It is Halloween today, but the Democrats have been celebrating for over a month. They are not providing any treats, but they are serving lots of tricks. Their latest trick was to “formalize” their impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump today. This is the first step leading to the House of Representatives voting on articles of impeachment and then sending them to the Senate to consider.
As expected, the votes in the House fell along party lines with no Republicans voting to for the resolution and two Democrats voting against it. As I have said all along, the House may impeach the President, but the Senate will not remove him from office. In fact, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) lined up fifty Republican Senators who are against the House resolution.
McConnell said that the Senate will hold a trial if the House sends over articles of impeachment even though some conservatives are calling for dismissal. The Senate must work under the laws of the Constitution and the rules of the Senate, but Senate leaders have some discretion as to procedures, length of trial, calling of witnesses, etc. I think that a trial in the Senate may be a good thing because President Trump and his advocates could call anyone to be witnesses. They could call Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, or any number of other members of the Deep State. A Senate trial may be the only way to hold such people accountable for corruption in the former administration.
Fred Lucas at The Daily Signal posted an article titled “4 Keys to Understanding a Trump Impeachment Trial in the Senate.” According to Lucas, President Andrew Johnson was impeached in 1868 for violating the Tenure of Office Act. His trial in the Senate lasted two months with witnesses testifying on the Senate floor much like a regular criminal trial. The Senate did not remove him from office. President Bill Clinton was impeached in 1999 by a Republican-led House. It has been called a “sham trial” because the Republican-led Senate did not intend to remove him from office. They believed that removing Clinton from office would cause them to lose the majority in the Senate.
Lucas continues his article by describing the process for a Senate trial with President Trump being issued a “writ of summons” to appear, or at least to send his counsel to appear for the trial. He expects the Senate to rely on precedent, something that the House has not done. The Senate will act as a judge and jury with Chief Justice John Roberts presiding over the trial as directed by the Constitution. His job will be to keep order.
Some conservatives are calling for the Senate to dismiss the case. Others are saying that it should be a short trial. They all agree that the Senate should not fall to the level of being a plaything for Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats in the House. Even though the Senate may have the authority to dismiss the case, they most likely will go through the motion of trying the President. They do not want Americans to accuse them of ignoring their constitutional duties. At any rate, they should make the trial long enough to do their duties but short enough to stop the Democrat tricks.