A few days ago Miss Constitution explained about the House of Representatives Impeachment and the Senate trial of former President Trump. She explained that Impeaching a public office holder or President is such a Constitutionally serious matter that the Founders gave careful thought to it. Once it is alleged that an impeachable offense (almost always a crime) has occurred, the matter goes to the House Judiciary Committee for hearings, investigatory reports, and the creation of credible evidence. Sometimes the House Intelligence Committee is involved, also. After hearings, the Committee votes on whether to recommend Impeachment by the whole House. The whole House then votes after looking at all the evidence. It takes only a majority to send an Article or Articles of Impeachment to the Senate for trial. If the person Impeached is the current President, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court presides at the Senate trial, if the Senate agrees to have a trial, and a 2/3 vote is needed to convict. The Senators take a special oath to be impartial, to be silent while arguments are made, and sign a special Oath Book to bind them to their word, “so help me God.” They are not to comment until the entire process is completed.
This is the silk purse – following both the letter and the spirit of the great governing document that we are privileged to live under. What actually happened, is the sow’s ear.
Impeachment in the House of Representatives was voted on by the whole House without any Committee hearings, witness testimony, or Due Process. A majority simply voted to Impeach then President Trump for Inciting an Insurrection and that was that. The Speaker of the House delayed sending the Article to the Senate for possible trial until a new administration took office. It is at this juncture that the system broke down in the Senate. The Constitution assumes that the Senate would never go forward with an improper Impeachment Article or Articles. It would have been inconceivable to the Founders that the Article would have received anything but a refusal by the Senate. Having taken up something created without Due Process and other precedents, the Senate of the United States participated in weakening our Constitutional system. By accepting the Article of Impeachment against former President Trump, the Senate created a new precedent of Impeachment by pique; Impeachment by derangement; Impeachment by political malice; Impeachment by crisis; Impeachment by anything a majority will vote for. This replaces a grave Constitutional process and instead symbolically gives the “keys to the jail” to the mob. That the mob are elected public servants does not make them a “responsible” mob, a “judicious” mob; or a “reasonable” mob. It simply makes them a “legal” mob. In effect, it undercuts the requirements of Due and Fair Process that are essential to what we call Civil Society, under the Rule of Law.
Miss Constitution thinks this is one of the worst moments in United States Senate history. Look what happened once the first bite of the poisonous fruit is taken.
Since a sitting President was not involved, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court could not preside. Senator Patrick Leahy, (D), from Vermont presided. The unconstitutional “trial” moved forward and began with what were supposed to be “jurisdictional” arguments made by House managers and by counsel for former President Trump regarding whether conviction and removal is appropriate when the accused is not in public office. The House managers instead put on a video regarding the merits, not the jurisdiction, that aroused such anger in the Senate that the counsel for President Trump had to try and calm things down so that the jurisdictional arguments could be made. So aroused was the Senate that some Senators voted “yes” to jurisdiction but commented publicly regarding the “merits.” The Senate had a second chance to end this unconstitutional process by voting that the Senate did not have jurisdiction to hear the case. But no, they took a second bite of the apple. And so the trial devolved into sixteen hours of accusation without having had any official investigation into the incident. The Speaker of the House is NOW calling for an investigation after the trial is over. The counsel for the former President took about an hour to destroy the whole legal case for the House managers. The Senate, of course, acquitted, but by then the damage to our system had been done. Senator McConnell, to make matters worse, or to cover-up what he knew to be an improper exercise, accused the former President of inciting the riot with “unhinged falsehoods” regarding election fraud and invited a criminal prosecution of the former President. Perhaps he hoped to deflect the issue away from the responsibility the Senate had to follow the Constitution faithfully.
We now come to The Big Lie and the same issue that undergirds the Senate action with the riot undergirds this issue, as well. Senator McConnell and others, including the Speaker of the House, have stated unequivocally that there is no evidence of election fraud, and that to even wonder if there was fraud is A Big Lie. Social media executives cancel anyone’s account who questions the election as spreading “disinformation.” Miss Constitution’s view is that we simply do not know because 2020 Presidential election fraud has not been investigated. That Courts, both state, federal, and the Supreme Court refused to hear evidence is not proof that there is no evidence. It is only proof that they did not want to hear the evidence. That the Attorney General would not seize certain voting machines and do forensic tests is not proof that the machines were okay, it is proof that the Attorney General did not want to get involved. Time Magazine ran a recent article that subtley boasts of election manipulation to “save” Democracy. Miss Constitution hopes that the Supreme Court will take up at least one or more of these election cases so that the public can have accurate information about the validity of the 2020 Presidential election. It may be too late to inspect the voting machines.
Finally, Miss Constitution thinks most of the Senators know that they broke faith with their nation. Miss Constitution thinks most Senators are very intelligent and many very talented. She thinks they know what the Constitution requires and how they should have proceeded. Why, then, would they begin walking the slippery slope that ends in an unrelenting pull downward into the unconstitutional? The result of the Senate’s vote to accept the Article, then accept jurisdiction, and then begin a trial opens the door to destroy other aspects of our system that seem to “be in the way.” The very important Electoral College is targeted. The Supreme Court will be turned into a political rubber stamp for the corrupt. The state-run voting system that every four years includes a Presidential election will be nationalized and “fixed” as to outcome. Freedom of political speech and prohibitions against domestic surveillance in Amendments 1 and 4 are disappearing fast.
“Miss Constitution, this is depressing” you might say. “What would you have us do?”
Miss Constitution would have you understand that YOU are the Sovereign of this nation. Fire every Senator who voted for the trial. Fire every House member, who did, as well. Demand bipartisan Commissions of retired and honorable Judges and citizens to investigate both the election and the riot at the Capitol and deliver to the Sovereign something the Sovereign can count on as true facts. Let the Rule of Law go from there. It is time we all rise to Love our country; to Protect our Constitution; to Honor the Founders, and to leave something for our children they can be proud of. It is time to turn a sow’s ear back into a silk purse. It is long since time.