BY JAY BROWN
On Friday, Jan. 30, 2020, the United States Senate rejected motions to call new witnesses in President Trump’s impeachment trial. There was much speculation as to whether enough Republicans might vote in favor in order for it to pass, but in the end it failed 49-51, eliminating the last open question of the proceedings.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski was one of the GOP senators rumored to have been open to the measure, but she ultimately voted against it. She later announced she would vote to acquit, despite believing, “The president’s behavior was shameful and wrong. His personal interests do not take precedence over those of this great nation.”
Sen. Lamar Alexander also voted against the proposal to allow for witnesses, despite acknowledging that, “the president did what he’s charged with doing.” He added, “Hopefully, he won’t do that again.”
But this notion that Donald Trump might be cowed by the impeachment process he just went through is preposterous. Make no mistake — he will be emboldened, just as he was the day after Robert Mueller testified before Congress, and the special counsel investigation was seemingly behind him. On that day, he phoned President Zelensky and asked him “to do us a favor though.”
It was reported last week, prior to the final vote in the impeachment trial, that President Trump was creating an enemies list of people that he feels crossed him. John Bolton appears to be at the top of this list and Trump is interested in directing the United States Justice Department to find a way to lock him up.
In his closing arguments, Rep. Adam Schiff pointed out that the president has, “Betrayed our national security and… compromised our elections and he will do so again.” He warned senators that, “You will not change him. You cannot constrain him. He is who he is.”
President Trump has said that Americans should “stand proudly” during the national anthem and has attacked anyone he feels doesn’t show the proper respect to patriotic symbols. And yet, a video from his Super Bowl party shows that during “The Star Spangled Banner,” while his family stood with their hands over their hearts, he pointed and shuffled and twirled his hands above his head as if he were conducting an orchestra, before grabbing his seat as he seemingly began to sit with the last verse yet to be sung.
Trump recently congratulated Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for being rude to a reporter, including putting an unmarked map in front of her and telling her to identify Ukraine. She got it right. Trump, on the other hand, congratulated the state of Kansas after the Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl victory, proving he doesn’t know that the largest city in Missouri is in Missouri.
Following an Iranian missile strike in Iraq, President Trump assured the public that “no Americans were harmed.” When it was confirmed that 11 servicemembers were being treated for brain injuries, he said, “I heard they had headaches and a couple of other things … I do not consider that to be bad injuries.” Currently, it is known that as many as 50 servicemembers suffered traumatic brain injuries from the attack.
In his final remarks in the presidential impeachment trial, Schiff told the Senate jurors, “I do not ask you to convict him because truth or right or decency matters nothing to him, but because we have proven our case and it matters to you. Truth matters to you. Right matters to you. You are decent. He is not who you are.”
President Trump doesn’t know that Kansas City is in Missouri because he doesn’t care to know, because he doesn’t care about Missouri, because he doesn’t care about truth.
He doesn’t follow his own rules for respecting the national anthem when he publicly chastises others who don’t because he doesn’t care about being respectful of the national anthem, because right doesn’t matter to him.
He doesn’t show concern for troops with traumatic brain injuries because he doesn’t care about decency.
Adam Schiff attempted to reach senators on a moral level. But it is hard to appeal to the better angels of our nature when so many have sold their souls to the proverbial devil.