The defeated House impeachment managers held a group therapy session on CNN to vent their frustrations about the Senate finding the president not guilty on the two articles of impeachment against him. The managers shouldn't feel too bad though. Nothingburgers are extremely difficult to prove.
All the managers seemed to be in agreement that the president was "not exonerated" by the Senate. In the president's defense, it's hard to exonerate someone of a crime when there was never any specific crime being alleged. The managers also lamented the fact that additional evidence and witnesses – but not the Bidens or any requested by Republicans – were not called forward by the Senate.
Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) said House Democrats had debated the idea of impeaching the president in the first place, knowing in advance that the Republican majority would not easily be swooned to remove their own president from office.
"But we had to do it," Nadler explained to CNN's Anderson Cooper, "because we had to set markers. You had to say, 'you can't normalize this conduct. This kind of thing this president has done can't be done by him or by future presidents. You had to vindicate the Constitution.'"
Democrats had to send the message to the president: the Biden family is off-limits.
"I actually thought it was possible to convict," Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA ) admitted, "because our evidence was so strong and the activity engaged in was so wrong."
The group therapy session did reveal that Democrats suffer from acute cognitive dissonance, at the same time believing their case was overwhelming but also lacking much needed evidence and witnesses.
"Did this backfire though?" asked CNN's Anderson Cooper. "A Gallup poll taken before the final vote showed a 49 percent approval rating. Among independents, he was up five points. I mean, did the impeachment backfire on the Democrats?"
Rep. Val Demings (D-FL) struggled to answer Cooper's question, dismissing Trump's acquittal as "fake news" since, in her eyes, the Senate trial was "unfair."
Demings continued, "and I think back to Robert Mueller's words when he said if he could exonerate the president he would, but he could not exonerate the president."
Therein lies the Democrats' problem. The bedrock principle of our justice system is that people are presumed innocent until proven guilty. If Trump is not guilty, he is therefore presumed innocent. And, as Democrats like to point out, the president is no different under the law than the rest of us.
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