Washington Post editorial board issues a startling warning: Senate GOP ‘laying the groundwork’ to sabotage democracy
In a piece published in the paper’s Opinion section this Tuesday, the Washington Post’s Editorial Board declared that Senate Republicans are “laying the groundwork for a truncated trial of President Trump that would be a perversion of justice.”
Attempts by Democrats to bring in new evidence were voted down, and all signals point to a Trump acquittal that could come as early as next week with no testimony from witnesses — all details that are “unprecedented compared with previous presidential impeachments,” the Board writes.
“It would gravely damage the only mechanism the Constitution provides for checking a rogue president.”
But it’s not Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s “full collaboration with the White House” that’s the most damaging aspect of the impeachment process, according to the Board; it’s the brazen case being laid out by Trump’s lawyers.
“The defense brief they filed Monday argues that the president ‘did absolutely nothing wrong’ when he pressed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to launch investigations of Joe Biden and a Russian-promoted conspiracy theory about the 2016 election,” writes the Board. “It further contends that Mr. Trump was entirely within his rights when he refused all cooperation with the House impeachment inquiry, including rejecting subpoenas for testimony and documents. It says he cannot be impeached because he violated no law.”
Acquitting Trump would send a corrosive message: it would confirm to Trump that he is “free to solicit foreign interference in the 2020 election and to withhold congressionally appropriated aid to induce such interference,” along with giving him a green light to “launch a criminal investigation of any American citizen he designates, even in the absence of a preexisting U.S. probe, or any evidence.” The examples go on.
Ultimately, according to the Board, Trump’s defense is designed to destroy the “guardrails” of Democracy designed to rein in presidents like Trump.
“If Republican senators go along with it, they will not only be excusing behavior that many of them believe to be improper. They will be enabling further assaults by Mr. Trump on the foundations of American democracy.”
Read the full op-ed over at The Washington Post.