The impeachment trial of the US President Donald Trump is ongoing for abuse of power related to his dealings with Ukraine and obstruction of Congress for refusing to participate in inquiries. Trump is only the third president ever in US history to be impeached but none has even been removed from office.
The Republicans, who control the US Senate, wanted to rush the trial and wind up within two weeks. The Democrats’ demand to bring new witnesses to the trial has been rebuffed paving the way for Trump’s acquittal next week. The Senate narrowly voted to reject demands to summon witnesses that could have prolonged the trial and brought more incriminating evidence against him.
This has rendered the impeachment proceedings as a show trial. It is even worse than professional wrestling as the end result has been fixed. As presidential candidate Bernie Sanders said, it is a sad day for democracy and marks the end of the Republicans as a party of ideas and values. He said a trial without witnesses is a mockery of justice, and is consistent with a president who believes he is above the law, and the beneficiary of a show trial which prevent the American people to hear evidence against him.
A potential witness was former US National Security Adviser John Bolton who served in Trump’s administration until he was forced to quit last year. Bolton is expected to release a memoir revealing that Trump tied military aid to Ukraine. Bolton was an insider with knowledge of many relevant meetings and conversations in the inquiry. Trump downplayed the revelation saying it was just to sell a book but now he has also been blocked from testifying.
Trump’s acquittal is now all but certain as his Republic allies hold control and are nowhere near the two-thirds majority required for his removal from office. The final arguments in the trial will instead continue next week and with no damaging testimony from witnesses, Trump is set to be acquitted. The Republicans are on the wrong side of history to allow a president to abuse power without impunity as he could target his opponents.
The next step ahead is the presidential elections with a divided nation. Trump would claim to be vindicated and his power base would accept it. The annual State of the Union address next week would be more about him and his shambolic policies including the Middle East peace plan and extending the Muslim travel ban making his re-election even more certain.