Mitch McConnell, I'm an attorney — and the impeachment 'trial' you're planning isn't a trial at all

Ashlie Weeks

The United States Senate is preparing to receive impeachment articles from the House and there are reverberations around the Capitol about what this “clearly” means to each party.

Handing over the Articles of Impeachment to the Senate has been argued as a “coup” for Republicans and a failure for Democrats. Speaker Pelosi could not refrain from doing so forever, of course — by doing so, she is merely doing her constitutional duty. But again, 45 was impeached. The “sole power of impeachment lies in the House of Representatives”, as Art. 1 Sec. 2 Clause 5 of the US Constitution tells us. We as a nation cannot permit gaslighting by pundits and “alternative facts” from the far right to wash this fact from history.

This is the third impeachment for this country and we have United States Senators on television and in print articles expressly declaring they will “not be an impartial juror” and/or do not have any intention to act impartially. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has been adamant that the president will never be impeached and says he is working in coordination with the White House. This would essentially eviscerate the democratic process for party politics and alignment.

Let me say that again: the Senate member jurors are coordinating with the defendant to rig the trial and ensure there is a verdict in his favor. This is incredible. I have been practicing law for many years and have never, ever heard of a trial being executed in such a manner. It is beyond the pale.

Senator McConnell has doubled down over the past weeks, stating there will be no witnesses in his trial either. Therefore, he and his colleagues will preside over a sham proceeding in what is arguably the most important presidential moment in our nation’s history. Again, this bears repeating: jurors in a United States presidential impeachment trial are willing to forgo witnesses to appease a raging megalomaniac in the White House, all in favor of a continued power-grab for political centralization.

Without witnesses, basic evidence and supporting documentation, this cannot and should not be called an impeachment “trial.” This is more akin to an impeachment gathering, an auxiliary, or perhaps even an impeachment potluck. It is shameful and something we must not allow as an electorate and as an element of this excruciatingly important legislative process.

Donald Trump was impeached by the United States House of Representatives. This is done and cannot be undone. Now, the Senate must determine if he should be removed for his impeachment offenses and they are set to allow him to skate by democracy without so much as a wink or a wave.

The Rules of Impeachment will be interesting and Chief Justice Roberts has the opportunity to ensure there is a fair and impartial impeachment proceeding. This will be his legacy — to preside over a fraudulent hearing, such as that propositioned by the Senate majority, would be damaging to his own career, so it will be something we will have to watch closely as the trial unfolds.

In any other trial, a judge would never, ever allow the parties to present their case with no evidence or witness testimony. No other trial could boil down to simple speeches by each side.

Every American loses when we allow party politics to guide our judicial and democratic rights. No one wanted to go through this debacle — it was thrust heavily upon us as voters and elected officials by a president who has completely capitulated to foreign powers. When Senate Republicans usurp morality in favor of money and control, we all lose, no matter race, gender, or party affiliation. We make our own history here — and it is morally imperative we do not take for granted the progress we have made to date, as well as the lives lost in pursuit of that progress.