Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT)’s appointment to preside over the Senate impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump has Republicans and many legal scholars objecting since it makes him both judge and a member of the jury in the trial.
“How does a senator preside, like a judge, and serve as juror too?” Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) said when Democrats informed the Senate of the decision on Monday.
Leahy is the president pro tempore of the Senate, and it is traditional for that figure to preside over impeachment trials of non-president officials. Most were expecting the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, John Roberts, to preside over the trial like he did during the failed Trump impeachment of a year ago.
The Senate did not invite Roberts to preside over the trial that is expected to begin on February 8, citing the tradition of using the president pro tempore for non-presidents.
Potential to make important trial decisions
While impeachment judges may remain mostly silent during the proceedings, there is the potential for them to make important rulings if questions arise or when a dispute occurs.
Leahy has promised to be fair and follow the laws during the impeachment trial: “When I preside over the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump, I will not waver from my constitutional and sworn obligations to administer the trial with fairness, in accordance with the constitution and the laws.”
Given Democrats’ recent proclivities for redefining truth in whichever way suits them politically, however, there is reason to doubt that Leahy or any Democrat has a real sense of fairness that Republicans or Trump could trust in this situation.
The greater likelihood is that Leahy’s position as judge of the trial will lead to less fairness for Trump than if Chief Justice Roberts was presiding, which is why Republicans are objecting. Furthermore, Leahy is a vocal critic of Trump and voted to convict him during the first impeachment trial, the Washington Examiner reported.
Impeachment is already unfair
Let’s face it: the impeachment is already unfair, given that Democrats did not call a single witness or establish any law broken by Trump when he spoke to rally-goers before the Capitol riot occurred.
Democrats could not prove that Trump incited that riot, because nothing he said met the legal definition of incitement. Furthermore, they can’t even prove that the people who broke into the Capitol were even present at the preceding rally or heard his words.
And they didn’t even try to prove it, because they know they can’t. The entire impeachment is unfair and trumped up to try to keep Trump from running for office again, because Democrats know he still has a very good chance of winning if he does run.
Unless they can get 17 Republicans to agree with them, however, it doesn’t look like they will be able to stop Trump from deciding to run again in 2024. And by then, people may be able to look past Trump’s tweets and realize that the country needs him a lot more than they do the woke, job-killing Democrat agenda they will get for the next four years and beyond if Democrats remain in charge.