The man who claimed he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and get away with it keeps getting away with it. When Republicans voted down the Democratic motion for witnesses and documents, it was clear the fix was in. Lawrence Martin writes:
“Sham” cried the Democrats over and over again as Donald Trump was assured acquittal late Friday on impeachment charges. With the formal vote to exonerate him slated for Wednesday, he’s survived another trauma, the most grave he’s faced.
Next to sham, “coverup” was the most operative word in the Congressional corridors following the vote to disallow witnesses. Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer said on Wednesday that the country was headed for “the biggest coverup since Watergate.” Watergate legend Carl Bernstein echoed the sentiment. Referring to the reputation of the senate as the world’s greatest deliberative body, he said, “What a joke.”
Indeed it was. The Republican senators, at the behest of their leader, defied 75 per cent of Americans who, according to polls, wanted witnesses. Such witnesses, denied by votes from no less than 51 of the 53 Republicans, would surely have offered incriminating evidence of Mr, Trump’s plot to have the Ukraine government investigate his political rivals. The witnesses would have made it more contemptible for his Grand Old Party toadies to acquit him.
But look at the numbers. MSNBC reports that the 49 senators who voted for witnesses represent 20 million more Americans than the 51 senators who voted to suppress them. Thus, Trump's defence -- when the president does it, it's legal -- has become a precedent. When Richard Nixon used that defence, it was a joke. You see the problem.
The Republic now hangs by a thread. American voters have one last chance to save their republic -- nine months from now.