This Monday, House Democrats managing the impeachment case against the president delivered their closing arguments in Trump’s Senate impeachment trial. After a trial stretching over weeks, not even enough Republicans were even willing to break with the party line to allow witnesses at the trial, and the final vote — when that Republican majority seems slated to acquit the president — is set for Wednesday. In the meantime, lead case manager and House Intel Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) delivered a personal appeal to Republican Senators to consider the long-range precedent that they’ll be setting if — or when — they vote to acquit Trump.
Directly addressing the Republicans in the Senate, Schiff commented, referring to Trump:
‘Truth matters to you. Right matters to you. You are decent. He is not who you are. History will not be kind to Donald Trump. I think we all know that. Not because it will be written by ‘never Trumpers,’ but because whenever we have departed from the values of our nation, we have come to regret it, and regret is written all over the pages of our history. If you find that the House has proved its case and still vote to acquit, your name will be tied to his with a cord of iron and for all of history. But if you find the courage to stand up to him, to speak the awful truth to his rank falsehood, your place will be among the Davids who took on Goliath.’
A handful of GOP Senators have publicly acknowledged that the House has proven their allegations against Trump, but they have not been willing to support any kind of subsequent, substantive action against the president in response. Tennessee’s Lamar Alexander is among those who’ve employed that argument — he claimed that although he was convinced of the existence of Trump’s plot to pressure Ukraine to investigate his opponents, he thought the behavior was simply “inappropriate.” Schiff pointed out that half-hearted white flag responses to the truth aren’t about to land figures like Alexander on the right side of history.
Alexander had argued that the impeachment proceedings would be enough to restrain Trump’s behavior in the future because he’d have some kind of regret or sense of the consequences of his actions — but there’s no real evidence of this. The Ukraine plot came after years of the Russia investigations targeting the president and his team for their connection to Russian meddling. Trump just tried a different country.
Schiff pointed out:
‘When the president tries to coerce an ally to help him cheat in our elections and then covers it up, we must say ‘enough.’ Enough. He has betrayed our national security and he will do so again. He has compromised our elections and he will do so again. You will not change him. You cannot constrain him. He is who he is. Truth matters little to him. What is right matters even less, and decency matters not at all.’
‘[The founding fathers] gave you a remedy, and they meant for you to use it. They gave you an oath, and they meant for you to observe it’ — Adam Schiff ended his impeachment argument with a call for senators to do their duty pic.twitter.com/fWCtjgCvde
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) February 3, 2020
Voters will get a chance to get that behavior out of office this November. The voting process of selecting a Democrat to take Trump on is officially getting underway this Monday at the Iowa caucuses.