It’s too late to seek truth, fairness in Trump trial

The hurried, haphazard and incomplete December impeachment of President Donald Trump was preplanned and the outcome predetermined before he even took office.

Everyone knows that the impeachment inquiry conducted in the House of Representatives would make a back alley mob boss blush, including fake moralists like Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine and Democratic Senator Doug Jones of Alabama.

It is no secret that Democrats had been longing to impeach Trump since he became a serious contender for the presidency in 2016.

Democratic congressman Al Green from Texas has been impeachment’s most ardent proponent.  In July last year the Democratic-led House voted 332-95 to quash the third bid by Green to impeach the president after two other attempts were defeated.

He isn’t even mincing words, telling MSNBC host Chris Hayes Monday, “Well, the genesis of impeachment, to be very candid with you, was when the president was running for office and he had members of his own party to talk about his unfitness to hold office.”

Politico Senior Policy Reporter Darren Samuelsohn wrote in April, 2016, “Donald Trump isn’t even the Republican nominee yet. But his incendiary rhetoric, most notably about killing the families of terrorists and bringing back torture, has critics on the right and the left discussing the most extreme of countermeasures at an unusually early point in the race.”

““Impeachment” is already on the lips of pundits, newspaper editorials, constitutional scholars, and even a few members of Congress. From the right, Washington attorney Bruce Fein puts the odds at 50/50 that a President Trump commits impeachable offenses as president,” Samuelsohn added.

Some self-serving lawmakers are now donning halos to proclaim that Trump’s Senate trial should be a search for truth and conducted with the utmost regard for fairness, pointing to the trial of former President Bill Clinton as the blueprint Republicans should adopt.

Trump’s impeachment does not reflect the process that was followed during the Clinton era and it’s time for lawmakers to own that truth.

Jones penned a Washington Post op-ed Monday headlined “Every trial is a pursuit of truth. Will my colleagues in the Senate uphold that?” He postulated that “verdict,” derives from the Latin veredictum, and means “to say the truth.”

  “Soon, my colleagues in the Senate and I will be called on to fulfill a solemn constitutional duty: to render verdicts — to say the truth — in the impeachment trial of President Donald J. Trump. Our decision will have enormous consequences, not just for President Trump, but for future presidencies and Congresses, and our national security,” wrote Jones.

“For Americans to have confidence in the impeachment process, the Senate must conduct a full, fair and complete trial with all relevant evidence regarding the president’s conduct,” he stated. “We cannot allow the full truth to evade this trial only to be revealed in some future memoir or committee hearing,” the pompous senator claimed.

Collins spoke with Maine Public’s senior political reporter Mal Leary on Tuesday from her high horse arguing: “It is inappropriate, in my judgment, for senators on either side of the aisle to prejudge the evidence before they have heard what is presented to us, because each of us will take an oath, an oath that I take very seriously to render impartial justice. That’s what it says, impartial justice.”

 During the impeachment inquiry of President Clinton, Democrats were in the minority of the House of Representatives. They had the ability to subpoena witnesses and documents on Clinton’s behalf. His lawyers were also able to participate in examining witnesses, subpoenaing documents, introducing and objecting to evidence, and otherwise defending him against his accusers, all of which Trump was denied.

Democrats gathered much of their evidence in a series of closed-door hearings from a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility in the basement of the Capitol with very little Republican input, while leaking out-of-context quotes to hurt the president.

It is ridiculous for Democrats and shady lawmakers from the president’s party to demand a fair trial, or anything for that matter, from Senate Republicans. It just too late.

Trump’s impeachment is a perfect representation of the legal metaphor ‘fruit of the poisonous tree’. The evidentiary tree has been poisoned and fruit harvested has also been tainted.

The articles of impeachment for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress do not include a crime or misdemeanor which are the thresholds set under the Constitution.

Politicians like Collins and Jones will never admit this truth — Trump’s impeachment does not even meet constitutional muster and should be dismissed out of hand by any lawmaker who really wants to do what is fair and just.