When I speak with my pro-Trump friends about the Impeachment Inquiry, two questions typically arise. First, do the Democrats truly believe that President Trump committed the acts of which he is accused? Second, how can two groups of people (Democrats and Republicans) have the same set of facts and reach opposite conclusions? This article attempts to answer these questions.
Democrats in the House and Senate, as well as those not in elected office, fall into three categories regarding their belief in whether the President committed the acts of which he is accused. First, some Democrats absolutely believe that he committed illegal acts. These Democrats think the evidence proves their point, and they consider any evidence and arguments against their views to not have any weight. Second, some Democrats believe that the counter-evidence has some value, but that it does not change the decision on Trump’s guilt. Third, some Democrats do not even consider the evidence. Rather, they think the President is so bad that he must be guilty and, therefore, removed from office.
Speaker Pelosi, Chairman Schiff, Chairman Nadler, and the Democrat members of their committees fall into a special category. For two reasons, it is safe to assume that these Democrats do not completely believe that Trump is guilty. First, they have taken actions to hide evidence which benefits President Trump. They have held secret hearings, prevented Republicans from calling witnesses, denied lawyers for the President to attend the hearings, and fast-tracked the impeachment process. These Democrats would not do so unless they realized that the evidence and arguments which the Republicans have raised has value, is important, and leads to a conclusion of innocence.
The second reason demonstrating their equivocation is the changing accusations of the crimes which President Trump has supposedly committed. It started with quid pro quo and has transformed to bribery to intimidating witnesses to obstructing Congress to acting like a king to conspiring with the Russians (which the Mueller Report emphatically debunked). The Democrats kept altering the charge versus the President because each accusation which they brought forward was not supported by the evidence. The Democrats finally settled on abuse of power and obstruction of Congress which, respectively, is an accusation without a legal definition and charge against the President’s exertion of executive privilege (which a court, not Congress, should be deciding the legality thereof).
The question remains of how two groups of people (Democrats and Republicans) can have the same set of facts and reach opposite conclusions. As a threshold matter, one must accept that these groups do not have the same set of facts. Various media outlets cover different aspects of the story and, even if they cover all angles, individuals might only hear snippets of coverage. Moreover, commentators are biased, and they can be subjective or not mention opposing views.
The other reason for the divergence between Democrats and Republicans is their completely separate goals. Many Democrats and those in favor of impeachment solely want to get rid of President Trump. They do not like him, his policies, or both. They only want to remove him from office. They do not care if the process is unjust, the claims are not supported by evidence, or if their actions create bad precedents for the future. This disregard for the facts was evident during many Democrats’ speeches during the final arguments on impeachment.
Trump supporters have a different approach. Obviously, they do not want the President to be removed from office. Most of them, however, do not rely on political or emotional views to defend the President. Rather, they are more focused on evidence and failures in process. They have considered the proceedings, considered the evidence, and concluded that proof does not exist that the President committed the accusations leveled against him. The Republicans’ goal seems to be justice while the Democrats’ mission appears to be political and the quest for power to control the United States government.
For those Democrats in the Senate that know all the facts and have a goal of justice, let’s hope that they act objectively and do not vote for conviction. Inevitably, elected officials and party leaders will pressure them in public and private as well as offer pork projects, campaign assistance, and other favors to them. These “on the fence” Democrats need to be strong and do what is right for the country now and in the future.