The American People Are Being Scammed by Mitch McConnell

Senators have a duty to conduct a fair and full trial. The Republican leader is trying to make sure they can’t.

Comments: 235

  1. I can't for the life of me understand why these Republican Senators don't want to hear the truth. I weep daily for the demise of the Democracy and the America I loved. I'm old. I also weep for my own children and the children of the world.

  2. @Melting Pot Citizen Well stated. I too weep. It is beyond unfathomable to me that the Republican Senators dont want to hear the truth or seek the truth. Will any of them choose Country over party? Will any demonstrate moral courage?

  3. @Melting Pot Citizen Agreed. It confounds me as to why these Senators are playing a long game that directly goes against their own best interests. By weakening their own authority as a co-equal branch of government, and by ceding power to the president, the day will come when a Democrat sitting in the oval office decides to take full advantage of those powers at the expense of powerless Republicans. What then?

  4. Keep weeping, but don't laugh at Mr. Trump.

  5. My guess is that McConnell will win the short game and lose big the long game. The whole world is watching and women are rising up like never before. We may not be able to control this Impeachment process but gosh darn we can still vote him out along with Nunes and all of the others that have forgotten what the Constitution requires of them.

  6. @Julie but the policies, the delay in acting on climate change, or worse, the reversal of our environmental rules, means that these short gamers are taking their filthy lucre now, and the long game is ours , the dead koalas, the rest of the earth, to suffer..There is no winning this 'game' the republicans are playing..

  7. @grace thorsen Welcome to the human condition. I refuse to allow them to ruin my open heart and disposition. I will work my tail off to heal myself and others so that we can all heal this planet. We broke it; we fix it.

  8. @Julie Republicans will feel the sting of women power and black power.

  9. And in the end, the American people will have to do the heavy lifting and come to the polls on 11/3 and decide the future of our (fragile) democracy. Sorry folks, but Congress is not going to do the job for us. The question is: do we want to live in a democracy, where fairness and rule of law prevail, or do we only want "our team" to win the day? Do we care at all? What was once given to us at a great cost of blood and treasure can be taken away with indifference. You decide-heck, ya got over 9 months to birth your answer.

  10. @M Harvey: One half of Congress did it's job - the House. The Senate is the problem.

  11. @Sheila writes: "One half of Congress did it's job - the House." ------- And even in the House, there wasn't a single Republican who did his or her job ...

  12. When Republicans complained that the House was conducting depositions in secret, not permitting witnesses to be called by Republicans, and not permitting the President to be represented by counsel, we were lectured about how this was all according to 'House Rules' and that Dems were in the majority so too bad. We were told that these were "process" objections and not substantive to the guilt or innocence of the President. Well, Dems, now the shoe is on the other foot, and you're in the Senate under the Senate Rules and a Republican majority. You already said that you had an "overwhelming evidence" of impeachment, so if you're right you're "process" objections should not matter.

  13. @R.P. The House impeachment proceedings are much like a grand jury hearing. As you may know, grand jury proceedings are not a "trial;" it is simply a process to assess whether there is enough evidence to convene a trial. The targeted defendant does not have the right to participate in or present witnesses in a grand jury proceeding any more than he would have the right to tag along with a police detective who is investigating his crime. On the other hand, the Senate proceedings ARE the trial, such that it is expected that both sides would have the right to be heard and to fully present their evidence whether through witnesses or documents. Does that help you understand why your argument is nonsense?

  14. @R.P. Depositions not held in the public is not the same as "secret". Depositions are always done out of the public sphere, and Republicans participated in the depositions. And I'm sure the Democrats would've allowed witnesses pertinent to the charges, but the GOP only wanted to call the Bidens, in order to do for Trump what he was trying to bribe Ukraine to do for him. And, to say that they didn't allow the President to be represented by counsel, is a LIE. His lawyers were invited to come represent the President, but they declined the invitation.

  15. @R.P. GOP members of three separate committees were entitled to be present at every deposition conducted by the House and the confidentiality of these proceedings followed rules established under a GOP majority in the House. The House proceedings was not a trial, but more akin to a grand jury investigation, in which the object of the investigation (i.e., the president ) was not entitled to mount a defense. Again, these were rules established under a GOP House majority. Nevertheless, the attacks and questions raised by Rep. Jordan, Nunes and other GOP House members very much constituted a defense of the president. As to witnesses, the GOP wanted to call Hunter Biden, Joe Biden and Adam Schiff - none of whom had any direct knowledge of the President's actions leading up to, including and immediately following his call with the president of Ukraine. As to the whistle blower, their identity was protected by law and in any event, the credibility of their claims had been established by the IG's report and the summary of the president's call. The sole purpose behind the list of proposed GOP witnesses was not to establish the facts of what happened, but instead to attack the investigative process. Its also worth noting that the president has steadfastly refused to provide requested documents and to allow key administration members to testify. This is hardly the hallmark of the "most transparent administration," but rather an administration with much to hide.

  16. The CNN poll that shows 69% of citizens wanting witnesses and evidence is probably the way the country feels as a whole. What should be worrying us is that pesky 31% that either doesn't believe it or doesn't care. These are a clear and present danger to democracy, and not too far down the road.

  17. @Mike Connors A similar example, probably 89% of Americans support expanding background checks. But with McConnell, this will never get a vote.

  18. @Independent True to both. How did we so completely lose control of OUR government?

  19. @Mike Connors Never forget the GOP as a Party skews old, white, and very old at that. Young people in general are much more progressive and much more ethnically diverse. 4 million young people alone turn 18 this year, reason to hope.

  20. Not impeachment, but the 2020 election will be "...the last line of defense provided by the framers of the Constitution against the abuse of power by the leader of our country." It is clear at this point that McConnell and the Republicans in the Senate will make every effort to suppress any information that might bring light to Trump's abuses. The future of this country is now going to fall on the shoulders of the voters this November. Yes, the future depends on YOU. Go make sure you and all your acquintances are registered to vote. Support organizations that get peopled registed to vote. Then GO VOTE in November.

  21. @Stubborn Facts Your implicit assumption here is that the voting will be unencumbered by either outside agents, tampering, or both. If that were to be true, then yes, it is the Maginot Line of democratic rule. I wish it to be true. Unfortunately I don't believe it will be. What do others think?

  22. @Susan F., @Cooper Ackerman I wholeheartedly agree with both of you--I expect that malicious forces--Russians, Republicans, any number of hackers (state or non-state)--will do their utmost to distort the election in Trump's favor. All the more reason to get every single person to GO VOTE.

  23. It has been observed that it is not the hallmark of an innocent individual to obstruct witnesses and block evidence that would exonerate them. One suspects that the GOP Senators are fully aware of this -- which is why they want to pass this opportunity to destroy their opponents with evidence. It does make one wonder if their confidence in this anti-democratic sham trial approach mirrors a similar confidence that between voter suppression and other factors that they cannot be removed from office no matter what the real election votes are. (Or as Stalin is reputed to have commented -- who counts the votes is far more important than who was voted for.) The Founding Fathers must be weeping.

  24. Innocence would demand not dismissal of the charges, but defense of the behavior. Innocence would not have precipitated horror and immediate actions to hide the evidence by the president's own aides and intelligence officials. The House procedures are not on trial. It is the behavior of Mr. Trump that is the only question senators should address. All else is smoke and mirrors.

  25. No, not really. The Articles of Impeachment have only as much credibility as the Senate is willing to give them, for good or for ill, irrespective or your opinion, mine, or the public's.

  26. Some people think the rules don't apply to them. What to do? In a marriage you divorce them, no contact. In government, you impeach them. And if the jurors and the enforcement branch are corrupt and the judiciary is ineffective, what's left? To be continually shocked by their behavior, point out that others would never get away with the same, and a threat of a potential loss of reputation and their place in history. Good luck with that. Me thinks we need a divine intervention.

  27. No, the last line of defense is the vote. We need to get over this...the Democrats' best strategy is to set up a win for November.

  28. @Hmakav: Trump cheated in 2016 and was caught smearing Joe Biden by extorting Ukraine. Now millions of Trump supporters repeat Trump's lies in an unquestioning fashion. What makes you think we will have a fair election this time?

  29. I am astonished that Americans continue to sit on their hands or smartphones, letting Republicans destroy democracy. I don't know why the People aren't rioting in the streets - they would be in any other country on earth. Anyone who thinks the U.S. 2020 election will be free and FAIR has another think coming...

  30. @Sydney yes...like sheep being led to slaughter.

  31. It remains an open question as to whether McConnell is the most corrupt politician in the history of the nation.

  32. @slowaneasy no I think he’s already answered that question, time after time. There is no doubt that he cares nothing about upholding the constitution. He only cares about keeping the Republican majority in the Senate and doing the President’s bidding.

  33. @slowaneasy Well, let's put it this way. If Both McConnell and Trump were drowning, and you could only save one, you will likely be better off saving Trump. At least Trump is incompetent; McConnell is both malevolent and incompetent.

  34. @Robbie J. I wouldn't say McConnell is incompetent at all; he is tremendously successful in accomplishing his goals. Unfortunately, his goals include subverting the American government: grinding the legislative process to a halt and creating a SCOTUS with a heavy conservative bias. Republicans are the minority party and they know it; lucky for them Mitch is a master of making the majority irrelevant, so they continue to stay in power.

  35. Yet another weasel concerned more for his own financial security than either the republic that he's sworn to defend or his own legacy. McConnell is the poster child for what's wrong with American government.

  36. The three monkeys who cover their eyes (See no evil), ears (Hear no evil) and mouths (Speak no evil) sure do a lot of covering up. This trial without witnesses puts them to shame. The Republicans are turning us into a Banana Republic.

  37. *Of course* Senator Addison ("Mitch") McConnell is sucking up to Trump! He has to! But why? *Not* just to prevent a primary challenge to his re-election, but much more because his wife, Elaine Chao, is Trump's Secretary of Transportation--in which post she works to enrich her family back in China. (Remember, Chao "serves at the pleasure of the president.") Talk about conflict of interest? McConnell would be rejected as a jury member in any real trial. And talk about corruption! Not just in the White House, but in the highest reaches of the Republican-majority Senate.

  38. @Lifelong Democrat That was this administration’s first appointment (=purchase using taxpayer funds): Addison McConnell.

  39. @Lifelong Democrat The NYTimes' front page article some time ago which described deliberate diminishment of the US Merchant Marine in favor of the Chao family's maritime inte rests did not receive the attention it deserves. This action seriously impacts US national security.

  40. @Lifelong Democrat And didn't her daddy give McConnell a $10+ million "wedding gift" (bribe). Sick.

  41. "And at least every impeachment trial in the last hundred years has heard fact testimony from new witnesses — those who have not previously provided evidence to the House of Representatives" Documentation please.

  42. None of the Republicans are concerned. They know the memory of the American people is poor, and they are far outplaying Democrats at every turn.

  43. " 'What are [Republicans] afraid of? They're going to hear evidence that they don't like? They must be afraid of something,' Conway told Tapper, referring to Republicans' refusals on witnesses and evidence. 'And that's the thing that I find most disturbing about it, is they don't want to hear the evidence because they know the truth. They know he's guilty. And they don't want to hear the evidence because they don't want the American people to see it too.' " (Conservative Lawyer George Conway, CNN, 22Jan2020)

  44. An unserious trial only degrades the legitimacy of the Senate. And, since it's being presided over by Justice Roberts, it'll taint the Judiciary too. So far, people have put up with the corruption and have stayed home. But when they decide they've had enough, the Republicans will forced to see the limits of their power: they are a minority (White) corporate party attempting to force its will over a much more diverse and impoverished people.

  45. @gideon brenner It will be interesting in a gallows humor way to see how Roberts circumlocutes his way around this farce. As in the past three years, Democrats and others who respect the Constitution are hoping for a miracle from Republicans. Good luck with that.

  46. McConnell said on camera "I do not intend to be a fair or impartial juror." Others, including some Democrats, have made similar biased statements. In the real world you get disqualified from jury duty for such statements. I guess senators and congressmen are such great citizens that taking and oath to do fair and impartial justice washes away all manner of sin. American justice is dead and McConnell and Barr and Roberts signed the do not resuscitate order.

  47. @Mark Duhe Nice try at "whataboutism". The statements from Democratic Senators were that the evidence already presented in the House was sufficient to remove the Orange Julius, not that they intended to be a partial juror. Unlike a regular trial, in this case the evidence presented to the Grand Jury (the House) was made public before the trial started. The Republican Senators, on the other hand, are simply arguing that nobody has the right to remove their Dictator for Life from his castle.

  48. Oath breaking McConnell and the GOP lemmings have convened a kangaroo court that makes a mockery of the constitutionally mandate separation of powers. If this is allowed to proceed the nation will forever be at the mercy of a demagogic president, as we are today. Shame on the GOP senators who are abdicating their power to control a rogue executive.

  49. @Bailey I have a stronger word than "Shame," but I will conduct myself in a respectable manner.

  50. "Senators have a duty to conduct a fair and full trial. The Republican leader is trying to make sure they can’t." Republican leader. How sad.

  51. You can call it a "scam," but if it's legal, I call it strategic. I despise McConnell, but he has demonstrated he is craftier, and more cunning than the Democrats... and he wins on the BIG issues. He has stolen two Supreme Court Justices, and now it appears he will "win" this Senate Impeachment. Democrats really need to take a critical look at their leadership, their losses, and their inability to capture media attention. The November 2020 election is too important to lose.

  52. @Tom He would be "winning" if he was the president's personal attorney, but he is losing as a person charged with upholding the law and our Constitution.

  53. @Tom We’re learning exactly how many holes we have in our system of government. We relied on the good will and honorable intentions of our elected representatives and we’ve been taken to the cleaners. Unfortunately, the lesson appears to have come too late. Republicans are signaling to Trump that anything he wants to do to rig the next election is ok fine by them.

  54. @Tom A senator not upholding their constitutional duty and promoting false equivalency is not a strategy - although that seems to be what the Republican senators are most inclined to do.

  55. I think they don't want to hear the truth partly for political reasons. They don't want to be exposed for the losers they are. But also because the tentacles of the criminal Trump enterprise probably run deeper than has been acknowledged, and a full expose of the truth would implicate many members of the corrupt party.

  56. @TAL You think? Not to mention that it is likely that they have ALL taken dirty Russian money funneled through the NRA. I think that's where the 'kompromat' starts, but it's only the tip of the iceberg, and has been, since day one....

  57. Watching and listening to the REPUBLICAN side of the trial is witnessing the death of the United States. Only hope is removing EVERY REPUBLICAN Senator as they come up for reelection as well as every Congressperson. Only explanation of the REPUBLICAN stance is that they are all one of two things: Complicit or afraid. I'm sure that's the type of representation the founding fathers were thinking about.

  58. I was listening to the opening of the day on NPR this morning and heard the prayer and the pledge of allegiance. I actually laughed when they said the pledge. There's 53 of them that should have just stayed quiet. They don't believe the words they mouthed.

  59. McConnell said it Obama and he is now saying it to the House of Representatives: We will not do our job. We will let the people decide. So much for this most important deliberative body in the world.

  60. @The North If they won't do their job, they should not get paid. That's the way it works for the rest of us.

  61. Over half of the Senators now sitting as judges, and nearly a third of the country spectating from the sidelines, think witnesses, evidence and other niceties of a normal trial are unwanted nuisances. Mere distractions from their main goal. To end this exercise in ignoring constitutional duty as rapidly as possible. This should make us all weep.

  62. I don't understand McConnell's tactics here. It seems to be like Trump's need to lie even when the truth wouldn't hurt him. There is no way the Senate will vote to remove Trump, so let the evidence be presented. Call witnesses. But, maybe it's about showing who is in control.

  63. It is clear that many republican representatives and senators have abandoned democracy, abandoned valuing the truth and abandoned our constitution. All in favor of winning at any cost. ANY cost without exception.

  64. @Dr. Dan Just as David Frum had predicted.

  65. Trump has done the bidding of the GOP in terms of judges and tax cuts. He also threatens any defection from loyalty to him by encouraging and getting primary challengers. This simple calculus in tired, old men and women like McConnell, et. al. makes for a Trump joined at the hip of all republicans. In a such a materialistic, money is all society appeals to patriotism, duty, ethics, all fall way flat. Only the public could change the dynamics of primary challengers, but what precisely is the threat if Trump is acquitted and the award if convicted? Truth and justice are still the American way I guess. That dream can remain and help people sleep. Is it enough? The nation really is corrupt and only a melt down will wake it up.

  66. @theonanda All bureaucracies are corrupt. Some more than others. Our democracy works to keep that corruption to a minimum. Until now that is. For what it is worth the melt down started the day Trump took office. It didn't have to but then it appears that corruption may be the only thing Trump is very familiar with. The biggest fear for us as a nation is that his maligned approach to the law and constitution might become normalized.

  67. @theonanda , If the majority of republicans did the right thing and convicted 45, what could he do to them? The overwhelming numbers would be on their side.

  68. I expect Trump to make a personal appearance on the Senate floor at some point. And make a complete mockery of the Senate itself. I trust the House Managers and Senators have a plan for that possibility.

  69. Hopefully the good that comes out of this presidency is that Americans start taking VOTING more seriously. Lesson learned I hope.

  70. @Dwyane Most people around the world have, for a very long time, regarded the U.S.A. as a shinning beacon of hope and would come to the defense of your country without question. This time has passed. That beacon of hope has been extinguished. Your political system is broken. If you think Trump will graciously step down if he loses the 2020 election: you are in for a shocking wake up call. Unfortunately when you do wake up... it will be too late and you will be in the middle of your second civil war. I do hope I am wrong but I fear America has been so corrupted that there is no way out this time.

  71. @Dwyane Perhaps another positive result will be media's abandoning its tendencies to think in narratives and forcing an unwarranted balance in its coverage of parties and political figures. The latter is, I believe, underway. Too bad it wasn't in 2016.

  72. From what I’ve seen, heard, read and thought through, most people in the world do not think America is a beacon of democracy or hope now. They mostly respect the beginnings of American Democracy, but are well aware of all of its 200 years of failings, all of its misery, destruction, manifest destiny, corruption, etc. Time to take our heads out of the sand, and become watchful, enlightened, truthful and thinking citizens - that’s the need of the hour. This so called democracy of ours is heading nowhere fast.

  73. Have you sense of decency is perhaps the most famous put-down in political history. And sadly it now applies to not just one specific politician, McConnell, but to every GOP politician in Congress and the Senate. Why are they scared of Bolton's testimony? They surely have no sense of decency. None.

  74. It is just hard for me to imagine how the world will look on the other side of a successful motion to dismiss--or an acquittal without fact witnesses. Is the Senate really willing to be seen to endorse what the President has done? Are the members willing to condone absolute stonewalling of Congress? Are they willing to show the world we are no longer a society ruled by law and respect for the law? It just seems impossible, even as I see it relentlessly headed toward us. What kind of world will we wake up in the day after?

  75. @teach The democrats will have to announce, "secession!". Yes, it will be a huge mess, but better than an absolute corrupt and fascist regime. Trump divided us. Let's finish the job.

  76. @teach Are you kidding?

  77. I've voted Democrat, and had subscribe here, for 45 years. At this moment I have on Adam Schiff delivering his argument to The Senate, and I did watch the impeachment hearings from which he developed this argument. This is as large a miscarriage of political ethics as I can recall in my life, equal to the malarkey developed and foisted onto the American public to invade Iraq under GW Bush. Fundamental blindness to one's own malfeasance + severe political prejudice + a cooperative biased press is not going to get this job done because; when an impeachment is a lie, you get no support from the other side who would necessarily set down their preferences in the face of real wrongdoing. At first I felt uncomfortable rooting for the "other side," then I realized that my side the side of truth and so I am not deviating a bit from my standards expecting this farce & hoax to be dismissed. Now, about US Attorney John Durham ....

  78. @CK It doesn't matter who you have voted for or what newspaper you subscribe to. It's irrelevant. You present no evidence, none whatsoever, that calls into question the basic facts - that Trump withheld Congressionally-approved aid to Ukraine to pressure the Ukrainian president to publicly announce an investigation into Joe Biden; in other words, he pressured Ukraine to interfere into the 2020 election on his behalf. In other words he tried to cheat the American people out of a fair election and use taxpayer money to his own personal benefit. Not even mainstream Republicans dispute the facts here. But you're willing to give Trump a pass, and let him defraud the American electorate.

  79. @CK So you are just stating your opinion with out any facts. Also, it appears that you may be a Republican acting as a Democrat. A common strategy that is occurring over multiple different platforms on the internet. These fake statements always start with how much of a "liberal" and/or "Democrat" that they are and then they proceed to make multiple talking points that come out of the Republicans playbook.

  80. @CK The Whitewater investigation was about Clinton's personal finances before he was president. It cost $100 Million in today's dollars. I'd go for that for Trump.

  81. Ernest Shackleton, the famous Arctic explorer is said to have placed an ad in the London Times on December 29, 1913 seeking men to join him on an expedition to the Antarctic. Although the ad never appeared in the paper that day, and still hasn’t been located in print in any newspaper, it is supposed to have said: “Men wanted for hazardous journey. Small wages. Bitter cold. Long months of complete darkness. Constant danger. Safe return doubtful. Honor and recognition in case of success.” 27 men answered his call and joined the expedition. All that can be said about them today with absolute certainty is that none of them were Republicans.

  82. Mitch McConnell and all of the Republicans in the House and Senate richly deserve all the criticism and invective one cares to express. But they should not be the primary target of journalists and Times readers. Republican voters are the true guilty party. Their blind obedience to party and ideology support the unethical, illegal, and intransigent behavior of their elected officials. Depending on the poll one consults, anywhere from 80% to 90% of Republican voters continue to support Trump and have indicated they will vote for the primary opponent of any House or Senate member that does not. The only solution in my view is to mobilize enough Democrat and Independent voters, particularly in swing states, to politically marginalize the Republican Party.

  83. @Jack I agree completely. And a big part of the problem is they get all their information from Fox News.

  84. This opinion has already proven to be false. Schiff is introducing evidence as I type and all of the impeachment evidence is automatically part of the trial.

  85. As has been mentioned many times, for weeks, they - and this opinion piece, are referring to new evidence and new witnesses. There is no dispute about allowing presentarion of evidence already gathered by the House. That is baked in to the process and is what Schiff is doing. Though the partisan procedures even put that in danger, as alluded to in this piece: "... among other things, permitting the Senate to reject evidence and testimony that the House has already collected and that was not previously under dispute."

  86. @Ryan m the only thing proven false so far is the trump lawyers lying in the Senate chamber and being called out by Roberts for it.

  87. Democrats should abandon their efforts to persuade "moderate" Republicans to insist on a fair trial. A handful of GOP members pay lip service to the notion of due process (Romney, Murkowski, Collins), but it's nothing more than that. None of the "moderates" has ever taken a principled stand against their party on any matter of significance. The unfortunate reality is that Mr. Trump could stand in Red Square in front of 1,000 cameras and hand Vladimir Putin the U.S. nuclear codes --- and then tweet about it --- and there isn't a GOP member of Congress with the backbone to offer a word of criticism. Let's get this farce over with as quickly as possible so that Senators Sanders, Warren and Klobuchar can get back on the campaign trail.

  88. The news broke this morning that Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) was giving an interview on Fox News when she was supposed to be in the Senate chamber paying attention to the trial. When ordinary people serve as jurors in a trial, we're disqualified from deciding on the trial if we miss court. How can you decide a trial if you're not there for the proceedings? Ordinary jurors may also face sanctions by the court for this behavior. Nothing like that is happening to Senator Blackburn. She's flagrantly breaking the Senate rules and McConnell is allowing it. More special privileges for the special few? Not to mention it makes this Senate trial more of a Republican travesty than it already is.

  89. @DJY I thought silence and attendance were to be ensured upon pain of imprisonment. Time for Roberts to bang the gavel and send out the federal marshalls to toss her in the brig.

  90. @Gdk The story on Newsweek specifically said it was "a live television interview." It was posted on Newsweek website with date and time of 1/22/20 at 7:14 AM EST. Google it.

  91. All of this advice to "vote them out" is weightless. Mitch and the GOP have rendered your vote virtually meaningless. Gerrymandering, corporate lobbyists and foreign propaganda have all been carefully lined up to pre-determine a voting outcome. Democracy is is gasping is gasping its last breath. I don't know exactly what will happen after the majority of voters once again don't get who they elected, but it might require something like pitch forks to change it.

  92. @Karen The 2018 election showed that we can beat them if enough people get out the vote. The amount of votes overcame the cheating and gerrymandering in most states. People need to get out the vote and bring their friends and families with them. Just make sure they haven't purged you from voter rolls this winter and re-register if they have. United we will win!

  93. @Karen Don't forget a key component of the Republicans' election strategy: Voter suppression. This comes in the form of voter intimidation, including at the polls; making it harder for certain citizens to get to the polls; expunging thousands of names from registration documents for the slightest mistakes, such as simple misspellings or other minutiae and a host of other disgusting forms of suppression for the purpose of swinging an election in their favor. Add voter suppression to the items you mentioned above and the list of underhanded election measures employed by the Republicans is still incomplete. It's obvious that no tactic is beneath them in their single-minded pursuit of "winning."

  94. What I do not understand is why the Democrats are not making an issue in the public sphere of the procedural conditions which McConnell and the Republicans are imposing to undercut the trial. These procedural issues should be intrinsic part of the discussion and Democrats should flag their political significance. A little opinion article here and there is not enough. Incorporate it to speaking points of politicians. Not only the substantive Ukraine issue but on procedural ones regarding the trial. Why do the Republicans want to restrict the time of the trial? Isn't even three days a ridiculous timeframe? Why do they want to undercut the attempt to make justice, which is on the public benefit? It is understandable not to want to drag the judicial process, but three days sounds comical. Why not, say, one or two weeks? And why does the president have the power to object to evidence against himself? Isn't this authoritarian? This intuitively sounds preposterous. In what kind of fair trial does the defendant have the right to decide what evidence s/he wants suppressed? Isn't that for the judge to decide? Use these issues as a teaching moment to show how the President and his team are the ones subverting justice. If they are so sure of Trump's innocence, then why not use the forum to show it?

  95. @tdb I doubt they believe he's innocent. Rather, I'm guessing they find him convenient, and they're afraid of their constituents.

  96. @tdb I am really happy the Biden's have been exposed. I don't think its about winning an election either. Sleepy Joe seems like a lightweight. remember? "Hey you in the wheelchair, stand up"

  97. Read and remember Thomas Jefferson’s words in The Declaration of Independence on overthrowing a government.

  98. @Jonathan Miller Much of what was written into the Constitution about impeachment was based on the, at the time real but now false, idea that honest men (and women) would do their duty. The spineless Republicans have failed miserably to do so. Is their lust for power and to remain in their seats so much a siren's call that they will be known as those who failed our country, at the one time it was most important? Yet they remain incredibly silent.

  99. @Jonathan Miller "Overthrowing a government"? You must be addressing a different op-ed piece.

  100. @reid "honest men (and women) would do their duty." They do. But the Republicans are not honest.

  101. For McConnell, who should have the very highest regard for this country and Constitution, it is win my way at any cost. Bodies and moral ideas will strewn the way, but so what, he will try to win. It's to early to tell if there will be enough damage done to the President (beyond what he has done himself) to throttle his hold on the Republicans who are in Washington, and can control further damage to our country, until the elections which would be our saving event. McConnell and his supporters must have an enormous interest in something for them to keep on this path. I cannot in good faith believe he is this deluded to think all this trampling on centuries of law is worth whatever it is he is trying to accomplish.

  102. After much thought, I believe I have discovered the motivation behind McConnell's behavior: Ginsberg is in poor health. McConnell is willing to sacrifice even the Constitution to have that additional seat on the Supreme Court. He will do what is necessary, including acquit a guilty man, in order to accomplish this. Our only consultation will be that history will not be kind to him. He will go down as one of the greatest roughs in the history of our democracy.

  103. @Jimmy I don't follow your argument. President Trump's conviction would lead to VP Pence ascending to the presidency.

  104. @Jimmy That's not much of a Consolation;Trump should be removed, as he is guilty according to the evidence, not McConnell's lies repeated by every GOP. Remember, trump is aligned with Putin through Manafort who worked for "Putin's Global Agenda" (to recreate the Russian Empire) & Manafort worked for 10 years doing this globally, agitating against democracy leaning countries;visages are in Brexit, Brazil, Hungary; Manafort immediately became trump's campaign mgr after his 10 years with Putin;that's how trump had back channels with Putin that Mueller's investigation could not find. Remember McConnell is a long time Koch operative & expanded the Koch's contract with GOP congress to deny climate change AND to discredit the ACA;McConnell voted for whatever the Kochs wanted & not for WeThePeople & the Koch's have hated Democracy since their father worked for Stalin drilling oil in Russia & liked that there were no govt. agencies to help people;Stalin let people starve or freeze to death;when their father returned to the US he hated JFK & all the civil rights talk;he immediately founded the John Birch Society & JFK was murdered; Then MLK. Then RFK;When the 1% Conservatives realized they couldn't keep killing those who wanted a Real Democracy,they started buying congressman to vote to expand corporate power,which is how we go to where we are today;trump is the culmination of long time corporate ownership of congress & our Democracy;a vote for trump is a vote to end Democracy.

  105. McConnell is failing to take into account the very real possibility that many other evidentiary shoes will drop between now and Election Day. Lev Parnas's revelations gave Nancy Pelosi the momentum to send the Articles of Impeachment to the Senate, and McConnell is acting quickly to sweep them under the rug. Does he believe that if the Senate acquits under this absurdity of a trial process the Democrats will simply go "Oh well. We tried." The Republicans held hearing after hearing on Benghazi, despite coming up empty every time. Here, a Democratically-controlled House has every reason (and basis) to carry on with the investigations. For example, the House Judiciary committee investigates the finding by the GAO that the withholding of the Ukraine military aid was, in fact, illegal. Bolton, Mulvaney, Pompeo, et al. all have knowledge directly relevant to that report. Trump may invoke executive privilege, but U.S. v. Nixon negates that defense. Bolton, et al, will testify, although not during impeachment. Worse, they'll testify in Summer, or early-Fall, just as the 2020 election approaches. Not even McConnell, Nunes, Jordan, and Graham have brooms that big, nor can they sweep that fast. And when will they find time to sweep for Trump? They'll be fighting for their own survival. Revealed for who they are: enablers and, at least in the case of Nunes, co-conspirators who covered up for a corrupt president, and undermined this country and its Constitution in the process.

  106. @CS Be that as it may Trump will be re-elected.

  107. Our republic was founded upon a very curious central proposition: That the seat of its power could be decentralized among the several branches our government and that, barring executive mischief, each branch will be responsible for holding the others to account. The same elusive principle of decentralized power has had notable popular success perhaps the best natural security that can be passively obtained in any genuinely competitive transaction arena. In the tech world, it is called block-chain that is proofed by hard-to-penetrate math riddles. But, our Constitutional Framers called it the world's first democracy, proofed by the rule of law and the expectation of accountability to it. That is, serious malfeasance by any elected official would be investigated and judged according to the duties and standards that our elected members have sworn to uphold. Our President has committed bribery. He has parlayed our national security interests in Eastern Europe for the purpose of tawdry political oppo-research. Our Senators - instead of maintaining proper decentralization of the seat of our nation's power - have conspired to centralize power into the hands of a rogue president. Mitch McConnell: Do not subvert our democracy. Do not undermine the real power of our republic. Do not play boot-maker to a king.

  108. We all know the outcome here The complicit republican law makers will continue to cover up evidence because they only care about one thing holding onto their power. Glad the Chief Justice has to sit and listen so he can see the results of his past decisions on citizen united and political gerrymandering. The right wing doesn’t want democracy they have built their own schools media and lawyers to promote a different world view. So our only hope is the American public which would require their attention and accepting of facts. Just wondering where we are heading an oligarchy?

  109. An Impeachment Inquiry (the House part of the process) is only meaningful if the American people can have confidence in the fairness of the process. The same holds true for the Impeachment Trial in the Senate. But, if the process starts off in a flawed and biased manner, there is nothing the Senate can do to make things right.

  110. @William You appear to believe the Senate is powerless to establish an appropriate process. If true, that exists only because of Republican leadership's dedication to assist Trump's corrupt administration by skewing the process of the trial. Each Senator has the ability to break away from that strategy by not just allowing, but demanding, all relevant testimony and documentation. We'll see if that happens.

  111. Some: perhaps you should focus your comment on why the House sabotaged the effort from the get-go with their partisan inquiry rather then how the Senate should clean up the House’s mess.

  112. The Republican Party has slipped the surly bonds of our Constitutional republic to touch the face of one-party authoritarianism and they’re not coming back to America. Republicans need to do the honest thing and remove the tiny American flags from their suit lapels and replace them with the flag of authoritarianism.

  113. @Socrates If they were honest, they would do so. The flags will certainly remain.

  114. @Socrates What’s worse, they have no shame or even doubt. Defying the constitution and lying about what’s true comes as naturally and effortlessly as their next breath.

  115. @Socrates Fascism is here. Right here in the good ole USA. Who'da thunk?

  116. Republican Senate members must be reminded of the events that led up the Senate impeachment trial. A career professional Intelligence Security worker assigned to the WH was approached by a fellow career Intelligence professional assigned to listen to the president's phone call reported that he was alarmed and shocked to hear the president's words to a newly elected president of Ukraine. Since then, other professional career government workers came forth to disclose a broader scheme by the WH and others---all part of an unlawful and insidious unlawful scheme to undermine the election campaign of a Democrat candidate and to blame Ukraine instead of Russia for interfering in our 2016 election. All of these government workers came forward at the risk of losing their jobs to do the 'right thing.' For the Senate Republicans to not take into account the implication and consequences of their votes without giving a second thought to those who dared risk their careers to reveal government corruption within the Executive branch, will be doing a disservice to the integrity of career workers and the U.S. Constitution. A no vote cast against having documents and witnesses, and a subsequent exoneration of the president, will reward and foster a government culture based on corruption and will lead to a possible mass exit of professional government workers who wish only to serve with integrity and excellence.

  117. The truth is this: We cannot have a fair and just trial, as the Senate is charged to provide by the Constitution under these circumstances, when it is known that there is available evidence and credible witnesses' testimony that is being blocked from the trial. Who has ever heard of any trial in these united states where these two elements are forbidden presentation in the trial?

  118. I'm not sure it is fair to call something an "ironclad precedent" when we have only had two impeachments in the last one hundred years, and on two completely different basis up at that until our current situation. As this is a political, and not criminal or civil matter, it makes sense why McConnell is playing hardball and why Schumer and the impeachment managers are trying to introduce additional evidence and testimony. Whichever side is "right" will be determined in the upcoming 2020 elections.

  119. I look forward to the day McConnell is removed from office. He is the root evil of everything wrong with this country today and will go down in the history next to Joseph McCarthy as one of this country's worst leaders. He claims to wants to "fairness" and partisanship but since Obama's presidency all he has clearly shown is his thirst for power and mastery of manipulation in gas-lighting the public by obstructing common sense laws and turning the blame to Democrats for things he was in actuality 100% responsible for.

  120. At one time most of these Republicans lined up to admonish trump as unfit to be president and McConnell was one his most vocal critics. One would think that this is the perfect opportunity to be rid of this monster. Pence, admittedly not the brightest bulb in the box would assume the presidency so the oval office would remain in Republican control. It would be the perfect opportunity to eliminate trump as a re-election candidate. There are some moderate sane Republicans safely in hiding such as John Kasich who would be viable candidates. But Republicans seem to be embracing a death spiral. Senator McConnell your actions will come back to haunt you. There is a price to be paid for ignoring your oath to the people of the US and our Constitution. It won't be pretty. Oh how the mighty have fallen.

  121. With apologies to Johnnie Cochran: If a crime is not committed, then Trump must be acquitted.

  122. @steve bribery/extortion, witness tampering, obstruction of justice, bank fraud, tax fraud and insurance fraud are all felonies. Add in breaking emoluments laws, campaign finance laws and selling foreign for personal gain and I'd say we have the most corrupt president this country has ever seen.

  123. What about the House proceedings? Were not they, too, a so-called "scam?" Here's an inconvenient truth: In the American system, you are innocent--that's right, innocent--until proven guilty--and that's if a proper crime has been established and not some shape-shifting notion of "abuse" and "obstruction" (of Congress!). You can't invent high crimes. The House had its chance, by its mockery of a hearing, to build its case and hastily and poorly built it. Now they want to introduce "new" evidence, even though they've been scouring the planet for three years for something to fulfill the pre-inaugural promise. Give me a break.

  124. A railroaded partisan impeachment deserves nothing less than a railroaded partisan trial. The sooner we get this farce behind us the better.

  125. Mcconnell's just the spear tip of the southern bloc's scamming the rest of the country, the old dixiecrats now leading the rest of us by the nose. How else can we get a system wherein the southern states hold their state taxes low, get to brag about it, advertise their low taxes to steal jobs from the other states, then receive the highest per capita fed aid in the land to make up for their own tax receipts shortfall. So, they not only steal jobs from the other states, they have those states then fund the theft through the fed aid the victim states net contribute to the pot, putting a double hit on the victim states. Through leaders like mcconnell the mexicans and the chinese, and the dems, get the blame for stealing all the jobs, and the southern leaders get political support from the enraged voters who've lost their jobs in those victim states; we wind up with a trump. And continue with a mcconnell holding the power to keep the whole scam rolling along. Of course mcconnell doesn't want to see trump go, will do anything he can to prevent it. Trump's too good a carny barker, too many voters buy into the bill of goods the barker's selling, to let the barker get kicked out of office.

  126. What doesn’t startle me is the attempt by Republicans to defend Trump. What is startling is not just rigging the game to guarantee an outcome, but the open and brazen way it’s being done. It’s like McConnell is just openly mocking the judicial process. The irony here is that even if they applied unfair rules against the President, Trump would be acquitted anyway. He was never going to be removed from office. So why insult the process? Fair transparency is officially DEAD.

  127. McConnell and his allies in the GOP remind me of thugs in an organized crime motion picture, as well as the workings of an authoritarian regime striving to keep its leader in office. Putin must be proud. As an American historian this sickens me. I fear for the future of this republic. The GOP as it is now constituted seem to me the sort of rogues that James Madison wrote about in The Federalist Papers, as well as the dangers of what he termed "faction" in American politics. There have been dangerous times in the US in its history, but this seems to me one of the most dire of all.

  128. What do legislators do with their time? Why have they not considered the many things that need good rules and laws? Why do ironclad impeachment rules not exist?

  129. Three under-the-table deals: If Trump fires our anti-corruption (exemplary) ambassador, the corrupt Ukraine prosecutor will give him dirt on Biden. Trump will withhold desperately needed military aid, not give Zelensky a White House meeting, unless Zelensky investigates Biden and makes a big announcement about it. Finally, McConnell will continue to protect Trump, and will kill the impeachment, so long as Trump continues to push the Republican agenda including the tax cut for the rich, and cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid.

  130. I'm almost as disappointed with McConnell as Noah Bookbinder is. I thought this foolishness was going to last no more than two days. This should have been over and done with yesterday. Acquittal Dismissal Let the people decide in November. The Democrats obviously don't think the American public has the right to vote and choose its leaders.

  131. @P&L The people decided . . . for Hillary. That is incontrovertible. The electoral college had other ideas, and neglected their duty in my opinion. If a democrat did the same things as Trump, the Republicans would be howling. I don't get the double standard (I do, but . . . .) By the way, I am an independent and a moderate.

  132. @P&L The Constitution allows for the people to elect their leaders, and it also allows for Congress to remove a President from office for abusing his powers. That is called oversight and the separation of powers. The people will have the opportunity in November to elect a President. But right now the Congress has their constitutional duty to investigate if the President has abused his office. We, the people, need to have all the facts before the election in November.

  133. I have made it a point to donate to the Senate campaigns of Amy McGrath (running against McConnell in Kentucky), John Hickenlooper (running against Cory Gardner in Colorado), Mark Kelly (running against Martha McSally in Arizona), and Sara Gideon (running against Susan Collins in Maine). If all these challengers are successful, the Senate might once again return to a status where facts and laws, rather than lies and deceit, actually prevail.

  134. Don't you dare allow Mitch McConnell to take the blame for all of this, Trump has been aided and abetted by the entire GOP, from the beginning. They've seen how manifestly unfit this person is for the highest public service office in our country from the start, yet they nominated him for their representative anyway. Now they've seen him endlessly lie, endlessly enrich himself and his family at tax payer expense, spend 500+ days at his golf courses at massive tax-payer expense, distort the law of our country, and destroy the credibility of our institutions like the EPA, FBI, DOJ, and many, many more, and finally, obvious demonstrably criminal activity - and they have walked in lock-step with him at every point along the way. NO SIR! This is not Mitch McConnell's scam impeachment trial, this is the GOP's. It belongs to them as surely as their party now belongs to Donald Trump, from the longest serving senator, to the newest member of the local school board. And they should be remembered and voted as such. People who care about institutions like our DOJ, the co-equal branches of government, international law and treaties, and our constitution, should not check a single ballot that has an "R" beside it. Not nationally, not at the state level, not in your local election. No external entity has ever wrought more damage to this country the modern GOP has in the last three years. It's on every US Citizen to step up to your responsibilities and destroy the GOP in November.

  135. @drew: So very true, Drew! Thanks for your impassioned, reasoned, fact-bound and righteously-indignant statement of the culpability and shame of the GOP! I still retain some hope that these spineless and corrupt lemmings will be driven off a steep and politically fatal cliff come November 3, 2020.

  136. The trial is a foregone conclusion. Therefore, THE last line of defense is the election. Hey NYT, how about an expose' on the assurances of fair voting practices in the key swing states? Point a spotlight on voter registration, access to voting polls, paper vs electronic systems, gerrymandering, targeting social media misinformation campaigns, GOP efforts to bend and break the rules... Voting in electoral college swing states. THAT's the last line of defense. And be sure the GOP will do anything and everything to win.

  137. In August 2018, Bookbinder wrote the following: " ...it’s now clear that Trump obstructed justice. Robert Mueller’s team is surely reaching the same conclusion, which means it is highly likely that Mueller will refer an obstruction case to Congress for further action. He could also seek to indict co-conspirators, and he could name the president himself in an indictment. " This of course turned out to be complete nonsense. Bookbinder, a former aide to Sen. Leahy, is just another partisan hack.

  138. @Robert Ducky, this is precisely what the Mueller report said. It said there were ten instances of likely obstruction, and it said that the sole avenue for addressing them was Congress and, by implication, impeachment. Bookbinder was spot on.

  139. @Robert Nonsense enters the stage when people referring to Mueller's report refuse to acknowledge that Trump was not at all "exonerated. In fact, Mueller took care to explicitly state that his conclusions did *not* include exoneration. The only ones using "exoneration" in connection with the conclusions of Mueller are Trump and his supporters who refuse to take Mueller at his word!

  140. I'd say the first scam started in Congress in December when the partisan vote to impeach Trump went along democratic party lines. Now the democrats, who can't stop Trump through the electoral process are trying to make McConnell the villain. Guess what? There are no innocents in this rodeo. They're all scamming - collecting tax payer funded paychecks to do nothing while the country goes to pot, and the demos running have no answers except more government. Yeah, that's going to help. Tax payers should revolt, and march on Washington to show their displeasure with they way their money is being spent. I'd be first in line.

  141. I often wonder what led many of these so called Senators of our democracy to even run for their first office. Be it a local election, a seat on their state's legislature, or perhaps a run for a seat in the House of Representatives, something must have motivated them to pursue public office other than the motivators of greed and power. Somewhere in their past, they had to at one time believe in the truth that is America. What I don't understand or comprehend is the sad truth that somewhere along the short or long roads in their various career paths, that ALL Republican Senators are inthralled in supporting Trump regardless of its costs. The evidence is there for all to see. The corruption is there for all who care to bare witness. The embarrassment to our cherished form of government is there for all to absorb. I pray that we as a nation are not so far adrift that even a handful of Senators don't recognize the gravity of this moment. Sworn to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America, these 100 special guests to insure our democracy are at the precipice of ensuring its survival. I pray for their conscience and guidance.

  142. All this handwringing about truth, oaths, justice, fairness, tradition is absolutely meaningless 20th century discourse. Wipe these notions from your mind, or you’ll only be disappointed and confused by our politics. The only thing, and there is only one thing, that moves a Trump republican, is the prospect of further power.

  143. It is amazing that the Democrats used their majority to ram through this unjust impeachment using secret hearings (which Schiff yesterday had the nerve to equate to a grand jury inquiry . If during a grand jury inquiry the prosecutor ran out and held a press conference every day to announce a witnesses testimony he felt damaged the defendants case he would be disbarred), here say evidence and blatantly partisan witnesses, now feel the Senate is not acting fairly. The hypocrisy is stunning and sickening to most Americans.

  144. @John Gilday Nothing unjust about impeaching a president who shook down a foreign ally to get a political favor for his election. I call that a crime and abuse of power and exactly what the founders had in mind when they created impeachment to put a check on corrupt presidents.

  145. " do what is right for the nation or do what is politically expedient for the most corrupt president in American history." You missed a third option: Do what is self-gratifying and self-serving. Republicans have all chosen the third option, satiating their own desires, regardless.

  146. Schiff said many times that he has secret information that proves Trump was in collusion with the Russians. That would be a slam dunk impeachment basis. The only reason I can think of that Schiff won’t reveal it is that it implicates high level Democrats in wrongdoing.

  147. @William McCain The Mueller Report, Part 1, already proved the collusion between Trump and the Russians. He just could not prove it beyond a reasonable doubt because the witnesses lied, refused to cooperate, destroyed evidence and used only encrypted phones. Read Part 1 of Mueller's Report. It's still on line.

  148. Sooner or later every adult has to stand and deliver their hearts and their truth, even if it gets them fired or the focus of ridicule. I know the pain of that fact, but if one doesn't have that courage, one will sink to being nothing more than a toady. I watched the Senate Republicans, and was startled to see that not one had the courage to stand and say they were opposed to the sham trial. Not one. How the heck could someone rise to such political power and not be able to stand alone when the truth demands. Hugh

  149. What is the purpose of Chief Justice Roberts presiding over this sham of a trial? I wonder what he really thinks when the Republicans and Midnight Mitch are blocking witnesses and documents from coming forward. He knows that there cannot be a fair Senate trial without witnesses. Can he in his good conscience just sit back and not intervene while he watches this hypocrisy unfold in front of the world? If anything, it says a lot about the person who sits on the highest court of this country. It tarnishes our history of the notion of what a fair trial represents. God help us all going forward!

  150. @Steve Blacher "Can he in his good conscience just sit back and not intervene while he watches this hypocrisy unfold in front of the world? " He has no "good conscience". HE gave us Citizens United! And the Hobby Lobby disgrace. His tenure has been marked by corporate obeisance and not much else. He IS "tarnishing" our history, as we watch it being made. He is no one to look up to, no leader at all. What he is is a "yuge" disappointment. He has dishonored the U.S. Constitution.

  151. Noah Bookbinder presents an uproarious argument for fairness, as it has a caveat. The process must benefit the Democrat socialist agenda and be drawn out indefinitely, if possible, to undermine the election of 2016. However, for balance, if indeed that remains a value, as the first installment in this circus was a sham, why, indeed, not proceed with another in equal unbalanced measure. Surely, Mr. Bookbinder can see the value of short and sweet, as the preceding chapter in bad television ratings is certain to disrupt the family viewing pleasure and he can only promise more of the same not-ready-for prime-time-players. Doesn’t Noah Bookbinder get it? This Twilight Zone times Outer Limits saga was over before it began, and we do not want our regular programming disrupted again. Or at least do it in subtitles to not hear the whining.

  152. @Grant I applaud your clever writing style. Content, not so much. If anyone whines incessantly, it's Trump. Wah! Everyone is out to get me, the stable genius! What a guy. And this is not about undermining the 2016 election. You know that, but it sure is easy to paint the "socialists" (ridiculous) as out to get the choice of the true patriot. This isn't over, unfortunately - for all of us.

  153. What nonsense. The Senate is a deliberative body with procedures for getting thins done. Senators can't just charge off and do their own thing. We certainly didn't see a systematic trial in the House - where were your complaints then?

  154. @Grace The House impeachment hearings were NOT a "trial", nor wee they ever intended nor defined as being such. It was the same process as a grand jury investigation, which can lead to criminal charges, as happened here. THEN the trial is carried out by the court, or, in the case of impeachment, as defined by the Constitution, by the Senate. Reading will help.

  155. The big surprise in November 2020 will be the incredible voter turnout from those who have just graduated high school. Does anyone honestly think that they are all aboard with this cabal of baby boomer and even silent generation liars and criminals? They could care less about what the economy looks like. Their interests are those that the Republican Party has abandoned for the last forty years (climate change, student loans, sensible gun laws). These young people are fired up and ready to vote. I can't wait.

  156. @Ken Quinney Ken, you may be right. I hope you are, but I wonder how many of those young people are living in red states and swing states? I fear many who are eager to vote have already moved to the coasts and will add their votes in states that already have their electoral votes locked up.

  157. Unfortunately many of those new voters are in flyover country and their parents and older siblings have been ignored by the Democrat Party which calls them “deplorables”.

  158. This trial was a scam even before it officially started. McConnel undoubtedly rendered the oath they all take as meaningless. He literally stated he had every intent to work with the president and his lawyers to whatever means they pursue. Impartial? Hardly! As I see it anyone who chooses corruption over the constitution is just another Trump.

  159. According to the four top sons of the Confederate States of America in the U.S. Senate -Mitch McConnell, Lindsey Graham, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio- since the verdict aka acquittal is already in and Trump won't be convicted and removed from office what is point of any documents or witness testimony? If only we lived in a divided limited different power constitutional republic of united states where the people wielded and were the ultimate sovereign over their elected and selected hired help. Did Trump take power via divine royal sanction selection? Or an armed uniformed military coup?

  160. @Blackmamba He won the electoral college vote. it was in all the major newspapers.

  161. @David H That doesn't give him unchecked power.

  162. @David H Correct ! He won via the long established process we have used for centuries to elect Presidents. The same process that elected Obama twice.

  163. One of the offences for which Michael Cohen is doing time, was lying under oath. So ironic that Mitch McConnell is in practice guilty of the same thing, in terms of his swearing an oath to deliver impartial justice. America's previous reputation as the champion of democratic values and the rule of law, lies discarded in the dust like a discarded snake skin. What a noble inheritance to bequeath to one's grandchildren.

  164. What could we possibly expect from Mitch McConnell? A man who stole a supreme court nomination from a sitting president and who thinks nothing of trashing Senate norms to accomplish whatever objective he desires. Power at any cost. I’m sure McConnell thinks he will have a great legacy. I think not.

  165. The extreme obligation owed by GOP incumbents to megadonors, energy extractors, oligarchs and criminal foreign interests, FOX News, Facebook, Citizens United, Evangelical Prosperity Preachers, cannot be overstated. The party has no ethical core. It is wholly owned.

  166. All of these Republicans who have sold their souls will rue the day that they allowed it to happen, Lindsey Graham and Mitch McConnell, especially.

  167. @escorpio Actually I think this will come back and haunt the Dems more. Moving forward with an Impeachment with zero bi partisan support is going to be the new norm.

  168. Chief Justice Roberts has a front row seat for McConnell's subversions of the intent of the Constitution. We can hope Roberts will be doing some serious soul-searching as a result.

  169. @The Poet McTeagle He will not. If Roberts had a soul, corporations would not be equal to humans.

  170. You missing the point by saying let the voters decide in November: the president is impeached and on trial because he is attempting to rig the election. If the senate gives him a pass, they are essentially giving a green light to election tampering and November’s results will be meaningless.

  171. @Jeffrey Schantz I think the NY Time's lack of a Biden endorsement did more harm to the upcoming election then Trump asking the Ukrainians if there was any validity to Biden's own statement of his own qid pro quo video footage. This impeachment is a waste of time. The final results are already known.

  172. I fully expect that, even with slightly increased amount of time that certain senate republicans felt obligated to request, this was always going to be a mere formality for the GOP. Their position isn't changing, merely the way they explain it. But that isn't nothing - giving the public a more complete trial will allow more information to surface and be dealt with publicly. It will force certain members of the party to deal with harsh facts or testimony every day it goes on. Whether that will impact the election, only time will tell. Trump has seemed unusually well insulated for this sort of scandal. But it needs to happen as completely as possible, as a precedent and as a way of forcing our leadership to openly discuss what happened.

  173. "An impeachment trial is only meaningful if the American people can have confidence in the fairness of the process; only then will the trial’s verdict be worthy of respect. " Replace the word "trial" (Senate) above with the word "investigation" (House) and you will then begin to understand why Mr. McConnell is attempting to inoculate Mr. Trump. Is it right or wrong? I don't know. But what I do know is that what's good for the goose is good for the gander.

  174. Duh. Of course. Remember this is the guy who refused to even interview Obama’s SCOTUS nominee. He’s a political hack with no other goal than obtaining power for his donors, regardless of the rules, norms, laws, or ethics he needs to trample on. He’s a fraud.

  175. I feel that those Republican senators that are attorneys should be considered for disbarment. If any of them had practiced in this manner in a regular court of law it would be a disgrace.

  176. Republican senators are loyal only to trump and despise the American constitution.They've been this way for decades.Under trump the mask has finally come off and Americans can now see them for the petty,injurious creatures that they really are.

  177. I used to think that when I look up "evil" in the dictionary there should be a photo of Trump. Now, I think it should be a photo of McConnell. He's certainly done more damage to America, though nobody tells more lies or more malicious lies than Trump. Let's face it, when it comes to picking out an icon for evil or reprehensible characters in the Republican Party there's awesome competition going on. Lindsey Graham's photo should be in the dictionary, too; right next to the word "hypocrite". But there's a lot of competition among Republicans for that one, too.

  178. McConnell - shamelessly corrupt. Wrapped up in the facade of a "southern gentleman." Winning at any cost is his only goal. Wearing his bright red tie to honor his leader, trump, at the expense of us all, our country and our democracy. Vote trump, McConnell and his Republican henchman out in 2020! Our future and our children's future depend on it.

  179. McConnell doesn't care about America or Trump. He is only interested in saving his party from the downfall and negative impact this will have in the future of being exposed for the incompetent corrupt party they are.

  180. Seeing how Bernie is both the top Democratic nominee, and also the one most likely to defeat Trump.... I think we may have a 2020 Tsunami on our hands, and can pretty much kiss the Republican Party goodbye for a generation, or more. From here in out it’s Conservative Democrats — Hillary Clinton, Paul Krugman, Joe Bidennsnd the like — against New Deal/Fair Deal/Green Deal Democrat’s like Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez. That’s the future; enjoy the clown show going on in the Senate as a farewell to the past!

  181. McConnell's wife works for Trump, he makes sure Kentucky gets far more federal money than the state pays in taxes, he's the most belligerent senator in congress. Of course he's going to protect the most corrupt president in modern US history, he has to much to lose if he was fair and a honest.

  182. 69 percent of us want witnesses at the senate trial - a Mickey Mouse trial, where the accused and over half the jurors collude and conspire to set the rules of the trial, oh what a mockery of good governance - but that 69 percent is a mere statistic. There ain’t nothin’ none of the 69 percent can do now to set things right and force Mitch and the corrupt GOP to ensure a fair trial. Poor old Roberts is presiding over this sham, this mockery, and his reputation should go down the drain, fast. What a farce..

  183. The Whitewater investigation was about Clinton's personal finances before he was president. It cost $100 Million in today's dollars. I'd go for that for Trump. I give Republicans credit for being shameless and getting away with amazing hypocrisy. Having Fox News on their side helps. And I wonder if Mitch McConnell will look back on his deathbed and see what he is doing to our country.

  184. @Independent McConnell is not a stupid man. He knows perfectly well what he is doing to our country. And so far he is pleased.

  185. Are there prominent voices on television news today, or in op-eds, of past Republican Senators and Representatives calling out the McConnell-led Senate Republicans for the scoundrels that they are? If their past public service was not mere self-service, why have they not formed a visible, public-serving group to try to counter the anti-fairness, anti-honesty, anti-democracy bones of today's Trumplican Senators? Did they become crass self-servants overnight? No. They cannot even speak against the fact of white supremacist Stephen Miller's high level government job. Democrats, independents, Green Partyers, and disaffected Republicans: please pressure your representatives to ensure use of unriggable, unhackable paper ballots in the November 2020 election in every state, and vote the bums out of the White House, out of the Cabinet, out of the Senate, out of the House, out of our homes and hearts and minds.

  186. [email protected] Gould Rick Wilson, Max Boot, Ana Navarro come to mind. Not former elected representatives, but prominent (except on Fox News and Breitbart) conservative voices who think Trump and McConnell are seriously damaging our country.

  187. Lindsay Graham said to Jerry Nadler: “To my Democratic colleagues, you can say what you want about me, but I’m covering up nothing. I’m exposing your hatred of this president to the point that you would destroy the institution.“ Of course this is a total lie. To obvious way to *expose* the Democrats is to present *evidence* that their actions are corrupt. What Graham wants no evidence ... he doesn't even want to read the evidence already presented.

  188. @WZ Graham has become one of the biggest liars in the senate. He sold his soul to the devil. McCain must be rolling over in his grave how low his old friend has fallen.

  189. So, McConnel, like Trump, think that they are above the law because of the position they serve. How is this happening in this day and age? Disgraceful!

  190. One thing we have learned without question: when Dems finally take over (bound to happen sometime, dead squirrels, broken watches, and all...) Chief Justice Roberts must stand, hands bound, head bowed, in the dock with Mitch. Two more faithless men are inconceivable.

  191. Let's be completely honest and admit once and for all the all the politicians are motivated by their specific parties best interests. I don't believe that their are even a dozen of them that are actually looking for the full truth. I do think that Nancy Pelosi is using this to remove the president. the election. I also think that as the sitting US President that asking another countries leader to investigate a political rival and his kid could be seen as pressure. However, I don't think it was to the extent of what Nancy is making it out to be. I think that the House and Senate have spent too much time and money attacking each other and our president. It is time for this to end and for them to work for the good of the American people and not themselves!!!! Facts: They are using almost the exact same protocols they use for Bill Clinton, except they are giving the president and republicans the cant to actually question the witness testimony which the house didn't let them participate in. THAT IS FAIR!!!

  192. @Heather Total lie that the "house didn't let them participate." The republicans called 1/3 of the witnesses and were in every deposition given the same amount of time to ask questions. You obviously did not watch the House hearings They are still available on line to watch if you want to become informed.

  193. @Heather Some of us think that the good of the American people demands the removal from office of Trump, and some of us think that it demands the removal from power of the establishment, the deep state that got us Iraq and the Rust Belt and is defending itself by attacking Trump. Some of us think that the power of both must be limited and transparent. Ending this means coming to a general agreement about Trump, government power, business power, the current distribution of wealth and income, the optimal distribution of wealth and income, how to decide what is optimal, and, most important, how we can agree to disagree without debilitating power struggles. That was what the Constitution was supposed to enable. It broke down in 1860, and is breaking down again. The last time, we solved the breakdown with our worst war.

  194. @Heather Ummm.. are you forgetting that Trump ordered people who were present and had knowledge of this incident not to testify? Or were you just unaware of this?

  195. Mitch MkKremlin needs some serious civil disobedience as a wake up call. His actions are an insult to the American people, trashing the rule of law, spitting on justice.

  196. @Hector MkKremlin! Too funny. But true.

  197. See no evil, hear no evil, speak evil. That, in a nutshell, is the Republican strategy in it’s refusal to allow the truth to be examined in the trial.

  198. When November comes and McConnell is booted into retirement may it be plum awful.

  199. @Ken Too good for him. He should instead become the Minority Leader. Then Senator Schumer could tell him to go pound sand every day.

  200. If the impeachment was a deeply flawed process as is asserted by McConnell and the right, then it will be self evident in a fair trial; McConnell would only be letting the Democrats shoot themselves in the foot. So why doesn't he? Why doesn't Trump and his supporters want to make the Dems look foolish? The answer is obvious - that they don't want the truth to come out in a fair trial. I just hope history sorts this out and paints this for what it is - a shameful dereliction of their sworn duty in order to cover-up for a corrupt President who has completely bullied them into submission.

  201. All white juries in the Jim Crow era routinely acquitted white defendants who were credibly charged and tried for lynching black victims. At least those Jim Crow juries pretended to hear evidence before ignoring their duty to render impartial justice. The Republican led Senate has decided to dispense with even the appearance of a fair trial. No evidence. No documents. No witnesses. Hear no evil. See no evil. Speak no evil. McConnell’s order to his Republican troops amounts to “Ready, Fire, Aim”. Of course once all the troops have blindly and obediently fired then McConnell will argue there’s no longer a reason to aim. Case closed.

  202. @Gene Some of the Jim Crow juries did not get to hear evidence, but it did not bother them because they saw no need to deliberate and often returned verdicts after just a few minutes. They came from areas with a great respect for Law and Order, both of which involved segregation.

  203. I can only imagine what this moment in history will look like even as soon as 10 years from now. How absurd, to allow the President to refuse to allow testimony regarding his own impeachment! How openly cowardly, for a political party to march in lockstep behind him, with no regard for their constitutional duties! How duplicitous, for Senators of one party to take an oath at the onset, only to immediately band together to disallow any and all meaningful testimony, thinking that if they don't allow the facts to be revealed, it provides cover for them to claim there is "insufficient evidence" to impeach. Having grown up in the post-WWII era, I remember how many people looked down on Germany and wondered how a country would allow such Nazi atrocities. Families of German ethnicity were reluctant to reveal where previous generations immigrated from. I see a similar shame developing among Americans. It's very sad.

  204. Where were you and your sacrosanct views when the Democrats were doing the actual impeachment trial in the House? They did not allow any defense or Republican witnesses, and classic now that they are insisting treatment that they did not give themselves. American are not stupid, we know this is a sham.

  205. @Pls The republicans called 1/3 of the witnesses in the House hearings. Look it up. It was not the democrats fault that all of the witnesses and evidence confirmed Trump's guilt.

  206. @Pls The committees that did the impeachment had Republicans on them, and the Republicans were allowed to question the witnesses. Some of the witnesses were Republicans, and more Republicans were called and did not show up. Mick Mulvaney showed the sort of defense that defense witnesses would have offered; if his news conferences had been given under oath, he would have faced perjury charges.

  207. @Pls, the impeachment hearing was not a "trial". Impeachment hearings in the House are more like grand jury hearings that might or might not result in an indictment. Now that the House has impeached (indicted) Trump, the actual trial will occur in the Senate. The defendant's counsel could invite witnesses to support their claim of innocence assuming that the Republicans vote to allow new witness testimony. They seem to fear that, since testimony by the first-hand witnesses in the Administration are more likely to support the case for removal from office than to be exculpatory for Trump.

  208. Sure, McConnell is a bonafide scam artist, but passing the 2nd impeachment resolution concerning obstruction charges stemming from the Steele Dossier, is quite the scam as well. Why would you pair dubious articles of impeachment (Russiagate) with legitimate articles of Impeachment (Ukraine Pressure)? Equally scam-my.

  209. @Sean The obstruction charge has to do with the President "obstructing congress" and has nothing to do with the Steel Dossier. You have mingled two different investigations.

  210. @Sean The second impeachment resolution has nothing to do with the Steele dossier and everything to do with Trump's stonewalling of Congress, his refusal to allow them to perform their constitutionally-mandated oversight of presidential actions.

  211. @Sean You’re confused Sean.. Steele has nothing to do with this.. Trump has already been impeached..

  212. Maybe this is for the best. The more McConnell crafts this trial to differ from what everyone knows a legal trial involves, such as witnesses for example, the easier it is for middle of the road voters to know that a Trump acquittal is not Kosher.

  213. We have a serious problem in our Country. Elected officials who are more interested in party politics then protecting the laws of our Country.

  214. @KF You are too kind. They are interested only in themselves, Party is a possible second, but could be third or fourth after faith and family. Country is somewhere in the back of beyond, out of sight and mind.

  215. @KF I do not think that is true of the majority of elected officials. Some are pretty craven, but most are doing what they think is right. It’s just that the ones who think a march toward a conservative Taliban style evangelical theocracy is a good thing are horribly misguided.

  216. Today Trump said that traumatic brain injury wasn't serious, that the soldiers injured in the shelling of the American base in Iraq only "had headaches." Soldiers aren't usually evacuated to Germany because of headaches. These soldiers were evacuated due to suspected brain trauma. Trump's behavior becomes more erratic and bizarre by the day. Soon, the GOP won't be able to predict his strange behavior. Why are they protecting him now when this is their golden opportunity to remove him before he becomes more embarrassing and likely to commit more crimes?

  217. @Linda Well, today Trump also said the US invented the wheel. By golly I did not know that. What were the warriors in Rome riding on in their chariots? Ben Hur rode a chariot, must have been a bumpy ride. Takes me back to the day when we learned that there were airports in the time of the revolutionary war. If Trump wins in 2020 general election all history books will have to be rewritten.

  218. @Linda The GOP is protecting Trump because he is a cult leader to his base. The base believes in Trump as if he's Jesus Christ himself. Nobody else has that kind of magic.

  219. Question: are the voters in Kentucky happy with how Mitch is doing his job? The real problem is that there are few rules that will ever hold Mitch accountable. He knew that Russia was meddling in the 2016 election and was glad because it benefited republicans. Party first, is his motto.

  220. @JUHallCLU So did Barack Obama. What did he do?

  221. @JUHallCLU I'm pretty sure Mitch first is his motto. The party is just enabling that.

  222. @Rozie James Tried to broker a non-partisan response that McConnell refused to participate in....? Was this a trick question?

  223. McConnell appears to have gone all in for authoritarian rule where the president is above the law and has decided to leave it up the voters if they want to continue down the authoritarian path of not, Impeachment is useless if one major party doesn't care about the Constitution. It will all come down to the election in November and it may be anticipated that Trump will welcome all the help he can get from foreign leaders to win. Obviously he can count on Putin who is following a long line of Russian leaders who have tried to destroy democracy the US. What sets Putin apart is that he is succeeding. McConnell is just trying to keep his job. He knows that much of his support comes from the authoritarian white nationalist movement and the religious right, the same two groups that form the center Trump's political base.

  224. Historian Jon Meachum said last week 35% of the US continued to approve of Joe McCarthy after his Senate hearings were closed down. Doesn’t sound like things have changed much, and Mitch McConnell his more than happy to continue the legacy.

  225. @Scott Correction: Joseph McCarthy

  226. The totally corrupted are immune to evidence, oaths, and even the impending catastrophe of the collapse of our Democratic Republic. This Impeachment is now already a farce. I do not see more than one or 2 Republican Senators voting to convict and certainly there is no way 67 will vote that way. It's simply not possible. The short term goals of Trump, McConnell and the Republicans is surviving, they hope, the next election. I suspect, the second he can get away with it, Trump will dismiss Congress, declare some phony national emergency, and impose martial law, with himself as the ultimate arbiter, a la the people he admires: Putin, Duterte, Xi, KJU, MBS, Bolsonaro, and Erdogan. Then they will either rejoice or react in horror and say "But I didn't know!" Yes, you did. And you won't be forgiven.

  227. @Dadof2 It was a farce the day the process started (Nov. 9, 2016).

  228. It is a bit of sleight-of-hand to demand that Senators can only show their impartiality by voting to convict a man who has not committed a crime, as demanded by the Constitution, for an impeachment to be made. The impeachment of the current President was a purely political move that invents a conspiracy for which there is no evidence. While Trump is the current "Whipping boy" for the House the real issue involved is the obvious attempt to usurp executive powers from the Executive Branch. The US has a particularly strong presidential system which the Democrats are attempting to undermine. As conceived, the President was to be a temporary king whose powers were circumscribed in the area of finance so as to prevent the ruining of the country by wars. Congress has failed its responsibility to limit wars and the insane amount of military spending. Instead, they are Encroaching on Presidential powers of conducting foreign policy. Let's hope that the Republican Senate recognizes the fundamental issue involved, and votes for an acquittal of a man who has not committed any "High Crimes or misdemeanors."

  229. Trump calling the Impeachment process a "scam" is not an opinion, it's a bald-faced lie. It's a constitutionally enshrined tool for getting rid of a corrupt President. Until this point, it has functioned correctly. No, the only scam around is being perpetrated by Trump and his craven partner in crime, Mitch McConnell, who has already violated his Oath to coordinate directly with the White House to rig the trial. That's the real scam. And I have no hope that the rest of the GOP Senators will have the courage to do the right thing, even though Trump's Obstruction of Justice and Abuse of Power is exactly why the founders gave us Impeachment. Unfortunately, not even they could have envisioned that a majority party would be so wholly corrupted as to actually destroy the balance of powers and the Constitution to protect a criminally-minded President. They are setting a very, very dangerous precedent, the stain of which may never be removed.

  230. Mitch McConnell is clearly in agreement with Vladimir Putin, who also believes that the impeachment of Trump is a scam. Is it possible that McConnell is a Russian asset, especially after the Russians built that large aluminum plant in Kentucky. Out of all the places in the world they might have located a factory, they chose Kentucky. Draw your own conclusions.

  231. Once this farce is over with, impeachment should be started against every single Senator who has not taken it seriously, and perjured themselves knowingly. Just a day or so ago McConnell was calling for fairness in this trial - now he has dismissed 11 amendments without a second glance, there is still no surety that witnesses will be allowed - despite every impeachment trial before this one having done so, including ones who had new information not in the Congressional files submitted. McConnell has said repeatedly that he has modeled this trial after Clinton's, but it's nothing at all like it - it's anything but. It's a farce, and a whitewash, and some are going to get rewards out of their betrayal to their oath of office. McConnell is a blatant liar and a conman - much like his boss. He needs to be held accountable as well. He is a disgrace to the oath, the office and the Constitution.

  232. We should do the same with every Representative who decided to impeach without allowing all of the evidence to be presented by either side.

  233. @William McCain No, the House followed the rules in how they conducted the proceeding. They actually tried to hear from administration officials, issuing lawful subpoenas to administration officials, but trump prevented them from testifying. His "side" could have been heard but apparently his side would not have helped him.

  234. @ds If they didn't obey Trump directly they placed it before the courts then acted as though they wanted to testify but their hands were tied - just as Bolton did. These ones weren't even man enough to make a decision themselves either way - they needed someone else to decide for them. In Bolton's case he was all about his book deal, he held off and then decided he would testify after all if he was subpoenaed.