Trump and the Acquittal of a Criminal
Wednesday, February 5, 2020 will be marked in history as the day the U.S. Senate acquitted a criminal president.
President Donald J. Trump was found “not guilty” on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. He is guilty of both.
Sen. Marco Rubio found him guilty of impeachable offenses, but declined to convict him. Sen. Lamar Alexander believed the House managers proved their case against the president, but stalled short of agreeing to his removal. Sen. Mitt Romney, the lone Republican who voted to convict Trump, put his oath above the political fray in recognition of Trump’s abuse of office and public trust.
ROMNEY: "POTUS delayed funds for an American ally at war with Russian invaders. POTUS's purpose was personal and political. Accordingly, POTUS is guilty of an appalling abuse of public trust. What he did was not perfect. No, it was a flagrant assault of our electoral rights." pic.twitter.com/Tr50DQAhUN
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) February 5, 2020
Nonetheless, Faust won today and democracy lost.
Article I: Abuse of Power
Not Guilty: 52
Article II: Obstruction of Congress
Not Guilty: 53
The vote outcome is not a surprise — we’ve long become aware of the odd power Trump holds over the GOP and his ability to transform once ethical and principled elected officials into versions of themselves they will undoubtedly come to regret.
They know just as well as the majority of voters do that this acquittal today does not in any way confirm his innocence. They know that without witnesses, documents and at least the semblance of a real, thoughtful and serious trial, this acquittal is empty. They are surely aware they have stained their own integrity and the rule of law.
The only check left on this president, who will be emboldened beyond all belief, will be the will of the people — it all falls to the voters even as our election systems are compromised. It will require attention, resilience and unprecedented turnout to rebalance the power. The responsibility to right this wrong will be shouldered by the people, Democrats and Republicans alike. This moment calls for all fair, logical voters to put aside their policy differences and unite in the best interest of this country.
We’ve taken for granted the rights we’re given, we’ve trusted in processes that happen outside our view to protect us. Complacency, willful ignorance and tribalism have taken center stage and accosted our ability to trust the system and each other and we have no choice but to take steps to bridge the divide and rise together. It’s long past due time that voters take responsibility again.
This time counts on us to be bigger than we have ever been, and only time will tell if we are up to the task.
The House was always fighting an uphill battle against the Senate which is why they needed to get as much evidence from the White House on the record as possible even if that meant extending the inquiry through the election and fighting Trump in the courts. During Watergate, Nixon resigned before the House had finished their inquiry because John Dean, his personal attorney, flipped and his forced submission of the notorious “smoking gun tape”. Who knows what skeletons are buried in the Trump WH? Schiff rushed the impeachment and didn’t exercise all of his powers. He didn’t get enough direct evidence, had a flimsy obstruction case because he didn’t fight Trump in the courts, and gave the Senate just enough of a fig leaf to acquit. Trump can now focus on his relection and put this behind him instead of having to deal with a series of stinging defeats in the courts.