By: Michael Parrish
I finally got to watch a little of the impeachment proceedings. It’s nearly impossible for anyone with a job to watch all of it, but I try to follow however I can and the wife and I sat down to catch some of it on recording when we got the opportunity. Now, I try to keep an open mind about all things political until I find something concrete. After all, you can check out accounts from any given event and see that both sides will have wildly different views on what occurs. It makes it hard to be able to sort it out without having tons of extra time to devote to sifting through it all.. and most don’t. But as we watched this video the thing that caught my attention more than anything else were the interviews that came after.
Of course, the story was completely opposite depending on which team was giving their account. Red Team thought that the prosecutions arguments were “eviscerated”. Blue Team thought that the president looked more guilty afterwards. All of this was predicated on largely biased opinion and really wouldn’t tell you much about what actually occurred. However, there were a few statements given which I thought were very telling.
I believe that the one that stands out most was when it was said that if more witnesses would be allowed then the president would have the opportunity to prove his innocence. It wasn’t the part about witnesses that made my ears perk up, but the part about proving innocence. You see, by my account that flies in the face of everything that we hold dear in a just system. One of the basic tenets of a free society is that everyone, no matter their situation or station, is afforded the right of innocence until proven guilty. The promotion of this idea that the burden lies on the accused to dig themselves out of suspicion as opposed to on the prosecution for building a case of guilt is repugnant to a free, civilized society. The proponenets are ignoring the most sacred parts of the justice system in an attempt to goad a response more to their liking. It’s all the more telling that those same individuals count some very experienced legal professionals in their ranks. They KNOW the burden of proof but still speak in a way that sways the layman to believe otherwise for political gain. It’s atrocious.
I also listened to talk about how guilt could be quickly proven if more witnesses and documents were allowed. Now admittedly, much of my knowledge regarding legal matters does not come from formal training or any personal experience but I’m under the impression that if you don’t have the evidence to prove your side in the courtroom that you don’t move forward to the trial phase. You can watch true crime shows and see over and over how investigators will go months or years without a trial because the evidence is found to be lacking and any fair court will acquit an individual that’s guilty as hell over a poorly researched and presented case. This, quite literally, implies that they went to trial with the hopes that they could later uncover enough information to prove their case. Now, in any trial you will see evidence coming out along the way.. but to go to trial without substantial evidence already on hand? That’s unheard of.
The final point I’d like to touch on is regarding a statement by Adam Schiff, the leading prosecutor in the trial. He stated in the press conference that, while it was never stated that the aid was held to gain assistance, we KNOW that’s what happened. Now, the idea that someone who has decades of prosecturial experience would come out and blatantly state that their stance is predicated on conjecture is legal blasphemy. A “hunch” is no precedent for legal action by any standard outside of racist lynchings or witch trials. Yet, here we see an elected representative of the highest order with enough experience to know better publicly stating that this case is moving forward on just that. What does this say about the proceedings overall? What does this say about the new paradigm being set?
These few points, while not a part of the actual trial, tell me quite a bit about the motivations and mindset about what we are seeing. It’s not about worries about our country’s security. It’s not about “high crimes and misdemeanors”. It is, as Nancy Pelosi said, about staining a president’s reputation for the rest of his life. The rest of recorded history.
Now, I don’t claim to know the truth of the matter. I don’t know if the president had less than pure motives when all of this happened. I don’t claim to know the heart of another. But what I DO know is that this trial hasn’t been about stopping a dangerous madman (as they all admit this has no chance of putting the president out of office) but about placing a dark mark on the legacy of a man that they can see no other way to damage.
Is that what our impeachment process is for?