A Dishonorable Senate

Republican legislators abdicated their duty by refusing to seek the truth.

Comments: 246

  1. Let's hope that the Senate's betrayal of the the US Constitution empowers Democrats to vote this November. If Democrats retreat into cynical despair and refuse to vote, then they're helping the Republicans to bury our American Democracy.

  2. @Cynthia It doesn't matter. The US electoral and political system is flawed beyond repair. No candidate with the fewest wins should preside and the Senate majority should not represent 20% of the population. Voting is essentially useless in the USA unless it is a vote in the least populated state.

  3. Don’t put this on Democrats. The Democratic members of the House upheld their oaths of office to hold responsible a president who has committed high crimes and misdemeanours. If the Republicans, by failing to uphold the oaths they took at the beginning of the Senate impeachment “trial”, tacitly approve of the president cheating to win an election, the Democrats can hardly be blamed if that cheating results in four more years of a Trump administration.

  4. @Cynthia Cynical despair is what I feel. I'll vote and since I'm in Michigan and we have a democratic secretary of state, my vote may even be counted. However, I have absolutely no doubt that states with Republican secretary of states will "lose" democratic ballots, close polling stations in democratic areas, and just plain cross democrats off the voting rolls. We now live in a Republican dictatorship. The fact that most people don't recognize that after years of Republican cheating boggles my mind.

  5. I am so saddened by the current state of our “democracy”. What happened to the idea of representation? Why do the Republicans seem to be able to manipulate (gerrymander) themselves into power? I don’t want any favors, but I do want fairness in government. I don’t love paying taxes, but if everyone benefits, I’m happier about it. No more oligarchs. No more tax breaks for the 1%. Health care is a human right. Literally, ANY ONE ELSE in 2020

  6. @M Hear! Hear!

  7. This impeachment was from the beginning a political process. The trial in the congress was a high handed abuse of power of Mr. Schiff. The whistleblower’s was identified and should have testified. Mr. Trump was guilty of misdemeanor but not bad enough to be impeached. As mentioned by Mr. Dershowitz it should be bipartisan process. The entire process was basically was undertaken to embarrass Mr. Trump and take over the White House by the Democrats. Even though Mr. Trump was not impeached the seriousness of the process is cheapened and expect to used frequently in the future, You can only blame Ms. Nancy Pelosi for this historic mistake.

  8. Trump was impeached. This process was about whether to remove him from office. The gop controlled senate was never going to vote to remove him but he was impeached by the house before the trial began.

  9. @UKyankee What was abusive about anything Schiff did? Republicans had full participation. It wasn't bipartisan because Republicans were determined to gnaw at the edges of the process rather than deal with the testimony. Having the whistleblower testify would not have changed any of the subsequent testimony that proved everything in the WB complaint to be true. As for the Democrats trying to take over the White House through impeachment, I think you can be forgiven for not understanding how it works here in America. If a president is removed, the opposing party does not take power. The vice president does. The vice president is Mike Pence. He is very much a Republican.

  10. @UKyankee You're incorrect on a few matters. Trump is clearly guilty of what was described as High Crimes and Misdemeanors by the founders--read Federalist 65 for a clear explanation of this. Abuse of presidential power to benefit one's personal interests is exactly what they were concerned about, along with foreign involvement in US affairs. The whistleblower did not testify because it was clear that Trump and his supporters are determined to exact revenge upon him. He and his family have already been threatened multiple times--if he testified, it would only make the situation more dangerous for them. Democrats won't be on the White House if Trump is removed--Pence would take over. I agree, it should have been bipartisan. People assumed Republicans would also be on board with impeaching Trump, once they saw all the evidence. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case. Impeachment is always going to be a political process.

  11. Perhaps the truth that the Senate Republicans are concealing is bigger than the conduct of Donald Trump and his scheme to swift boat Joe Biden. Shutting down the trial without testimony might look bad with respect to Trump; but maybe the tactic is designed to protect the rest of a much bigger Republican scheme. Are Republicans suppressing information about a Trump orchestrated plan to launch a swift boat navy against Democrat candidates for offices across the country? A swift boat navy targeted against Democrats around the country would be bigger than Nixon's efforts to influence the Vietnam peace talks, or his use of the IRS and Watergate burglars. It would be bigger than the Reagan campaign's collusion with Iran to release the hostages after the election. It would be Trumpian - the biggest act of election theft ever!

  12. @Bill also remember: both the DNC and RNC were hacked...only the DNC emails were published. Kinda makes one wonder what was in the RNC’s emails, huh? And what else Trump and Putin have on the GOP? Like maybe something involving the NRA and Russian money for instance?

  13. The shattering of another American institution. So much for the quaint notion of country over party. A few questions: When do they start investigating McConnell and his ties to the Russian oligarch and the aluminum plant??? Or, thanks to CItizen's United, how much in donations did he dole out to senators in exchange for their votes? And what are they going to do about Pat Cipollone--aren't there some legal ethics violations here? Since they're so outraged about nepotism, how about they start passing some legislation about it? This is both heartbreaking and frightening.

  14. @ImagineMoments : You're quite right. The problem, however, is precisely the opposite: they're not disinterested. If they were, we wouldn't be in this mess. They're uninterested. And that lack of interest is fatal to any democracy.

  15. @CR I am very glad to see another commenter remarking on McConnell's inexcusable connection to Russian oligarch, Oleg Deripaska, who was disallowed from doing business in the U.S. until the Trump Admin gave him a pass. I'd like to know the current status of Rusal's $300MM investment in the Kentucky aluminum mill, and I'd certainly like to know the history, considering Deripaska's investment came only a short time after Mitch successfully lobbied to have Russian sanctions lifted. It may sound shrill, but I have very serious concerns about whether Republicans' drooling lust for power & money has led them to sell our Democracy to Russia. Mueller didn't say he examined the evidence and found no connection of a Trump campaign conspiracy with Russia, what he said was that no one who potentially had evidence cooperated with his investigation. Given the many, many aberrant & corrupt activities of the WH and Congressional Republicans, I would bet that evidence, if it could be torn from the clutches of the criminal cognoscenti, would be jaw-dropping.

  16. @CR There is no point in calling for investigations into those matters, for those with power DON'T CARE, and the American public is too disinterested to give the matter much thought.

  17. So many twisted words. I found The Murkowski and Alexander comments the most disappointing. Why does the constitution provide for impeachment - it provides it for wrongdoing. Their arguments are the same as the one McConnell used against Merrick Garland. If a Supreme Court opening occurred now, before the election, would they defer to the election. Not likely. And rushing the process, how much more does Trump have to do and say to act like he cares about the United States of America more than he cares about himself. He uses legal tricks to prevent testimony and drag things out - whether it is his tax returns or allowing subpoenaed witnesses to testify. How much more damage will he do before the next election. When you sell your soul, It’s not about high minded excuses. You have simply sold your soul.

  18. @Susan Alexander and Murkowski are not only disappointing but more dangerous than Mitch or Lindsay. At least Mitch and Lindsay are transparently partisan to the core and make no apology. But Lamar and Lisa want to have the pie and eat it too. They want to come as high sounding moralistic leader, while all the time they are carrying the water for the boss man. That's how autocrats get traction. Collins did the same for Kavanaugh hearing. She wants to appeal to tge independents while keeping her core base. Romney has shown some guts and give glimmer of hope. The House Managers were excellent, each one of them. Most pathetic was of course Dershowitz in my opinion. His argument so vile and banal for our democracy.

  19. @Susan Alexander basically said that no impeachment should ever remove a President. If it were to do so, it would have to be initiated in the early days of the President's term to meet Alexander's criteria. Moreover, he is clearly afraid of a citizen uprising, of those MAGA red-bloods who are armed and care nothing for the 1st Amendment and cherish the 2nd's power to quash free speech, rioting and taking aim at any Senator who has the courage to vote against Trump. This deserves the label "coward."

  20. You covered all the bases. It is a sad state of affairs when honesty and morality are set aside for political gain. News was released today on the wealth inequality in our nation. Always amazes me how people vote against their own self interests.

  21. @Harry - Many of Trump’s supporters are not alarmingly intelligent.

  22. Fifty-one Senators are complicit in Mr. Trump's abuse of power and obstruction. The precedent set by their actions today will go down in history as contributing to the decline of U.S. democracy. A sad day.

  23. @Diane Palmintera it's certainly a sad day not just for the US but also for the rest of the world. I say this because anything that happens there has an inevitable bearing on everybody else. I for one was sad when Ms. Clinton was denied the office, and even though I was sure that the Republicans won't allow Mr. Bolton's testimony I still had a ray of hope, sadly, not so anymore!!!

  24. @Diane Palmintera: To the list of "51 senators," I would also add Susan Collins. She did no one a favor by waiting to cast her vote at the very last minute, after she knew Lamar Alexander was providing her cover. His vote made it clear to her that her vote did not matter, and now she could fool her constituents by voting "yes". She made it seem she was in favor of evidence, when in truth she's always been afraid of trump. Yet she enabled him. People like her, who use a political calculus, are solely to blame. If she were truly wanting to stop trump's blatant corruptions, if she truly wanted Bolton's and Parnas' evidence presented, she would have voted much earlier. That could have influenced other republican senators to go against trump as a small group with her. Instead she showed extreme weakness, and capitulation. I will be donating to her opponent in Maine. #RemoveSusanCollins

  25. @Diane Palmintera Make no mistake about it - all 53 are complicit and will defy the law and precedent with the slight of hand that is decided in a back room.

  26. I remember when Trump announced what he would accomplish in the first 100 days. It included term limits for men and women in Congress. At the time McConnell said, " Ain't gonna happen". Is it any surprise that over 60% of Americans disapprove of the job that Congress is doing. Today is not going to help.

  27. Just wait until he loses the election, or his second term expires. He ain't going *anywhere*.

  28. @MadBull If he gets a 2nd term, I predict that it won't expire: he has said he wants to be president for life. We NEED to be sure there is no 2nd term for this guy.

  29. I wish I could say that there's value to the Republicans'appalling neglect in that it shines a bright light on our broken government. But that hope wild be based on

  30. “I have come to the conclusion that there will be no fair the Senate,” Lisa Murkowski of Alaska said on Friday in explaining her refusal to vote to hear from any witnesses. What kind of a statement is that? Ms. Murkowski, had you voted your conscience, , at the very least, the vote for witnesses would have been 50/50, with SC Justice Roberts casting the tie-breaker. The logic of hat statement makes no sense. Of course, any other senator or senators could have voted their conscience and then we might have heard testimorny under oath that Republicans seem to be afraid of. What does Trump have over these weaklings? MAGA, really?

  31. @Ms D good point but surely Moscow Mitch made sure that the Senate rules wouldn’t allow Roberts to break a tie as the CJ did during Jackson’s impeachment; and Roberts is an institutionalist anyway. Neither he nor McConnell want something this serious (distracting to the power-hungry) decided by the courts.

  32. @Ms D Roberts explicitly told the Senate that he wouldn't vote to break any tie votes.

  33. @Ms D I certainly wish Murkowski had done so, but Roberts made plain he would NOT break a tie...& he would rule a tie as a failed vote. A 4th Republican would have been necessary to win.

  34. The more the Republicans attempt to cement their power over the government by thwarting the will of the majority the more they delegitimize the government they control. What good is winning the prize if what you do to win the prize destroys it?

  35. @617to416 The Republicans care not if their governance is legitimate, as long as it is THEIR governance that controls the power.

  36. @617to416 Sounds like you are describing democrats, not Republicans. democrats only care about power, they make up the rules to fit their purposes.

  37. Their is only one legal and satisfactory recourse: VOTE THEM ALL OUT. That have amply demonstrated their “ Values “ : Power, Money and keeping their Jobs. FAIL.

  38. @Phyliss Dalmatianz We don't have elections in the US to vote officeholders out, we hold elections to vote candidates in. The distinctions in this difference are: 1. Voters don't have a mechanism to vote anyone out. 2 a. Voters in about 1/3 of states have the option to refuse to vote for sitting Senators who run for re-election in November 2020, but not all those incumbents are running for re-election. Some, like Lamar Alexander, aren’t. That leaves no way to "vote him out” nor a way to “vote out” those not up for re-election in 2020. 2 b. Simply not voting for a given Senator running for re-election in 2020 doesn't affect that Senator's re-election success. Not voting "at all" is not "voting against." To "vote against" means voting for a viable opponent who can win. 3. Your well-intended exhortation and wish rely on the same faulty logic that Trump and his supporters, particularly, in the Senate, are pushing: It's not up to Congress to hold the President accountable, that's what elections are for. That is not what elections are for. There need to be continued efforts in the House and Senate to hold Trump accountable rather than saying, "All we have now is to rely on elections." Relying on elections in 2020 means promoting and supporting opponents of the Republican Senators running for re-election in 2020, not merely castigating and criticizing them. There need to be qualified, viable, and electable opponents, and the opponents need support, money, and votes.

  39. @Phyliss Dalmatian Trying to cast all politicians with the stain that is the modern day GOP is completely wrong. If by THEM you are referring solely to Republicans. In which case I agree.

  40. @Phyliss Dalmatian I assume that by "ALL" you are referring to Republicans. If so, I agree.

  41. In not allowing witnesses and documents the Republicans have run from the truth and abdicated their duty to properly try the case. In appointing Cipollone, who appears to have actually participated in the corrupt scheme, they have further degraded the process and made a mockery of our system. The Republicans are signaling that impeachable behavior is not worth scrutiny, our democracy and national security need not be defended, and honoring their oath is not necessary if it is politically inconvenient. The rule of law is further weakened, as is our faith in the construct of our government to have fair and operational checks and balances. Through their actions, it appears that the Constitution now has only selective relevance. It is all shameful.

  42. "75% OF VOTERS SAY ALLOW WITNESSES IN SENATE IMPEACHMENT TRIAL," read a Quinnipiac University poll headline. Usually, politicians pay attention to the polls. Republicans, it appears, opted to obey to Trump's diktats than listen to the people. If 75% of the voters who felt witnesses should be allowed went to the polls and expressed their displeasure at the Republicans, the Democrats will gain the majority in the Senate. Now, that would be a welcome change.

  43. @RK The GOP must be so confident in their voter obstruction efforts now that they no longer need to worry what the voters think.

  44. @Sasha Correct. As the Times also pointed out, Republicans' "Senate majority represents 15 million fewer Americans than the Democrats’ minority." Your state, the most populous, gets the same number of senators as Wyoming, the least populous. On the other hand, CA has 53 Representatives while Wyoming has 1. Yet, on critical issues such as confirming justices, cabinet members and, of course, impeachment, the Senate decisions usually are not representative of the more populous states. If this disparity is not addressed--and soon--there will be trouble ahead.

  45. @Sasha Yes and the big money pimps that control these prostitutes matter more then the voters. That's pretty plain to see. Disgusting but real.

  46. This sort of behavior shown by the Republicans has been the gold standard behavior of the West around the world--refusing to face truth, refusing to own up mistakes, crushing opposition without impunity; except this time it is happening right here, but with the same disdain and an eye on the demographics, maybe? What is different with Trump's behavior to Middle East?

  47. This paper for the past nearly 4 years has been pushing the idea that the real problem is the liberals for being too unreasonable and that the modest, sweet republicans just want someone to be polite to them. No one that makes their career in political news should be surprised by this, and the fact that day to day the coverage this paper provided seemed to still be convinced that there are "moderate Republicans" just as they did with every thing else. I can't wait to see them do it all again next week. All that ivy league education and its just a perpetual loop of Lucy & the football.

  48. @Concerned Citizen Spot on.

  49. Re “Republican legislators abdicated their duty by refusing to seek the truth“ Truth? Truth itself was on trial and lost. It will make a comeback, after all, the truth WILL out. Whether it’s 10 months or 10 years from now when it comes back, it will look over its shoulder, and shudder as it shines its light on the feckless behavior of the United States Senate. History will be particularly unkind to this period of perfidy and dishonor. We must all fight for truth and get out the vote come November.

  50. I am wholly sure that the constitution (lower case c) of the Democrats in this country is of an enduring nature. Yet there will soon come a time when the weight of Republican treachery will become too much to bear. Two minority elected Republican presidents, resulting in four conservative appointments to the Supreme Court, the illegal denial of a Democratic President to appoint a new Justice to that same court, the refusal of the sitting president to abide by the rule of law and now a denial of Senate for fair and equal justice for the American people. Innocent or guilty surely the most consequential trial in our country deserves all of the evidence. I can only speak for myself but the patience is wearing very thin.

  51. Now the drama is behind us. It is time for all good Republicans to gather forces to fulfill Mr. Trump's desire for lifetime tenure. Any thinking Republican can see the advantages for a lifetime term - providing parity with other world leaders, providing plenty of time for strategies requiring a long term gameplan, etc. The stage is set, the curtain has been lowered and the audience is falling asleep, Now is the time to strike. Make Donald J. Trump President for Life! I have no doubt that this is a goal of many Republicans, and especially McConnell. They have a plan, which we will hear about in due time - after the fact, perhaps.

  52. @Pierre D. Robinson, B.F., W.S. I fear you are right. Putin is the one man Trump envies. He wants to grow up to be just like him.

  53. @Pierre D. Robinson, B.F., W.S. Lindsey Graham is patiently waiting for DJ Trump to get out of the saddle. He is sure he can ride the back of the populus, especially with the infrastructure that jumped into line with this White House.

  54. I kept hearing Republicans admit that what the president did may not have been perfect and may have been wrong, but there was just not enough evidence to warrant removal from office. Then WHY not ask for witnesses? Why obstruct the truth? What if what you are preventing from coming to light IS enough to warrant his removal from office. What have you left us with?

  55. @Diane L. "just not enough evidence" You misunderstood. There was not enough MOTIVE. The charges were too weak. The witnesses didn't promise to bring anything past that. And a trial with witnesses after the summation is rare, only when new witnesses would reverse the trial conclusions. And a trial with witnesses under executive privilege could go on for ever, which was the ignominious plan.

  56. @novoad So, your reasoning is the President can commit crimes when in office so long as they are considered minor?

  57. @Diane L. You don't get to call witnesses to fish through testimony until something favors your case. House Democrats failed to go to court to compel testimony for their own subpoenas. That decision was foolish, and now it came back to bite them

  58. Goops article. But now what? How do we communicate with the people that seem to count? How do we get the electoral college to go along with the majority of citizens? How do we reach out to our Evangelical women friends and help them understand they are driving themselves backwards? Yes vote and turn the senate blue.

  59. Maybe voting to impeach just 10 mos before an election effectively disenfranchises a significant portion of the population and yes they should get the chance to be heard re Trump. That’s an argument for not voting to impeach. But what’s the rationale for not allowing testimony, which would help voters make their decision?

  60. @GC Trump had a great opportunity to be heard: five of his close people were subpoenaed -- asked to testify. They could tell Trump's story. Which is why Trump blocked their testimony. They would have had to either tell the truth or face perjury. Are you not stunned that the Senate is giving a pass on this?

  61. @GC No, that is a terrible reason. It doesn't matter how close or far away from an election you are. Illegal is illegal. Immoral is immoral. Unethical is unethical. Corrupt is corrupt. The fact that it's an election year does not mean elected officials get to break the rules. It does not disenfranchise anyone. The people can vote again in 10 months, as you just pointed out.

  62. In other countries, such sham politics would be cause for revolution. Here, it’s now business as usual. I fear that soon, we will become those other countries, that have neither democracy nor revolution.

  63. The Democrats in this case did lose money by betting that the Republicans were not so cynical as to disregard logic, facts, the constitution and any part of the American future that is unrelated to their re-election. Also, the Democrats built a case that relied on a not-obvious-to-everyone interpretation of a passage in a doctored Trump “transcript.” The whole Biden conspiracy theory might not be true, but it is easy to understand. The Democrats might have helped their case with the American people more if they had included an easy-to-understand witness intimidation charge. One of the major themes of the Trump administration is witness intimidation: Michael Cohen, Ambassador Yovanovich, the whistle blower, Robert Muelller and many others have been subject to intimidation tactics when they decided to provide information that might be damaging to Trump. Plus, the fact that witness intimidation is a crime would have negated all but the most hyperbolic parts of Alan Dershowitz’s argument. And it would have made the House Managers’ argument less mind-numbingly repetitive.

  64. @Mike Today's decision was not made by the American people. It was made in the main, by old men defending their turf with neither respect nor concern for the common good.

  65. @Mike Mitch McConnell had no intention of holding an actual trial — regardless of the charges brought, and regardless of the evidence and testimony. The position of the GOP is that Trump can, in fact, shoot somebody on Fifth Avenue, just so so long as he claims it was "in the national interest." The reason is that the GOP has nobody, other than Don the Con, who could possibly win in 2020. For that reason alone they'll defend anything he does, no matter how reprehensible, and no matter how it damages the nation.

  66. Thanks to the NYT Editorial Board for getting this out in such a timely fashion. Readers remember that Republicans' defense of the Constitution will be back in force should a Democrat become president. This is only about power. Cojmmenters rightly decry the demise of American democracy. Jill Lepore's timely piece in the current New Yorker says that America and other countries in the world have seen democracy at risk in the past, just as we do in the present. Regrettably, past instances led to dire consequences. Don't think I need to finish this thought.

  67. How sad that the rampant cynicism in regard to politics that I see among those under age 40 has yet again been shown to be warranted. To believe, as Lamar Alexander does, that Trump did it, but that it is not grounds for removing him from office means that pretty much impeachment as a check on any president is dead. Unless of course he is caught in an affair of the flesh, a la Clinton. Affairs of national security, hurting an ally, using the power of the office to extort...nah, no big deal. Business as usual for Republicans.

  68. @A Mannisto As Mulvaney told us when the whistleblower complaint first surfaces...."we do it all the time". Are we really going to "get used to it"?

  69. Until Trump the Republicans didn't realize they could get away with all this. Now they know. Or, at least, they think they know. They've always wanted this power. They've always done all they thought possible to get it and keep it. Will this new discovery work over time, or have they overreached? The elections this year will be telling, but not conclusive. The battle for truth, the rule of law, and for democracy will never end.

  70. @dairubo Nonsense. The Republicans have been pulling shtick like this for decades. McConnell’s hold on the Garland nomination was only one of the more recent. They’ve been pulling this in the states through the use of Conservative think tanks that write reactionary legislation that is then simply introduced and passed as if they had done the study behind the legislation.

  71. Putin is reveling in the neutering of our Congressional processes, our checks and balances system and the deepening tribal divisions in our country. Putin and Russia are the real winners here, thanks to the hand-ringing Murkowski and her fellow PUTIN REPUBLICANS, who have taken a wrecking ball to our Constitution and the democratic traditions that have been our solid foundation since the birth of our nation. It is a sad day, when we have such impotent Senators and Congressman. Many thanks to the House Managers for an outstanding job of proving their case. Americans will benefit from their hard work. Too bad the PUTIN REPUBLICANS failed to act to uphold the witness and evidence votes to make this an almost fair trial.

  72. @BIS Citizen’s United ruling allowed for funneling of Russian money into Republican campaign coffers. No more begging the same donors over and over - it is their drug of choice now and they are hooked. It is no wonder they allow for Trump’s behavior - if they punish him not only does their gravy train end but he would drag every last one of them through the mud too.

  73. @BIS Putin, for one, is definitely not tired of all the winning. He's on a roll that will last at least another year.

  74. @BIS Obama was Putin's man. He didn't give defensive weapons to the Ukrainians while they were killed by Putin. And Hillary bought her dossier from Putin's people...

  75. I disagree with the criticism of the Democrats. Democrats in the House had a very difficult choice. The media and critics all argued the longer impeachment went on, the more unfair it would be to the 2020 election. We can't have a Senate trial on the eve of the election. So they did their best. And in the end it would not have changed the outcome. The Senate would not convict if Trump shot someone on 5th Avenue. But I do hope the House continues hearings and calls Bolton to testify. The public wants witnesses and the truth.

  76. @Bullmoose No, American "democracy" is tilted so conservative, non-progressive voters have out-sized influence.

  77. @Leslie Mr. Schiff and the other House managers were excellent. I found it interesting that not once did the Trump lawyers say he was innocent. So, that means, the Senate allowed a guilty man to go unchecked. That is how history will see it. One last note, I found Ms. Bondi way out of her element. Ludicrous at times.

  78. @Leslie No, by this time next week, all of this will be in the rear-view mirror. We'll forget about the impeachment, just as we forgot the Mueller hearing, and Stormy Daniels, and Trump University, and Trump Steaks, and cheating all of those foreign-born construction workers out of their pay...

  79. All is not lost. There probably will be a steady drip of new testimony (some in the House) and new documents that reveal more illegal and/or unethical behavior. It only has to be strong enough to convince two or three percent of voters to shift their vote for president from Republican to Democrat. Now is the time for intense struggle to save our democracy.

  80. @carl40a I just think too many of Trump's supporters have drunk the Kool-Aid. He's right. He could kill someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue at noon on a weekday and they would still vote for him.

  81. @carl40a You know that once Trump has been "vindicated," he will crow like a rooster at every rally and soar to even greater "heights." His SOTU speech is on Tuesday, the Senate will vote to acquit him by Wednesday, and on Thursday, he will do the most horrible thing he can think of, just to prove that he can.

  82. So the question left hanging by Impeached Forever 45*'s defenders - and their legal arguments - is: "Why does America need a Congress, Senate, or SCOTUS, if they are no longer co-equal branches which can exercise any control over the Executive Branch?" The maintenance/feeding of democratic institutions and processes meant to serve as checks on one another is an expensive business, and their perversion under this regime has neutered them - we could empty out a lot of expensive, no longer useful D.C. real estate and sell it to lobbyists seeking favor and audiences at 1600 Penn, besides dispensing with huge numbers of government personnel and their benefits, no longer needed in our age of Rule by Tweet. As well, since only the Tweet of the moment is operative, with no straight line logic back to yesterday's or last week's or tomorrow's Tweets on the same subject, there is no further need for keeping records for reference, etc., freeing up even more vast real estate and employee cutbacks. Direct any questions on the above to Extremely Stable Genius 45*'s Twitter account; he'll answer when he's off the golf course.

  83. @R. Law Wow, excellent question.

  84. The die has been cast, and the American Experiment is close to dying. The national election this fall will likely be our last chance to arrest the forces of plutocracy and authoritarianism, if even this fall is too late. The more voter suppression and gerrymandering become embedded, the more powerful do those who would suppress and gerrymander become. Courts are packed with judges beholden to the crown, and Senators genuflect before the power of Caesar.... there is no power to stop our inexorable march to self destruction. One last free election. Maybe, if the results have not been tabulated already in Moscow, simply waiting to be released on election night. Does anyone truly think it not a possibility for the power to go out mysteriously in multiple inner city polling sites, or voters to be mailed ballot information with incorrect addresses or hours? Those actions, and much worse, will become the norm, and very quickly they will become the legal standard, done in the name of "national security interest".

  85. @ImagineMoments The phrase, already coined by Trump's shameless defenders, is "in the national interest."

  86. @ImagineMoments I truly wish could gently criticise your comment as being exaggerated and dramatic, but the sad fact is, IM, I believe you have hit the nail on the head. The American experiment in constitutional republican democracy is imperiled, seriously imperiled. We face misinformation, ignorance, greed, polarization and a broad mass of folks who appear to dislike the strain of thinking.

  87. @ImagineMoments We've seen worse. Study history.

  88. IMHO, ignore the presidential election. Trump will win. Big Wall Street institutions (JP M Organ and Goldman Sachs to name two, have already called the election internally for high-level investors. Why do you think the stock market is soaring in spite of all the domestic political instability? I've been privy to some of those under-the-radar discussions). All focus must be on the senate (ESPECIALLY in Kentucky where we can Moscow Mich O-U-T) so that we can re-impeach in the House and with a friendly senate actually get the job done. 202 is 100% about the senate at this point.

  89. I had some confidence that Chief Justice Roberts would discover a way to preside over the trial in a manner that would allow for a full presentation of evidence -- including documents and witnesses -- against Trump. I was wrong.

  90. @A. Stanton Me too. I didn't think he would accept a role as a house plant when he knew his presence would give the proceedings an imprimatur of justice and fairness. I can accept that Roberts' interpretation that his duty to "preside" was limited to actions as a parliamentarian. But because he was used to cover crimes and outright lies by Republican counsel he has a duty to write to the public- A presiding judge opinion, similar to a Supreme Court opinion- to mitigate the political damage in which he played a major role.

  91. @A. Stanton The one thing that could have happened was if one more Republican had voted for witnesses, there would have been a tie, which would have to have been broken by Justice Roberts. That would have told us where his loyalties lie. Of course the Republicans couldn't le t that happen. Sen. Collins was probably given a pass to vote aye, because of her precarious election situation. Romney just may have asserted some independence. But Alexander and Murkowski were reined in, keeping the narrow majority and not putting Roberts to the test. Poor us.

  92. @A. Stanton Oh boy, confidence in Roberts - ha! That guy will do anything to give the impression he's all about the rule of law. You can bet he made it clear to McConnell - don't put me in any awkward positions - and if you don't, there will be rewards coming. Yep quid pro quo - it's how the GOP rolls.

  93. GOP Senators are confident that Democrats will behave more honorably if they take over the Senate and the White House so they are not seriously worried about abuse of power by a Democratic President. It is nauseating cynicism but we must hope they are right or we are in for a vicious cycle that will doom the US as functioning democracy.

  94. @novoad Biden got his 46-year old son a job? And you think he cleverly picked a job for him working for a corrupt company that the administration, Joe Biden and the rest of the world wanted to be investigated, hence his action to remove the corrupt Ukranian prosecutor? If Biden had used his influence, which I suspect he would not, wouldn't it have been easier to get his 46-year old a job with a liberal interest group, or a Board Member position or two? I am really curious. Do you think Biden or Schiff are dishonest in league with Trump? Do you think Biden would be Russia's choice?

  95. @Serban "Democrats will behave more honorably" Would that include impeaching and removing Biden for enriching his family off of his position? I have seen little evidence for that.

  96. Impeaching and removing Biden from what?

  97. Working overseas for most of the past two decades, I have always felt that the best thing I represented to people in other countries was the integrity of the American political system and institutions. I have never been so ashamed of our political representatives as I am now with the Senate's refusal to allow witnesses. I never expected them to convict the President and with an election 9 months away, I don't see a lot of point to it. But not even to allow the admission of relevant testimony to get it on the record truly makes me despair. The only consolation I take is that the Republicans will probably regain their sense of the Senate's oversight role once a Democrat is back in the White House.

  98. @MV If by "oversight" you mean "stonewall", you have it exactly right. We can only hope that the electorate is now sufficiently disgusted by the GOP to put a Democratic majority in both houses.

  99. @MV Just like the House democrats.

  100. Although I disagree with practically everything that he has done, Sen. Mc Connell has done a terrific job, defendingTrump, his own views, and his electorates views. Let's hope that the Democrats can capitalize on his actions.

  101. Lamar Alexander and the herd adopting his views are overlooking at least 3 main points. One simply is the 2nd charge: even if you claim that Trump's guilt regarding Ukraine does not rise to the necessary level, his subsequent obstruction of Congress does. To stonewall on the critical subpoenas is NOT excusable. A 2nd rude fallacy: "The public cannot handle an abrupt Trump departure". Of course the public would have trouble -- given the incredible posturing of the Senate GOP. If the republican senators cannot have a mature, honorable relationship to their leader's malfeasance, how can their vaunted "base"? The Senate has a responsibility to help it's 'base' understand the gravity of this impeachment instead of pretending it is something like a late night rerun. A 3rd point: Giving Trump a pass is setting fire to a nation that must deal with a president who would now be above the laws of the land and has no reason to fear impeachment or any legal wrangling due to the toads he owns -- and perhaps even worse, the acquittal in these charges is setting fire to history itself. It is impossible for very many GOP Senators to not understand what this means.

  102. @Feldman I am just waiting for Trump to test-drive his boast about not losing any votes if he shot someone on 5th Avenue. This would include, I am sure, the support of the entire GOP in Congress. Cold-blooded murder is not an impeachable offense, and a sitting president cannot be indicted, or so the theory goes. And I am quite sure that if he did shoot and kill someone on 5th Avenue, even if the victim were a nun or a five-year-old child, the GOP would somehow spin it to make it seem like the victim deserved it.

  103. @Feldman Good points that I've considered, as well as the distortions, if not lies, Sekulow & Cipollone uttered. As though they don't know that impeachment does not overthrow an election or tear up 11/20 ballots. I was thinking of calling the American Bar Association's ethics department to ask if there's any ethical penalty that could be levied on Cipollone & Sekulow by a class action suit. They should be debarred. Oh, and Judge Roberts should have called them on making false or misleading statements.

  104. @Feldman Oh, they know. They know Pence cannot win 2020 and they have no one else to run. They know

  105. It is truly sad but amazing how many Americans via social media are buying the line peddled by the defense that the charges are ‘not impeachable’. They cheer as though they are celebrating a win by a favorite sports team. The dumbing down of the country continues.

  106. In order for the Dems to win, they need to stick it to Trump with judicious use of his own words. I suspect a 30 second commercial can now be made in an afternoon, not a week. The Dems need an advertising person that declares a 'take now prisoners' approach.

  107. The impeachment process is a farce, a symptom of a failed state, a president elected without a popular vote thanks to a slave era electoral college, a senate majority elected with as little as 18% of the national vote, no independent national electoral commission to eliminate the voter suppression and gerrymandering, unfortunately King George who presided over the George Washington orchestrated slave owners revolt while incapacitated had to wait to make Canada a real democracy and we gave sanctuary to hundreds of thousands of American refugees including African Americans who were instrumental in defeating the President Madison invasion of Canada in the war of 1812.

  108. First they said the process was illegitimate, unfair, etc. Then they said there was no quid pro quo. Then they said maybe there was a quid pro quo but there’s nothing wrong with that. Then they said maybe there was something wrong about it but it didn’t warrant impeachment. They said there wasn’t an abuse of power. Then they said there was an abuse of power but it wasn’t impeachable. They said it needed to be a crime (and it was a crime); but the crime wasn’t explicitly stated in the impeachment articles. They said it would invalidate the previous election, that it would corrupt the next election, that it would ignite the country’s partisan divide. They said they’ve heard enough, that they’ve already heard too much. They there was a lack of incontrovertible truth, that things have changed since the last impeachment trial, that it's a totally partisan affair, that the House is abusing its impeachment power. All the while, the president, his counsel, and his republican enablers have circulated an assortment of disingenuities and deceptions. These declarations were never substantive. They were Performative. Their very utterance made them true. It’s a bit of trickery—concealing the fact that there was nothing of substance to the claims in the first place. The Republicans are not operating on the same terms as Democrats (the terms of the Constitution). Trump and Republicans are extemporaneously writing their own terms, terms that are calculated primarily to benefit themselves.

  109. I agree

  110. @Tyler - The Democrats hope to be guided by the Constitution, while Republicans hitch their wagon to Trump instead. This seems like extremely short-term thinking on the part of Republicans. So I guess we'll see how it works out for them.

  111. @Tyler Hey - when you are saddled with a Senate Majority Leader like Mitch "Machiavelli" McConnell - resistance is futile. Committee assignments, office square footage, window view, staff budget, pork barrel stuff to take home, campaign funds. You could end up being a short term DC resident. Often think about the voters wishes for Term Limits. Bummer.

  112. I'm greatly disappointed in the Editorial authors for making the following error, an obvious error, and one made out of seeming and clumsy attempt to be able to say something negative about how the Democrats acted: "Democrats in the House of Representatives moved too fast in the impeachment process, voting before they could hear from key witnesses like Mr. Bolton." Absolutely wrong. Bolton refused to testify in the House. Trump refused to let many people testify, including Bolton, and Bolton refused to testify without a court order. But the House Democrats had already pursued the option of suing to compel testimony from witnesses of other former White House officials, e.g. Don McGahn, and the case has not progressed or been resolved after months. Clearly, that lawsuit option wasn't going to lead to Bolton testimony in the House in the foreseeable future, if ever. Democrats didn't fail to get testimony from Bolton; Trump and Bolton refused to allow it, and the courts have not compelled testimony yet in a similar situation. That's very a different explanation from what the sentence I quoted claimed, which inaccurately lays the blame at the feet of House Democrats. The Times Editorial Board should know better. If they don't, that's a massive problem of ignorance. If they know do know better--do know the truth, they failed to write well- and clearly-enough, because they wrote a false, misleading statement on a matter of critical significance.

  113. @AnotherCitizen: Why is it taking the courts so long to resolve the time sensitive issue of the House's right to subpoena witnesses in an impeachment inquiry?

  114. @AnotherCitizen My reading was that the Editorial Board is suggesting that maybe the House should have kept the investigation open longer to see if they could get more evidence, and that keeping the investigation open would be preferable to where we are now. It’s a 20/20 hindsight argument.

  115. @ettanzman I suspect that you have never participated in the court process. I have. Once in 35 times as an expert witness I have seen timely and fair accounting. The rest of the time, not so much.

  116. Republican Senators who voted to deny witness testimony & documents have only one goal: staying in power. Honesty, the rule of law, and a belief in legislative oversight disappear when their day jobs and Senate majority are threatened. The Republican base accepts Trumpian mendacity and gives congressional converts willing to swallow alternative facts a free pass. Will the rest of us?

  117. Republican Senators, I served as a juror on trials. I know how trials work. Fair trials are a friend to everyone who believes in democracy. Senators, this is no trial. This is just the latest wake for the death of the pro-democracy, pro-constitution wing of Republican party. In this Republican celebration of their total abandonment of the principles at the heart of America's independence in breaking away from a monarchy, I think we should leave the last "toast" to Alan Dershowitz: "Every public official that I know believes that his election is in the public interest and if a president does something, which he believes will help him get elected in the public interest, that cannot be the kind of quid pro quo that results in impeachment." A fitting un-American tribute for an un-American party. Vote accordingly.

  118. @LT Find it ironic that a Tea Party helped to launch our nation. Now we have a Tea Party faction well on the way toward destroying it. VOTE - take our country back.

  119. @LT Boom. After all the sophistry is boiled away, you’ve clearly identified the residue left in the pot of our democracy.

  120. This is devastating. This represents a reality that is for many Americans unthinkable and unbelievable. We live in a nation where some men and women who were elected and entrusted to represent its citizenry in manner that represents us equally and without prejudice, are willing to take it upon themselves to disenfranchise that very citizenry all in the name of personal power and privilege. There is simply no other way to interpret the behavior of the Republican senators and many of the Republican congressmen as well. Does anyone truly believe that Mitch McConnell's denial of the previous presidents nomination of an unquestionably qualified justice to the Supreme Court was anything other than a boldfaced power play intended to steer future adjudication in the direction favored by a specific (conservative) portion of the nation, Can anyone now justify Mitch McConnell, Ms. Murkowski, and the rest, taking an oath to be an impartial juror in their constitutional duty to check the POTUS and then have them publicly flout that oath for us and the rest of the world to see? What are we supposed to think going forward about our grand proclamations of democracy and fairness and the rule of law? As long as this president remains in office without consequence, our democracy is a sham. We are now a dictatorship, supported by a government who has deemed a dishonorable man to be above the law. This is a sad day. A day when we realize that we as a people have no voice.

  121. @Ken The people do have a voice, if they use it. Votes have consequences - Trump is one of them, our increasingly conservative-packed courts are another. Not voting has consequences - in addition to: Why would an American not want a voice in our democracy? Many died fighting for that voice. Every American is personally impacted - think health care, prescription drug prices, abortion access, infrastructure, foreign policy... Get out the vote in November to replace both Trump and Republican senators up for election.

  122. And get involved in democratic processes! Campaign. Volunteer time. Help people make sure they are still registered to vote, especially areas where purging is taking place. Sign people up for absentee ballot. Drive people to polling places. Volunteer for election boards!

  123. @Elan Rubinstein Thanks for your comments. I appreciate them, absolutely agree with what you say, and understand that the people have a voice through their votes. I am not someone who saw the impeachment as a way to overturn the last presidential election ... but the truth of the matter is that the majority of this country voted for for someone who is not now serving as our president. That is because of the role that the electoral college plays in our elections. I think many agree that the need for the electoral college is outdated and no longer serves the greater good. But in order to move toward a true 1 person-1 vote system of electing future presidents there needs to be a constitutional amendment ridding us of the electoral college process. Unfortunately such an amendment must come through the very people being discussed in this editorial as having no honor. That is the reason why today, I feel a loss of my voice as a citizen. But I will share your optimism and say to all that yes, we need to make sure to exercise our right to vote. Let's do so with purpose. Elect leaders who support the idea of doing away with the electoral college. Let's take back our power as citizens and reclaim our voices.

  124. Forget this particular battleground, this is just another example of allegiance to political party over anything else. The Republicans may be the worst example on a national level, but look no further than locally in NYC and see how many Democrats have defended de Blasio's corrupt administration. I wonder how long it will take to realize when we bounce to and fro from one party in power to the other, that other than on the margins any positive changes are usually temporary at best. There were Academy Award caliber performances during this week's impeachment hearings, the performance most often given was the appearance that the politician speaking had an intention that they would vote their conscience over their political party.

  125. The fact is that Trump has been impeached and in his first term no less. To think that this is the end of the process to remove the president is far from over and is only just beginning. I suspect that to many independent voters this had seen the last straw and not only will the president will be one and done in November but also many Republicans who voted to acquit. This is just getting started. More incriminating news will break, Trump will push the envelope further and votes will be cast. Nine months will come quickly and plenty of time and rope to hang ones self and party into the history books as a dark chapter in American politics.

  126. @John - That’s quite a crystal ball. Any possibility of getting some stock tips?

  127. @Ted Siebert Keep dreaming. The only thing the Democrats have managed to do is solidify Trump's base and his re-election chances. Democrats won't see the presidency for at least another 12 years! They will lost the House and seats in the Senate. Good job!

  128. @Ted Siebert Trump will go down in history as the only impeached president to be re-elected.

  129. Indeed, the House should immediately reopen the investigation that Senate Republicans conspired to cover up. Subpeona them all, Trump included, and get to the truth. Maybe they will get testimony in October, maybe December or, God forbid it be needed, maybe next year. And let's work on the emoluments clause while we are at it. There's no reason to work on legislation anyway, since Moscow Mitch kills all legislation, so put your efforts to doing what Republicans never will: Preserve the Constitution.

  130. @Jim Dennis When has a liberal given a whit about the constitution, oh yes, when it suits their purpose, and only when it suits their purpose.

  131. Given events today and the many years of Republicans refusing to work with an Obama White House, I can’t see a functioning government in my lifetime. The only way to fix this horrible situation is to end the two-party system where one winner takes all.

  132. @JM And then there were just Dems? Greens? Independents? How about ranked choice voting? Trump would not have won with that protocol.

  133. Disagree with the premise that Democrats in the House rushed this. They had no choice. Part of any Republican strategy is to lie, deflect and delay. Democrats saw how the gop employed those tactics to bog down the Mueller investigation and make the public quickly lose interest. They couldn’t risk that or miss the additional opportunity of forcing Senate republicans to cast a vote for trump and against the rule of law.

  134. @Mark Carolla Obstruction a synonym to Omerta' -- Trump and Rudy, Mitch also, learned the Code of Silence long ago. That is what we have seen folks. Not once, but 3 times.

  135. "And just in case Americans want to register their unhappiness with Republican leadership, the G.O.P. passes laws across the country to make voting harder and discourage turnout..." So far they have not taken away our votes entirely, however. Therefore, November 3, 2020, is the moment when we must TAKE BACK OUR POWER AS VOTERS. We have to make this pack of smarmy, grifting Republicans very, very sorry they snubbed us today, and make them feel the pain of this election for a generation. The ONLY way to PAY BACK THE GOP is to VOTE BLUE IN 2020. REMEMBER IN NOVEMBER

  136. I guess the only thing that surprised was that anyone expected a different outcome than this. The Republicans have seen the demographic tidal wave that continues to to build against them and will stoop to any low to forestall it.

  137. This spin demeans The New York Times. Three fundamental issues within the control of the House Democrats defeated this impeachment. The failure to hold the mandated vote to begin the impeachment enquiry, rendering early subpoena's worthless. The failure to subpoena all WH witnesses and allow the courts to participate. The disgraceful parody by Schiff, that got the proceedings off to a farcical start. The first and third are unforgivable, the second was a serious tactical mistake. Yes, they may have had an adverse ruling from the courts by now, but the ruling would have been appealed and would have defeated the argument the GOP made about the House wanting the Senate to do their work. There would have been more value in continuing the investigation well past Christmas, the spectre of impeachment could have haunted Trump for months, and who knows what other compelling evidence would have emerged. Soon, someone will write a book called "How Not to Impeach a President," and this farce will go down in history. And what are the Democrats left with now? The Durham report is on its way - and if that results in more than one indictment ( at least one seems certain ), that will be the story of the election year.

  138. @John .... Except that Trump really did it. And that's not partisan.

  139. @Hail the Contrarian First of all, they did not have sufficient information to ask for a House vote until after they had initiated an investigation. That is how investigations always work--you can't go to a Grand Jury unless you have some evidence. The House subpoenas people to testify all the time. They did subpoena all the White House witnesses, they refused to comply. The McGahn case is still in the courts. They were using that case as the template. The GOP arguments are ridiculous. There was enough evidence, they just didn't want to hear it.

  140. @Hail the Contrarian Where does it say that the way that the House issued the subpoena's was legally invalid? I think that the Intelligence and Judiciary Committees issued them rather than the full House. Is there a rule in the Constitution or elsewhere which says that House Committees must wait for the full House to vote in favor of beginning the an impeachment investigation before issuing subpoenas? It seemed like Mr. Philbin was just using this argument to deny the Democrats right to subpoena witnesses. I'd like to see any evidence to the contrary.

  141. Thank you Editorial Board for your truthful reflective article. We can hope that the House of Representatives will offer the people of the US the opportunity to hear witnesses that were not heard in the Senate trial. If that can move forward, the question may well become, how do we in the US quickly reclaim and live our constitutional government of the people with an immediate goal to ensure that President Trump is not re-elected? With that focus the next comes easily: how do we ensure that given their willingness to dishonor their oaths and their constitutional responsibilities in the US Government, that Senators who denied truth its day will not be re-elected?

  142. During the impeachment inquiry I made the assertion that enough Republicans would vote to impeach and remove Trump if the act was egregious enough and the evidence was incontestable. Well it turns out that egregiousness and incontestable evidence are things in the cult of Trump that are forever arguable, unclear and therefore unimpeachable. My assertion wasn’t wrong in theory, surely there are things he could do that’s impeachable and technically it could be captured by multiple smartphones and broadcast daily on YouTube. But in practice the bar for impeachable Trump misconduct and the evidence exposing it is now so high that for all intents and purposes he is above the law and will always escape the constitutional remedy of impeachment and removal no matter what he does. And thanks to Senate Republicans a new standard has been set and it’s only a matter of time before this sordid episode is replayed only with a smarter and more devious President to an even greater deleterious effect on the country.

  143. Indeed there has not been a genuine trial. On the removal vote, all Democrats should abstain. At least then the Republicans will be denied a trophy vote count, and the Democrats will have registered their complete disapproval.

  144. I hope your idea makes it to the leadership.

  145. Not one Republican had the backbone to stand up to this nightmare of a president--not a single one. I have never been more ashamed of my country in my life. The evidence is overwhelming; the testimony in the House was clear; Bolton's book merely reinforces what we already know. Words fail. Historians will not look kindly on the US Senate.

  146. @Bob Aldrich: History will not look kindly on the Republicans in Senate.

  147. @Bob Aldrich Romney and Collins voted for witnesses. Romney had nothing to gain from doing so.

  148. In order to salve my dismay at what just took place in the United States Senate I read Washington's Farewell Address because I still care about honor, honesty and courage. Republican Senators do not. They demonstrate their concern is more for party, politics and power. "Despotic" is the word Washington uses in his warning.

  149. @Robert I recommend reading Doris Kearns Goodwin's book: "Leadership in Turbulent Times." She profiles Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, FDR, and LBJ reminding the reader of the stark difference between the leadership style of these presidents and the would-be autocrat who is currently in power.

  150. The U.S. Senate is not a Democratic institution. If we, as voters, do not pay attention and force a change on the number of senators a State can send to Washington this country will not survive. A State with less than 700,000 people has two Senators and a State with over 30 million people has the same? The center will not hold, we will collapse as a country. The composition of Statehood during the founding and in the 19 century might have made sense, I don't know, but in the dynamic era of population movement it does not make sense. People, we need a change in the Government structure that all Americans can believe in. This is not it.

  151. @Gary Valan Or California can become three states with six senators. We could also admit Puerto Rico as a state with two more.

  152. @Gary Valan Really think Term Limits would help. Mitch would have been gone long ago.

  153. This was no trial. In a real trial, jurors are impartial; they don't pledge fealty to and cooperation with defendants before the case even begins. In a real trial, jurors stay in the courtroom the entire time, hear all arguments, and refrain from using electronic devices and communicating via social media. And in a real trial, there are witnesses. THIS trial was a sham; its outcome predetermined the moment Ms. Pelosi sent over the articles of impeachment. That aside momentarily, the Republican Senators are now openly saying, sure, Trump did all of these things, but they aren't impeachable (yes, they are; he was impeached), and even abuse of power isn't impeachable (yes, by definition, "abuse of power" is an offense). In fact, Trump continued to abuse the power of his office by blocking subpoena after subpoena (all the House Democrats did wrong was to not hold those who didn't appear in contempt). Most important in 2020: KEEP THE HOUSE BLUE. TURN THE SENATE BLUE. We need to right this ship.

  154. @Charlemagne Yes! And once both the house and senate are blue, if Trump is re-elected only by the electoral college and commits another impeachable act —they can then remove him, period, end of story. Hopefully before the statute of limitations runs out for “Individual 1”.

  155. Republicans will be hurt by their vote 15 minutes ago to prevent witnesses. It will also hurt Trump in his campaign for reelection. Bolton's story will come out and will be believed. Republican Senators will not be able to question Hunter Biden in a way that would hurt a Joe Biden candidacy. This is a win for Democrats.

  156. @Horace It'll be a Pyrrhic victory; as another commentator wrote, Republicans NEVER reach back across the aisle. They will never compromise with Biden. We must go for full-throttle revolution. Peace and love

  157. If the House Dems had kept the investigation open for a longer period, the Republicans would have claimed they were extending it to make sure it influenced the election. Whichever they chose, they were going to be criticized. And as the Republicans stole that Supreme Court seat, one can only hope that when the Dems regain control of the Senate they either expand the court or do a real investigation of Kavanaugh for perjury and impeach him. I expect that the court will let Trump off the hook on all those cases against him which will show that it doesn't care about justice or the country and that it is just another craven branch of the Republican Party.

  158. Mitch McConnell finally overplayed his hand and led his party to the edge of a cliff. By cynically playing his game to the outcome that occurred, he made it obvious to the American people that our system as it exists is flawed, and it is the Senate which he leads that is the culprit. He neglected to take into account that the Democrats will continue to have subpoena power and will be able to uncover the true extent of the corruption that went on in the Ukraine scandal. All he has done is protect his caucus from the existential threat of retribution by the supporters of Trump in the short term. The amount of money that the Democrats will be able to raise will bury Trump in the long run. Michael Bloomberg, even if he isn't the candidate, promises to guarantee it. When the Democrats retake the Senate the party will end, literally and figuratively, and Mitch and the GOP will be sent into the dustbin of history.

  159. @Bob Grzesaliak trump has raised WAY MORE money than the Democrats ever will. Also, look at how much they are spending before the Primaries. trump gets daily free air time on Fox News. trump has partisans and trolls to re-share his tweets, rallies, and ads on social media. I've read Steve Bannon's old Cambridge Analytica crew is back for the 2020 campaign under another name.

  160. “I have come to the conclusion that there will be no fair trial in the Senate,” Lisa Murkowski of Alaska said on Friday in explaining her refusal to vote to hear from any witnesses. “I don’t believe the continuation of this process will change anything. It is sad for me to admit that, as an institution, the Congress has failed.” Murkowski's honesty is singularly refreshing. She states the obvious: Trump will not be convicted under any imaginable scenario. The human mind cannot even conceive of a plausible constellation of events that would result in 67 senators voting to convict. So what is the point of continuing the charade? For all its tone of wounded indignation, that is a question the editorial board cannot bring itself to address. That's likely because it lacks the collective courage to embrace the answer. The only purpose for calling witnesses to testify in a meaningless proceeding is that is that it allows us to avoid coming to terms with the issue of meaninglessness itself. We can continue to pretend that calling witnesses to participate in a predetermined farce somehow makes the spectacle more respectable. The outcome may be set in stone, but look at all the fine witnesses. All those fine witnesses surely must mean that the process is not completely broken. But broken it surely is. And Lisa Murkowski has ripped away the last remaining fig leaf. The corruption of the Senate Republican process stands starkly revealed. Murkowski has performed a patriotic service.

  161. @woofer One purpose of a trial is to acquaint the public with the evidence of a defendant's guilt or innocence. This enables us to form an intelligent opinion about whether the jury's verdict serves the interest of justice. In this case, the examination of evidence in a trial setting would have enabled the American people to evaluate both Trump's fitness for office and the integrity of the senators who swore to serve as impartial jurors. The fact that the jury was stacked in Trump's favor would not have defeated either of these purposes. Senator Murkowski's lame excuse fails to serve as a fig leaf to cover her cowardice. We need fewer patriots like her.

  162. @James Lee This argument might have some traction if not for the fact that the only witness at issue is Bolton, and Bolton will tell us everything he knows in his bestselling book and the cable TV interviews to follow. And if he actually reveals something new and exciting that requires further development, the House can always reopen its hearing. The reality remains that continuing a severely constrained Senate hearing would only maintain the deception that the Mitch and his gang were to some degree performing responsibly.

  163. No. It gets the testimony out there on the record so that the voters can see it. That’s why hearing from those witnesses was important.

  164. Gloves off, not just Democrats, Liberals or Independents, but anyone who cares about the country the Constitution set in motion. I am conservative, and right now, what needs to be conserved is Democracy.

  165. @Freddy. You have the power to make changes, I don’t. I am from NY. We have two Democratic Senators. You have two Republicans. You need to vote Democrat. I already do. Conservatives need to vote against Trump and against Republican Senators. But most of your cohorts sold their souls. You guys vote for Trump because he is anti abortion even if everything else he stands for is at odds with conservative ideology. Are you going to vote against Rubio and Scott because they voted against witnesses? You should. If a decent amount of conservatives changed their votes we would have some accountability

  166. I closely followed the entire impeachment process and tried to keep an open mind. The Democratic managers' arguments were convincing and compelling. I thought Trump's lawyers made strained arguments that often lacked good logic--like the flawed logic of Senators Alexander and Murkowski. That only two GOP senators could be persuaded to vote to hear new information and subpoena documents tells us just how deeply the corruption of Trump has corrupted his party. Even though the supposedly "impartial" GOP senators had made up their minds not to convict before the trial even started, as public servants they were bound to heed the public's clearly-stated desire for witnesses and documents, i.e. a "real" and "fair" trial. Today we witnessed a shameful flouting of public sentiment and the values enshrined in our Constitution.

  167. @Steven Dunn I believe that Mitt Romney may have been genuine about believing in the need to hear from witnesses. I also believe that he is in a safe spot, not being up for reelection until 2022, and relatively immune from pressure from McConnell. I also believe that Susan Collins could not care less about the integrity of the trial and cares deeply about her reelection chances, as she is vulnerable. McConnell sees that as well, which is why he magnanimously "allowed" her to "vote" for witnesses, thereby making her look like a good guy in the eyes of her constituents, but ultimately having no impact on the outcome. The depth of corruption is evident in the fact that it only came down to these four swing votes after that cockamamie defense....not 10, not eight, not even five. Four. Sigh.

  168. @Steven Dunn Impartiality. The idea that so many Americans take oaths with no intention to comply with them is troublesome. Lying on the witness stand. Politicians promising to protect and defend the constitution. Doctors vowing to do no harm. The juror’s oath taken recently by one hundred U.S. Senators was treated as a joke by many of them. In a very real way, our country falls apart when people make a joke of the matter of taking a solemn oath.

  169. In sports term, the GOP is protecting razor thin leads by destructive fouls. They long stopped playing by the rules. In sports that often backfires. But because the clock can run out it on occasion works.

  170. @CitizenTM Please provide an example.

  171. I eagerly await Ambassador Bolton's testimony in the House of Representatives. They should do it next Thursday, the day after the verdict votes. (Though Schiff and company are due a much-deserved and well-earned week or two off. They all deserve a standing ovation for their incredible work the last four months.)

  172. The Republicans in Congress have recently been espousing what is known in political science as the "fallacy of electoralism" during Trump's impeachment. This misconception holds that the chief attribute of a healthy democracy is competitive elections, which emphasizes the sovereignty of the people and provides legitimacy to the officeholders. The Republicans have argued that the President's fate should be left to the voters, and that the impeachment seeks to overturn the will of the people expressed in 2016, and remove Trump from the ballot this November and deprive voters of their choice. At the same time, because he was duly elected, they have claimed extraordinary powers for the President, who states that he "can do anything he wants." This limited view of democracy is known as a "procedural democracy." But a modern liberal democracy is known as a "substantive democracy," one in which there is a fully developed civil society as well as free elections. This includes the rule of law and independent courts, a non-partisan and professional bureaucracy, interest groups and parties, voluntary associations, autonomous schools, etc. "Leaving it to the voters" and failing to enforce both the laws and the norms of political culture is a sign of a decaying democracy, not a strong one. How have the 40% of Americans who love Trump come to believe that as long as they get what they want (a border wall, conservative judges), it is ok to disregard the constitution and the rules?

  173. Trump could not have pulled this acquittal off if it were not for his loyal associate, Mitch McConnell. In almost all comments the Republicans are blamed for this miscarriage of justice. Without mighty Mitch the Senate of the United States most probably would calmer for the truth. At least, pitiful as it is, Mitch McConnell told us the truth in the beginning of the Senate trial, "I will not honor my oath." What we have now is Mitch high on power supporting a president drunk on power. My concern is after next November our dictator will not need Congress at all. Trump admires most dictators and harbors the deepest desire to imitate them. He dismisses most of the advice his appointed Cabinet members offer. So far he is fulfilling that deep desire. This November could be the LAST time Americans are allowed to vote for the President of the United States of America! c

  174. I’m not so sure that we will get the chance this November. Oh we will vote, but it won’t be a fair election.

  175. Please journalists, step up to the plate. Stop with the false equivalences. Have the courage to call out lies and injustices. Rather than cow towing to the bullys in our midst, call them out. The Republican Senate has shown us they are cowards, willing to abdicate their responsibilities. Push the Electoral College to represent the people, not just a gerrymandered slice of people. When you are called the enemies of the people, good, you are getting closer to the truth. Prevail. This article is a good start. Thank you.

  176. Trump's debasement of American democracy continues. Hope those Supreme Court justices were worth it.

  177. The ultimate shazam of the Republican Senate is the hypocrisy of claiming that the voters will decide, but not allowing them evidence in which to make an informed decision. The GOP's reluctance to Mr Trump's nomination was a good instinct. And now he made them complicit in his crimes by having them pull the trigger. Yes, Mr Trump runs his business like a criminal enterprise; and now that is how our country is being run.

  178. Today the Republican Senate of the United States of America showed a stunning act of cowardice. Today Democracy died at the hands of the Republicans. The rule of law does not matter. The Separation of Powers does not matter. The lawyer for the Office of the President can lie to the Senate and withhold material evidence of personal involvement and it does not matter. Every institution of the government has been completely corrupted. I grieve for my country. I grieve for the loss of our democracy.

  179. Let us hope the Democrats don't just throw up their hands and say, "Move on." If most voters wanted the Senate to summon more witnesses and documents, perhaps they will react by voting to hand both Senate and House to Democrats in the 2020 election. Speaker Pelosi was advised to go for stronger impeachment charges, but her caution didn't win the day. The advice to continue House investigations, to subpoena more witnesses (and to mean it) is good advice. With the possible re-election of Donald J. Trump before the nation, more can and still must be done to expose his arrogance to voters and to the world.

  180. When Vladimir Putin set out to disrupt the American election he did it thinking Hillary would win. Why, because Hillary, like President Obama, were tough on Putin, and especially on the sanctions against the rich and powerful in Russia. Putin needed her either out of the way or discredited and unable to lead. Not even he thought Trump would get elected, but with the high tech psychographic profiling of Facebook, Voters were targeted and suppressed in enough key states to hand the election to Trump. The people behind THAT? Robert Mercer. What guys like Mercer want, what the republicans like Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnel want is to destroy liberalism itself. They want the New York Times not to matter. Op-eds like this not to matter. Major influences to be muted so that they can win back the culture war. They've been playing the long game and probably had no idea Trump would be their perfect Trojan horse. Trump has no shame. And now, the Republicans in the senate also have no shame. The only option we have is to vote them out. We must fight to hold onto everything we've built since FDR, which is everything they're trying to destroy. Godspeed, democrats.

  181. The United States is in serious trouble. Brave Americans stepped up to testify for the good of the country they loved. It took guts but my guess is they believed it was worth it. And my guess is they never envisioned, not for a moment, how their testimony would be received. They believed in their country, in their system of government. They believed they would get a fair hearing. They thought the senate was composed of honorable members. They were wrong. And surely they know it now and it must pain them sorely. What will happen the next time, and there will be a next time, and possibly sooner than any of us imagine, when Americans are asked to take a public stand for the good of the country. Asked to stick their necks out. Next time, folk will look back and note the lack of support given Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman. He warned that President Trump's actions in the sordid Ukraine affair could "undermine U.S. national security." And he was right. Or Marie Yovanovitch, the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, who had to endure a "concerted campaign" against her her. It was a Kafkaesque nightmare in which she never understood Rudy Giuliani's "motives for attacking" her. One could go on and on but what is the use. The United States has lost that which made the U.S. unique among nations and we have been left to wonder if it was all simply a hollow sham all along.

  182. There may be talk about corruption of a President and members of a political party, but it is more serious than that. The obstruction of Congress and outright lying bring us close to dictatorship, if we haven't arrived. Benjamin Franklin warned at the conclusion of Constitution Convention that it might happen if the people reached a point of corruption to allow it. People don't allow it. Spread the alarm! Spread the concern! Support champions of democracy. Vote for them. Don't allow yourselves to be overwhelmed and misled.

  183. McConnell ihas, for years, worked only for what he deems is the good of the party he represents. He does not work for the good of the United States as a whole. Nor, in the long run, do I think he helps his preferred party. He should be ashamed of himself. I doubt, however, if he is able to experience shame. Fortunately, he cannot last forever.

  184. Envision going to dinner with some GOP Senators. No doubt they would never ever ask the waiter specifics about the entree? Or maybe they’d just eat what was served them - ordered by the Pres who Tweeted it in- even if they were allergic? Was that dinner what poisoned American democracy today?

  185. Britain leaves the European Union and the Republican controlled Senate leaves the US Constitution shredded and mangled. What a sad day for the world.

  186. Agreed, but for the point about blaming House Democrats for hurrying to move the impeachment process to the Senate. The rule of law would not have been helped by playing into Trump's hands as the martyr of a never ending witch hunt (as he likes to call it) and there was no guarantee that more witnesses would actually testify to the House. Bolton only chose to testify for his own personal benefit--for his book sales. He could have chosen to testify to the House. The onus is on Bolton and others to uphold their oaths of office, not on Dems to play a long game to satisfy Republican malfeasance. If anything, the blame I would place on Dems is not using its full force sooner based on the Mueller report and failing to jail those who failed to testify in the Ukrainian hearings for Contempt of Congress. Dems playing softball while Trump played hardball was painful to watch.

  187. Zach Montague headlined a related NYT article today talking about the Senate Republicans reasons for doing what they did. This misses the key difference between a reason and an excuse: reasons are based on logic, while excuses are based on a need to explain so as to feel OK about what one has done. Whatever they may feel tonight, it was not OK.

  188. This was always the expected outcome. Please focus on the elections now, more specifically on the electronic voting in swing states. As of today, we can no longer put voter fraud past Republicans.

  189. The bet here holds McConnell primarily responsible with an assist from Graham. They and the GOP rejected additional documents and witnesses with direct knowledge of relevant facts at issue. Foolishly viewing the nation as evenly split on the question of impeachment as rationale and cover. On the issue of documents and witnesses 75% of the public in favor of more of both including 50% of Republicans. So no exoneration in the eyes of a majority of Americans. Worse for Trump, McConnell and the GOP the story guaranteed not to end here and now. More damaging documents, witnesses and commentary certain to surface right up November. Vulnerable Senators wise to avoid town hall meetings. McConnell and Graham feel discomfort with engaging in the suppression of evidence. Answering tough questions on the campaign trail increasingly difficult to spin.

  190. Everything you wrote is true; ethically and Constitutionally, the Senate should have removed the president. But realistically that removal would be, or could have been, a call to arms for millions of action-oriented, overemotional Trump supporters. The Constitution is just a piece of paper in the long run, and they believe that right is on their side, not to mention God. It would have been like yelling fire in a crowded theater. Even if there's a fire, as there was in this case. So wrong and unethical in the long-term? Yes. Wise and practical in the short-term? Yes. We've endured -- somehow -- for three years; therefore, I suppose we can survive one more. (Trump really had me worried when he was antagonizing "Rocketman" or "Fatboy." That was insane brinksmanship.) (I'm glad that I don't have to explain this theater of the absurd to coming generations. All I could say is that you just had to be there.)

  191. The Iran thing was also insane. Apparently Trump was asleep in history class and never learned what started World War I. Whether we endure depends on whether we actually get a fair election. And I have no faith in that after this. Trump is going to be even more unhinged now.

  192. Trump behaved dishonorably, but Pelosi and the rest of the House hamstrung their own case by being unable to even properly name the offense Trump committed, shifting from quid pro quo to bribery to abuse of power, as if they were simply making it up as they went along. Similarly, their claims that Trump obstructed justice were without foundation. Most legal scholars would agree he was well within his rights to invoke executive privilege, and Democrats could have gone to the judicial branch to make Trump provide the evidence they wanted, but instead Pelosi and her cohorts gave up without a fight and (falsely) accused him of obstruction instead. It's hard to respect Trump the man -- for it's hard to tell which is greater, his arrogance or his flippancy -- but it's important to separate the man from the politician, and it shouldn't be possible to impeach a president just because he's cavalier and a lot of people hate him. The bar for impeachment has to be set very high indeed lest it be abused out of political motives, and House Democrats simply failed to build a strong enough case against Trump to clear that lofty bar -- mainly because they rushed it all and made themselves look slipshod and partisan in their half-baked efforts. In the end, Pelosi veritably holding the articles of impeachment hostage and refusing to send them to the Senate in a timely way epitomizes the puerility and futility of this whole comedy of errors.

  193. And the courts would have ruled on this sometime in 2028. Not helpful if the issue is interference in the 2020 election.

  194. He extorted a foreign government with taxpayer money to swing an election. That has nothing to do with, "Oh, he's just cavalier and flippant."

  195. With this faithless vote, they don't even really acquit, but instead make clear their intent to nullify. Not that their refusal to shake the shoe tree will stop the shoes from falling, beating a steady drumbeat to remind us that the Republican Senators shamefully shirked their duty and their oath. Worse, Trump has demonstrated a pattern of behavior. One he will continue, now with the approval of the Senate. I wonder how long it will be before he invents some new perfidy to douse us with a rain of shoes. Likely, not very. So, it will be left to us, the voters. If we are to have keep our republic, we will have to vote. Every last one of us. Yet another election that we might label the most important in our lives.

  196. My bet is on tomorrow.

  197. These are sad times for our nation, surely, as corruption and craven behavior is the norm and Justice weeps. We knew the Senate trial would be a farce with Republicans refusing to judge their leader fairly, but history will judge the whole pack of them along with Trump quite harshly. What a sorry thing to leave as a legacy! It is now up to the American people to vote Trump and his minions out of office so he can be tried for his alleged crimes against women, the campaign finance law and other corruption. I long to hear the words, "You're fired, Donald!" spoken clearly by the general public as well as the Electoral College.

  198. This process has been distressing to all of us who believe in the rule of law and who understand that no one is above that law. Trump flagrantly refused to provide any documents and forbade his inner circle to testify. He hired lawyers willing to sustain his cover-up. Imperfect as the Democrats may be, they had little choice but to move ahead without the necessary evidence. Refusal to provide evidence and refusal to testify suggest refusal to accept the consequences of illegal, immoral, "inappropriate" behavior. I keep asking myself, Do Americans really care so little for their constitution or understand so poorly what life without legal protections would be like? If you vote for someone, you condone his/her behavior. If you elect a man who knows no shame, nothing good can happen.

  199. Democrats see our country nearing a failing democracy while the republicans think they are like chicken little and the sky is falling. Meanwhile, republicans see a strong country while the democrats see a authoritarian presidency enabled by a complacent and complicit Senate. November elections should be a sight to behold.

  200. Wow. I've lost faith in the US Democracy -- the GOP has successfully gamed it to the point where they, on the official record, have said its A-OK for the POTUS to do anything to stay in office. Trump and the rest have corrupted the DOJ via Bill Barr, and I have no illusions the John Roberts is any fair minded believer in the 'rule of law.' Murkowski is a joke - she no doubt got some pork promise from McConnell to vote again witnesses, and McConnell made sure not to put Roberts in an awkward position by have the senate deadlock in the vote - so favors from Roberts coming. The scariest part of all is the gushingly gleeful Trump base, the Evangelicals, that apparently really only believe what Trump tells them regardless of what they know or live to be true - if Trump says it not, it's not. Scary. If the Dems don't win big in 2020 (POTUS, senate, house, local), we're going to look at Trump's first term as 'the good ol' days.'

  201. Me thinks the Senate Republicans may have teamed up to defeat witness testimony because it would have led to additional damaging information against the VP, Chief of Staff, and the President's counsel. The entire house of cards would have been dragged into this extortion scheme- because they were all in on it. There's no way the Grand Ole Party could have endured the extent of the rot that they have all signed on to. Mitch had to cut off the head off the snake, and his compatriots were happy to oblige. Such a fiasco I've never seen in recent memory.

  202. This is a very grave day in our history. I am praying that this display of gross injustice unleashes a tidal wave of backlash against those who treat our democracy with such disdain that personal interest and party come above all else. This is beyond sobering and tragic.

  203. Democracy has finally and totally died in the United States. My fear is that this will encourage the rise of violence on the side of the dispossessed majority to set the balance right.

  204. There is only one argument that the Democrats could have made to Republican Senators to remove President Trump from office: that doing so would help them politically. No appeal to the evidence, to the law, the Constitution, history, precedent, morality, decency, common sense, or anything else would have swayed the Republican Senators to do the right thing. They care only about their own power. With the exception of Mr. Romney, who history will reward for his courage in this case, the Republican Senators are not just disgraceful and dishonest. They not only abdicated their duty and turned their back on the rule of law and the Constitution they swore to defend, they proved themselves to be cowardly, weak, and utterly corrupt, and in that, they are very much alike the President they slavishly serve.

  205. Why are Republicans in Congress openly tolerating, and even covering up, the evil deeds of a man most of them privately hate? Only two potential answers, which are not mutually exclusive, come to mind. 1) Trump is not the only corrupt member of the GOP. Many, and perhaps most of the Republicans, have received illegal help from Russians in their elections, and/or are otherwise compromised. If there is further investigation of Trump, their own corruption will be discovered, which they cannot allow. 2) Conservatives can no longer win fair elections and stay in power. So, they are resorting to illegal tactics to win elections, and are an overt threat to our nation. The GOP has convinced the religious right that "liberals" are the true enemy, and that defeating liberal causes justifies any corruption that allows them to stay in power. The old Republican party of Howard Baker and colleagues is dead. Now there is only Trumpism, which must be destroyed. Regardless, the only hope for the US now is the permanent defeat and elimination of the GOP.

  206. Bingo! What’s going to happen once this gets out? The truth has a funny way of eventually doing that.

  207. Here's hoping the remaining news media of this country begin planning now to provide blanket coverage of the election process as it unfolds in the many key precincts where voting corruption might make the difference. At least, the press can document how Putin goes about winning.

  208. It is now up to the voters to stand for truth, justice, and the American way. Honesty, faithful representation, ethics count. Let us hope that this miscarriage, this abortion of justice awakens Americans to such outrage that they vote in their own interest.

  209. The Senate had no intention of ever seeking the truth. Only thing left is to see if any of this matter comes November. I suspect no but I'm a cynic. Or a realist. But one thing is for certain - Trump is free to do whatever he wants. The next transgression will make this one seem positively quaint. Buckle up.

  210. How is it surprising? They need more tax breaks. They need less concern about the future. They need to assure that the future does not outlive them. They need to be sure voters do not know facts. They need to know people believe lies. Trump is all the got.

  211. Brexit and Acquittal on the same day! My how Putin is having a good day. What is next? Pushing Baba Vanga theory to the disciples of Trump? In the end I guess the Republicans ended Benghazi and E-mail hearings for themselves, an entitled and paranoid President will continue to act entitled and paranoid, and the death of the old way already happened. I try my best to accept reality as it comes but the obtuseness makes it hard to swallow. Also is there no better example for explaining Okay, Boomer?

  212. "Democrats in the House of Representatives moved too fast in the impeachment process, voting before they could hear from key witnesses like Mr. Bolton." No. The Republicans made it perfectly clear - they knew what Trump did was wrong, but they didn't consider strong arming a weak ally for the President's personal gain to be a that much of a problem, and they weren't going to impeach him for it. Further testimony wasn't going to make a difference. I feel sick. Putin must be dancing a jig. This and Brexit all in one day. Its beyond his wildest dreams.

  213. The saddest day in the history of the Republic in my lifetime.

  214. Although government institutions are not protecting our democracy, the sad and scary truth is that it is the American people themselves who are to blame. Senate Republicans are quite certain the their voting block is not bothered by the corruption and they are likely correct. Their cowardice is nothing more than a bet that the people will not rise to the occasion. When we have a citizenry who will not defend democratic institutions in large majorities, we will lose them.

  215. Because many people in the country didn't like the outcome of the last election (yes, I know the electoral college-that's how it works) from day one they have been trying to remove this President. The Russian investigation fiasco, now the farce of this impeachment. (if you start removing presidents for political differences we really will have total chaos) Now what are they going to do? Instead of all of you wasting this time and energy you might have found a good candidate who could win the next election. You all kept hoping you could remove him on the cheap-now what are you going to do? You still don't have a candidate. FIND A Candidate who might win. Do any of you think 78 year old Bernie will win? Or Warren, even Biden who stumbles over himself (Hunter Biden story remains out there.

  216. @Labienus Bloomberg is by far the best choice.

  217. Spare the rod, spoil the government. What the Republicans need is a good (electoral) whoopin’ in November. Keep the faith.

  218. I am profoundly disappointed in these people who did not perform with any semblance of honesty.

  219. The Editorial Board misses the point and confuses appropriate disdain for Trump with certainty that he committed an impeachable offense. In fact, he is worthy of disdain. And further, his slimy conduct does not rise to the level of “OTHER high crimes and misdemeanors.” Much like a case where a clearly guilty criminal is set free because, for instance, the police violated his 4th amendment rights not to be subject to unreasonable search and seizure, the greater good is preserved by respecting our laws and not moving down a slippery slope where politics will lead to partisan impeachments. Out of respect to the constitution, and avoiding this slippery slope, the bad guy goes free. Check some of the shenanigans that Obama engaged in (also abuse of power - like the fleecing of public shareholders in the scam takeover of the GSE’s and the associated cover up), but also not impeachable. The people should decide who occupies the Oval Office - and removal should only apply where the very high constitutional bar is met.

  220. That doesn’t excuse refusing to hear witnesses or see any additional evidence.

  221. @BB Oh, come now, the bar has been more than amply met. The Federalist Papers tell the history of its origin and the actual impeachments that have been carried out convincingly show that what Trump did is one of the most egregious offenses a President can commit. The impeachment clause was written just for someone like Trump. I am surprised someone from Philadelphia, of all places, should not know this.

  222. And how do they make this decision if they refuse to hear from witnesses or see any evidence?

  223. How, in what ways, exactly, was the Senate "dishonorable?" What is it they "dishonored?" The question rather is what did they honor? The Constitution, and the rules of the Senate. If that is "dishonorable" then the Editors are making an argument for re-purposing the Constitution for special interests, and ignoring Senate procedural rules. A vote was put before the proper body in a proper way, without dissent. They voted--after days upon days, of dozens upon dozens of hours of speeches, debates, motions, arguments, questions, and responses, thousands of pages of documents, a mountain of exhibits and slides, and hearings going into 2 o'clock in the morning. They did exactly their duty, and then some. This is all so much sour grapes, a red herring and fish bait to continue, and run, an endless election interference (and larger distraction) public relations program--with many mouths inside DC, feeding at the trough. Regards.

  224. @Matt Andersson How, in what ways, exactly, was the Senate "dishonorable?" Some people would think it dishonorable for some jurors (Senators) to announce in advance their plans to collaborate with the accused (Trump) in his defense, and that they would acquit him no matter the evidence, thus breaking their oaths. There are other dishonorable actions by the Republicans, but the above should suffice to answer your question.

  225. When you say, "We'll vote them all out next November", what makes you think there will be a fair election next November, or even one at all?

  226. The Democrats may have lost the battle, but they've won the war. History will validate them and vilify the Republicans, who, led by McConnell, shamed us today by showing the world how dishonorable the United States Senate has become. Like the president they serve.

  227. Recent polls suggest the American public does understand the motivations behind the Democrats “quickie impeachment” effort. And do have some appreciation for a variety of major accomplishments by the President and his team. Democrats hopes that their “quickly impeachment” would diminish the President’s appeal in 2020 have clearly faltered. What is surprising is the Democrats strenuous calls for John Bolton to testify. Once upon a time the President’s close advisors followed the well established “rule” of serving the President and then after their service has ended letting the official record stand. Not running to capitalize by publishing a book on their experiences. John Bolton is no patriot. He puts self above country. And can’t wait to cash in on a lucrative book deal. Does anyone recall any of our former senior advisors rushing to do a book deal after leaving office. Especially after being “terminated”. Or is there just something “special” about John Bolton that he rises to put self ahead of country. By and large advisors to the President since our founding have understood “duty, honor, country” and left office with heads held high having served the nation. John Bolton left his high office determined to do a lucrative book deal. He served neither the nation nor our President.

  228. Your take on this is distorted. He is a patriot. I don’t always agree with him but he knows when things are far beyond moral.

  229. To his supporters, everyone but trump has ulterior motives. 15 years ago you’d have been praising Bolton to the skies.

  230. The Republican Senators did exactly what our founding fathers would have expected and hoped for. Put a stop to a partisan attempt to oust the duly elected President because they disagree with his manner and policies.

  231. It’s not his manner or politics that are the issue.

  232. It’s his criminal behavior not his manner! No, we do not like his manner. But that’s not why he got impeached. Extorting another country in order to get them to investigate your rival is definitely a crime. That’s why he got impeached.

  233. Extorting a foreign government to try to swing an election is not just "manners" and "policies"

  234. There are a lot of people to blame in this awful debacle. On top of my list is Susan Collins. She was tasked with bringing together a coalition of moderate Senators to vote for witnesses and documents. She failed at that. But she thinks, I am sure, that the people of Maine will thank her for her independent vote. She thinks she has made some small gesture to differentiate herself from the rest of the Senate. She has not. I do not know if she volunteered to be the fall guy or it just turned out that way but she has not fooled me or the people of Maine. Much too little too late, Senator. You belong in the garbage bin along with the rest of them.

  235. I always find it ironic when republicans claim that democrats hate this country. Democrats don't refute the institution that our founding fathers built. They pursue policy that they believe is in the countries best interest. What I can say for sure is, that the self destruction of our democratic ideals and abuse of our government system by republicans demonstrate a much greater animus for our country than any policy pursuit.

  236. This Times editorial is spot-on...but one wonders: Is this what it takes to finally wake up the media--to stir its ire enough to finally call Donald Trump what everyone, even his supporters, knows him to be: "the most corrupt president in modern times?" If so, we've all got some self-examination to do. My own Democratic party's "measured" and "careful" responses to Donald Trump's barrage of outrages is literally scoffed at, in places like Fox news or talk radio. And WHY do they scoff? Because we are not serious, that's why. Any serious move to reinstate the 'Fairness Doctrine' would long ago have solved the problem of mass disinformation, perpetrated by conglomerate media companies with a vested interest in stirring up "anti-gub-min't," "anti-regulation" (read: low information) listeners and viewers. At what point must we ourselves accept some responsibility for assisting, in the dumbing-down of the populus at large? Our so-called civility on the left is invariable met, at every turn, by 'nuclear options' on the right. (see: Merrick Garland) Mr. Trump will eventually pardon himself--whether he leaves office next year (now doubtful), or 4 years later. This might be a good time to stop bickering, and start demanding from our own candidates that they: 1.) publicly promise to support the eventual Democratic nominee, no matter WHO it is; and perhaps most important, 2.) PROMISE NEVER TO PARDON Donald J. Trump, for his lifetime of crime. At least that'd be a start!

  237. @Peter Rodman Brilliant up to your final recommendation. Doing away with unwarranted civility is child's play compared with instituting political and legal norms that restrain anti-democratic behavior and champion righteousness, not religious but rather ethical. But we're too cowed to violate the niceties of class that the media express and reinforce.

  238. @Peter Rodman The media forget their larger duty as citizens for the same corrupt reasons the Senate does. Sic trans Roma.

  239. I have lost all respect for the republican party. I will do all that I can to seem them utterly defeated in November and beyond.

  240. “For the Senate to tear up the ballots in this election and say President Trump couldn’t be on it, the country probably wouldn’t accept that. It would just pour gasoline on cultural fires that are burning out there.” Thus Lamar Alexander. What impressive logic - by this token why bother indicting, prosecuting, or convicting anyone lest the mobs should rise up . . .

  241. @PS Because liberals never mob. Just look at the 60's, or Occupy Wall Street, or the Women's March . . .

  242. My parents fled Germany as politicians rallied around a leader who they either admired or followed him knowing he was a force for evil. Those men and the millions that followed like lemmings brought shame to nation that will never go away. The Republicans will hold a similar place in American history and there won't be any statues of Trump and Mosocow Mitch on american soil. Russia will undoubtedly have many memorials to those two men who carry Putin's message to us :Thoses in power own the goverment and all its resources.

  243. @roger The problem is, Roger, those political types who would throw out the baby with the bathwater don't give a hoot about history or how they are remembered. If they did, they wouldn't act as the have so far, 'cause their reputations are in for a permanent fall. That makes them doubly hard to contain, as they really do put immediate gratification above future rewards and money in the pocket, plus a golf game with the rich and powerful, above service to their nation and fellow citizens. Like Diogenes, we all need to carry around lanterns that will expose for us truly honest men and women who serve well because it is the honorable and right thing to do, not because of plaudits from our enemies, internal and otherwise.

  244. The fix is in because Republicans won the Senate and the Presidency. Elections have consequences.

  245. @Lisa Kraus Yes, but the consequences will not be known for years, and you may not like what you see. Look up the history of Germany starting in 1933.

  246. in watching this woefully flawed impeachment process in which the "Impeachment Trial" disallowed witnesses to be called to testify and documents that could establish the guilt or innocence of the accused to be denied the light of day, changes need to be made. First, that we even debated the matter of witnesses and documentation, let alone disallowing them makes clear that the entire impeachment process needs to be removed from Congress. First, the Supreme Court, presided over by the Chief Justice should become the jury. The origins of impeachment would begin in the House of Representatives but must be ratified by a Judicial College of independent, non partisan (not active in any political party) legal scholars, justices, journalists and judges appointed for a specific amount of time by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court would be sequestered during any trial amd a unanimous verdict on either guilt or acquittal would be required to bring the trial to a conclusion. Witnesses and documentation would be subject to subpoenas and in the event of a controversy, the Jurors would decide,