The SC Times editorial board apparently didn’t learn from President Trump’s impeachment. At least, that’s the impression I got from this Our View Editorial. The editorial starts by lecturing its readership, saying “The scariest aspect of the impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump is how both sides of the aisle dramatically weakened the tools the Founding Fathers provided to allow the three branches of government to hold each other accountable.”

This isn’t that complicated. Jonathan Turley, a far wiser man than anyone sitting on the Editorial Board, made an important point when he made an emphatic point when he said this:

I can’t emphasize this enough and I’ll say it just one more time: If you impeach a president, if you make a high crime and misdemeanor out of going to the courts; it is an abuse of power. It’s your abuse of power.

It isn’t surprising that the Editorial Board didn’t notice their intellectual stupidity was showing.

This is how the Editorial Board expressed their foolishness:

Had that been the case, the Democrat-led House impeachment team would have used the full force of the courts to enforce subpoenas issued to key witnesses, hear their testimony and gain access to key documents the Trump White House refused to release. Instead, with eyes clearly focused on the next election, they rushed through their process, apparently hoping the Senate trial would do that hard work for them. Or perhaps they realized their case was not going to rise to the justifiably high standards for removal from office set by the founders.

The Republican-led Senate proved even more pathetic. When confronted with overwhelming proof that the House did not provide all the evidence, a majority of senators chose blind allegiance to party and voted in favor of the president instead of pursuit of the truth. Among the tools at their disposal, but not used, are hearing witness testimony and cross-examining those witnesses.

I’d love hearing the Times’ explanation for them saying that House Democrats probably “realized their case wasn’t going to rise to the justifiably high standards for removal from office set by the founders”, then have them say that Republicans, “when confronted with overwhelming proof that the House didn’t provide all the evidence” … “chose blind allegiance to party” rather than pursuing the truth. The case can’t have overwhelming proof and not rise to the justifiably high standards for removal from office.”

The Constitution gives the House “sole authority for impeachment.” That means the House receives the report from the special counsel or their own investigation, then the House Judiciary Committee writes up the articles of impeachment. This isn’t a joint responsibility shared between the House and Senate. That’s because the Constitution gives the Senate “sole authority” to try impeachments. They aren’t investigators. They are, literally, both judges and jury. The Senate determines what comes in as evidence. The Senate can overrule the Chief Justice of the United States. They are also the jury.

The Senate sent the message that they wouldn’t accept House Democrats’ shoddy investigation. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called these articles of impeachment “a half-baked censure resolution.” That’s being charitable. They also sent the message that they wouldn’t accept a flimsy case because articles of impeachment are considered a privileged resolution. That means, literally, that everything stops in the Senate until the verdict is reached.

Finally, this paragraph is downright stupid:

Rather read this for what it is: a commentary about elected officials from both parties who put their partisan allegiances above the constitutional oaths they took after you elected them.

The Founding Fathers were reluctant to put impeachment into the Constitution. When they finally agreed that such a provision was required, they established 2 important requirements. They required a) a two-thirds majority to convict and remove and b) that people could only be impeached for “Treason, Bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors.”

They wanted to guarantee that impeachment was only used as a tool of last resort. That didn’t happen here. The Founding Fathers wanted impeachment used only when it was clear that something so egregious had happened that a bipartisan majority agreed that such a high crime had been committed. House Democrats impeached knowing that there wasn’t a chance of conviction and removal.

The simple fact is this: House Democrats screwed things up badly. Senate Republicans rendered the only just verdict allowed by the Constitution.

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