By this time most of us know that the House of Representatives voted to impeach the President. The U.S. Senate now must act as the jury and decide whether the President is to be acquitted or found guilty on one or both of the counts with which he is charged.

The assumption in the Constitution is very clear: The members of the U.S. Senate shall listen to evidence presented and make a decision based solely on the evidence. Their decision shall not be influenced by political party affiliation or any other outside pressure.

The Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court acts as the arbiter of procedural issues and one would hope that Chief Justice Roberts will act impartially and not be guided by politics.

In a normal jury trial it is a felony to “fix” a juror or for the juror to receive anything of value for his or her vote. Serving as a juror is a community service and honesty and integrity are understood to be part of the juror’s services. If a juror violates their oath to serve independently without outside influence or receives consideration of any kind that would be a violation of his or her oath and a criminal charge would automatically be instituted against them.

Alas, evidently violating their oath of office means nothing for the bulk of the Republicans in the U.S. Senate. Mitch McConnell, the GOP Majority Leader of the U.S. Senate has already admitted he is working hand in hand with the White House to make arrangements for and work out defenses for the impeachment trial in the Senate. McConnell has called the articles of impeachment “so darn weak” and confessed to “taking my cues” from Trump and White House counsel, namely Pat A. Cipollone.

McConnell said in an interview, of course on Fox News (“Trump TV”) the following: “Everything I do during this, I’m coordinating with the White House counsel. There will be no difference between the president’s position and our position as to how to handle this to the extent that we can.”

There are 47 Democrats, including two Independents, who vote with the Democrats in the U.S. Senate and 53 Republicans. In order to convict Trump a two-thirds vote of the Senate is required — 67 guilty votes. If the jury were not rigged it certainly would be possible to get the votes depending on the evidence submitted. The Republicans, however, are a disciplined bunch and are afraid of Trump so the great likelihood is Republican support for acquittal. The Democrats will have won a substantial victory if they can get 51 Senators, or a simple majority, to vote for impeachment.

What can we, the public, do about the fixed jury? Realistically not much except publicly complain about the fix being in and, of course, hope that McConnell’s 2020 opponent Amy McGrath knocks him out of the Senate as McConnell is up for reelection. McConnell and his gang of Republican Senators have not been good for the country.

I have my fingers crossed that four Republican Senators will show that they have a conscience and believe in their oath of office and vote with the 47 Democratic Senators to show the country and the world that the United States is a democracy and it is a democracy that works.

Edward L. Marcus is former chairman of the Democratic State Central Committee in Connecticut and former State Senate majority leader. 

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8 Comments

  1. If t

    he jury were not rigged

    Oh, you mean like the Democrat primary sham in 2016? Perhaps Mr. Marcus means like entire Intel Comm efforts to ‘stop Trump?’ How about the House impeachment ‘inquisition.?’ You know, where Republicans were prevented from calling witnesses to make their case, certain names were forbidden to be mentioned, claiming (falsely) that the law prohibited it. Meeting with a “WB” whose statement was proven false and who tried to change his statement about meeting with Democrat staff before it was filed? How about hiding testimony that had been given in secret? Failing to follow basic House rules and, more importantly, the Constitutional Right to due process? Filing and approving articles of impeachment with no basis in the Constitution?

    Mr. Marcus, is that what you meant when you discussed the process being fixed?

    1. Wow, Papa. You are amazing. Simply amazing. Where are you getting your “facts”?

      What witnesses were Republicans prevented from calling to “make their case”? Trump’s actions were the subject of the impeachment hearings. Hunter Biden? Sure, Republicans want to grill him, but what would he know about what Trump did or didn’t do/say? Irrelevant witnesses are pointless.

      What “Constitutional Right to due process” was violated? Until the impeachment vote in the full House, Trump had not officially been charged with anything. Consider it comparable to a federal grand jury, the purpose of which is to investigate and decide WHETHER to charge somebody with a crime. If the “target” of the grand jury were to testify, then he/she would be entitled to certain warnings/rights. But otherwise, unless/until the grand jury returns an indictment and the person is officially charged with a crime, he/she is not entitled to mount a defense or call witnesses.

  2. Today’s Congressional Republicans abandoned every ideal that once connected its members. Frugality gave way to huge tax cuts and record spending. Free markets are lost to trade wars and tarriffs. National security priorities are upside down with the President’s preference for Russian intelligence over CIA, FBI, and other Federal agencies. The “compassionate conservatism” of GW Bush is forgotten as immigrant children are separated from their parents and lost in the system. Not surprisingly, conservativeidealists left the Party. Moreover, the impeachment votes in the House demonstrate a party marching in lock-stepped defiance of any and all criticism of a President who believes Article II puts him above the law. Defiance is no substitute for decency, Maybe the GOP should rename itself the “Trump Party” and stop calling itself “the party of Lincoln.”

    1. I believe that Lincoln — a very principled man — would agree with you.

      I keep asking myself how it is possible that Republicans continue to support Trump and disparage all of the incontrovertible evidence that has come to light. It can only be a matter of “there are none so blind as those who WILL NOT SEE.”

    2. I see that you’ve blamed Republicans for everything except the plague. That may be coming though. Where do I begin? I agree with tax cut comments but record spending and sluping at the Federal trough is shared by your heroes as well. Free markets can’t be free if our trading partners impose unilateral tariffs on us and steal our corporate secrets. The President doesn’t rightly trust some of our intelligence agencies after the Russian dossier, Russian interference, and other shenanigans by people who want him gone. So now GW Bush is a compassionate conservative? Funny, he was crucified by your party for 8 years. Immigrant children have entered illegally and deserve due process, not protection in sanctuary cities and rights given to taxpaying citizens. No one is above the law, including the President and Democrats who have tried to remove him since before he was elected.

  3. Your viewpoint is ironically unbalanced because you ignore many Democrats who literally told the press they would begin looking to impeach the President the day he took office. Seriously they actually cheered and clapped last night when Ms. Pelosi dropped her gavel to impeach – the look on her face was priceless and the response predictable.

    We the people deserve to know if a crime was committed and what is fact and what is fiction in the allegations and who is responsible for both. The SENATE not the HOUSE decides his fate because due process is denied by the house in impeachment hearings (as we all saw). This is by design because the Senate not House decides and judge the accused. That is how the constitution works.

    I hope the Senate is more impartial than their colleagues in the house who are embarrassment to our country. Not because they like or dislike President Trump or his policies but because they act like a bunch of spoiled children instead of real leaders.

    1. The Constitution doesn’t require violation of criminal law to impeach. What “due process” was denied in the House? That’s the investigatory phase; the House’s role was to decide whether charges were in order. Compare impeachment hearings to federal grand jury: evidence is sought to determine whether crime was committed and who committed it. The “target” doesn’t get to present witnesses or put on a defense. That only happens when/if that person is arrested, charged and goes to trial. Trump’s trial is coming up in the Senate. Considering that there likely won’t be any testimony/witnesses and the Republican-controlled Senate has already indicated it will stay in lock-step to acquit Trump, any hope of impartiality there is doomed.

      Having said all that, those Democrats who were calling for Trump’s impeachment on the day he took office (or even before) were ridiculously stupid, unreasonable, and (to use Trump’s word) yes, unfair. And they tainted the entire process.

  4. One would hope that the Democrat controlled House would have acted impartially also but how could they when their hatred for the President guided their actions? Lets face it, the process is political from start to finish due to the actors of both parties involved. How elitist to state after the “objective” impeachment process that the reader hopes the senate process can also be objective. You can’t have it both ways, as much as you would like to.

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