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Congressman Jason Smith – Jury of His Political Opponents

Congressman Jason Smith

After unconstitutionally delaying the transmission for almost four weeks, Speaker Pelosi finally sent the Articles of Impeachment to the United States Senate this week. The Speaker supposedly delayed sending the Articles because she was worried about “fairness” – a stunning word for someone who blocked Republican requests for witnesses, held weeks of closed-door meetings and depositions, and denied the President of the United States his right to due process or even to present opposing evidence throughout the entire impeachment circus, which played out in your House of Representatives.

Unfortunately, I have little hope that Democrats in the Senate will treat the President any better. The Left is totally committed to removing the President from office, just as they have been since his inauguration three years ago. Just consider this: four of the Senators who will vote on removing President Trump from office are actively campaigning to replace him in 2020. It is unconscionable that Senators who are running for President themselves should vote on the removal of their election opponent. That’s why, on Thursday afternoon, when all members of the United States Senate were sworn in for the Impeachment trial and took an oath swearing to do “impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws, so help me God,” those four Senators perjured themselves.

You need only look at the hatred and vitriol for the President these Senators have been spewing long before the latest U.S. House impeachment vote. Senator Bernie Sanders has called the President “a racist and a bigot.” Not to be outdone, Senator Elizabeth Warren has referred to the President as “immoral” and “disgusting.” In addition to their words, they have raised and spent millions of dollars to defeat the President at the ballot box in November. Their words and actions have made clear there is no possible way for them to claim to serve as impartial jurors.

Back in December, I called upon Senators actively seeking the Presidency to recuse themselves from the trial. At all times, and especially when one political party is trying to impeach a president, we must safeguard our most fundamental constitutional rights. Among these essential protections are the rights to be innocent until proven guilty and to be tried by an impartial jury. At this critical time for our nation, the Senate must guarantee the President of the United States these important rights. There is no way these senators running for President could faithfully claim impartiality.

The Constitution already requires one officer of the Senate to recuse himself or herself from the impeachment trial because of a similar conflict of interest. Normally, the Vice President serves as the President of the Senate when present. But in an impeachment trial, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court presides over proceedings because the Founders thought the Vice President, as the next in line for the Presidency, was not the appropriate person to lead the proceedings. If the Constitution requires the judge to be impartial, the jury should be too.

This week, to maintain the integrity of our republic, I again called on those four Senators who are running for President to not participate in President Trump’s impeachment trial. While I hope they would do the right thing for the country, I am not optimistic given the Democrat Party’s track record on impeachment. If Speaker Pelosi’s impeachment charade in the U.S. House of Representatives taught us anything about what to expect in the Senate trial, it’s that these Senators are blatantly determined to put their political self-interest before the good of the country. Senators Sanders, Warren, Klobuchar, and Bennet can either be the President’s election opponent or an impartial juror in his trial, but they cannot be both.