Neither party really wanted additional testimony in the impeachment trial.
According to most reports and analysis of the impeachment process of President Trump the Democrats wanted a bevy of witnesses to testify at the Senate trial while the Republicans steadfastly refused to permit those with allegedly damning evidence to be heard. In fact, the Senate even had a debate and a vote to determine if such witnesses should testify or not.
Why wouldn’t those with direct knowledge of the “high crimes and misdemeanors” of which Trump had been charged be permitted to present their case? Most Democrats and their followers argue the Senate Republicans were participating in a cover up of the President’s obvious violations in office, while Republicans argued back the House had the responsibility to present their case to the Senate, and did so, confident they had enough evidence to convict him, making further testimony irrelevant.
Closer to the truth is the statement that neither Democrats nor Republicans wanted any additional testimony to come to the eyes of the American public.
The House held its inquiry and called witnesses to testify before the various committees, arguably partisan in nature, but they asked for other witnesses, such as John Bolton and Mick Mulvaney from the President’s staff to testify as well. But they placed conditions on these witnesses that Trump and his counsel found would be disadvantageous and declined to appear.
The normal recourse in this situation would be for the House to subpoena these witnesses and let the courts decide if they should be compelled to testify. The House chose not to follow this precedent. They went ahead and presented the Articles of Impeachment to the Senate for the trial phase claiming they had enough evidence without the testimony of others to proceed.
Then they began to claim that despite being confident in their case, the Senate should call additional witnesses as part of their job. But they knew all along that would not happen, and in truth, they didn’t want it to happen. Allowing additional witnesses would likely bring out some shady, at best, details about the Democrat’s involvement in the 2016 election interference as well, and they didn’t want that.
Neither did the Republicans want witnesses, not to produce a cover up of Trump’s crimes, but to prevent the same likely revelations that some of their own party may have been involved in some misdeeds. Not only does democracy die in darkness, investigations do as well. Most congressional investigations are little more than political theater, whose primary result is sound bites for upcoming re-election campaigns. This impeachment proceeding will follow suit.
The goal of the Democrats was not necessarily to remove Trump from office, but more so to wound him in the public eye for the upcoming 2020 election. The move to impeach Trump began even before he took office in 2017 with the same goal in mind. Running against a damaged incumbent was the prize, and a conviction and removal would just be gravy.
The truth is the truth. Unfortunately, most of us have been conditioned to differing versions of the truth tainted by whether you wear a red hat or a blue one or which cable news channel you watch. The real truth is there are a lot of back room deals, a lot of money changing hands, and a lot of nefarious goings-on in politics,. Some are unethical at best, bordering on illegal. And that isn’t a new revelation.
We Americans all claim to want to know the truth, but maybe that movie line was correct. Paraphrasing, maybe we can’t handle the truth. Maybe our entire political system would collapse if we knew the truth. Republicans and Democrats alike didn’t want any additional witnesses to testify in front of the cameras because they don’t want us to know the truth.
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