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Republican unilateral innocence verdict stumbles on Trump impeachment case

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Since the official impeachment of US President Donald Trump, the two parties in the U.S. House of Representatives have been unable to reach a consensus on how to proceed with the next process. The formulation of Senate rules and procedures has basically reached an impasse. Only one Bill Clinton The impeachment case rules are worth learning from. U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has not yet sent the impeachment clause to the Senate. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, in addition to giving a public speech, qualified the impeachment case in advance, but also rejected relevant Democrats. Request for trial. Exactly how Trump will be tried by the Senate will not be announced until Congress resumes in January 2020.

The impeachment trial has not yet begun. The discussions between the two parties around impeachment and the rules of trial and whether the trial is fair have once again highlighted the “political characteristics” of the impeachment trial. According to CNN December 25, citing Republican sources, McConnell may bypass Democratic minority leader Chuck Schumer and unilaterally promote rulemaking for impeachment trials because To pass the relevant rules of procedure, only 51 votes are needed, and the Republican Party can fully satisfy this.

Two parties push each other for impeachment

On the Democratic side, Pelosi passed the impeachment clause against Trump before Christmas, and later refused to give the clause to the Senate, suspected of giving Trump a “Christmas gift.” Senator Minority Leader Schumer has asked the White House Budget Management Director and acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, former national security adviser John Bolton, and former White House legal adviser Donald McGahn to be stopped by the White House Key figures attending the House investigation hearing to seek a layout for Trump’s trial. At the same time, Schumer demanded that all relevant documents related to impeachment be made public, especially those that the White House refused to make public.

In addition, Democratic lawyers in the House of Representatives are considering adding new impeachment clauses in accordance with new possible hearings, which does not rule out Trump’s impeachment again.

On the Republican side, Senate leader McConnell first stated in the House of Representatives that the impeachment case had passed. He and the White House would not differ. The Senate Republicans and the White House fully coordinated their positions and acted in concert. The probability is zero. He then issued a long speech on December 22, criticizing the failure of the impeachment investigation, insufficient evidence for impeachment, and unfairness from the perspective of separation of powers, indirect democracy, and checks and balances in Congress.

Some Republicans believe that summoning Bolton and Mahwani should be a process that should be completed in the House impeachment hearing. Even if the White House forces to block, House Democrats should also resort to the court to force relevant witnesses to testify. Unhurried push to pass impeachment clause. In order to pass the impeachment case before Christmas, Pelosi hastily promoted the impeachment proceedings in the House of Representatives. Instead, he has now passed the task of summoning these witnesses to the Senate.

McConnell mentioned in an interview with Fox News in early December that whether to summon relevant witnesses would be decided after public statements from House Democrats and White House lawyers. But under pressure from the Democratic Party, his attitude eased last week, saying that “not excluding” summoning relevant witnesses.

It seems that the two parties will inevitably have a war of attrition before the trial. However, the impeachment case now faces more and more resistance, and immediately loses its previous motivation. The Republican Party’s blocking attitude reflects this.

McConnell’s “Conviction of Innocence”

According to the United States Constitution, the president, vice president, and all civilian officials and judges of the United States shall be removed from office when they are impeached and convicted of treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors.

Unlike ordinary court proceedings, impeachment proceedings are conducted in the House of Representatives, acting as prosecutors, collecting evidence, setting out allegations, and finally presented in the form of impeachment clauses; trials are held in the Senate while senators play a jury role, according to impeachment The clause determines whether the parties are guilty.

However, the impeachment against Trump appears to be a legal charge by Democratic lawyers and prosecutors, which is equivalent to a prosecution, but has a political nature in practice. The prosecutors are “politicians” and the judges are “politicians.” Political politicians of the two parties will naturally start a political contest for the benefit of their respective parties.

McConnell plays a key role in the Senate trial and must be neutral. However, he explicitly mentioned that he would not be a “fair juror” during the trial, because the impeachment case against Trump was a political decision, and the trial was naturally a political process, and justice was not involved at all. He even said Trump could be acquitted.

It can be seen that the impeachment trial against Trump is necessarily an embodiment of the distortion of party interests under the US constitutional system. In particular, McConnell’s “innocence verdict”, including total coordination with the “defendant” Trump’s position, is itself a corrosion of the design of this constitutional system.

GOP cracks inside

McConnell’s remarks on maintaining the “coordination” with the White House in the impeachment trial not only opposed and questioned the Democratic Party, but also the Republican senator. Federal Senator Lisa Murkowski from Alaska is one of them. In an interview with the media on December 24, she said that for the sake of fairness, the White House and the Senate should keep a distance on impeachment trials, that is, avoid distance from the defending party, and McConnell’s statement will only further disrupt the trial process. She also criticized the Democratic impeachment process as incomplete and somewhat hasty.

This is the first time a different voice has emerged among Republicans in the Senate. It is worth noting that she has also opposed Trump’s nomination for U.S. Justice Brett Kavanaugh. However, as to whether she supports the impeachment case, her current position is undecided and belongs to the swing group. Swing is also a political gesture, just like a swing state, which means it has a certain right of speech or influence.

But in general, Republican senators have not yet turned around. McConnell even asserted that in order to retain his seat in the 2020 re-election, at least two Democratic senators would vote against impeachment of President Trump. If the two parties in the Senate fail to reach a cross-party rule agreement in January, McConnell may use the majority advantage to unilaterally advance a Republican-backed trial rule process.

Therefore, the presidential impeachment case promoted by the US Democratic Party is not a reflection of the check and balance mechanism under the constitutional government system, but rather a continuation of the political struggle between the two parties. In particular, the impeachment trial staged in the general election year cannot reflect its fairness and fairness.


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