Guest editorial by Nukeman.
There are very few people in this country who do not know that an impeachment process of the President of the United States is in progress. God help those who don’t.
As we all know, the House of Representatives has “the sole power of impeachment”, while the Senate sits as the jury in an indictment trial, with the House appointed lawmakers representing the prosecutors and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court presiding over it. The Senate would have the duty to set the trial guidelines.
These are known facts. These things we know. They are spelled out in the Constitution. We also know that the Democrats have the House majority and it is almost a foregone conclusion that they will impeach this Republican president. As it stands today, it is also assumed that the Republican controlled Senate would acquit President Trump if the Senate trial were held upon the House impeaching him.
But I ask these two questions: does the House have to send the Articles of Impeachment directly to the Senate? And does the Senate have the power to hold a trial without receiving those articles from the House?
These seem like strange questions, as the sole purpose of impeaching the president is to indict him and remove him from office. But this president has obstructed the process more than any other president in history has. Granted, Nixon withheld his infamous tapes and it took the Supreme Court to force him to release them. But release them he did (save for those mysterious and most likely damning 18 1/2 minutes which were conveniently accidentally erased).
Trump has blocked 100% of White House documents from being released. He has demanded that no Executive branch member testify in the process. And he has claimed “total immunity” from any prosecution or investigation. He has stonewalled at every turn and has kept the 1st hand witnesses from testifying to the truth, all the while crying that there are no 1st hand witnesses testifying, making the claim that it is then a hoax and a fake proceeding.
Subpoenaing witnesses who are being held back by the White House requires court action. Trump has delayed those court actions by appealing at every step, attempting to take every subpoena to the Supreme Court and, in effect, running out the clock.
But what if the clock doesn’t have to be run out? What if the House submits those subpoenas to Trump’s inner circle, which Trump will delay in court, and then impeaches Trump in the interim, saying they will not send the articles of impeachment to the Senate until all the court cases are complete and the full body of testimony is accomplished?
Are they forced to go to the Senate upon impeachment? The process says that after impeaching the president, the House will appoint a team of lawmakers from the chamber, known as managers, to play the role of prosecutors in the Senate trial. These prosecutors would then send the articles of impeachment to the Senate. But where does it say that it must be immediately? Where does it say that the Senate can start the trial without receiving those same articles?
It is most likely that the Supreme Court will rule against Trump, as it did against Nixon. It is most certain that the testimony of the likes of Bolton, Mulvaney, Pence and Pompeo will be damning enough to sway those holdout Republican Senators into voting against Trump.
In the meantime, Pelosi can use the impeachment against Trump all during the campaign season while stating that holding off the trial until after the election is preferred by both the populace and the Republicans. It is a win-win. Impeach, run election, indict. Simple.
Trump’s ace in the hole is in his hold over the Republican Senators. As it stands now, he will play that ace and use it to claim total exoneration and aid himself in winning the election. Taking that ace away will most certainly sink Donald Trump and at the same time salvage the honor and prestige of the Constitution itself.
The facts are there to impeach Trump. The Republicans know that. They are merely hiding behind Trump’s claim to immunity to deflect from answering to the Constitution. What I propose should be a legal and logical way to allow the due process to actually work and set a precedent for future presidents that none of them are above the law and the law has a way to prevent them from undermining it.
What say you all?