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HORIST: What can we expect if the Senate conducts an impeachment trial Trump?

HORIST: What can we expect if the Senate conducts an impeachment trial Trump?

It seems more and more likely – almost certain — that the House Democrats are going to impeach President Trump.

We do not have to be in any of those shadowy closed-door meetings to know what the Articles of Impeachment will look like.  They are already well developed in the heads of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the six committee chairmen she appointed as the enforcers – the most prominent of which is ethically-challenged Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff.

The main accusations will center on abuse of power, obstruction of justice, of course, and violation of the Emoluments Clause.  In support of those claims, we will hear more about (1) the phone conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, (2) the investigation of the Bidens, (3) the activities of former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, (4) the White House refusal to respond to subpoenas and to turn over documents and (5) anything else that can be piled on to strengthen the Democrats largely specious case for impeachment.

It really does not matter what it says in the Articles of Impeachment because a President can be impeached for nothing more than the desire of a majority party in the House of Representatives to impeach a President.  For sure, the Constitution says impeachment should be based on “Treason, Bribery or Other High Crimes and Misdemeanors” – but that does not matter in this highly politicized faux impeachment process.

The case against Trump is so weak that it could be well argued that it is the Democrats in Congress who are abusing their power.  When there is a question of abuse of power, the judgment belongs to the Supreme Court.  But the Democrats are circumventing that process by refusing to take the issues to the Court.  Instead, they are summarily declaring that the President’s assertion of Executive Privilege is null and void.

Impeachment was crafted as a political process – not a legal process.  That means that there are no judicial rules – such as hearsay testimony, the right of counsel, the right to confront accusers, the right of cross examination, the right to call witnesses, the right to see all exculpatory evidence and all the other protections under our rule-of -law.

Though impeachment is political, this particular effort is more stridently political than any previous impeachment hearings in American history.  Under the rules established by the Democrats, Republican members cannot subpoena witnesses, cannot take notes or have access without permission to documents in the possession of the Democrats.  Republicans will have no input into the drafting of the Articles of Impeachment.

The first Bills of Impeachment were entered by Democrats in the earliest days of the Trump presidency – long before the Mueller Report, the Michael Cohen testimony and the phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.  When Democrats took control of the House, bills of impeachment were again entered.

President Trump is likely to be impeached in one of the most unfair and ruthlessly partisan undertakings in American history —  with the possible exception of President Franklin Roosevelt’s corrupt New Deal programs.

While Democrats can run the table in the impeachment process – and with the help of their media supports create a powerful – albeit dishonest – narrative against Trump.  The Senate, however, is controlled by the Republicans – and led by one of the most skilled political operatives in Washington, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.  He has already alerted his members to prepare for a Senate trial.

By the best estimates, the actual impeachment vote will happen between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  That means a trial in the first quarter of 2020.  It will be the highest profile event during much of the presidential campaign season – distracting from the Democrat presidential campaigns as they weave their way through the gauntlet of primary election.

The first order of business for McConnell upon receiving the Articles of Impeachment is to put the House Democrats on trial as part of the process.  McConnell might say:

“In accepting these Articles of Impeachment, I am obliged to note that never in the history of this great nation has the House of Representatives ever presented the Senate with a more maliciously partisan piece of legislation.  The three examples of impeachment that we have experienced as a nation, were conducted in a fairer and more bipartisan nature.  In this document, we see the work of obsessed Democrats working through a series of secret hearings devoid of every protection and right traditionally  provided to an accused person.

As is our obligation in the Senate, we will take up this matter in accordance to the Constitution of the United States, respectful of the rights of the accused and with appreciation for the disgraceful manner by which these Articles of Impeachment have been developed.”

Criticism of the House methods and procedures should then be a constant thread of comment as the trial proceeds.  The credibility of the Articles needs to be addressed as much as the specific points they raise.

With Republicans in control, the Senate can then subpoena knowledgeable witnesses blocked from testimony by the House Democrats.  Rather than relying on leaked interpretations of testimony, the Senate can cross-examine witnesses who appeared in those secret closed-door sessions.  President Trump’s lawyers will have access to all alleged evidence – something they were denied in the House hearings.

While Democrats seem to have decided to NOT call the whistleblowers to testify – making the ludicrous claim that they are protecting their identity for safety reasons.  More like, they know that the whistleblowers may have serious credibility problems and their testimony could play better for team Trump.  However, I would bet that the whistleblowers will be subpoenaed by the Senate and be required to testify in open hearing.

Republicans will have a communications advantage because the trial will result in more people watching the actual hearings – as opposed to having them interpreted by partisan Democrats and a biased media.  They also have the advantage of the last word.

In a typical trial, the one-sided argument of the prosecution is often very convincing.  But when the defense presents its facts and explanation, perceptions can change drastically. Without the benefit of a crystal ball, one can predict that the indictment presented by the Democrats will appear less convincing when the defense gets its opportunity.  That could result in a lessening of public fervor for removing Trump from office.

It is likely that a good enough case will be made that the Senate will not vote to remove the President.  If that is the outcome, Trump will declare vindication and be stronger than ever.  Conversely, Democrats – who came out looking very bad after their two-year accusations of Russian collusion by the Trump campaign came crashing down – may suffer a similar fate when the dust has settled in the Senate on their almost four-year effort to impeach and oust Trump.

Yes, the Democrats are winning the war of words in the court-of-public-opinion at the moment, but it may be a whole different thing when impeachment hits the Senate.

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.

21 Comments

  1. Kathy Long

    The current House rules of process were written by a Republican House — led by John Boehner and Mike Pompeo.

    These are not minor charges. Lying about an inappropriate relationship with an intern — that’s minor — considering they investigated White Water, etc. and found nothing.

    Trump can’t deny the legion of people that will testify about his greed, corruption, and incompetence. He’s unfit to be President.

    Republicans and conservatives defined themselves when they allowed this failed businessman to run as a Republican despite his racist statements that he pointedly included in the announcement of his entry into the Republican primary process.

    Sounds like Republicans are a bunch of snowflakes. Lightweight, white, and temporary.

    Everything Trump touches dies. Goodbye Republican party.

    • Lonnie

      Are you blind and uninformed or just angry?

      • Ron Clark

        AllAll three!

    • Rich

      Unfortunately for you and other Leftist’s the “sky is falling”.

      AG Barr’s investigation has turned into a Criminal Investigation as Demented-Dems and the Alphabet Agencies have been running a scam on President Trump for 3 years.

      Hide and wait, or, if you want to hear the FACTS, as they roll out, turn to a Conservative Network, Radio or Newspaper, if you can find one . . . . otherwise, expect to be blind-sided as many on the Left end up in Orange Jump Suits.

      • John john

        please con networks are nothing more than conspiracy theories.

    • Knock Knock

      Sure, they’ll testify – they’ll give their opinions about his greed, corruption and whatever based on whatever makes them feel good about hating the color of his hair to justify their nonsense… just like the nonsense you’re posting here. Opinions – that’s all we get from you democrats, good for nothing opinions.

    • Ernest Lane

      You are truly stupid. I hope you’re not a parent.

      Greed? How? He’s taking _no salary_. Corruption? How? Incompetence? He’s a _billionaire. Say what you will, an incompetent guy can’t do that. “failed businessman.” Yeah, right.

    • Rawhide

      Your comments sounds like an echo in the hollows of you head. No, all rules set by precedent, has been thrown out. There are no bipartisan efforts here, only the get Trump as all costs and by what ever means needed.
      Lying abut an affair? Clinton wasn’t impeached because of lying about an affair. He was impeached because he LIED to a grand jury. And part of the investigation into Whitewater was in the Articles of Impeachment.
      I guess you, in your blindness, can’t see the booming economy, the low unemployment across the board for all minorities.
      Failed business man? It appears that you are the failed person. Trump took a 1 million dollar loan and turned it into a 4 Billion dollar investment. Sure there were a couple of road bumps along the way, but then every business has them. How many times has GM been in bankruptcy court? How about Ford or GE? Every large business has been there at least once in their lifetimes.
      The government is a business in the business of providing a service to its citizens. A business such as the government, needs a businessman to run it. We have seen, over the past 200 years, how politicians have run the government. They have run it into the ground and now we stand 20 Trillion dollars in debt. Trump has done a great job in the time he’s been president.
      As far as snowflakes goes, its the democrats that threw temper tantrums when Trump won in 2016 and those tantrums continue on down to the so called phony impeachment hearings.
      The democrats are a bunch of corrupt, criminals that needs to be put in jail, to restore the Rule of Law. And now that the Russia witch hunt, investigate the investigators, has turned into a criminal investigation, the demos are crying, “We are not suppose to be investigated, we are above the law”.
      And it appears the the vultures of time are coming to the corrupt and decayed body of the democrat party. After the collapse of the so called impeachment efforts by the democrat party, they will lose so many seats in the House, that they will become a rare species, after the 2020 elections.

    • Jesse Tiede

      Go suck an egg, Beavis…

    • Warren

      If he is so incompetent, why is he so rich? If he is so greedy, why does he donate all but one dollar of his salary to the government? If he is so corrupt, why did a 30 month investigation find nothing to file against him.

      No president in more than a century has done more for the American people than Donald Trump. MAGA 2020

    • harry

      you think that Trump is unfit to be President well maybe in your mind. but let us get one thing right and that is that the dem.obama was the biggest liar in our history. he kiss the ass of every other country and you think that was ok

    • Jose Garrido

      Looks like she is describing Hillary Clinton.

    • Jose Garrido

      Please read the comments of Ken Howe’s below proving your statements are incorrect and very biased. I bet that you are employee of the Clintons.

    • Gordon Hoyt

      Poor snowflake,…. she is really triggered. Please find the nearest safe space and decompress.

    • Larry

      What salad bowl have you been hiding under for the last 3 years? Nothing you say is accurate. It does sound hateful though. Go get educated and yes, that may mean listening to and reading news and reports from a bipartisan source.

  2. Ken Howes

    It is inaccurate to say that “they investigated Whitewater and found nothing.” A governor of Arkansas, Jim Guy Tucker, went to prison over it, as did several other people. Hillary Clinton lost her license to practice law because of her egregious conflicts of interest. What was not minor about lying about an inappropriate relationship with the intern was not the subject matter, which was minor, but that it was done under penalty of perjury, which is major. His statement on TV that “I did not have sexual relations with that woman–Miss Lewinsky” was not grounds for removal, but his similar statement in a sworn deposition was. Perjury is a felony. Bill Clinton, under the immunity of a president, was not prosecuted and a Republican-controlled Senate declined to remove him, but he lost his license to practice law. There is no “legion of people who will testify about his greed (not grounds for impeachment), corruption (no evidence) and incompetence (not grounds for impeachment).” There is a series of people who will make statements that will be filtered out by Schiff’s committee so that they sound like the witness said something he didn’t say. There will be a series of efforts to put hearsay into evidence. At the end of the day, Trump will be in office and on the ballot for re-election, facing one or another weak prospective opponent. It is the weakness of those candidates that spurs this impeachment effort. If the Democrats thought they could beat him next November, they would simply throw the things that they are accusing him of at him in the campaign and let the election take its course. They know that if they can’t keep him from being re-elected, Ruth Bader Ginsburg will die or have to retire in the next few years, and that Trump will get another justice onto the Supreme Court, imperiling Roe and likely Obergefell. That they cannot bear, and they hope with this process either to get Trump out (unlikely) or to weaken him with the blizzard of accusations.

  3. Ron Clark

    Ken Howes; well said, my hopes for a proper ending to all this is, the bad eggs get removed from office and some real representatives of the American people get elected in their place. The talking heads of the Democratic party have to go, this includes the speaker who I give a vote of no confidence, and dereliction of duty to Polanski and her puppets.

  4. Kurt Walker

    There is so much garbage being thrown around by these people they seem to have forgotten the people out here. Many, MANY people are really pissed off at this congress. Frankly I wouldn’t want to be any politician who votes for impeachment of the president. If it fails the dust will settle. But if President Trump should be impeached those politicians who voted to do the deed won’t be safe anywhere. Right now these POS democrats who are harassing republicans in restaurants etc are just a minor aggravation. But this is going to get DEADLY serious if the president is actually impeached. If BETO is going to take everybody’s weapon he better get at it NOW.

  5. Lynda Casagrande

    Thank you, Ken. Well stated. Trump 2020!!

  6. Ernest Lane

    If the House impeaches the President, if it’s clearly unjust, the Senate doesn’t have to hold a trial. The Constitution gives the power of a trial solely to the Senate, but it does _not_ say it must do it. Also, while it says it need a 2/3 vote to convict, it says nothing about finding him not guilty. I think the Senate can either dismiss the impeachment charge(s), or find him not guilty, by a simple majority vote — and the 60-vote cloture rule would not even apply, as that applies to _legislation_.

  7. larry granville

    why is shift not in jail ?????? not running this trile he lied to everybody on tv he is an ass