Letter to the Editor

Who made a sham of impeachment?

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Last week the serial anti-Trump letter writer called the three-week Senate trial a "sham impeachment trial."

The only reason the Democrats called it a "sham impeachment trial" is that the Democrats did not receive the only verdict they thought was appropriate — "guilty." When the House impeachment inquiry began in September, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said it must be bi-partisan. The House impeachment inquiry took four months to interview and take depositions from 18 witnesses. They only released 17 transcripts because the 18th would have been embarrassing to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff.

Not one House Republican voted to approve the impeachment inquiry or to approve the House Articles for Impeachment. During the House inquiry, President Trump was not given "due process" as required by the VI amendment to the Constitution. During the House Inquiry the President and his defense team were not permitted to call their own witnesses or to cross-examine witnesses called by the House Democrats.

To begin the Senate impeachment trial the House impeachment managers submitted 28,000 pages for the record. The Senators listened to 18 hours of justifications for impeachment from the House impeachment managers and watched 190 video clips of the House testimony. It didn't take that long for the President's defense team to explain why the House Impeachment charges were unconstitutional or did not make common sense. To accept the Democratic Party premise to establish a new "vote of confidence" as used in the English parliamentary system would create a government system where the president has no power, but serves at the pleasure of Congress.

The only reason Senate Democrats wanted to call more witnesses was to generate negative publicity to hurt President Trump's re-election chances. During the House inquiry, Democrats called all the witnesses they wanted, while they denied the Republicans the opportunity to call a single witness. The big witness the Democrats wanted was John Bolton — which the House declined to subpoena during their inquiry. John Bolton's creditability as a witness is tainted by his being fired from the White House over a policy dispute and he is in the process of selling a book that he would want to have salacious press coverage to sell more books.

The Senate asked 180 questions – evenly divided between Republicans and Democrats. The Constitution requires two-thirds of the Senators present to convict. In the end they couldn’t even muster a majority of the Senate. During the trial President Trump's public approval rose to a high of 49 percent (higher than Obama’s in his first term), while support for impeachment fell.

So was the House impeachment inquiry a sham or was the Senate trial a sham? I think we all knew the outcome of this Democratic House impeachment inquiry from the beginning. The Republican Senate majority would guarantee an acquittal. So much for a partisan impeachment.

Phil Petersen