Though I have not watched the entirety (or, really, close to the entirety) of the Senate’s impeachment case against Donald Trump, I have caught much of it and read about it.
I watched quite a bit of the House inquiry and/or listened on the radio.
I have probably consumed quite a bit more than the average voter who was either “not yet tuned in” or fatigued by the proceedings.
What I have to offer, then, is a layman’s rendering and a question and answer outlook to what has happened.
I will lay this out in terms of the questions I hear or read coming from the President’s defense team and supporters.
It may work best to review a timeline as to what has transpired since 2017.
Recently, to counter the comment that the Democrats in the House worked in a rush, Speaker Nancy Pelosi apparently said “we have been working on this for two and a half years.”
This comment was then used to help make the point that “the Democrats have been after President Trump from the beginning.” This should be broken down by the American interested in doing what is best for the country.
We should be able to see that the timeline walks back (the two and a half years) to May, 2017, approximately, when President Trump fired James Comey, FBI Director, and followed that up with the meeting with Russian officials in the Oval Office where he cited the “Russia thing” as the reason why Comey was fired.
That was the beginning of, then, the appointment of Robert Mueller and that investigation and the beginning of a serious look at whether what had been done was possibly impeachable activity by the President.
As time wore on our President adjusted staff (lost many, asked some to leave) until he had a nominee to replace former Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
That man was now current AG William Barr who auditioned for his appointment with a longish letter indicating clearly that he would be an advocate of executive power.
Barr was a perfect catch for President Trump and has proven to be that advocate, if not much of a person working for the good of all and of the Constitution.
Attorney General Barr weighed in early and unsurprisingly on the Mueller Report which was filed last March/April.
That report concluded that the Trump Campaign in 2016 could not be charged (successfully) for “conspiracy” due, likely, to the ignorance the campaign personnel could claim in terms of the many connections they had with Russian persons.
That is to say that a court of law may see that the connections were not willful and knowing attempts to throw an election or, at minimum, the Trump campaign was ignorant to the illegality of these actions.
Collusion was not considered as it was not a legal construct.
But, note: this does not mean that untoward actions were not undertaken, just not likely to earn a conviction.
On the other part of the report the Mueller team outlined several cases of chargeable obstruction but worked under the instruction that a sitting president could not be charged by this inquiry.
It is important to note that Mueller reiterated that while the inquiry found no sure fire convictable conspiracy they could not clear Trump of obstruction (they thought there was plenty of it) and, if they could, they “would so state.”
The real timeline begins when Robert Mueller testified before Congress on Wednesday July 24, 2019. Mueller, who did not write the report, had a difficult time with all of the references he was asked to speak to and looked stumbling as he searched through the report and this was unfortunate.
The day ended with the President and his side once again touting exoneration and really treating a good and honorable American shamefully.
The next day, Donald Trump, made his Ukrainian telephone call.
Later, but within the week, President Trump had his interesting interview with George Stephanopoulos where he claimed that anyone would take information from a foreign entity (in this case he cited “say, Norway”) on a political rival.
Didn’t you wonder why, after getting a pass on the Mueller Report (essentially, since there would be no charges emanating from that inquiry), the President would step right back into the question? Did he learn anything?
The conclusion from Democrats (and others, I am sure) was that the President got away with his foreign help in 2016 and was signaling that he was going to do it again.
But check the timeline again.
It demonstrates a President who already was making attempts to repeat the foreign help gambit.
The interview was about a post explanation, not a pre explanation.
It was as if we were meat being tenderized in the Stephanopoulos interview.
Now to the arguments given against impeachment.
One, the Democrats rushed the process and then held up the delivery of charges.
Well, Speaker Pelosi answered the rush charges, as did Representative Adam Schiff when he explained that subpoenas would be dragged out in the courts past the election.
The charges were held up because at least two important Senate Republicans had already indicated they were not impartial.
Why do the Democrats need more witnesses when they said they had a great case?
The Democrats had a great case and still do.
Many patriotic Americans who have worked hard careers for the country testified in the House inquiry.
Are they all unbelievable?
Who is telling you this?
The Democrats ask for more witnesses because the Trump team claims these witnesses were not “first hand.” Ok, the Trump team can provide first hand witnesses but will not and why is that?
I would suggest that Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney has already been a witness if not under oath.
He told us that there was a quid pro quo in this deal and we should “get over it.”
There is the argument that the Democrats are trying to take away the results of the last election and are trying to take Trump off the next ballot.
An impeachment does change things but, given that it is almost a full term, the argument seems contrived.
Wouldn’t it be worse if he were re-elected and then impeached?
That would be a full term taken.
This argument seems to suggest there is no good time for impeachment.
The argument about taking the President off the next ballot might make more sense if all states Republican parties were allowing for robust primaries.
It does not seem to be the case.
Finally, on Friday night I tuned into Tucker Carlson (I believe) on Fox News to see if they were covering the final thoughts of Rep. Schiff, House Manager.
I could see Schiff talking in a small box on the lower right corner of the screen, no audio or script playing.
The guest who was refuting the House Manager’s case was a Republican House member from a midwest state.
This did not seem like total coverage.
On Saturday morning I tuned into Fox again to see the total coverage of the Trump defense teams statements.
I also note that MSNBC and CNN also carried full size video and audio of the Trump teams defence.
I think you should ask yourself why the differences in coverage.
Beware if you are, therefore, getting most of this from Fox News.
If you are choosing to do this and not wanting more witnesses and want to see a quick dismissal of the impeachment case you may need to check your ability to look at truth objectively and do what is in the best interest of the country.
This is the impeachment process as it seems to be in reality.
Scott Hamre, Cherry Valley