Wednesday, February 5, 2020

An American drama: Republican Senators Sabotaged Donald Trump’s Impeachment Trial


By Dr. Rodrigue Tremblay

Reminder and chronology of events:

U.S. Constitution:
- Article One of the U.S. Constitution gives the House of Representatives the sole power of impeachment and the Senate the sole power to try impeachments of officers of the U.S. federal government. 

- The President, Vice President and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors. [Article II, Section 4.]


Impeachment:
- The impeachment of Donald Trump, the 45th president of the United States, occurred on December 18, 2019, when the House of Representatives approved two articles of impeachment on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
-Articles of impeachment:
The first article charges Donald Trump with abuse of power for withholding foreign aid to Ukraine in order to pressure the government of Ukraine to assist him in his re-election campaign by damaging Democratic rivals.
The second article charges Donald Trump with obstruction of Congress for blocking testimony and refusing to provide documents in response to House subpoenas in the impeachment inquiry.
- On January 31, 2020, a Senate majority of 51 Republican Senators voted against calling any witnesses for the impeachment trial of Donald Trump.
- On Wednesday, February 5, 2020, in a trial requiring a two-thirds majority to convict the president, a Senate majority of 52 Republican Senators, with the notable exception of Senator Mitt Romney, a former Mormon missionary, voted against convicting Donald Trump.

The die is cast. —History will record that Republican senators in the U.S. Senate used their majority to sabotage the impeachment trial of Donald Trump and, in so doing, de facto exonerated him of abuse of power and of obstruction of Congress.

History will undoubtedly record that the January 2020 Senate trial for the impeachment of Donald Trump was not a “fair and impartial” trial, but was exclusively a preset trial, along partisan lines. The obvious objective of the Republican Senate majority, from the beginning, was clearly not to proceed with a ‘fair trial’, but it was rather to exonerate by any means the accused. It was done without giving the House of Representatives’ managers and lawyers a fair chance to prove their accusations levied against Donald Trump by calling for the depositions of knowledgeable witnesses and presenting incriminating documents.

Indeed, Republican senators, under the leadership of Trump’s leading enabler Sen. Mitch McConnell, have blocked all attempts to have important witnesses, some of them with new damaging direct evidence against the accused, to testify. All of this was done with an open and active collaboration between the Senate Republican leadership and Donald Trump’s personal lawyers, notwithstanding the oath that every senator had taken at the beginning to be “fair and impartial”.

For example, the Republican Senate majority inexplicably refused to hear John Bolton, former Security advisor to Donald Trump and author of a book in which he called Trump’s request to the Ukrainian government to investigate his political opponent, a “drug deal”. Similarly, the Republican senators also refused to hear Mick Mulvaney, the acting Chief of Staff to Donald Trump who confirmed that his boss did ask for a personal political favor from the Ukrainian government in exchange for lifting a freeze of foreign aid to that country.

In fact, the Republican Senate majority did not want to hear any witness who had first-hand information on the numerous abuses of power, numerous instances of corruption, and the numerous obstructions made by the President to the American Congress, thus negating the latter’s constitutional prerogatives.

Therefore, it can be said that there has not been even the appearance of a genuine and fair trial to remove the current American president from office. Indeed, a trial without key witnesses and without relevant documents, especially dealing with important and crucial information about the case, can be seen as a farce, as the Washington Post wrote in its editorial of January 27, 2020, and a sham —in fact, a cover-up of the crimes committed by a president of their own party.

Historians will undoubtedly stress the fact that this was the first impeachment case in the history of the United States in which no witnesses and no documents were permitted to be considered by the jury of senators.

Donald Trump vs. the Constitution and his Republican Accomplices in the U.S. Senate

Every American president before taking office must take an inaugural oath to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution”. In Mr. Trump’s case, he has de facto, through his actions and his pronouncements, rejected two basic principles of the U.S. Constitution, i.e. the separation of powers and the existence of co-equal branches of government. He has also rejected the most important principle of democracy, which stipulates that no citizen is above the law. In Mr. Trump’s case, even if he took an oath to that effect, it would seem obvious that he never had any intention to abide by the U.S. Constitution, let alone to preserve, protect and defend” it!

The House of Representatives’ Articles of impeachment were well documented and well presented. That the majority of Republican Senators dismissed them out of hand without calling for known relevant witnesses and without asking for incriminating documents, while relying on spurious and bad-faith legal arguments, make them historical accomplices of the accused president. They put their own political fortunes ahead of their country’s interests in protecting the letter and the spirit of the U.S. Constitution.

Indeed, if the current president or if any future American president decides to flout the U.S. Constitution with impunity and becomes unaccountable, the Republican senators who have refused to take seriously the charges of impeachment of Donald Trump brought to them by the House of Representatives, will have to be held responsible. Mind you, Donald Trump can already be considered a rogue American president. How low can he go and how far are the Republicans willing to go down with him. That is the question.

Conclusion

Since the Republican Senators have not respected the oath that all senators took to have a “fair and impartial” trial of impeachment, it will fall upon the U.S. electorate to take that responsibility in November. It remains to be seen if the Senate’s abdication of responsibility will be redressed or not by the American people.
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International economist Dr. Rodrigue Tremblay is the author of the book The Code for Global Ethics, Ten Humanist Principles, of the book The New American Empireand the recent book, in French « La régression tranquille du Québec, 1980-2018 ».

Please visit Dr. Tremblay’s site:

Posted, Wednesday, February 5, 2020, at 4:30 pm

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Tuesday, January 21, 2020

NYTimes-Trump Speech in Miami

*****
Tues. Jan. 21, 2020

To Our Readers:

Exceptionally, we recommend reading an article in the New York Times, which has not received enough visibility.

It is about the speech that Donald Trump made in Miami on Jan. 2, 2020, in which he used the same slogan as German Nazis of “God is on our side” (Gott mit uns) !

We have to keep in mind, according to his second wife, that the only book Trump keeps at his bedside is a book about Adolf Hitler's speeches.

The link to the New York Times article is:
In Miami Speech, Trump Tells Evangelical Base: God Is ‘on Our Side’


There is also a good article by Philip M. Giraldi, a former director of the National Review about the same topic:

Americans are asleep now. As in 1933-1936, when they wake up it will be too late.

R. T.

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Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Trump's Reckless Gamble with Iran


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Wednesday, January 8, 2020
Donald Trump’s Reckless Gamble with Iran to Distract From His Domestic Political Problems
By Dr. Rodrigue Tremblay


“Don’t let Obama play the Iran card in order to start a war in order to get elected. —Be careful Republicans! Donald Trump (1946- ), 45th American president and hotel and casino owner, (statement made in a tweet, on Mon., Oct. 22, 2012)

“You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”
 Jacques Abbadie (1654-1727), French Protestant, in1684. (N.B.: Often wrongly attributed to Abraham Lincoln)

“Politically speaking, tribal nationalism always insists that its own people is surrounded by ‘a world of enemies’, ‘one against all’, that a fundamental difference exists between this people and all others. It claims its people to be unique, individual, incompatible with all others, and denies theoretically the very possibility of a common mankind long before it is used to destroy the humanity of man.“
Hannah Arendt (1906-1975), in 1951.

“Before mass leaders seize the power to fit reality to their lies, their propaganda is marked by its extreme contempt for facts as such, for in their opinion fact depends entirely on the power of man who can fabricate it.“
Hannah Arendt (1906-1975), in 1951.

I have long suspected that Donald Trump would do anything to save his political skin, and I mean anything, including murder and assassination — if threatened with impeachment, — and even commit an act of war against a foreign country. — Well, as I feared, he just did that against Iran.

Such is the level of public morality in the United States these days. It is pretty low. The cynical ‘wag-the-dog’ scheme is alive and well in the United States and it is used by unscrupulous politicians when they are in political trouble. Some people fall for it all the time.

Over the years, the United States government has waged a very aggressive campaign against Iran:

1- Indeed, the current U.S. President has used very threatening language against Iran and its population of 80 million. The list of Mr. Trump’s menacing statements is very long:
In 2012, while still a private citizen, he declared that the United States “could blow them away to the Stone Age!” Similarly, on September 5, 2013, he made another outlandish comment, saying that “maybe we should knock the hell out of Iran and their nuclear capabilities!” And, as recently as Sunday, January 5, Donald Trump declared on Twitter that he was ready to destroy 52 Iranian cultural sites, a deed that could constitute a war crime, etc., etc.

2- Let us add to the picture the cascade of severe economic and financial sanctions that the U.S. government has imposed on Iran. These sanctions, described by President Trump as "the toughest sanctions ever against a country", have ranged from an embargo on Iranian exports of oil, steel, aluminum, etc. up to a complete ban to any country on using the U.S. dollar in its commercial transactions with Iran. It goes without saying that such sanctions have had devastating effects on the Iranian economy.

In 1955, however, the United States signed a friendship treaty with Iran. Since that treaty has never been terminated, the fifteen judges of the International Court of Justice, located in The Hague, unanimously decided, on October 3, 2018, that the trade sanctions imposed by the United States on Iran constituted a violation of the treaty. However, the Trump’s administration has ignored the court’s decision.

3- May 8, 2018 is also a fateful date because it marks another provocation against Iran and an insult to several other countries. This is indeed the date when U.S. President Donald Trump announced that the United States was withdrawing from the Iran nuclear Deal, an agreement signed on Nov. 24, 2013, by Iran and the six countries of China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, United States and Germany, and whose main purpose was to stabilize the Middle East. This ominous decision has opened a Pandora’s Box of disasters to come. But Donald Trump wanted to please his rich Zionist donors and build for himself the image of a strong man, and … damn the consequences!

4- Of course, the biggest provocation yet of Donald Trump has been to do what no previous American president had done before, i.e. to give an order to assassinate a highly ranked Iranian general, and a member of the Iranian government. This was done seemingly in coordination with the Israeli government.

Indeed, the ordering of the assassination of General Qassem Soleimani, and also of Iraqi militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, with a U.S. drone strike on the Baghdad airport, on January 2, 2020, has been labeled ‘an act of war’ and, as it should have been expected, it has inflamed the entire Middle East.

Perhaps in doing so, American politician Trump has attempted to transform himself into awartime commander in chief’. He may have believed that such a development would benefit him personally in his trial for impeachment in the U.S. Senate and during the coming 2020 presidential election.

That political ploy worked well for George W. Bush in 2003, with the invasion of Iraq, an illegal and costly war of aggression, and which the U.S. is still saddled with, 17 years later. Now, it is well known that the Iraq war was based on big lies, i.e. about nonexistent weapons of mass destructions (WMD) in Iraq.

Since 2018, and with his military decision at the start of this year, Trump hopes to repeat the same 2003 Bush-Cheney scam, and he aims at reaping the same political and monetary benefits from warmongers among the American electorate.

Conclusion

It remains to be seen how far the military brinkmanship between the two countries will go. It also remains to be seen whether the American people and the U.S. Congress will follow Donald Trump in his risky gamble against Iran.
His declaration of January 8 was empty of content and it hardly inspires optimism for the future.

[To be continued]


International economist Dr. Rodrigue Tremblay is the author of the book The Code for Global Ethics, Ten Humanist Principles, of the book The New American Empireand the recent book, in French « La régression tranquille du Québec, 1980-2018 ».

Please visit Dr. Tremblay’s site:

Posted, Wednesday, January 8, 2020, at 12:30 pm

Email to a friend:
http://rodriguetremblay100.blogspot.com/

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© 2020 by Dr. Rodrigue Tremblay