Lois Eisenberg | An Unconstitutional Verdict?

Letters to the Editor

The following letter was submitted before the Senate’s verdict on impeachment of President Trump.

If there are no witnesses at President Trump’s impeachment trial it will be the first time a president has been acquitted by an unconstitutional impeachment process. If Trump is acquitted at the impeachment trial it will be unconstitutional because witnesses with firsthand knowledge of the matters at hand and the facts have been curtailed from testifying.

The American people will be left with an unconstitutional verdict far worse than a constitutional crisis. The results of this unconstitutional verdict will end up in an autocracy governed by a president, even if not re-elected. Trump will remain in office until Jan. 20, 2021, beyond the reach of the rule of law.

Not with a declaration of martial law and tanks in the streets — this is how autocracy comes to America. The act of acquitting Trump by a roll call in the Senate is in violation of the Constitution. When this happens and the Senate’s verdict is for acquittal with no witnesses, that will be the day the rule of law dies in America. If this happens, the American people have lost their God-given rights and freedom.

Lois Eisenberg

Valencia

Editor’s note: The Constitution gives the Senate the sole authority to try impeachments, but does not spell out details such as whether witnesses must be called. Here’s what Article 1, Section 3 of the Constitution says about impeachment: “The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present. Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.”

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