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February 4, 2021

It’s great to see so many readers engaging with us, commenting --- both pro and con --- on our voice of reason at this time of mass hysteria. We’re trying to get through all the letters, promise! Here are responses to two more...

From Gary:

I just have three quick questions:

1.) Since Senator Patrick Leahy is presiding over the 'impeachment' trial, does he have a vote on conviction? The Chief Justice does not have a vote, so why should Leahy, since he is assuming that capacity.

2.) What gives Senator Leahy the authority to preside anyway? I cannot anywhere in the Constitution that says this it is permissible for a Senator to preside over an impeachment trial.

3.) The impeachment articles were delivered AFTER Trump had left office, and was a private citizen, What gives the Senate the authority to try ANY private citizen?

(asking for a friend)

From the Gov:

The short answer: none of this is constitutional. They are making it up as they go along.

Having Sen. Leahy presiding over an impeachment trial is entering uncharted territory, since the Constitution says “the Chief Justice SHALL preside...” Chief Justice John Roberts has wisely chosen not to accept this dubious honor and will play no part in the "trial," so Sen. Leahy has graciously taken it upon himself. I assume he will decide for himself whether or not his vote counts. My guess is that it WILL. This whole circus is already so unconstitutional that, hey, why the heck not?

So, with President Trump already out of office and the Chief Justice not presiding, is what we have even a real impeachment trial? I’m not a legal scholar by any means, but I certainly have a lot of company in saying it is not. What we have here is a big fat banana-republic-style show trial. Your friend is correct in saying the Senate does not have authority to try a private citizen.

Accordingly, Trump’s attorneys are arguing that this entire process is unconstitutional, not only for the reasons mentioned above but also because the House impeachment was conducted without any due process. They also say that Trump is innocent of the charges he was impeached for, having never incited violence, and that they can present evidence that the Capitol breach was planned well in advance of his speech.

Democrats want to "convict" Trump because they think it will prevent him from holding office again, ever. They said he didn’t deserve to in their legal brief filed February 2. (The "trial" is scheduled for next week, starting February 8.) But legal experts point out that they don’t have this power other than with appointed offices, not elected ones. And to do this, even if it were constitutional, they’d have to reach a 2/3 vote on conviction, which they are not going to get.

Will this common-sense argument stop the Democrats? Of course not. But Sen. Lindsay Graham has said that if they call even one witness, Republicans will call a slew of their own, tying up the Senate for weeks at least. Maybe they'll even call the guy in the Viking helmet, if only to establish that he was there at the Capitol long before Trump gave his speech and didn’t even hear it.

Personally, I’d like to see the Republicans call John Sullivan, the left-wing activist who participated, was arrested and charged but then violated terms of bail. What was he really doing there?

I’d like to know how many other left-wing activists were involved in the Capitol breach. Again, we know the so-called insurrection was planned quite a while in advance and had nothing to do with what Trump said.

On the other hand, Trump’s attorneys say they won’t be bringing in the issue of election fraud. It apparently is not true that Trump parted ways with his previous team over that issue. New attorney Bruce Castor said, “There are plenty of questions about how the election was conducted throughout the country, but that’s for a different forum, and I don’t believe that’s important to litigate in the Senate trial because you don’t need it. President Trump has plenty to win with what he has.” Here’s more from THE EPOCH TIMES.

Jonathan Turley warned that even the House impeachment –- not even counting the Senate trial –- was doing great damage to the Constitution.

Turley said, “With seeking his removal for incitement, Democrats would gut not only the impeachment standard but also free speech, all in a mad rush to remove Trump just days before his term ends.” He said that Trump’s speech did not meet the legal standard for “incitement” and would be seen by the Supreme Court as protected speech. This sounds like just the kind of defense Trump’s attorneys are planning for his trial.

"The damage caused by the rioters...was enormous,” Turley said. “However, it will pale in comparison to the damage from a new precedent of a snap impeachment for speech protected under the First Amendment.” Of course, the House did it anyway.

Thanks for writing, Gary; hope I answered your questions.

From Paul:

Thanks for allowing me to comment, Governor. I am very disillusioned, with the Republican "club," and you. For two or three years, you have been chicken little on these CIA/FBI pending indictments. Time and again you breathlessly announced that charges, indictments and jail time was coming. The Democrats are destroying America with unbridled activism and relentless action while the "club" stonewalls and stands around in togas, all the while complicitly skewering Trump. Disgusting. 74 million Americans will not soon forget this insider treachery. Loyalty is supposed to work both ways. I wish Trump would start a 3rd party.

From the Gov:

Thanks for writing, Paul, but I think you mischaracterize my reports. The investigations have been interminable, and I don’t think we’ve ever said anyone was going to jail. We’ve said people DESERVE to go to jail, which is a different thing entirely. I share your abject disappointment and disgust that no one has been held accountable.

We can tell you what investigators have turned up, and we can point you to solid sources and great books exposing much of the deep state, but as for accountability, well, we can’t do anything about that, much as we would like to.

So, you put me, personally, in “the club,” wearing a toga, standing complicit as the Democrats skewer Trump? Aside from thinking I might look pretty silly in a toga, I have to wonder where on earth you get that image of me. I ran for President; didn’t QUITE make it. I have no power to put anyone in jail, as appropriate as that might be. I've made it crystal clear what I think about the double standard of “justice” in Washington DC.

Right now, increased activism is the very thing I’m encouraging for embittered Republicans. As for starting a third party, that would be the worst mistake conservatives could possibly make. Democrats are hoping beyond hope that we do. Start a new third party, and conservatives will never, ever, ever win another Presidential election. Ever. Guaranteed.

Thanks for writing, Paul. I hope this clears a few things up.