Well, I did it. I hadn’t planned on watching any of the Democrats’ second impeachment farce against Donald Trump. The trial sounds about as intellectually insulting as a Jeep Super Bowl commercial, just with slightly better music. At least the House Democrats instantly held a vote, which spared us several days of hearings and listening to them. But the headlines from Wednesday sounded enticing, so I checked it out. Some headlines described Wednesday as “chaotic.” That’s generous. Based on what I saw, the term “goat rodeo” doesn’t even begin to describe Impeachment 2.0.
A sane person might wonder why the Democrats are even bothering with this fiasco. 45 Republican Senators have already voted that impeaching Donald Trump – a private citizen who is no longer an officeholder – is unconstitutional. The Supreme Court obviously agrees. Under the Constitution, Chief Justice John Roberts is supposed to be presiding over an impeachment trial. But Roberts declined.
Democrats would now have to convince 12 additional Republicans that, oh, wait, it’s constitutional to impeach any random citizen now, in addition to convincing them that when Donald Trump told his supporters to peacefully march to the US Capitol on January 6 that it was a secret insurrectionist code to stage a riot. Even if the Dems managed to leap over those hurdles, the Supreme Court will obviously swat this impeachment down, making the entire thing a pointless endeavor.
Their next choice to preside over the trial was Kamala Harris, who is technically the President of the Senate (but not legally, due to that wonky election). It must have sounded too much like work to Harris, because she declined. So, they’ve decided that the President pro Tempore of the Senate, Patrick Leahy (D-VT) will be the presiding judge in the impeachment trial.
Imagine that one of your neighbors falsely accused you of a terrible crime and got you arrested. Then, when you arrive at your trial, you discover that there’s not a real judge behind the bench. Instead, the “judge” is your neighbor who is also a witness against you in the case. You probably wouldn’t be thinking, “Oh, great. That looks totally legit and how our legal system is supposed to work.”
Leahy is a witness in the impeachment trial against Donald Trump. He’s also on the jury of US Senators who will be voting on the article of impeachment. And he’s the judge in the trial!
House impeachment managers presented false evidence during Wednesday’s proceedings. They used a fabricated newspaper report to claim that President Trump called Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) during the Capitol protests. This was a bald-faced lie and Sen. Lee asked that it be stricken from the record.
Instead of addressing Sen. Lee’s objection, “presiding judge” Leahy started reciting some obscure Senate rule. A woman trying to assist Leahy by pointing at a piece of paper in front of him kept turning his microphone on and off. One Senator asked for clarification, so Leahy started reciting the exact same obscure Senate rule, like an old LP record that keeps skipping on the same spot.
Patrick Leahy is 80 years old. He’s the only “Watergate Baby” who is still in public office in America. He was part of the wave of Democrats elected to Congress back in 1974, due to public backlash over that Nixon administration scandal. Imagine an elderly person who is even more befuddled and out-of-sorts than Joe Biden – if you can. That’s who the Democrats have presiding over the impeachment trial.
Confused about what was even happening, Leahy then started doing roll call. Senators were jeering by that point, so he switched back and started reciting the same obscure Senate rule. Frustrated that the “judge” wasn’t mentally capable of following along, Mike Lee stood up again and demanded that Leahy make a ruling on his request to strike an obvious lie from the Senate record.
The most remarkable thing about the “chaotic” exchange is that the woman assisting Sen. Leahy is literally telling him what to say during the proceedings, and he’s repeating her.
Unidentified Assistant: “The yeas and nays have been asked for.”
Leahy: “The yeas and nays have been asked for.”
I’ve never seen anything quite like it. The “judge” was so disoriented that an assistant needed to literally recite his lines for him. So many Senators were howling in confusion and objection finally that Chuck Schumer had to slither in and try to restore order. The “judge” was clearly lost in a fog of confusion.
Anyway, it looks like President Trump is easily going to be acquitted in this second impeachment trial. It leaves us to wonder, though: How many of our other elected leaders that we don’t see on a day-to-day basis are mentally unfit to hold office? Joe Biden’s obviously not running the country. Patrick Leahy is third in line to the presidency. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi looks like she’s being held together by Chardonnay, Botox and duct tape. Who in the world is actually running our country right now?