Bradley Byrne: Impeachment Is Nothing to Smile About

Bradley Byrne | January 21, 2020 | Opinion Article
Bradley Byrne
Bradley Byrne

For three years now, the American people have been forced to endure the efforts by Democrats and the liberal mainstream media to impeach President Trump and remove him from office in the face of his clear electoral victory in 2016.  They have tried everything, from a needless Special Prosecutor investigation, which resulted in nothing, to an Adam Schiff-coached whistleblower who admitted he had no firsthand information and relied on news articles by that same liberal media.

The farce produced just two articles of impeachment, neither of which alleges “treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors” as required by the Constitution.  An unprecedented and totally partisan process in the House produced nothing that Democrats could even allege is impeachable.

Then Nancy Pelosi, after insisting for weeks that impeachment couldn’t wait and had to be done by Christmas, held onto the articles, refusing to send them to the Senate as is required.  This prolonged the spotlight on her, as the ever-worshipful liberal media gushed over her political brilliance, ignoring the inconvenient fact that her strategy of forcing the Senate to adopt her preferred process for the trial completely failed.

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The Constitution is clear.  While the House has “the sole Power of Impeachments”, the Senate has “the sole Power to try Impeachments.”  And the Constitution clearly states that each house of Congress sets its own rules.  Pelosi had no right or power to dictate trial rules to the Senate.  Her behavior was unconstitutional and brought embarrassment and dishonor on the House.  So, I filed a resolution censoring the Speaker for her inappropriate behavior.

Finally, last week as Democrats began to abandon Pelosi’s position, she relented, and the House appointed seven “managers” to present the House’s articles and “case” to the Senate.  Led by Schiff, who literally made up words for the transcript of President Trump’s call to the President of Ukraine in his first day of impeachment “hearings”, and by the bumbling and incompetent Jerry Nadler, the House managers will finally have to behave according to the rules of a truly fair process, presided over by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, the competent John Roberts, who will tolerate none of the misbehavior the Democrats repeatedly engaged in as this mess moved through the House.

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Pelosi couldn’t stand to lose her spotlight, and, in one last shameful act, had a “signing ceremony” where she and other Democrats smiled and laughed as she pronounced President Trump “impeached forever” and handed out pens.  Even some of her adoring fans in the liberal media said she went too far.

What now?  The Senate will meet every day except for Sundays beginning at 1:00 PM.  Every senator must attend.  They cannot talk or bring electronic devices.  They will initially hear the House managers’ “case” for the articles of impeachment, and then the President’s lawyers will finally be allowed to present his case.  Be prepared for the House managers to be longwinded and ineffective.  Be prepared for the President’s team to be briefer and speak clearly to the essential points of weakness in the articles.  Then senators will be allowed to ask questions through Chief Justice Roberts.

What happens next is unclear.  Will the Senate dismiss the articles?  Will they acquit the President?  Will they unnecessarily delay things further by calling witnesses?  We don’t know.

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But, we do know that not a single Republican voted for these articles in the House and even a few Democrats voted against them.  One Democrat changed parties over the vote.  We also know there are not nearly enough senators to meet the two thirds threshold to remove President Trump from office.  And we know this will have all been a complete waste of time.

This fall, in the general election, the American people will finally have their say, as the framers of our Constitution intended.  I predict Pelosi, Schiff and Nadler won’t be smiling.

Bradley Byrne is a U.S. Congressman in Alabama's 1st Congressional District and 2020 candidate for U.S. Senator.

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