The mainstream media have accused leading Republicans of destroying the possibility of a “fair trial” in the Senate after President Donald Trump is impeached because many have said they have made up their minds he is not guilty.
The media have conveniently ignored the fact that many Senate Democrats, including most of the Senators running for the Democratic presidential nomination, declared long ago that they had made up their minds Trump was guilty.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) declared in April that President Trump ought to be impeached over the findings of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report — even though the report absolved him of so-called “Russia collusion”:
Mueller put the next step in the hands of Congress: “Congress has authority to prohibit a President’s corrupt use of his authority in order to protect the integrity of the administration of justice.” The correct process for exercising that authority is impeachment.
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) April 19, 2019
Warren confirmed at the most recent Democrat debate in November that she wanted Trump removed from office.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) supported an impeachment inquiry in May, calling the president a “pathological liar”:
It is obvious that the President is a pathological liar who does not understand the Constitution. The fact is that if Mr. Trump continues to disregard the right of Congress to subpoena, he will leave House Members with no choice but to begin an impeachment inquiry.
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) May 23, 2019
In September, Sanders added that he wanted President Trump impeached — before an inquiry had been completed:
I look forward to seeing Donald Trump impeached as soon as possible.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) September 29, 2019
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) has not said whether she will vote to remove Trump, but has left few doubts:
On impeachment proceedings: Our nation’s constitution most deliberately included patriotism checks on corruption. This is how it works. In America, the President is not king.
— Amy Klobuchar (@amyklobuchar) November 14, 2019
Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) has suggested that he will vote to remove Trump for allegedly violating his oath of office:
“I swore an oath to my job as senator to do my duty. This president has violated his. I will do mine.” —Cory on impeachment at #DemDebate
— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) October 16, 2019
Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO), a lower tier candidate, has already suggested he will vote to remove Trump:
We have to follow due process and the rule of law, but if the evidence of the President’s wrongdoing and abuse of power continues to remain consistent with what we’ve seen, it’s likely I will vote to impeach. 1/3 https://t.co/u2Wrzes2pF
— Michael Bennet (@MichaelBennet) December 10, 2019
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), who recently dropped out of the race, supports removing the president from office:
Trump is pressuring another foreign government to dig up dirt on a political opponent.
We need a new commander in chief—and we need to absolutely begin impeachment proceedings. He’s gotta go.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) September 23, 2019
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), an earlier dropout from the race, supported impeachment enthusiastically, leaving little doubt that she, like her colleagues, has already made up her mind to vote to remove Trump from office:
The House should begin impeachment hearings immediately.
Enough is enough.
We can’t let the president abuse his office for political gain without accountability.
— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) September 24, 2019
And those are just the presidential candidates from the Senate.
Yet the media have focused on Republicans who have only recently — after a complete House inquiry — stated that they believe the president is innocent.
The Washington Post, for example, published an article, syndicated nationally, under the headline: “Senate GOP defends Trump, despite oath to be impartial impeachment jurors.” (That headline has now been updated at the Post.) Other mainstream media outlets have similarly called out Republicans for supposedly making up their minds ahead of time, barely acknowledging that many Democrats had done the same.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC), for example, is under fire for telling CBS News’ Face the Nation on Sunday he had “clearly made up my mind,” with Democrats and Never Trump Republicans, such as Bill Kristol, accusing Graham of violating his forthcoming oath to be impartial in a trial.
C’mon, @LindseyGrahamSC and @senatemajldr: Why not have the courage of your convictions and repeal the oath in Rule XXV of the Senate impeachment rules? Why pretend to respect the Constitution and the rule of law? Let’s have our cynicism pure, without the base alloy of hypocrisy. https://t.co/5OvQFz9Mmo
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) December 14, 2019
Critics also blasted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for stating that he would coordinate with the White House defense team — forgetting that President Bill Clinton and his advisers coordinated closely with Senate Democrats in his impeachment trial in 1999.
And Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) earned media Monday morning by demanding that the Senate allow new witnesses for the prosecution that the House did not call, or that the House decided not to interview because it did not want to wait for the courts to decide on the validity of subpoenas.
Aside from Schumer’s hypocrisy (he voted against calling witnesses in Clinton’s trial), there is the matter of procedural fairness: the House decided not to call these witnesses because Trump went to the courts, then impeached him for “obstruction of Congress” for doing so.
Notably, 100% of Senate Democrats voted to acquit President Bill Clinton in 1999.
House Democrats are widely expected to impeach Trump on Wednesday, against bipartisan opposition.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.