Opinion: Senate could do more than acquit Trump
In politics, when your side is on defense and the other side is on offense, you are losing. It is fortunate for the Democrats that President Donald Trump is on defense throughout his impeachment, which is surely why they wish to drag the matter out as long as they possibly can.
But the Senate is not a court, not truly. The Senate is not bound by the rules of evidence of any court system (a fact we see in the hearsay and opinion offered as evidence by House impeachment managers), its verdict is not subject to appeal, and no senator facing re-election could be considered an impartial juror.
Fortunately for Trump, the Senate is not restricted to choosing simply between “guilty” and “not guilty.” The Senate could dismiss the articles of impeachment by resolution, and in doing so use any verbiage of its choosing.
They could declare Trump not only “not guilty,” but indeed “innocent.”
They could even declare the impeachment to be the very thing of which it accuses the president: Abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, intended for the Democrats’ own political advantage.
They could further argue that the charges were brought with prosecutorial malice.
Here are some examples:
►The day before the Senate impeachment began, House Impeachment Manager Hakeem Jeffries called Trump “the Grand Wizard of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.”
►The day she was sworn into office, Rep. Rashida Tlaib said “we’re gonna go in there and we’re going to impeach the mother (expletive).”
►Responding to a question just days ago, House Impeachment Manager Jerrold Nadler said Trump “must be brought to heel.”
►Signing the articles of impeachment, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi used 30 pens, which she then gave out as souvenirs, as typically occurs when lawmakers have something to celebrate — not the “sad and somber occasion” Pelosi claimed it was. She repeatedly has said Trump is “impeached forever” and that “No matter what the Senate does, it can never be erased.”
All of these incidents demonstrate what is totally obvious to the American public: Democrats are animated by their hatred of Trump. They burn with the heat of a thousand suns that America elected Trump our president, and have made clear through their votes on impeachment that they would remove him from office and ban him from seeking re-election this year.
They have engaged in a malicious prosecution of the president of the United States, using nothing more than their simple majority to, in Pelosi’s own words, tarnish the president forever. This is abuse of power, conducted for the obvious purpose of sullying the president before the 2020 election.
They have made every effort to drag the case on as long as possible, including hurling out new and unsubstantiated allegations at the last minute, something no court would permit.
For two weeks, the impeachment proceedings have prevented the Senate from working on infrastructure, the opioid crisis and every other matter before the American people. In the context of the bad faith with which these charges were brought, this could only be considered obstruction.
They accuse Trump’s lawful withholding of aid to Ukraine as being motivated in part by a desire to embarrass Joe Biden, who boasted on camera about his own withholding of aid to Ukraine, with the express purpose of having a Ukrainian prosecutor fired.
Their own motivation is political: If Trump is guilty of using his office to attack an opponent, every one of them is guilty of the same thing. The hypocrisy is staggering.
The U.S. Senate has allowed its chamber to be hijacked by House Democrats to bully and browbeat the president of the United States.
When they vote to dismiss the charges against the president, let’s hope they have much more to say than just “not guilty.”
State Rep. John Reilly, R-Oakland Twp., serves Michigan’s 46th House District.