The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham (who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee) have made it abundantly clear that if President Donald Trump is indicted on articles of impeachment by the U.S. House of Representatives — which is likely — and those articles go to the U.S. Senate for consideration, they have no intention of seriously considering the evidence. And legal experts Benjamin Wittes and Quinta Jurecic, in a December 16 article for The Atlantic, emphasize that both of those high-ranking Republicans are failing to perform their constitutional duties as U.S. senators.

Wittes and Jurecic are both sought out for their legal expertise. Wittes is editor-in-chief of Lawfare, while Jurecic is Lawfare’s managing editor. Both are freelance contributors to The Atlantic, and Wittes is a frequent guest on MSNBC.

Citing Article I, Section 3, Clause 6 of the U.S. Constitution, Wittes and Jurecic assert that according to the Founding Fathers, “the Senate shall have the sole power to try all impeachments” — and when the Senate is in session “for that purpose,” United States senators “shall be on oath or affirmation.”

“The requirement of a special oath for senators sitting as impeachment triers of fact is unique in the document,” Wittes and Jurecic assert. “Senators don’t swear a special oath to engage in the appropriations process or to consider judicial nominations or to propose health-care legislation. They don’t even swear a special oath to consider a declaration of war or an authorization to use military force. But they do when the Senate sits as the trial forum for impeachment, at which point, it becomes a non-legislative tribunal with a wholly different institutional purpose and face.”

McConnell and Graham, according to Wittes and Jurecic, “have publicly precommitted themselves to violating the oath they are both constitutionally obliged to take.” The Senate majority leader has vowed that he will “coordinating with White House counsel” on Trump’s impeachment, and Graham has declared, “I’m not trying to pretend to be a fair juror here.”

Although highly critical of McConnell and Graham in their article, Wittes and Jurecic cite Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah as a “decent model of what… restraint looks like” on the Republican side. The former Massachusetts governor and 2012 GOP presidential nominee recently said, “There will be a trial in the Senate, (and) we will hear the arguments from both sides. Upon those arguments, and whatever evidence they present, I’ll make a decision.”

But McConnell and Graham, Wittes and Jurecic lament, have demonstrated that they don’t take the U.S. Constitution seriously.

“Whatever the right answer is,” Wittes and Jurecic write, “what Graham and McConnell have done — publicly committing themselves to behaving in a fashion inconsistent with their oath — is certainly the wrong answer.”

Advertising

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Image via YouTube

When it comes to "Do as I say and not as I do," Republicans have no competition. Forgetting how they once assailed Hillary Clinton for conduct that doesn't even resemble Trump's colossal corruption, they've unleashed a butthurt fury at the Justice Department over the FBI raid of Trump's residence in Mar-A-Lago.

The Daily Show trounced them for this despicable hypocrisy in a video that highlights Trump's allies "talking about Hillary" while showing FBI agents entering Mar-a-Lago.

Keep reading... Show less

By Kanishka Singh

(Reuters) -Police were locked in a standoff on Thursday with an armed man who tried to breach the FBI building in Cincinnati, Ohio, earlier in the day before fleeing and exchanging gunfire with officers, authorities said.

Keep reading... Show less
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}