I think it’s fair to say that most Americans believe that no one should be above the law and the overwhelming majority of us think justice is best served by a fair trial. It is generally accepted that a fair trial requires the ability of both sides to call witnesses and that evidence be presented such as documents that may be in the hands of the person on trial. That’s a standard we held to in the Senate trial of President Bill Clinton and it should apply to the Senate trial of President Donald J. Trump.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, aided and abetted by his second in command, our own Senator John Cornyn, has made it clear that he wants to avoid hearing from witnesses and the presentation of documents. Since Trump withheld thousands of documents requested by the House impeachment inquiry team and instructed White House staff to ignore subpoenas, the trial in the Senate is the last chance the American people will get to find out all the details regarding the administration withholding congressionally-approved funds for the defense of Ukraine.
In their efforts to provide cover for Trump, Republicans have claimed that all the witnesses in the impeachment inquiry were second- and third-hand witnesses. Now that the Senate is about to take up the case, all indications so far are that they will turn their backs on the opportunity to call first-hand witnesses like former National Security Advisor John Bolton and Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, among others.
Sunday morning on “Face the Nation,” Senator Cornyn was asked directly about this and he just dodged the issue claiming that the House shouldn’t have voted to impeach without all the necessary evidence.
Cornyn’s claim relates directly to one of the articles of impeachment, abuse of power, since Trump refused to produce the documents and demanded that administration members not testify. Senator Cornyn’s circular argument shows the blatant dishonesty congressional Republicans have indulged in for months isn’t going to stop anytime soon.
Last week, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts administered an oath to all 100 senators which says in part “that in all things appertaining to the trial of the impeachment of Donald John Trump, president of the United States, now pending, I will do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws, so help me God.” Given that Mitch McConnell stated weeks ago that he is coordinating with Trump on how the Senate will handle the trial, it’s hard to imagine him acting impartially when it comes time to vote.
The American people deserve honesty from their elected officials. That means a thorough hearing of all the evidence including that which has previously been withheld, and the testimony of administration witnesses that have so far refused to testify. Anything less is a cover up and we shouldn’t stand for that.
It’s going to take our senators to vote for both of them, which means it’s going to take you to demand it of them. Call our senators this week and tell them you expect to hear John Bolton, Mick Mulvaney and others testify in the senate trial. Senator Cornyn’s office number is 202-224-2934, Senator Cruz’s office number is 202-224-5922.