The Constitution cannot protect itself, Sen. Pat Leahy told his peers in the Senate before casting a vote to impeach President Donald Trump.
“Indeed we are being told the Senate has no constitutional role to play, and only the American people should judge the President’s misconduct in the next election. This is despite the Senate’s constitutionally-mandated role, and despite the fact that the President’s scheme was aimed at cheating in that very election. And now the Senate is cementing a cover-up of the President’s misconduct, to keep its extent hidden from the American people. How, then, will the American people be equipped to judge the President’s actions? How far the Senate has fallen.
In some ways, President Nixon’s misconduct – directing a break-in of the Democratic National Committee headquarters to benefit himself politically – seems quaint compared to what we face today. As charged in Article I, President Trump secretly directed a sweeping, illegal scheme to withhold $400 million in military aid from an ally at war in order to extort that ally into announcing investigations of his political opponent to boost his re-election. Then, instead of hiding select incriminating records, as President Nixon did, President Trump attempted to hide every single record from the American people. As reflected in Article II, President Trump has the distinction of being the only president in our nation’s history to direct all executive branch officials not to cooperate with a congressional investigation.