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Senators Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Michael Bennett and Amy Klochubar must recuse themselves from any participation in President Trump’s upcoming Senate trial or be guilty of interfering in the 2020 election.
By sitting on the jury and voting to impeach, they each commit the crime that Trump is accused of committing. Anything less than complete recusal would be an abuse of power, comparable to one of the charges brought against the president, and which will be debated and voted upon in the coming weeks.
President Trump is accused of using the power of his office in an attempt to damage the campaign of Joe Biden, thereby potentially affecting the 2020 presidential election in his favor.
The exact same charge should be laid against any of the senators who are running for president if they participate in the trial of President Trump knowing that it will be widely publicized, or if they vote for his impeachment. Either activity would plainly constitute an effort to affect the 2020 presidential election in their favor.
If it is an impeachable offense for a president, it is an impeachable offense for a senator.
Recusal is entirely appropriate as the Senate will be sitting as a jury in the president’s impeachment trial.
Judges and jurors must be recused in all criminal cases if there is any conflict of interest or even the appearance of impropriety. This practice is scrupulously observed to protect the accused in all other criminal cases, large and small.
No criminal case is bigger — or has a higher profile — than trying the president of the United States for “high crimes and misdemeanors” as provided by the Constitution.
Notwithstanding the fact that the articles of impeachment were brought by the House of Representatives for purely political motives, or perhaps all the more because the charges were politically motivated, it is imperative that every effort is made to ensure that participants in the Senate trial do not have obvious political ambition that would be furthered by harsh public criticism or a vote for impeachment.
Democrats in both houses of Congress made no secret of their intentions to remove or at least discredit President Trump by all means, legal and illegal, since even before his election.
The week he was elected, Maxine Waters started chanting, “impeach 45.” Democratic congressmen were quoted as saying that it was necessary to impeach Donald Trump, or he would win re-election. The Mueller investigation, not to mention the Steele Dossier, have all been part and parcel of the same determined effort to undermine a popular president in his re-election bid.
The Democrats’ impeachment process and articles sent to the senate has set the constitutional bar to find high crimes lower.
Moving forward, every president will be subject to impeachment if the alternate party has a majority in Congress.
Democrats have criminalized political differences becoming not just loyal opposition, but the party of a resistance enemy rebellion.
How can the GOP Senate rescue our republic?
For their own protection, and to preserve what little remains of the thin veneer of credibility in the process, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell should propose a rule that any member of the Senate who is campaigning for president cannot participate in the impeachment trial.
The Senate would likely approve this proposal. They would certainly be hard-pressed not to.
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