A United States History class in Florida decided to discuss President Trump’s impeachment.

There was no name-calling or outrageous comparisons.  There was patience and civility toward those with opposing views.

The teacher told them it was ok to have different opinions.

One student said it was time to have “conversations with people like they are people.”

The leaders in Washington could have taken a page out of this history class’ book.

President Trump became a member of a very exclusive club in December.  It wasn’t one he wanted to join either.  He became one of three presidents to be impeached.  He was preceded by Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1998.  Both men were impeached by the House of Representatives but acquitted in the Senate.

Trump was accused of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

The articles of impeachment stated that he may have used his position to pressure a foreign country into investigating a political opponent and sought to use United States taxpayer money as leverage.

The House of Representatives agreed there was evidence to support the claim and voted to impeach him.

Impeachment is a political term used when charging a public official with misconduct in office. The rules of order require the House to debate the charges.

I guess it was too much to expect this group of lawmakers to act with some semblance of civility.  There was no way anyone watching the debate could learn anything about facts or anything else for that matter.

It would have been helpful if Republican senators had offered any kind of explanation or defense for Trump, but that didn’t happen.  We are aware of what he is being accused of by the Democrats, so they could have used this opportunity to make their case for him.

Nothing like that happened. 

The Republican Congressman from Georgia compared Trump to Jesus.  He claimed Pontius Pilate afforded more rights to Jesus than the Democrats have afford to Trump.  Unbelievable!

A Texas representative said that impeachment was being used for political battles and “this country’s end is now in sight.”

Pennsylvania’s representative compared impeachment day to December 7, 1941 as another day that will live in infamy. 

The gentleman from Louisiana ripped up paper and threw a tantrum at one point.  He accused the Democrats of hating all Americans that voted for Trump.  That was followed by Democrats booing the Republicans which resulted in Republicans booing back at Democrats and shouting.

You wonder how adults who are supposed to be representing the people of this country can act so stupid.

Republicans claim this is purely a partisan process that must be challenged. 

Of course, it is.  But show us something and prove the accusations aren’t true.

Republicans presented Trump as a victim.  That’s a characterization that just doesn’t fit and no one will buy that parcel of land. 

The next step in the process is for the articles of impeachment to be delivered to the Senate for a trial.  It’s time for the Senate to support a full account from Trump for his actions.  But that won’t happen.

According to Constitutional lawyers, the Constitution permits Congress to remove presidents before their term is up if enough lawmakers vote to say he has committed “treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors.”

It does not, however stipulate how lawmakers should interpret what constitutes those offenses.  There are no established standards of proof that must be met.

By all accounts, the Senate trial will be short and sweet.

Sixty-seven votes are needed to convict and remove the president.  Republicans control the Senate, so the process won’t last long.

Bill Clinton’s trial lasted five weeks.

Speaker Pelosi will appoint a team of lawmakers to act as prosecutors who will present the articles of impeachment to the Senate.

Chief Justice John Roberts will preside over the trial.  Trump will have a legal team who defends him.  But before the trial can begin, the Senate must come to an agreement on trial procedures.

Senators will act as jurors.  Any Senator can propose a motion to dismiss and a majority vote will end the trial.  That is the most likely scenario based on comments from Republican Senators.

Mitch McConnell has said he has no obligation to be “even-handed or impartial” during the proceedings.

That pretty much sums up the case for the defense and you can bet more drama will follow.

Anita McGill is a former publisher of The Sentinel. She can be reached by email at anitamcgill99@gmail.com.

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