Impeachment: Where we’re at, and where we’re probably going

It
looks like this is where we’re at. The House will vote Articles of Impeachment,
probably by the end of the year. These Articles will include obstruction of
justice at the very least (concerning Trump’s illegal attempts to completely
block the House from issuing subpoenas and doing its Constitutional duty to
investigate).

The
Senate then will be obligated to conduct a Trial. McConnell (may his name live
in infamy) has already stated he will allow this to go forward. But Republicans
say many things that they later retract, and McConnell in the end will do
whatever his master, Trump, tells him to. And Trump may instruct him not to
hold a Trial.

What does the Constitution say? The relevant clauses are in Article 1, Section 3:

The Senate shall have the
sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall
be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried,
the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the
Concurrence of two-thirds of the Members present.

Judgment in Cases of
Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and
disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under
the United States; but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and
subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.

That seems clear enough: The Senate “shall.”
But we’ve already seen how Constitutionally-mandated “shalls” are routinely
disregarded by this rogue administration and its Republican henchmen in Congress. U.S. law explicitly
states that, upon request by a legitimate committee of the House of
Representatives or the Senate, “The Secretary [of
the Treasury] shall furnish such committee with any [tax] return or return
information specified in such request…”.

That’s
the law. But Trump commanded his craven Treasury Secretary, the chinless
Mnuchin, not to hand over his [Trump’s] tax returns, in violation of the law.
So much for “shall.” If Trump can nullify one law and get away with it,
he feels he can nullify any law.

If McConnell does refuse to hold a Trial he, and Trump, and Republicans in general will come under enormous, withering condemnation. The media will howl—but Fox “News” will praise the effort, alleging that a “fake Impeachment” ought not to have been allowed in the first place…and it’s likely that the entire Republican base will support McConnell and Trump, as they have all along. Where will we be then?

Once
again, in those uncharted waters of “a Constitutional crisis.” But we’ve there
before, too, a dozen times, with this lawless, kleptomaniacal president in power.
What can Democrats do, besides howl in indignation and await for the 2020 elections?

But
let us take McConnell at his word; he has been, if not honorable, at least
consistent in his fealty to Trump. He said he would allow a Trial, so let’s
assume the Trial actually does occur.

Democrats
will present their witnesses. An overwhelming case will be made (to the Senators
and to the American people) that, yes, there was a quid pro quo. Trump
threatened to withhold military aid and other favors from Ukraine, in exchange—not
for anything in the national interest (which would be okay)—but in exchange for
a personal “favor”: to invent dirt on Joe and Hunter Biden. That’s against the
law. That’s an abuse of power, at the very least. After all the evidence is in,
then what?

Chances are that support for Removal from Office (now hovering at around 50%) will tick up a few points—say, to 54%. It can’t go much higher, because Trump still commands the support of about 40% of the American public (what pathetic fools they are!). Even at 54% favoring Removal, the Senate will never see twenty Republicans voting for Removal. It may see none, not even the hapless Susan Collins, who may make the political calculation that voting for the…


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