It has often been noted that a House impeachment and a Senate trial are political processes. That is very important to understand. The fact that the POLITICAL parties are so divided on party lines is proof enough that it is all about politics. If there is ever any justice served by an impeachment, it would be more coincidence than purpose.
Arguably, every impeachment in American history – President Andrew Johnson, President Bill Clinton and President Donald Trump – led to acquittals. That would suggest that the cases lack sufficient merit to justify conviction and removal of a President of the United States. Ergo, they are political.
Johnson was impeached for taking action that was later held to be constitutional, specifically replacing Secretary of War Edwin Stanton. Clinton was impeached for perjuring himself in conjunction with the non-criminal scandal involving sexual affair carried out in the Oval Office. Trump was impeached based on a strained interpretation of a phone call with the president of Ukraine. Trump’s second impeachment was the result of a strained interpretation of his remarks and intention relating to the Capitol Hill rioting.
If you were to remove the political underpinnings, NONE of the impeachments would likely have taken place. Instead, impeachment has become increasingly weaponized as a part of a partisan-based strategy to gain political advantage.
The second Trump impeachment is made even worse – more shamefully political – than even those past impeachments. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court will not be presiding – as was the case in the other impeachment trials.
Instead, the presiding officer will be Vermont’s Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy.
WHAT? Leahy is one of the more strident partisan Democrats in the United States Senate – and that is saying a lot. He has been one of the elitist media’s regular Trump- and Republican-bashing interviewees.
Who presides over the trial in the absence of the Chief Justice? In the case of non-presidential impeachments, it has been the President Pro Tempore of the Senate – and that currently is Leahy. But it does not have to be.
The new Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer could select someone with a fairer temperament in a gesture of unity – maybe someone like West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin. Since Schumer himself is a hardcore take-no-prisoners partisan, there is no chance that that would happen.
In accepting his role, Leahy of course pledged that he would be fair and make decisions that adhere to the Constitution. He may offer up that sop, but the odds of him acting impartially are about the same as winning the Power Ball Lottery without purchasing a ticket.
The only purpose of the eleventh-hour impeachment is the hope that it will improve Democrat chances in the 2022 midterm election. At this moment, however, it is a distraction and a political abomination over which Leahy will preside. Serves him right.
So, there ‘tis.