I greatly appreciate the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin. It plays a vital role in connecting Walla Wallans, enabling us to work together for common goals. Understandably the U-B's major focus is on local issues.
But its readers are also directly impacted by national issues. The impeachment of President Trump, only the third president to be impeached, is such an issue. The U.S. House of Representatives, voted to impeach him for: 1. Abuse of power for denying much needed foreign aid to U.S. ally, Ukraine, until President Volodymyr Zelensky agreed to investigate presidential candidate Joe Biden.
2. Obstruction of justice. President Trump and members of his administration, unlike in any other Presidential impeachment hearing, refused to allow any response to subpoenas for witnesses or documents.
The U-B covered the House's impeachment. But it almost ignored the next step: These charges were sent to the Senate whose duty was to decide whether President Trump was guilty, and if so, whether he should be removed from office.
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and 50 of the 52 Republican Senators voted to deny any new witnesses or documents, some of which evidence, already made public, was directly relevant to the trial — unprecedented in previous impeachment hearings.
Many of these same senators, during President Clinton's impeachment trial, argued for the necessity of new evidence. McConnell stated before the proceedings that he was not an impartial witness and planned to consult with the White House defense team.
Yet he and all Senators, Republican and Democratic, took an oath to be fair and impartial, “so help me, God.” McConnell committed perjury by glibly taking the oath, having publicly asserted just the opposite.
Our founders knew how easily the power of the president, Congress, judiciary, could be corrupted for personal gain. They fought the Revolutionary War because of English King George's tyrannical abuse of power.
In the Constitution, they created a system of checks and balances: Each of the three branches could overturn abuses by the other branches. Congress had the power to impeach and expel a president found guilty of egregious crimes.
McConnell, by working with the White House, completely undermined the system of checks and balances, as did 51 Senators allowing no new evidence.
The Feb. 3 U-B devoted only inches to this cataclysmic, unconstitutional, undermining of checks and balances. Democracy depends on the defense of informed citizens. The U-B must play its critical role in better informing Walla Walla citizens.