The attacks came on September 11, 2001, killing nearly three-thousand people in New York City, at the Pentagon and in a field near Shanksville, PA. The nation’s airports were closed while public officials tried to sort out what was going on.
A few days later flights resumed and I was sent to Los Angeles International Airport to cover it for KTLA. On a spot of grass, just beyond the fence around the airport’s perimeter, I spotted a lone man holding a flag. Thinking it might be a story, we drove over to his location. He told me he had been there for several hours, wanting to be there to welcome the first flights back into Los Angeles. He had been there all morning. He had rigged up the flag in short-order with a pole he had in his garage when it was announced that the FAA was reopening the nation’s airspace. As we drove away he was still there waving his flag as airliners continued coming in.
I’ll never forget that man with his flag, our flag, who did what he did for no reason other than patriotism. And now, with a show-trial in the Senate and a nation divided, it appears we may once again be in for the fight of our lives. It feels as though we are facing a very real threat to Democracy and that there just won’t be any easy way out.
Recently a friend posted a picture on Facebook, a painting of George Washington, showing humility, faith and courage as he kneeled in the snow to pray at Valley Forge. The odds he faced were insurmountable. However, to borrow from the late Eric Sevareid, “This country was not founded by wimps.”
Don’t give up on us just yet. Remember that man with the flag. He had no reason for doing what he did other than he thought it was the right thing to do. The American thing to do. So he did it.
So Trump incriminated himself by releasing a transcript of a phone call wherein he laid out that he would withhold military aid to Ukraine unless the Ukraine would open a fake investigation into the Bidens. That’s Article I.
Trump has also repeatedly obstructed the Congress by refusing to honor subpoenas for documents and directing others who work for the White House, to not honor congressional subpoenas. And they’re arguing about witnesses? They don’t need no stinkin’ witnesses.
Trump is guilty as hell. He’s incriminated himself of “high crimes and misdemeanors” and has been indicted by the House of Representatives. It’s over. Take the vote and get it over with. Let the Republicans incriminate themselves by voting to acquit an obviously guilty president. All this other stuff is just muddying the waters and confusing people.
The Constitution lays it out quite plainly when it directs, “When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside.”
To preside: 1 : to exercise guidance, direction, or control 2 : to occupy the place of authority : direct or regulate proceedings as chief officer -Merriam Webster
Mr. Chief Justice, our country is at stake. Please do your duty and take control. This is supposed to be a trial, not a sham proceeding designed to accommodate a president who would be dictator.
Chris Matthews just posed the question of whether what’s happening in the Senate is some kind of “jury nullification.” In other words, the jurors know what the law says they should do but they are going to vote for the opposite.
I think the problem is a bit different. Not only is the defense (the Republicans) threatening to nullify the law once it comes time to vote on the guilt or innocence of Donald Trump – they are also preventing evidence from being presented.
What is accepted into evidence, by way of both documents and witnesses, should be up to Justice John Roberts, not Mitch McConnell and the Republicans. The Democrats need to figure this one out and so does John Roberts. Without it there can be no trial, and without a legitimate trial our system of checks and balances, our Constitution, is no longer valid.
Without it, we will have a dictatorship, not just now, but going forward as well.
McConnell and the Republicans are trying to throw away everything that makes the Republic work. They are trying to throw away our basic freedoms. Our liberty based in law. I’m fairly sure the founders never envisioned one party or another stopping evidence from being presented during a senate trial. Simply put, you can’t have a trial without the relevant evidence, and it should be up to the judge to decide what’s relevant.