The Trump Impeachment Trial: When Enough Is Enough

In rigging the “trial” by not allowing witnesses right up front, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell hoped that the process would be a complete dud of a prosecution of President Trump. Well, for the first two days and a few hours of the trial it wasn’t a dud of a prosecution at all. The Democrats were making Senate Republicans squirm in their seats and the publics at large perk up their ears.

Granted the first few days were in essence a rehash of the House impeachment proceedings, but the House managers cleverly, with video clips of previous testimony of witnesses and some polishing devices, came on fire with a Cadillac version of the former house proceedings that was riveting and highly effective.

The House managers should have stopped when they were ahead, but they didn’t. Like a rookie comedian that stays on stage too long, the act went south in a hurry. A few hours into the third day, repetitive emphases quickly turned to fingernails on a chalkboard, an excruciatingly painful procedure to endure. It had become enormously counterproductive.

It would have been far more effective had the House managers inquired one last time of McConnell if he would please allow new witnesses, and if the majority leader declined to do so simple said, in that case the prosecution rests. We refuse to continue this sham.

They would have made all the hay possible with certain vulnerable Republican Senators and and the public before allowing the whole thing to devolve into a fruitless bore.

Jim Ridgway, Jr. military writer — author of the American Civil War classic, “Apprentice Killers: The War of Lincoln and Davis.” Christmas gift, yes!

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