With Trump’s acquittal inevitable, Democrats unanimously denigrate acquittal

After 51 Senators voted not to hear any further witnesses in the impeachment, President Trump’s imminent acquittal became inevitable. (With a two-thirds majority required for impeachment, Trump’s acquittal was always inevitable; it just would have dogged Trump longer and created more possibilities for mischief.)

Because Trump was acquitted without live testimony in the Senate, Democrats are insisting that he has not been cleared of the charges against him. Nancy Pelosi and the other non-lawyers making this claim can be excused for being stupid. Those Democrats who are lawyers, however, have no excuse for saying something so inconsistent with American jurisprudence.

As always when attacking Trump, Democrats are moving in lockstep. This time, the lockstep is that, absent witnesses, Trump hasn’t really been “acquitted”; he has, instead, escaped justice. Here’s the supercut of Democrats repeating variations of the line that “acquittal is meaningless without witnesses”:


The first thing wrong with the Democrats’ unanimous statement is that there were witnesses. During the House proceedings, the Democrats questioned seventeen witnesses from whose testimony they concluded that they had evidence sufficient to make an overwhelming case of . . . something or other against Donald Trump.

During those same proceedings, Democrats requested that John Bolton appear. Bolton instead went to court asking a judge to determine whether executive privilege would prevent him from testifying. In response, the Democrats told him not to bother because they didn’t need him.

Meanwhile, although the Democrats allowed Republicans to ask some time-limited questions, they did not allow President Trump’s attorneys to ask questions, nor did they allow the Republicans and President Trump to introduce their witnesses. This differed from previous House impeachment proceedings for Clinton and Nixon, In both those cases, all parties presented witnesses in the House.

When Clinton was impeached, witnesses were called in the Senate only to clarify the evidence adduced during the House phase. The Senate did not call new witnesses because, as noted above, all interested parties had used the House as the evidentiary phase of the impeachment proceedings.

It’s therefore a lie when Democrats say there were no witnesses. Indeed the Democrats were so pleased with their witnesses that Adam Schiff claimed they had an “ironclad” case.

Aside from lying about witnesses, the Democrats are also lying when they say that an acquittal without witnesses is not a “trial” and doesn’t count. That almost half of the 11 speakers in the above video are lawyers makes this lie even more shocking.

What happened in the Senate is analogous to a “directed verdict,” which happens frequently in both civil or criminal cases. Here’s the way it works: After the plaintiff in a civil case or the prosecutor in a criminal case has made his case and then rested, the defendant will move the judge for a “directed verdict.” In essence, the defendant is saying that, even with all the evidence on the record, the plaintiff/ prosecutor has failed to prove the elements of the claim.

Judges who agree with the defendant will announce “motion granted,” and end the case then and there, without requiring the defendant to introduce any evidence. In essence, the judge is saying that, on the facts that the plaintiff or prosecutor presented, no reasonable judge or jury could ever rule in that party’s favor. This is a huge win for the defendant.

What happened in the Senate was precisely analogous to a directed verdict. The House presented its case, based upon evidence from 17 hand-picked witnesses. There were no defense witnesses, chief among whom would have been Joe and Hunter Biden.

Then, the Senators, who act as both judge and jury, concluded that nothing any witnesses could say would change the outcome. The bottom line is that an American president can investigate criminal wrongdoing and corruption. So, whether there was an explicit quid pro quo or not, Trump did not commit an impeachable offense. Q.E.D.

By the way, did you catch the one funny thing in that video? Mara Gay is identified as a member of the New York Times editorial board. Her outrage about acquittal is palpable. So is her ignorance. After babbling about the world’s shock, she added, “What a sad, sad moment after, you know, 300 plus years of democracy.” I’m not a math whiz, but my calculations show that the Founders signed the Declaration of Independence not quite 244 years ago.

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