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Impeachment 2020: No Good Civics Lessons Here

us supreme court chief justice john roberts

U.S.Senate Impeachment Trial Of President Donald Trump Continues. Washington, D.C., Jan. 24, 2020. U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts presides in the Senate. (Senate Television via Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 30 January 2020 11:37 AM EST

The Trump impeachment is quite hard to analogize to prior impeachments and other trials.

The two Articles alleged against the president do not allege a codified crime.

In both the Nixon and Clinton impeachment proceedings specific crimes were alleged.

It's hard for a layman, much less a lawyer to understand and wrap your mind around this current impeachment.

Democrats today are quick to remind the media and the public that impeachment and removal is not a criminal procedure — it's a political one.

That does not give much comfort to a nation who expects something different for the rare and unusual and drastic process of removing a president, especially when Democrats have been talking about impeaching and removing the president long before his phone call with Ukraine's president.

I have many problems with the U.S. House Impeachment of the president and the Senate trial thus far. First, the House Democrats rushed to impeachment  without laying the groundwork and producing evidence the House now demands the Senate to uncover and produce — including "necessary" and "material" witnesses.

I have trouble with the Senate’s decorum and Chief Justice John Roberts' hands-off handling of the process.

The House produced an "indictment" of the president, passing two counts a/k/a Articles of Impeachment. Once the House acts the case should be ready and ripe for a trial.

The House did not produce a full and complete record for the Senate to proceed to trial on.

As one who practiced law for many years, had I proceeded to trial on such an incomplete record, the judge would throw the case out, likely sanctioning me for my unprofessionalism.

It is not the job of a court to fix the blunders of counsel.

The case rises and falls of the evidence as it exists at the time it is presented by the prosecution for trial.

What was the rush?

The rush to impeach was the fact that 2020 is an election year and that some of the jurors in the Senate are running against the very president they seek to defeat.

It was all about the calendar and thus it their presentment of Articles of Impeachment were shoddy — and incomplete. A rush to judgment never turns out well for accusers.

We saw that play out within the last year with the horrendous Judge Brett Kavanaugh hearings.

Members of the Senate took an oath prior to the start of the impeachment trial to uphold "impartial justice" as the president’s impeachment trial gets underway.

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts administered the oath to senators, who were standing at their desks on the Senate floor with their right hands raised.

"Do you solemnly swear that in all things appertaining to the trial of the impeachment of Donald John Trump, president of the United States, now pending, you will do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws, so help you God?" Roberts asked senators.

Senators then walked down to the front of the chamber as their names were called to affix their signatures to the oath book.

Everyday thousands of American citizens take a similar oath in local, state, and federal courts: to sit as jurors deciding the fates of life, liberty, and property.

Senators are given similar admonitions as jurors in courts.

They cannot discuss the case with fellow senators/jurors.

They cannot operate electronic (recording, etc.) devices.

They can take notes but not share notes with other senators.

Unlike ordinary American jurors, Senators are allowed to come and go during the trial, can eat candy, and drink milk in their seats. Worst of all they can talk to the press about the case in process during recesses. If an American juror acted like a Senate juror that would be removed and held in contempt of court. Many senators, Democratic and Republican alike have made a mockery of the president's trial (for removal).

Many have gotten up, leaving the Senate Chamber for long periods of time.

Many have rushed from the Chamber at a recess to talk to the press about the case they took an oath to mete out with "impartial justice," only to make partial, political and legal statements regarding that which they heard.

It seems to me that some senators have honored their oath in the breach and have comported themselves in a manner that sets no example for citizens or is a good reflection on themselves — or the institution that is the U.S. Senate.

The chief justice’s admonition the other night to both parties with regard to decorum came in the early morning hours quite recently. His rebuke was too late. Chief Justice Roberts has allowed Democrats to bring motion after motion as an excuse to speak to all things, other than to the motion before the Senate. Roberts should have cut them off as he would do in his court, keeping the proceedings germane to only those topics at hand.

The House impeachment and the Senate trial thus far has been disgraceful and nothing our country, regardless of party affiliation, should be proud of in substance, procedure, or decorum.

This case should never have been brought. It should be dismissed forthwith, and should be done so for the U.S. House’s failure to state causes of action rising to constitutional standards of a "high crimes or misdemeanors."

The true intent of the Democrats' impeachment of President Donald J. Trump can be summed up and evidenced by a rare moment of candor and truth on the part of House Impeachment Manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., “The president’s misconduct cannot be decided at the ballot box, for we cannot be assured that the vote will be fairly won."

Impeachment and removal of a U.S. president is no sword to impale a political opponent — it's a shield to protect the public from proven — and present — abuses.

Bradley Blakeman was a member of President George W. Bush's senior White House staff from 2001 to 2004. He is also a frequent contributor to Fox News and Fox Business Channel. He currently is a Principal with the a consulting company. — Click Here Now.

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This case should never have been brought. It should be dismissed forthwith, and should be done so for the U.S. House’s failure to state causes of action rising to constitutional standards of a "high crimes or misdemeanors."
chief justice, roberts, kavanaugh, motion
Thursday, 30 January 2020 11:37 AM
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