The vote is in, 52 to 48 for acquittal of Donald Trump on the abuse of power charge and 53 to 47 on the obstruction of Congress charge. There are several possible interpretations.
1. 52 Republicans believed that the charge of abuse of power did not occur and 45 Democrats 1 Republican and 2 Independents thought that it did. On the obstruction of Congress, 47 thought that it happened and 53 did not. The No’s have it.
2. 52.5 Republicans believed, that although Trump did not act properly, that it did not constitute what has been described as high crimes and misdemeanors, and therefore did not justify removal from office. Conversely, 47.5 Senators believed that it did constitute high crimes and misdemeanors and therefore requires removal from office. Of course, 47.5 votes lack being the two-thirds majority (66) it would need to be anyway. Again, the No’s have it.
3. 52.5 Republicans ignored what the House presented and voted against what they knew to be the truth only to support the Republican in office, regardless of what the truth is. Conversely, the Democrats held their noses and voted with their party to get rid of Trump, knowing that his actions did not reach the level of high crimes and misdemeanors. As they say, the end justifies the means.
4. 47 Democrats want to get rid of the man they have been trying to get rid of ever since he got elected, and saw this as one of the fourth or fifth reason to do so (1. the Stormy Daniels’ affair, 2. the Muller investigation, 3. The Putin link, and of course 4. the Zelensky phone call. There must be a few others I don’t recall).
5. A combination and permutation of the above four!
One has to assume that if #1 or #2 are not the correct interpretations, the other possibilities, #3, #4, and #5 require dishonesty, deceit, unethical, or criminal behavior ( or all of the foregoing) on both sides.
The House and Senate are all elected officials with long track records, all with a sworn testament to uphold the truth, most of them being lawyers. It would seem that if they stoop to lying, corruption, and criminality they would have shown evidence of that behavior at other times, but none of that is evident or provable beyond a doubt. If there were such provable evidence, they would likely not be walking free at this time. Their political opponents would have seen to it.
Senator Kamala Harris called the results “a travesty of justice.” It is precisely the opposite. It is what was created by our Constitution and 19 prior impeachments of presidents, judges and various federal officials that have been conducted since1798 on. The rules are there, but nothing is set in stone that cannot be changed by 51 votes. The rules were followed, even about the part for no witnesses, and if you don’t like the result, your issue is with the Constitution of the United States, the framers and the rules that have evolved since inception. Name-calling is not helpful nor the way to voice your concerns. It exposes ignorance of history and adds to the disrespect for a system that has worked quite well for over two centuries, and furthermore falls into the same type of behavior we witnessed for showing lack of decorum in the legislative chamber that belongs to the people of the United States.
I believe that the majority of Senators, whether they voted Yea or Nay, acted on their convictions and true conscience. I believe that those who voted to convict felt justified to do so, and those that voted against conviction truly felt this was uncalled for. Even though the vote was almost down the party line, as most of us know who are not naïve, most votes tend to be down party lines because each Senator brings with him, or her, their own set of internal rules that define him/her as a liberal or conservative. The one Senator who split his vote, is in my opinion, more evidence that Senators voted their conscience. Both sides have been spewing their views, clearly and succinctly, from the argument that “the evidence is incontrovertible” from the left to the right’s question, “Where is the crime? Abuse of power to benefit one’s electability is not on any list of impeachable offenses! In fact, if it were, no one could get elected.” As stated by Alan Dershowitz, a recognized constitutional law scholar. Furthermore, precedence in history proves it to be so.
House members who are so intent on conviction for abuse of power have not read the history of Jefferson and Adams. Jefferson, as Adams’ vice president, was so horrified at Adams for what he considered abuse of presidential power that he walked out on Adams and left Washington for Monticello to plot his revenge. The Alien and Sedition Acts gave Adams unprecedented powers to imprison people. Jefferson came back three years later, in an unbelievably bitter campaign, to win the Presidency. Both sides used deceit and slander that makes today’s politics pale in comparison. Jefferson accusing Adams of being a “hideous hermaphroditic criminal character” while it became public knowledge that Jefferson supposedly had lecherous dalliances with slave women at Monticello, something that haunted him the rest of his life. Nevertheless, Jefferson prevailed, he took office March 4, 1801. Had today’s standards for abuse of power prevailed, Adams would have been impeached and convicted. And furthermore, Jefferson would have gone to jail for slander.
Today, neither the Republicans nor Democrats buy each other’s arguments, despite that both sides are very earnest in their beliefs. To get consensus, you would have to have at least some compromise on each other’s arguments. That is just not happening. You would have to be a super cynic or a die-hard fan of Game of Thrones to believe that the majority of the Senators on both sides committed perjury by this vote. Jefferson and Adams were bitter enemies for 12 years but eventually reconciled, remaining friends until they died 5 hours apart on July 4, 1826, a history lesson our Congress should emulate which our country desperately needs and from which it would greatly benefit.
My interpretation of the vote points to the first two possibilities being the only viable and likely explantation. A patriotic American of either party would have to believe that our legislators are by and large honest people of principle even if some of them have drunk too much of the blue or red Kool-Aid, but they are not a bunch of conspiratory Mafioso. We now must accept the results and let it go if we believe in the process of our democratic form of government.
If we continue to wallow in this muddy, swampy bog, we risk harming our form of government, our economy, and our way of life. The OMB (Office of Management and Budget) said that holding up funds for Ukraine was illegal. That assertion has not been tested in the courts. We could run that question all the way up to SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the United States). Or, better yet, let’s review the Muller Report one more time that refused to call the abuse of power question in the first place and maybe (or not) give us the answer. The DOJ (Department of Justice) calculated the cost of the Russia probe to be $32 million so far. That could be doubled and in another 2 years, we could (or not) get the final answer. The DO-NOTHING CONGRESS could do nothing quite a bit longer yet. I know, let’s call Bolton to testify. He could read his book for the Congressional Record. That would be a great way to continue to do nothing, especially since the content of the book is already known, but it would be better than getting an Oprah endorsement. How about a re-impeachment?
Have we not had enough? In just a few months, we have the opportunity to elect a president. This will be the time to exercise our rights as citizens and make a decision that we then must abide by, and start acting like reasoning adults instead of spoiled children who will not shake hands or tear up each other’s papers which by the way were historic documents belonging to us, We the People.