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Impeachment Trial - Day 3

Rich Galen

Friday January 24, 2020

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  • I thought Adam Schiff (D-Ca) who is the lead Manager for the House impeachment team did an excellent job in his two-plus hours of making the case against Donald J. Trump.

  • Alas, each side has 24 hours to make its case - eight hours per day - and there were still six hours more of presenting different angles of basically the same information.

  • On the first day of impeachment trial activities featured a never-ending sequence of roll call votes that Democratic Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) demanded largely out of pique for not having had advance notice of changes that Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) wanted to make in the rules of procedure for the trial.

  • Both sides had an hour to argue for each amendment offered by Schumer and, because they felt they had to fill their hour, both sides pretty much said the same thing for each hour; hour after hour.

  • When the actual trial got started (think of Tuesday as batting practice, and Wednesday as first pitch) Schiff did his thing - and, as I said, did it very well - and the other House Managers did came in to give their presentations as they had obviously rehearsed.

  • Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tx), whom I have known since he was a Justice of the Texas Supreme Court in the mid-90s, said to reporters during a break in Wednesday's presentations:
    "So far, we haven't heard anything new from what we heard yesterday, and I hope this isn't just going to be a series of repetitious arguments just to try to fill the time allotted. That's sort of what it feels like right now."

  • The Members of the U.S. Senate did not watch every moment of the hearings in the House Intel and Judiciary Committees. If put under oath, I would venture to say a huge majority of Senators didn't watch any of the hearings.

  • (A) They were either campaigning in Iowa and New Hampshire or, (B) They were earning their government pay by attending their own committee meetings and doing other Senatorial stuff or, (C) they were abiding by the long-standing rule that Senators don't spend their time wondering what the House is up to.

    SIDEBAR

    Several years ago I was having lunch with a former Member of the House. We were discussing walking through the tunnels beneath the Capitol building to get from the House side to the Senate side.

    He recounted a time when he needed to have a meeting with the chief of staff of a Senator and

    I stopped him and said, here's what no sitting U.S. Senator has ever said in the history of the Republic: "I had to go over to the House for a meeting with the Congressman's chief of staff."

    END SIDEBAR

  • A U.S. Senator, other than for things like State of the Union addresses, does not venture to the House side for a meeting.

  • Another example: Late in the night during the debate on whether to subpoena John Bolton, House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) said
    "I see a lot of senators voting for a cover-up, voting to deny witnesses, an absolutely indefensible vote, obviously a treacherous vote."

  • Whoa! Check, please! Talk about getting their togas in a twist!

  • No Member of the House - even the chairman of a major committee - accuses a United States Senator of a cover-up, much less every Majority Member of the United States Senate.

  • By Wednesday night, the GOP Senators were marching up and down the hall to the Rotunda chanting "They keep repeating themselves. I'm bored."

  • The Democrats' approach on day two of the opening statements was to drill down to how they came to their conclusion that Donald Trump had abused his office and obstructed Congress.

  • It was a rehash of what we heard for that marathon session on Tuesday, but I thought that at least one of the presenters, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), was terrific.

  • A reporter Tweeted that he counted at least 20 empty seats on the GOP side of the Senate, this in spite of the Secretary of the Senate "Here Ye-ing" that they needed to sit in their seats and be silent under penalty of going to jail.

  • No Senator is going to jail for leaving their seat, but it would be terrific if they were required to wear ankle bracelets so reporters could track where they go.

  • On the Secret Decoder Ring page today: Links to John Cornyn's remarks, to the hoo-hah that Jerry Nadler created, and to the bio of Hakeem Jefferies.

    The Mullfoto is a tooth gnasher; a meter maid car parked right under a "No Parking" sign.

-- END --

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