blockade of a constitutional process in order to keep Trump in office and let him cheat in November with the help of his foreign friends. This is being done on our faces with the blessing of the GOP Senate and, maybe the Supreme Court. Nancy Pelosi and her team should go ahead and invite Bolton to declare in the House. It will not change the process in the Senate but it might give Democrats the chance to take back the Senate in November.

  46. Having senators attend bleary eyed after midnight cannot be to serve justice. Instead - 1 - gets McConnell's sham over quickly as the defendant asked. 2 - minimizes live observation by voters Wonder why McConnell would do this?

  47. Impeachment was/is intended to remove Officials who notably abuse the spirit and the rules of an honest "For the People" liberal democracy. Officials are OUR employees; we don't have to prove statutory criminality to sack employees; malfeasance, violation of standards, etc. grounds enough! The Founders clearly indicate that "high crimes and misdemeanors" meant betraying the trust, spirit, obligation of Office. And the precedents in English law that guided us clearly did not require statutory criminally. Yes it's a political process BUT "political" does NOT mean partisan partial. Rather it means extra and apart from the Criminal Process. The House must impartially investigate acts that indicate malfeasance, abuse, etc. to render positions on their level of seriousness and then appropriately call or not call for prosecution in Senate. Like in any trail Senate (the Jury) must impartially/honestly decide (with additional probing) if the alleged, etc. malfeasance is true and then impartially/honestly decide if guilt should result in removal from Office. Civilian criminality is not pivotal but level of abuse of power is. Trump seems to have significantly abused power. R or D if we let Senate to shirk their Constitutional obligation to take this seriously we will significantly handicap our maintaining/perfecting our liberal democracy! Really!

  48. @IAmANobod Then is it not also an abuse of power if the GOP Senators impede and deny due process? Charges would be levied against McConnell and his minions and a mistrial declared in any other court in the nation. This is ripping apart the fabric of our society. But we are already threadbare!

  49. I see no need for the Senate to review any evidence. They have obviously made up their minds in complete disregard for they oath they have sworn. As Maya Angelou says, when someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.

  50. Need to make a record. Motions to voir dire McConnell on the basis of bias. Motions to produce evidence requested by the House during their investigation but were not produced. The Chief Justice can be asked to develop in camera (private) review of disputed evidence, by asking the defense to submit a "privilege log." In this case, absolutely no evidence has been produced. For example, does the President have a copy of the May Giuliani letter to the incoming president of the Ukraine, asking to announce an investigation of Biden?

  51. Since when is there nothing wrong with a President trying to coerce a foreign government into helping him win an election? Since when is it acceptable for a President to refuse to cooperate with Congressional oversight? This is not just a battle between Democrats and Republicans. It's a battle for the Constitution. If Trump wins the Senate trial and the election, American democracy as we know it will cease to exist.

  52. the argument is absurd on its face so a president could publicly state that he will pardon anyone who doesn't cooperate with Congress' investigation into him or deceive us into a war or hunker down in the White House, not do anything to execute the laws, take little interest in governing, and party every night, and generally do whatever he wants as long as it doesn't break any laws or publicly encourage his followers to violence or publicly state that neither he nor his followers would abide by the election results if he lost, that it would be fraud and a coup and they would not let it stand or publicly invite foreign powers to interfere in our elections or choose not to spend money allocated by Congress, or to spend it for a different purpose or constantly lie, meanly make fun of people, coarsen public debate, appoint a donkey to the Supreme Court, incite distrust in all institutions etc, and generally destroy public civility or head a conspiracy to strongarm a vulnerable ally into publicly announcing investigations into a political opponent an absurd argument - let a president off for all this "legal" stuff and he will be emboldened to do even worse

  53. How does McConnell get to set the rules which are so rigged that they even get to vote whether to accept the Articles of Impeachment? Where does it say in the Constitution that the House Articles could be summarily dismissed by a vote? That alone should be ruled unlawful by Chief Justice Roberts.

  54. So, Moscow Mitch" swore the oath, which he has already violated, by proceeding asap to avoid and evade the truth of a full hearing and a full list of witnesses, in order to subjugate himself to protect his President's actions, along with those of his own personal greed. He will go down in history as one of the worst, who could have been one of the best, if not for the path he has taken. Conversely, their condonation of corruption is a ''de facto" impeachment of our democracy!

  55. @Quandry Moscow Mitch won't go down in history as one of the worst. History is written by the winners and Putin will write our history books.

  56. McConnell’s refusal to allow evidence to be presented and witnesses to testify makes this “trial” an illegitimate sham. He knows the evidence and testimonies will show that Trump did indeed abuse his office, and that there is still a chance that the Senate will convict him if the evidence is presented. If the evidence is so weak, then why not hear it? It’s not as if the Senate has an legislative duties, lately. It’s only role seems to be to rubber stamp far-right judges.

  57. The operative phrase here is "...refuse to admit...." It describes the basis for the current administration's entire functioning without penalty and the ridiculous Senate's pandering and condoning efforts to retain illegitimate power. Pass a revised tax code that secures hegemony for an oligarchy of greedy plutocrats that rewards them and neglects the working and elderly just surviving in the new normal? Just deny its effects and tricky maneuvering to etch in stone cuts for the wealthy and grant temporary ones for the working stiffs. Yes, just deny it, and let them eat cake. Extol its (generally overdue) cuts in the corporate tax rate as a purported means of increasing hiring and wages that actually resulted in the clique's buying back their own stock instead? Just deny it. Craft a 2020 budget proposal that proposes cutting the ballooning deficit thus created on the backs of worthy recipients of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid? Just deny it. This corrupt administration and its worthless and cowardly GOP have the over 16,000 DT lies as their legacy. The American public loses. The crowd of frat boys governing will just deny that.

  58. It saddens me to say that from my vantage point, America appears to have become an authoritarian state, run by a ruling party for the benefit of a few dozen donors and their proletariat. Kinda like Russia!

  59. What kind of president hides in Switzerland on the first day of his country’s impeachment proceedings? Does he think he’s going to spread the word there how really great he is and that his fellow Americans are just having fun with a hoax? Trying to convince himself he’s still loved, loved, loved? Such a global embarrassment, Donald John Trump. Wouldn’t as a global participant you’d be afraid you’d have to encounter him? Awkward!

  60. Actually there is a public trial this November. It’s called an election, where we the people decide the fate of our splendid commander in chief. And his henchmen in the GOP.

  61. Some honesty on the part of D Senators would be instructive. The Rs, having broadcast their intentions to acquit, have been transparent in that regard. It’s up to the Ds to show some spine, for once, and boycott the Senate trial as the farce of its supposed impartiality, based on oaths and evidence, has been exposed. The charade of American justice has been propped up for too long. What better example is there of that than the preening hypocrites in Congress, most of whom are lawyers. Any notion of a nation of laws will soon cease to exist as long as a protected class continues to sully the concept of equal protection. Protection equals money nowadays and those without it could supply endless anecdotes to attest to that fact, yet the charade continues.

  62. If D Senators boycott the trial, that would support R claims that D's had never had a defensible claim. By actively participating in the trial, a historical trial record will exist of the formal arguments for and against impeachment. Even assuming Trump is acquitted, D's will use that trial record to defeat Trump and other R incumbents in November. Buckle-up America. It's going to be a rough ride in 2020.

  63. @Good Things I find myself in agreement with your points. My patience has worn thin as it’s doubtful I’ll be around to read the record if indeed there is one.

  64. Moscow Mitch has done exactly what he said would do. He promised to rig the impeachment trial on Fox. “Everything I do during this, I will be coordinating with White House counsel,” McConnell told Fox News, adding that there will be “no difference between the president’s position and our position as to how to handle this.” "I'm going to take my cues from the president's lawyers" "The President's counsel may or may not decide they want to have witnesses"

  65. Trump is not exonerated of Impeachment, or of his crimes; he has succeeded in corrupting the Republican senate. The Republicans are not doing the people's business; they are merely using the people's money to do whatever Trump says he wants at that moment, killing foreign generals, bribing little countries for oppo dirt, whatever, move on. All of Trump's policies, crimes, and defense are based on lies or droit de seigneur--I can do it because I'm King.This is not what the Framers envisioned. The President's power is not absolute, the tax coffers not his to do with what the wants, and even his ability to wage war includes the other two branches of government. The Republicans should think long and hard about the corrupt precedent they are setting. No doubt they'll be full of fire and nay-saying when the next female president overturns every corrupt policy they've passed. And McConnell should recuse himself as should every Republican whose promised acquit before the trial on the basis of limited evidence which they even won't deign to consider. Will Trump be prez for life like Putin and Xi JinPing? I'm ashamed of my country, because we do know better.

  66. The consequences of McConnell's actions coupled with the complicity of Republican senators will set precedents weakening the Constitution they espouse to love and abide by. McConnell and others have already decided on a predetermined outcome even before taking the oath administered by Judge Roberts. The plan to once again exonerate Trump leaves open the door for other not only Trump to repeat his actions, but for other candidates to also seek foreign aid in an election bid. Beyond Trump's behavior is the weakening of the co-equal branches of government. The obstruction and lack of respect for subpoenas issued by the House sets a precedent where these can be ignored as frivolous if one wishes. The Senate is not giving the the same gravity to the impeachment proceedings as the House did, also showing contempt for the House as a co-equal branch. Most likely there are many more consequences that will result from the "fake" trial in the Senate. These actions are not to protect Trump as most would say, they are entirely to protect their own assess, while overhauling the judicial system and to maintaining control of gridlock in government. Voters need to use their votes to change this gross abuse of the offices these Senators hold.

  67. And Chief Justice Roberts, it is presumed, will be okay with this? What part of the oath, taken before us all and brutalist in its simplicity, forgives such craven manipulation? If Roberts sees no foul play in this setup, what on earth would he ever object to?

  68. Why not go by the rules of Nixon and Clinton impeachment processes?

  69. @Tomer Ariav Because of Trump’s refusal to allow witnesses to testify or documents to be released to the House.

  70. With his track record of obliging and bailing out Trump in difficult times, there's little doubt Mitch McConnell will once again allow Trump to get out of the impeachment trap and reduce the entire process of constitutional checks on the wayward executive to a big farce.

  71. Regardless of the Rs moving to prevent previous evidence, and new evidence which basically changes the entire point of a trial to begin with, they are backing up that absurdity with yet another legal(?) move. They have further used the, it doesn't meet the standards of impeachment, however even if it does he has executive privilege! I am frightfully aware of how we are moving further and further away from the democracy this country was established upon and have written my doubts that it will get better. And now we stand waiting after weeks, for one man to basically determine whether we are about to have a trial or 48 additional hours of video that will become meaningless because if the Republicans are so sure there was and is no evidence that could lead to impeachment then why especially given the control they have when it is all said and done and their complete lack of concern for the American legal process anyway are they so afraid to let this be heard? The only obvious answer is it might just awaken american people so they do not make the same mistake twice.

  72. “The Fix” is in. The only hope now is the American people see that the real “sham” is the lack of anything but a predetermined outcome in the Senate with no allowance for substantive witnesses or evidence to sweep the clear as day high crime under the rug. And vote all R’s out in November. Regardless of politics or values, or views on issues, they should all be voted out for violation of their oaths to uphold the principles of the Constitution.

  73. @Tex Murphy, yes, but how likely is it that the Trump base of 30-40 percent of Americans will see through McConnell's betrayal of justice? My only hope is that Chief Justice Roberts objects to a Republican call for dismissal of the charges, and, crucially important, that as the presiding judge, he supports the House managers' call for witnesses to testify. IF the Senate Republicans vote to overrule Roberts on either point, the Democrats should have a field day campaigning for their Senate candidates. The American people, I believe, still have some trust in the Justice's deference to the norms of due process and fair trial. So I count on the Chief Justice to keep the jury --- the senators --- in line and not to abet what you have rightly called "the Fix."

  74. So let me see if I have this straight: Trump openly asked the Ukraine to interfere on his behalf in the 2020 US election. He withheld a coveted White House meeting and--illegally, according to the non-partisan G.A.O.--nearly $400 million in Congressionally appropriated defense aid to their besieged country as leverage to force their hand. This was apparently his idea of 'foreign policy' and was perfectly acceptable Presidential behavior to him and his enablers. Then, when the House was informed of his actions and moved to do their Constitutional duty and investigate, he showed open contempt for the Constitutionally co-equal legislative branch of government and refused to cooperate in any manner, later to claim that he wasn't treated fairly, despite his refusal to participate. Is that about right? McConnell's position is basically "we have 53 votes so we can do anything we want, and we intend to do whatever it takes to hang onto power and make this go away as quickly as possible--no matter what Trump said or did." Please correct me if I'm wrong about any of this...

  75. I’d agree with everything you’ve stated but want to add that McConnell and company are engaged in a cover up and this is transparent. They do want to hang onto power and any means possible for them to do that is to conduct a sham trial where the American people are pointedly excluded from knowing facts and hearing from witnesses. They are looking pathetically guilty and weak. I hope this backfires as the country sees them for the crooked cowards and grifters that they appear to be. Swamp creatures par excellence.

  76. The Trump administration has previously introduced the concept of alternative facts. Now faced with an impeachment trial they are building a defense based on alternative law. There are no alternative facts, nor is there alternative law. A fact, by definition is a provable statement of truth, a reality. Law is a codified, universally agreed set of rules to which all are subject without exception. The Trump administration would rather us believe that truth, facts are subject to their own views and only they can interpret them for us. They now contend, in support of their dear leader, President Trump, that laws and justice are subject to their own needs and can be interpreted contrary to our prior common understanding as it suits their own needs and ends. If we allow them to validate alternative facts and now alternative law as valid we surrender our system of law and justice. Voters must reject this distortion of reality.

  77. “The diluted standard asserted here would permanently weaken the presidency and forever alter the balance among the branches of government..." Same can be said if Trump is allowed to walk away unscathed that would permanently weaken congress. The president would become incorrigible. Congress would be like a politburo in Russia where Putin made an announcement then suddenly the prime minister was out of his job without any constitutional amendment. I don't know if the Republicans in the House and Senate realize it but by blindly defending a corrupt president they are, at the same time, weakening their own offices. They already gave up their power to engage in trade to the presidency, they allow the president to start wars without the consent of congress. Now they are allowing the president to become a monarch who is beyond the rule of law. According to the DOJ a sitting president cannot be indicted. So any flamboyant populist who makes it to the presidency could literally run the Oval House as a Mafia headquarters with impunity. And don't think an election is the answer. You need proof? Look at Putin how he was able to become president of Russia twice switching roles with the prime minister. And even when he was prime minister starting a war in Georgia while the president of Russia was on a cruise ship vacation. Nice timing? How about very well planned?

  78. When the Dems get in they will change everything - climate change policy, immigration policy, health and education etc. using Trumps methods, but in reverse. And the world will thank Trump for making it so. So let him and his worms squirm and wriggle their way thru his moment. The people of North America will win out in the end. If he is re-elected it will be the end of the world as we know it.

  79. Mitch Mc Connell and the Republican Senators are willing to exchange the obligations of their Oath to serve and protect this country for blind loyality to self-consumed plutocrat who care nothing for this country. He cares nothing of the fact that he almost started a full scale war. Now, he has started a legal war with the Impeachment Trial that will further divide this country.

  80. What to expect from today’s impeachment trial? Total abject failure. Abject failure by Democrats to successfully prosecute a scofflaw “president”. And abject failure by republicans to successfully listen, let alone adhere to their oath to judge impartially. Abject failure of news organizations to successfully cover the proceedings due to Republican’s obstructions and Democrat’s unwillingness to break ranks and seek out reasonable, legitimate news personnel. Tomorrow? More of the same.

  81. @PhillipAnderson FYI: House Democrats have a solid case for bribery, which IS an impeachable offense, Article 1, Section 4 of the Constitution. And Obstruction of Congress. Democrats didn’t fail. They calmly, deliberately and succinctly proved Trump bribed Zelensky. Democrats upheld their oaths of office to persevere, protect and defend our Constitution! Republicans, are Trump’s sycophants, they are compromised, they are crooks and liars like their boss! They are the ones failing!

  82. McConnell's goal is very clear: to make as swift an end as possible to this trial with minimal political cost - same as his power grab with the Merrick Garland nomination. He wants to maintain and grow his power, now and in the future. It worked then, and it will no doubt work now. His methods are as devious and ingenious as those of the president and his lawyers: cloak the chicanery in enough important-sounding words and quasi-legality to fool enough Americans into going along. For example, calling the House impeachment case "weak" without documents and testimony - knowing full well that they were withheld by the president in an unprecedented, overwhelmingly obvious case of obstruction. But when he makes his important-sounding pronouncements, Trump supporters and even many independents think it sounds fair, so they buy into it. McConnell knows better. So do Trump's lawyers, and so do most Republican senators. And they don't care. Tragically, America has now crossed a threshold: we no longer concern ourselves with quaint notions of right and wrong; today, it's all about what you can get away with. And my guess is they will get away with this, the president will not only maintain his office but prance around like a victorious general returning from battle, and enough Americans will buy this pig slop to spell an end to our standing in the world, if not our republic. Trump was right about one thing: I'm tired of all this "winning."

  83. All of it relies on the willingness or complacency of the populace to go along.

  84. Looks like he’s “winning” but we will see what’s happens on November 3rd 2020!

  85. 1) Trump's response to the impeachment allegations, as announced by his lawyers amounts to "Yes, I did the actions you say I did, but those actions are not crimes, so I cannot be impeached." Mitch and his RINOs are likely to swallow that hook, line, and sinker. 2) If the House were to allege actual crimes, then Trump's defense team, having sold that first load of Constitutional hogwash, would be likely to argue that Separation of Powers requires crimes to be handled in a court of law, by the Judicial Branch, not an impeachment hearing which is a Legislative Branch action. See last sentence in paragraph 1. Since the DOJ has opined that a sitting president cannot be charged with a crime while in office, the AG will not bring criminal charges, even if the charged actions were clearly performed, as in paragraph 1. 3) Once that whopper is swallowed by Mitch's minions (or their successors in interest), the AG will haul out the Opinion that a sitting president cannot be charged with crime That, in turn, will validate the absurd, ridiculous proposition announced by the current occupant of the oval office during the campaign that he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and get away with it. 4) Goodbye Democracy, Hello Dictatorship.

  86. @The Lone Protester they all know that he is guilty but are protecting their jobs. and healthcare... only the voters can teach them a lesson

  87. In these days of "imperial presidency", where rule by executive fiat can override the will of the people as expressed by Congress or can completely ignore the role of Congress, we NEED to "permanently weaken the presidency and forever alter the balance among the branches of government" which has become a hideous distortion of the balance as envisioned in the US Constitution.

  88. Mitch McConnell is presiding and promulgating the most egregious affront to the constitution and our democracy.

  89. What money can buy! Astonished that so many legislators and lawyers can connive to invent improbable stories to explain why Trump did nothing wrong. And to think we have given them a turn at the steering wheel of state. Scary stuff. Vote them out in 2020.

  90. Donald loathes personal accountability. And fact is the US legal process is biased. Justice allows the wealthy to avoid accountability. That is the only explanation for the fact that Donald is not charged for his massive frauds. Donald stole tens of millions of dollars from people with a fake foundation. And tens of millions more stolen with a fake university. Anyone else would have been charged criminally and sent to prison. Why is Donald not charged?

  91. @Steve While he's President he cannot be charged and the chances of that happening after he leaves office are remote. But then we've never been able to see his tax returns, so we really don't have access to any evidence one way or the other. I believe him to be guilty of a whole bunch of stuff, and hope the voters decide he's not fit for office; then we can go after him.

  92. @Steve how many people accused of wrongdoing can demand a swift trial and get it? how many people languish in jail while the system moves at whatever speed it wants? why does this crook deserves otherwise????

  93. @Baboo Gingi Agreed.

  94. ..., “A nation of laws.” Good one - and now, back to reality; bought and paid for politicians playing games of constitutional misconduct in plain sight. And, lo and behold, they’re likely to get away with it scot-free. “Let them eat cake.”

  95. Yes, but I am t on November 3rd 2020, Republicans will be ousted from House and Senate, and the governors mansions throughout our nation!

  96. Who needs a southern wall when the banana republics now extend to the Canadian border? Who needs 'Far-Side' cartoons anymore when we have Trump and Mitch and their Dream Team drawing these all too real loony toons? If we would only have had a law requiring his tax returns we wouldn't have resorted to this flawed and corruptible means of ejecting a demagogue.

  97. @sentinel We do have a law that gives Congress access to his tax returns. But nobody seems to be owning the backbone to enforce it.

  98. Based on the facts admitted by the Republicans, Trump committed at least two Federal crimes; bribery, under 18 United States Code Section 201 and extortion under the Hobbs Act,18 United States Code Section 1951. Here is the key text of the anti-bribery statute: (b) whoever (2)  being a public official or person selected to be a public official, directly or indirectly, corruptly demands, seeks, receives, accepts, or agrees to receive or accept anything of value personally or for any other person or entity, in return for: (A)  being influenced in the performance of any official act; (B)  being influenced to commit or aid in committing, or to collude in, or allow, any fraud, or make opportunity for the commission of any fraud, on the United States;  or (C)  being induced to do or omit to do any act in violation of the official duty of such official or person;   shall be fined under this title or not more than three times the monetary equivalent of the thing of value, whichever is greater, or imprisoned for not more than fifteen years, or both, and may be disqualified from holding any office of honor, trust, or profit under the United States.

  99. If only there were a lawyer on the impeachment committee

  100. Why didn't Pelosi subpoena Boton, Pompeo, Guiliani, and their aides? Trump would assert executive privilege but at least the R argument that Ds did not formally seek their testimony would be dead. Rs would need to think beyond Trump about how far they want executive privilege to extend since they won't always be in the majority. Executive privilege - which is not mentioned in the Constitution - has been limited by SCOTUS to protect communications that are necessary for the govt to do its job. By his own admission and writings, Guliani was acting as Trump's personal lawyer when he - again self-admittedly - went to Ukraine to interfere with an investigation for the benefit of his client, not the U.S. Trump could assert attorney-client privilege, but that doesnt apply to criminal activities such as bribery and extortion.

  101. FYI: Not up to Pelosi. The House Intelligence and House Judiciary committee DID but Bolton, Rudy, etc., were ordered by Trump to defy subpoenas! And Don McGahn the White House counsel was in court asking if he had to “obey” Trump . Bolton joined the lawsuit. Please pay attention it’s important!

  102. @Good Things - Because Adam Schiff was in charge of subpoenas?

  103. @Good Things Because Trump called "executive privilege" and prevented them from testifying

  104. Subsequent to the 2016 election, many reasons for Clinton's loss have been raised, discussed and debated. But one reason that I believe was an important one seems to have avoided notice. The fact is that many voters who would otherwise have voted for Clinton care very much about democracy and therefor they care about fair and honest behavior. In the 2016 primary season, it was widely understood that Democratic Party leadership had failed to play fair but rather had put their thumb on the scales to favor the nomination of Clinton. And as a result, in the general election some decided to punish Clinton and the Democratic Party. Whether Republican voters care as much about honest play and fairness is not so clear, but Republican Senators should consider whether some of them might behave similarly in the next general election.

  105. Mr. McConnell, shouldn't you be urging the Senate to do its job and carefully consider the charges and the evidence? You are making it difficult for me to return to the Republican party, once Trump is gone, as I had planned.

  106. The basic problem seems to be that some people read the US Constitution as the Founding Father's wanted it when they wrote it, assuming that all agreed on the precise wording. That interpretation apparently has some people above the laws of the country and, when the right person is in the White House, has the other branches deferring to his will, no matter what he does or does not do. Why else would 180 plus federal judges specifically vetted to read the US Constitution and laws "correctly" need to be appointed as quickly as possible. Why else would Mitch McConnell, Senate President not allow the Senate to determine whether so many of Obama's selected potential judges and a potential justice were qualitied to sit on federal benches? They, also, must possess this understanding of the very powerful President who can do no wrong and to whom all must bow.

  107. Rep. Schiff is right to challenge the legitimacy of a trial without testimony by first-hand witnesses, but he could have gone further and called McConnell's ploy obstruction of Congress by Senate leadership itself: Schiff said, "The only purpose in putting [Hunter Biden] on their list is they wish to trade material witnesses like Mr. Bolton and Mulvaney and others for other ones that will allow them to continue to attack a political opponent. That’s an illegitimate abuse of the trial.” It's also transparent deflection, "whataboutism" (the fallacy that logicians call tu quoque), gaslighting by Republican leadership, and a violation of both the Constitution's impeachment process and their impartiality oath. When has it happened in American history that citizens needed to take to the streets and wait 10 months for the voting booths to open so that they could try to correct such an outrageous betrayal of duty by their duly elected senators?

  108. History will hold Mitch McConnell and the Republicans of the One Hundred Sixteen session of Congress responsible for the final push sending an already damaged democracy on its rapid descent to fascism.

  109. I'm guessing that McConnell already knows that his career in the Senate is over. To deny looking at the evidence and NOT seeking any further evidence? Wow, he is just as big a liar as Trump. He made an oath to God and Country and he is already violating it. He is making a sham of the whole proceedings. He needs to be removed for the sake of the country.

  110. The Senate is McConnell’s plaything; he’s a little boy playing alone, in his own sandbox, creating his own rules so his tin soldiers are assured of the victorious outcome.

  111. The Starr-led Whitewater investigation ran on for four years and came up with nothing until it swerved into a perjury charge for consensual sex. And McConnell calls these serious abuses of power a 'with hunt' and wants to limit testimon to four days?! The behavior of the republican party in both cases is beyond belief.

  112. We, the People should be angered at Midnight Mitch’s plan to hold the trial after midnight! It’s a brazen effort to deny Americans knowledge of what the U.S. Senate is up to! Make no mistake, Senate Republicans are working for Donald J Trump! Since when does the jury, in this case the GOP Senators, meet with the defendant, 45?! How tragic for our nation that the Republicans are trashing our Rule of Law and Constitution! The only remedy is to vote OUT each and every Republican on November 3rd, 2020!

  113. Republicans will use any tactic no matter how nasty, unethical or contrary to norms or even the Constitution to gain and remain in power. Examples: 2000 Recount; Merrick Garland; 2003 Iraq Invasion; Bret Kavanugh. This Senate (mis)trial is no exception.

  114. Well, if the Democrats and Pelosi would have sent it over sooner, you would have had more time. Maybe she should have signed it with one pen instead of 20. Whose to blame but yourselves.

  115. So this is how it ends. A con man, and his sycophants, are one vote away from making him a totally unaccountable president. A democracy that allows its leader to break the law is no longer a democracy . . .

  116. To Donald The King : -It's not a witchunt/hoax;you've ALREADY BEEN IMPEACHED -That will never change . -You will likely not be removed by the Senate . -Hope you're proud of this accomplishment. -Republicans will show if they are party above country.

  117. The Republican party is like one of those buildings of the brutalist period. No matter what side you pick to look at them, or how they are symbols of architecture, they are obsolete pieces of concrete and the ultimate sense of ugly.

  118. What surprises me is the blatant denial of facts & proper process by the Republicans and McConnell. How is it possible for these people to deny the truth and get away with it? There is more than just Trump guilty of lying, hypocrisy and misconduct here. It seems like Congress and the American people are powerless to stop the unscrupulous manipulation of of the Senate.

  119. It should be abundantly clear by now that unless and until the Senate majority leader is voted out (along with a goodly number of his spineless lapdogs) life under the constitution as we once knew it will continue to be seriously compromised.

  120. McConnell is doing the dirty work for Trump which grossly obscures the reality fact that America is now a dictatorship. America, wake-up! The news media, TV and journalists, have a duty to stop pandering to the American dictatorship by playing the game of being impartial as they describe the rigged process as a neutral news story. A dictatorship should be called for what it is, and not bury that fact. America needs the media to sound the clarion call that we are now a dictatorship.

  121. Anyone believing that McConnell's plan is a route to the truth deserves top prize in the national gullibility contest. I do not think that the majority of Americans will tolerate a less-than-honest hearing of all the available evidence, and polls are already showing that we've heard enough to know that this as-yet unconvicted felon (as well as a decisively impeached one) is guilty as charged in the court of public opinion. What will it take to get all the facts, including testimony from the participants and perpetrators, presented in an honest trial in the Senate? How about one of those miracles evangelicals pray for? We are standing on the edge of what could be one of America's better moments or its worst. This one's on you, Republicans. Do your job!

  122. Assuming the Constitution and the world survive this administration, the coming decades will be full of Republicans trying to explain away their past support and defense of a cowardly draft dodger who deserved impeachment and execution for treason. Make the congressional GOP members go on the record as defending Trump and endorsing this behavior, and they can spend the rest of their lives trying to wash away that shame. And as the years go by, they will see with growing dismay how history views their conduct today.

  123. Had a Democratic President done one tenth of what this President has done, and repeatedly in plain sight, Republicans would be sharpening their pitchforks and storming the White House. Why and how Republicans can condone and defend such reprehensible behavior is the question. Hopefully Chief Justice Robert's will not put up with the smoke and mirror defense of indefensible actions taken by this President, and push to hear ALL of the evidence, and ALL of the witnesses. Americans deserves this.

  124. Shame on Mitch McConnell and the other Republican Senators. We'll be watching their elections very closely and listening for any remarks about American values, honesty or doing the right thing. You're on the wrong side of history and you know it.

  125. The Founding Fathers tried so hard to avoid a monarchy in America, but in doing so devised a convoluted system that ends up creating a president who can collude with his political party and effectively act like a corrupt monarch without consequences. Any political system that makes it impossible to remove a supremely corrupt president, except through resignation or elections every four years, is a failure.

  126. He did nothing illegal? So it would have been ok for Hillary to leverage congressionally approved/targeted funding to obtain Trump's tax returns from a foreign nation? With the approval of the Republican Senate/Supreme Court majority, our Russian-elected/stooge President will set a dramatically dictorial Second Amendment standard for not only Trump, but for all his Putin-like successors sure to follow.

  127. Olympic athletes perform daily, twice-daily, and thrice-daily acts of physical conditioning that stretch the boundaries of athletic capabilities and endurance. This is what causes records to be broken, ”raises the bar,” decade by decade, and makes previously unimaginable feats into day-to-day realities. The President’s tweets have performed daily, twice-daily, and thrice-daily acts of mental conditioning on his millions of followers, and on the GOP. This has raised the bar, making what used to be considered profane, uncivil, outrageous, and illegal behaviors into day-to-day realities. That is why no one should be surprised by the previously unimaginable, outrageous notion of conducting an internationally televised trial without witnesses. The Senate’s GOP members have raised the bar, never to be lowered - even for (gasp!) a Democrat in the White House.

  128. Rot in the Republican Senate. Let's make sure every Democrat, every Liberal, every person of conscience and consideration gets to the voting booth and votes these criminals out of office and send them home or clip their power permanently. This is a sham.

  129. No witnesses. No documents. No cameras. No time. A sham trial. This is disgusting. Mitch McConnell is trying to strangle democracy to death with his bare hands.

  130. What a FARCE. Alternative facts; alternative laws; alternative realities (yes I am talking to you Starr and Dershowitz) ; in an alternative universe. Ladies and gentlemen; may I present to you the new and unimproved Banana Republic of Donald ( the LIAR) Trump and Mitch (the Fixer) McConnell. Why I hear they have even come up with a brand new national anthem based on the Looney Tune new republic as befitting such a spectacle. Everyone rise and sing along...M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E !!!

  131. Don't these senators who have aligned themselves to Trump (such as the despicable Jim Jordan, who was aware of the sexual assault of wrestlers at Ohio State and looked the other way) see, with their own eyes, how getting close to Trump eventually destroys your life while he sails on happily?

  132. So if you obstruct an investigation by blocking direct witness testimony, continue refusing to turn over any documentation regarding your multiple schemes, and you can then expect to successfully argue that there is no direct proof of malfeasance. And your henchmen (who are accomplices in your betrayal) sit as not only judges but as managers of your "trial", their own reputations commingled with the ultimate decision. So you all get what you want and need, a brief debate, strong on "opinions", devoid of hard facts, and cover for everyone to reach the necessary acquittal (President, henchmen, frightened politicians, and various enablers). The only losers are (no surprise here) the American people.

  133. I want to register my utter horror at the manner in which Senator McConnell is playing fast and loose with the US Constitution, ignoring the interest and will of the American public in a fair impeachment trial (that is a trial with documents and witnesses) in the creation of 'rules' that make a mockery of impeachment. History will not judge Mr. McConnell's actions kindly, nor I hope will the voters of Kentucky. If the American public, or at least a large portion of it, is a reasonable and moderate as I think they are the Republican party will experience a massive backlash in 2020. Really, are conservative judges and taking women's reproductive rights away really worth protecting Donald Trump at any cost? NO, no no. Shame on McConnell and his hyperventilating henchmen in the Republican party. They sure are acting like they have something to hide. Pathetic.

  134. Of course Trump wants it all to go away quickly. I imagine the same is true of any guilty defendant. What remains of representative democracy if the only opinion that matters is the President’s? Why not disband the Congress if there’s no need for them? It would save a bundle. No taxes, no regulations, real personal freedom! Nixon found out that, “if the President does it, it’s not a crime,” is not true. Or it wasn’t true in those days when legislators took their oaths more seriously. McConnell may be proud of his place in the history books as the one who decided Democracy was done and that fascism was the wave of the future. He’ll be known for his cunning and for his iron-clad devotion to Party über Alles. Or maybe it’s his own bank account. He makes me glad my life is mostly lived already, but I weep for what’s coming.

  135. McConnell's strategy may backfire.

  136. My question is simple: Who is the lackey, President Trump or Senator McConnell. Perhaps it's both of them.

  137. With or without lawyers, McConnell had long ago declared Trump would be acquitted even as his fellow Republicans kept reminding Americans theirs was the majority vote. The "unveiling" of rules is just another joke and poke to the eyes of justice. As if Trump lovers really care about such things as justice, morality, integrity, nice things, no doubt, but a hindrance to their ambitions, biases and the ignorance they wear with pride.

  138. McConnell wants this farce of a trial over as quickly as possible and out of the minds of voters. These are no "policy differences." They are abuse of power, which is surely the highest crime of office that can be committed. The acts committed by this president are far worse than the lie that Clinton was impeached for. Clinton foolishly tried to cover up a personal incident, while Trump has tried repeatedly to involve foreign governments in our elections.

  139. The trial has barely begun and its already degrading everything that's descent about America! I'm not troubled if the Republican Senators find it easier to acquit Mr. Trump using 'an alternate rationale' or if it 'is politically convenient for Mr. Trump'. These Senators were not elected to represent themselves, their interests or that of their leader. The Constitution of the United States does not include the statement, 'applies to everyone except Mr. Trump.' Mr. Trump is the ACCUSED, not the victim. The true victims of his crimes are the people of this country. Instead of trying to manipulate the laws for Mr. Trumps' benefit; why not defend the rights of the citizens. Instead of searching for ways this narcissist can escape the results of his criminal behavior, perhaps the Senate could focus on what's good for the people of the United States and begin to repair some of the damage Mr. Trump has caused. This is the United States Senate not some fraternity party! For God's sake show a little decorum and dignity.

  140. I can't believe there is nothing Pelosi can do to force the Senate to hear evidence. What was the point of all this? It seems the impeachment charges were brought for no reason. It merely made the Democrats look like sore losers. The Senate refuses to hear anything that changes their predetermined decision. Heads, Trump wins. Tails, Trump wins. And he can still run for reelection in November and quite likely win again, since he has lost no support. And where will we be then?

  141. Let the sham begin! The framers of constitution could not have predicted the moral compass of American politicians could dip this low. Time for systemic change. The elite class has found ways to completely circumvent to protections, the people have enjoyed, written into the constitution.

  142. These Republicans are working for the country and the American people? We should have no expectations of a fair trial. Trump is pulling the strings; I just wonder what his power over these public servants is. Just the way I wonder what Putin is holding over Trump.

  143. Trumps guilt or innocence aside; I think it is safe to say that there is a flaw in the impeachment and removal from office process which would allow a majority party, shared with the president, in either house, to excuse the president or refuse to bring charges against a president that has knowingly committed high crimes and misdemeanors. This gives unlimited power to the president to act in any way he chooses without repercussions, as long as his party supports his actions or looks the other way. What this constitutionally allows for is the rise of unbridled extremism; very dangerous. We had a similar situation in the 1930's and we have seen the types of actions leaders without repercussions have taken in the past... We need to find a way to close this loop hole before we lose control of our Republic. “The diluted standard asserted here would permanently weaken the presidency and forever alter the balance among the branches of government..." - to this I say, right on, you should dilute the power of the president. From my point of view altering the balance will bring things back into balance.

  144. Sounds similar to the approach the House took; a political advantage perceived by Dems to hold the hearing in public over days. Both sides of the isle are taking a political position and trying to advance their positioning for 2020 elections. Dems hoping to attack any Senator that doesn't vote to impeach, hardly legit. Reps hoping to limit the time and review evidence from the hearing used to send the articles to the Senate, not exactly thorough, unless you believe that the evidence from the House is lacking and there are legitimate witnesses that were somehow missed (Les comes to mind, but he'll do or say anything to reduce his sentence for fraud, which is what the Dems are promising?). This whole process reeks of partisanship, but the Dems appear to be the worst - claiming obstruction of Congress?! I watched the entire hearing; listened to all the 'witnesses' had to say, and see nothing. Sorry, but I don't even see how any of this makes the US less secure or safe; the claim by Dems. If anything, I'm starting to wonder about the hundreds of billions of dollars that go to countries as 'foreign aid.' Why would we give money to all these countries when most are corrupt, dysfunctional, or both?

  145. Amicus Curiae Having sworn in every U.S. senator to administer impartial justice in the impeachment trial of Donald J. Trump, Chief Justice Roberts has not only witnessed, but presided over an overt act of perjury by nigh unto every Demockrat in the senate. Several of these jurors have publicly sought the very office they hope to vacate by impeaching and convicting Trump; thereby personally, politically, financially and professionally profiting from the very proceedings they have sworn to impartially adjudicate. No less than Corey Booker, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have each, along with others in the senate, publicly campaigned for Trump's office, rendering them biased in this trial, and prejudiced beyond redemption against Trump. Furthermore, many, if not all the Demockrat senators, and I believe a few Republicant senators, have publicly called for Trump's impeachment and removal from office in the last four years, prior to any formal charges having been filed against Trump, indeed, before any evidence having been presented against him. Thus rendering almost half the senate utterly incapable of impartiality in Trump's impeachment trial. I call on Chief Justice Roberts to recuse the aforementioned senators from Trump's impeachment trial, to suspend their rights, privileges and powers as senators of the U.S., pending charges of willful acts of perjury with malice aforethought being filed against these senators in the D.C. Federal Court.

  146. @Jaddy Baddy what is this point of this when you the names of the players backwards. It’s pretty much most if not all of the Republican congressmen who are actively violating their oath of office-many way before this impeachment trial. Trump has been committing impeachable offenses for a while. Even he was surprised that his bribing of Ukraine was the one that did the trick. The president is not above the law.

  147. This has always been a political process rather than a judicial one. More so, an act of revenge for the what the Republicans did to Bill Clinton. Both presidents will end up being acquitted. So although there will be revenge it will not be redemptive. However neither party recognizes the harm it is doing to our constitutional process and governance. Of course, we are all to blame for electing Trump in the first case - just to shake up status quo as they say. We have shaken up enough stuff so let us get back to the real problems at hand - a new emerging virus, healthcare, climate change and uneven wealth.

  148. @SridharC strange, because we had a Republican President since Clinton and he wasn’t ever seriously considered for impeachment even after he lied us into an illegal war.

  149. In many countries the people would take to the streets if there was an abuse of power this horrendous by their elected officials. In America we sit idly and complacently glued to our phones and our television and allow our democracy to be hijacked by Trump and his sycophants. Is there anything Trump and McConnell do that will outrage the American people?

  150. It seems the people have several choices: vote, pressure their representatives, take to the streets, or all of the above. The voters made themselves heard in 2018; if we can get better voter turnout to compensate for whatever election interference will come our way this year, we should be able to start turning this ship around.

  151. We sit idly? We? John Bolton, the Whistleblower, sit idly by. They don’t need to be called, they need to walk out their doors and talk. ‘They were all in on it’. VP Pence, AG Barr, Sec of State Pompeo, just need to walk out their doors and talk. These, and others, sitting comfortably in their government offices, need to talk. That’s all. These are people we trusted with our most valuable treasure; our government. Have they truly sold it to two people; Trump and McConnell? And all the Republican backers, this is your government, too. Is this really what you want to nurture? Think. Sitting idle? No. Sitting, waiting. For honor to prevail. I have to believe it will.

  152. If not already apparent from the conduct of House Republicans and the White House brief submitted yesterday, Senator McConnell has confirmed that we have become a lawless nation.

  153. I do not even think I will watch the rest of the trial or give any of my time to the corruption play going on. Republican Senators, for the most part, are in Trump's hand. I would rather spend my time in activities that I know will add life and meaning. The rest of us live and the Republicans juggle non-facts for power.

  154. Dictatorship! America wake-up! McConnell is a henchman doing the dirty work for Trump which grossly obscures the reality fact that America is now a dictatorship. The news media, TV and journalists, have a duty to stop pandering to the American dictatorship by playing the game of being impartial as they describe the rigged process as a neutral news story. A dictatorship should be called for what it is, and not bury that fact. America needs the media to sound the clarion call that we are now a dictatorship.

  155. The republican Senator's are essentially burning the Constitution and have become enemies of the state.

  156. President Trump is not an easy man to like, much less defend from impeachment charges, but after the President has departed, the precedents established for the application of impeachment charges here will live on. And in recent history the applications of the impeachment clause have been too frequent and too loose. In The Federalist No. 65 Alexander Hamilton candidly admitted his fears that the prosecution of Articles of Impeachment "will seldom fail to agitate the passions of the community, and to divide it into parties more or less friendly or inimical to the accused." Further, "in such cases there will always be the greatest danger that the decision will be regulated more by the comparative strength of parties, than by the real demonstrations of innocence or guilt." Hamilton was clearly prescient in these statements, as these last two impeachments have come down to strictly partisan struggles, and where the prior opinion of the man, good or ill, colors everyone's judgment. Whether the action committed by the President rises to the level of an impeachable offense will always be one of the prime issues to be determined by the Senate sitting as a Court of 100 Judges. Hamilton understood the difficulties of having the Senate overrule the House on this matter, but no other party was available. It is a pity that there is no neutral body to judge the nature of the offense, but given only the Senate as a second player, it must have power to rule on this first important issue.