While House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tries futilely to “pressure” Mitch McConnell into holding what she considers to be a “fair impeachment trial” in the Senate, most Republicans in McConnell’s caucus are on board with getting this trial over and done with as soon as possible.
According to a new story at The Hill, the GOP senators have heard all they need to hear when it comes to the razor-thin evidence for impeachment provided by the House. They want to acquit Trump as quickly as the process allows and move on to the much more important business of running the federal government.
“I think there’s a desire by senators, quite honestly, to get this chapter closed and move forward,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) told reporters last week.
Graham’s thoughts were echoed by Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND), who said: “I think shorter is better for lots of reasons. I think people are ready to move on.”
But while Republicans want to get this trial over with quickly, they don’t want to simply hold a vote to dismiss the charges before a trial is held. Some of the president’s supporters have endorsed such an idea – to not even give this partisan impeachment the dignity of a full trial. However, Senate Republicans believe that a trial is important, if only because it will give the president the opportunity to put on a full defense.
“I’m ready to get this thing and get it done,” said Sen. David Perdue (R-GA). “It’s time for him to have his day in court. I don’t want to a vote to dismiss. I want a vote to acquit. The president deserves to have due process.”
The desire for a full trial may be for practical purposes as well as purposes of persuasion. Insiders have said that an initial vote to dismiss the charges (which would require a 51-vote majority) would likely fail in the Senate. Apparently there are just enough fence-sitters in the party to make a full trial necessary.
As far as we’re concerned, this is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, this gives the Democrat-run, partisan impeachment sham a credibility that it doesn’t deserve. On the other, it does allow Trump and his lawyers to put on a defense that will make this impeachment look like the witch hunt that it always was. We’re not sure there are many Americans still out there who haven’t made up their minds on this subject, but if there are, now is the time to show them the evidence that the House never saw.
Either way, it’s as clear as it ever was that Trump will not be removed from office.