Reader on impeachment: ‘No one is above the law’
I’m old enough to remember Watergate and the Clinton impeachment proceedings. Both left a profound imprint on me as I watched the proceedings and followed the outcome.
Some senators have claimed they are “jurors” and therefore, must not make comment regarding the current proceedings. I would disagree with the assertion that senators serve as jurors in an impeachment hearing; an Iowa senator has a place in history to affirm that statement.
The White House has refused to allow staff members to appear in the proceedings. What would happen to any of us if we ignored a subpoena?
During the impeachment hearing of President Bill Clinton, Iowa’s senator, Tom Harkin, took to the Senate floor to object to the fact that senators were referred to as “jurors.”
Chief Justice William Rehnquist agreed: “The chair is of the view that the senator from Iowa’s objection is well taken, that the senate is not simply a jury; it is a court in this case. And therefore, counsel should refrain from referring to the senators as jurors.”
Harkin later explained that “As Alexander Hamilton said, we are judges, and judges can take into account a lot of things other than the facts and the law.”
As constituents we also have a responsibility to educate ourselves and insist that senators read and listen to the testimony of the witnesses. Some senators have asserted an unwillingness to review the content of depositions or listen to testimony.
I would assert that failure to review transcripts and listen to testimony is dereliction of constitutional duties ascribed by their oath of office.
The hearings are solemn proceedings and should be perceived as such. This is only the fourth time in our national history that Congress has seriously faced the question of impeachment.
The republic and the country must be protected above any political party.Voters, please listen to the testimony and read as much as you can from as many sources as you can.
Contact Iowa Sens. Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst and let them know that you expect them to read the transcript, listen to the testimony and put country over party.
In the end, voters will ultimately have an opportunity to express their opinion of the president’s behavior and practices at the ballot box.
No one is above the law.
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