Hakeem Jeffries Dropped the Mic on the Impeachment Trial
The official start of the Senate impeachment trial against Donald J. Trump kicked off Tuesday with a marathon 13-hour “debate” session.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had just hours before laid out the ground rules for the process, which effectively made it impossible to call this thing anything other than a coverup.
The McConnell resolution condensed statements into ridiculously short periods of time that would’ve required house managers and defense teams to speak through the night, and it built in rules barring votes to request additional witnesses and documents until after all arguments were made.
McConnell did cave to some pressure from his own side of the isle and extended the time allotted for arguments, but he is standing strong in his resistance to the call for additional evidence.
The president’s defense team, including Jay Sekulow, a party implicated in the Ukraine scandal, have been loudly and haphazardly arguing that the House did not do its own work to build a case sufficient for the impeachment and removal of the president.
Of course, the defense fails to mention that the White House administration has blocked witness after witness from testifying under subpoena and document after document from being released. So, Democrats used Tuesday to offer amendments to McConnell’s resolution. For every amendment, legal representation from both sides were able to present and rebut the reasoning. As they did so, they snuck in swaths of evidence the House was able to uncover during the impeachment inquiry, sidelining McConnell a bit at the start.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer introduced 11 amendments, each one highlighting a witness or form of documentation Democrats believe bolster the case. Among those requested for testimony was Mick Mulvaney and John Bolton.
Senate Republicans basically voted down the party line to reject each amendment, sticking close to McConnell’s hip until the wee hours of the morning.
Things got a little testy between legal teams, to the extent that Chief Justice John Roberts gently reminded people equally on both sides of the gravity of the situation and the forum in which they were speaking. In other words, he told him to start acting like adults.
Despite the frustration McConnell is purposely causing and the near decided outcome of the president’s acquittal — based on the displayed GOP tribalism — there were high points to Tuesday’s Senate floor spectacle.
Representative Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) took things to an entirely new level with his command of the room, his knowledge of the facts and his historic Biggie Smalls mic drop. Jeffries was a rock star Tuesday, reminding the Senate, Roberts and the American people of exactly “why we are here, Sir.”
The battle continues and although there’s not much hope that Trump will be removed, Jeffries injected at least a little bit of hope into the future of the party and what politics and government can be in a world after Trump.