Senate Trial

Partisan Jurors


CNN11102019

Here’s your cartoon for CNN’s weekly newsletter, Provoke/Persuade. Please sign up to get these in your inbox every Sunday for the rest of your life.

After Donald Trump is impeached by the House of Representatives, there will be a trial in the Senate. There, every United States Senator (in case you’re a Republican, there are 100 of them), will be a juror. The majority of Republican senators have already made up their minds that Donald Trump should not be impeached. Some argue he didn’t do anything wrong while others say he did but it doesn’t amount to a charge worthy of impeachment. Some, like Lindsey Graham refuse to even hear the evidence and testimony. These Republican jurors have already made up their minds to clear Donald Trump before the trial or even before public hearings in the House have started.

Remember when the administration said it wasn’t complying with subpoenas because the House hadn’t conducted a vote for the inquiry? That seems to be forgotten now that the House did have that vote, and it passed without one Republican voting for it (even though they all demanded the vote), and the White House is still defying subpoenas.

Remember when Republicans complained about the hearings being private? They even crashed one hearing and contaminated a SCIF. Now, the Trump administration is complaining about the hearings going public. If voters have eyes and ears, they’ll see it doesn’t matter what the Democrats do, the GOP will find fault with it.

Graham said he’d be bothered if there was testimony implicating Trump in using taxpayer money to bribe Ukraine and asking them to go after a political opponent. Now that multiple witnesses say Trump did just that, Graham has decided he’s not going to listen to any testimony or read transcripts of it. Back during the Clinton impeachment, Graham said a president defying subpoenas was obstruction and another cause for impeachment. Today, it’s OK if a Republican does it.

In this week’s Time magazine, Jon Meachem writes, “The possible impeachment of Donald Trump is about more than one man. It is a singular moment in American democracy that will try our capacity for reason over passion, fact over faith and principle over tribe.”

The Republicans are making it about one man and showing we don’t have the capacity for reason, facts, or principles. If Congress fails to remove Trump from the presidency, it will be an American failure that will take generations to overcome. It will damage the office of the presidency for decades, if not permanently.

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