Lawrence Tribe, the legendary trial lawyer , Harvard professor and Constitutional scholar writes “Lawrence Tribe on Twitter” every day on Google. On Thursday, January 30, he wrote about a shocking statement from Alan Dershowitz, one of Trump’s lawyers. It was the first day of Questions from the Senators to either Trump’s lawyers or the House managers. He was answering a question about Quid pro Quo…trading this for that. Dershowitz said, “ If a president does something which he believes will help him get elected in the public interest, that would not be the kind of quid pro quo that results in impeachment.”
Lawrence Tribe commented, “ Of course! It’s the old Louis XIV l ‘etat c ‘est moi” defense.” I am the state.
It brought to mind the current television ad that Joe Biden is running on television in his presidential campaign. The emphasis is on CHARACTER in capital letters. The pictures and text show Biden in specific times in his life when his character was the key to his behavior and work activities. Many Americans, especially older Americans remember when his first wife and young daughter were killed in an automobile accident when he was in D.C. getting ready to be sworn in for his first term as a senator. He commuted to Delaware every day of his terms in office by train to be with his two sons as they grew up. They also remember his service for two terms as Obama’s vice president, serving as his emissary abroad to strengthen our ties to our democratic Allies.
Today, the impeachment trial of Donald Trump is focused on his holding back the financial aid to Ukraine approved by Congress for an ally fighting Russian tanks on their border. The first article of impeachment is Abuse of Power detailing this event with emphasis on the quid pro quo the president wanted from the president of Ukraine ….. an investigation of Joe Biden, his rival in the current presidential election campaign and his son, Hunter Biden.
Today is the second day for Questions. The Republican Majority leader of the Senate , Mitchell McConnell has worked openly with the president from the start of trial preparations. He has also aimed at a brief trial without witnesses or documents. The Democrats have urged that they be a part of the trial, based on historic precedent as well as the need for them to be a part of a “fair trial.” Every impeachment trial in the past has heard witnesses and seen important documents as evidence.
Four Republicans would need to join 47 Democrats to vote for Witnesses and Documents to be included in the trial. There are three who appear to be leaning in that direction: Mitt Romney, Susan Collins and Lisa Merkowski. Lamar Alexander has been seen as a possible fourth. He is retiring in 2020 ,but is a very close friend of McConnell. Pressure is strong on all Republicans not to break rank. Trump has a history of attacking any members of Congress who dare to defy him. Everyone who follows politics is aware of that.
Newspaper articles today report that McConnell is planning to follow the Question time today with a call for a Vote on Witnesses and Documents. If they are defeated, that would lead to a Vote To Acquit Trump on Friday.
The president’s lawyers have made a case for the United States people to decide the fate of Donald J. Trump in the 2020 election next November. We may know on Friday if we the people do indeed have that ahead of us.
…………………………………………………. Joyce S. Anderson
It is difficult to say whether the deep division between our political parties has caused the deep division within our country, or if their hardline positions are a reflection of our national division. However, the two radically polarized positions have left very little room for an open-minded discussion in our government or in our society. The Impeachment trial is another example of the failure of both our political parties, and our society.