When the Senate tries Donald Trump on slam-dunk charges of abuse of power and obstructing Congress, Senate Republicans will recite after Mitch McConnell:
“I swear to ignore any and all evidence, and serve the leader of our party. Truth be damned.”
That’s not the actual oath they will recite, just the thought-oath as their lips move.
The actual oath will call on members of the Senate to consider the evidence thoughtfully and objectively.
But they don’t want evidence, based on the breeze-thru process (Wash? Wax?) McConnell says he will direct. All he wants is a brisk end to the inconvenience of Donald Trump’s impeachment.
They want to send a message to this president that it doesn’t matter what he does in office as long as he signs on to tax cuts, and a Supreme Court and courts system Republicans can rig.
That’s been the message all along. I heard Sen. Lindsey Graham say that if Robert Mueller came up with anything objectionable he’d have considered the matter serious. Mueller came up with at least 10 instances of obstruction by Trump that a raft of prosecutors said were indictable.
Graham simply heard what he wanted – that Mueller was prevented from indicting Trump himself.
Republicans like Graham and “Moscow Mitch” chose not to hear Mueller say that instances of Russia’s attack on our elections to aid Trump were “multiple” and “systematic.” Mitch and the gang cupped their ears. Why? Of course with an assist to Russia and, of course, the Electoral College.
And now we have the Ukraine matter and the dizzying effort to make us believe what our eyes, ears and all mental faculties tell us to be true:
Our president attempted to bribe the Ukrainian president into providing politically damaging theatre to help Trump’s re-election. Yes, inviting more foreign involvement in our election system.
I said “our” eyes tell us these things are true. That means all Republicans – every one of them. They simply don’t care.
When this all first came down in September I posed this question to Trump supporters:
“When suspicions first were raised, did the man you helped elect sound like someone who pressured the president of a foreign country to investigate the son of a political opponent?
“Ah hah. You nodded your head. Ever so slightly, you did.
“Or maybe you said, ‘Hell, yeah.'”
All about second- and third-hand information? Not at all.
We see the president’s own words, “I would like you to do us a favor . . .” This while $400 million in armaments to fight Russian invaders and pro-Russia separatists dangles before the eyes of Ukraine’s new president.
No, it wasn’t just one phone call, either. As Congressman Adam Schiff pointed out, “It was neither the start nor the end” of the matter. Trump’s own ambassador to the European Union said so, and stressed there was in fact that quid pro quo Trump says was never in play.
McConnell and Senate Republicans don’t want to hear it.
But this crime – bribery is what bribery does – is only the half of it.
The other half, impeachment-wise, is Trump’s ignoring the law and blocking oversight by Congress — a continuation of the obstruction to which Mueller pointed: a criminal pattern performed in plain sight.
Schiff, whom history books will record is a hero in this sorry episode, laid out what this is all about on behalf of the House Intelligence Committee.
He said our country’s relationship with Ukraine can be repaired. However, unless Trump is sanctioned for his actions, our system of checks and balances will not.
“Any future president will feel empowered to resist an investigation into their own wrongdoing, malfeasance or corruption, and the result will be a nation at far greater risk of all three.”
Trump supporters cannot deny this. And they couldn’t care less.
Longtime newspaperman John Young lives in Colorado. Email: email@example.com.