Yale Professor Gets Roasted for Saying Mitch McConnell Has 'Zero Constitutional Authority' to Shape Trump Impeachment Trial

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Posted: Dec 31, 2019 11:45 AM
Yale Professor Gets Roasted for Saying Mitch McConnell Has 'Zero Constitutional Authority' to Shape Trump Impeachment Trial

Source: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Before Christmas, Twitchy captured a lengthy Twitter thread from a history professor who declared that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has “zero constitutional authority” to shape the Trump impeachment trial. Yeah, that’s quite the doozy right there. Timothy Snyder is the Yale history professor who tossed that take into the ring. It was dragged by many, which Twitchy also captured. 

“Why does Senator McConnell talk about how he will run the impeachment trial, and why do we listen? He has zero constitutional authority to decide its shape,” Snyder tweeted. “John Roberts is in charge of the impeachment trial. The Constitution clearly states that if the president is impeached, the chief justice presides.”

“If senators reveal how they will vote before the impeachment trial has taken place, they have disqualified themselves as jurors,” he added. “Senator McConnell has no constitutional authority to lead an impeachment trial. His constitutional responsibility is to serve as a juror. From that he has disqualified himself.”

Yeah, did you catch that part about presiding? He’s right about that, which in turn makes his whole point about McConnell look silly. Of course, the Senate Majority Leader and its members have total authority to set the terms of the trial. Liberals are upset that McConnell has tipped his hand, saying he’s not an impartial juror in this matter. He basically did what House Democrats did with impeachment because this whole circus is nakedly partisan. The House can do what it wants, but the Republican Senate will be the death of whatever ridiculous legislation comes from an unhinged Democratic House majority, even weak articles of impeachment. Oh, and the fact that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi hasn’t transferred those articles over says all you need to know about this fiasco. Democrats want to create a constitutional crisis to save the Constitution from Donald Trump. Sounds totally logical, but as The Wall Street Journal’s Kimberley Strassel noted, Democrats don’t want a trial. 

They can’t. It would further rip apart their weak sauce case against Trump. Having that reported on for weeks, coupled with the top-tier 2020 candidates, Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, being sequestered in D.C. for this trial before the critical Iowa Caucus isn’t in the party’s best interest. As Strassel noted, what is in the interest of this impeachment push is to keep it alive, then the Democrats can logroll even more absurd charges, which will get oodles of attention from the liberal anti-Trump press and maybe put a dent in the 2020 re-election chances. She called this “rolling impeachment.” 

And it might have received more oxygen because Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) is already disturbed by how much McConnell has signaled how he would conduct himself with the trial—a major facepalm moment for sure but not shocking from a moderate Republican. This isn’t a normal impeachment. The president hasn’t committed a crime. Yes, any president could be impeached for anything, high crimes and misdemeanors are whatever the House deems fits this description, but impeachment over policy disagreements and moreover personal hatred is another realm entirely. Now, House Democrats have set the precedent that impeachment can be executed against a president for nakedly partisan reasons, but also an election tool that could be used to deliver a nuclear strike at an opponent’s re-election chances. 

That’s why McConnell and the Senate GOP should hold the trial now regardless of the transfer of the articles and end this matter. It isn’t business as usual. Pelosi and the Democrats want to keep this theater going for as long as possible. Yes, Trump’s approval rating has increased during this impeachment push; it’s not popular. Yes, swing states are growing further out of reach for Democrats. Battleground state voters were never fond of this move by Democrats to remove Trump to prevent his re-election. I mean Democrats just found a better way to energize and mobilize the Trump base other than their radical left-wing agenda—and that’s saying something. Setting up this impeachment theater, plus peddling ideas that will give health care to illegals and destroy 150+ million private insurance plans is sure to give Trump the required 270 electoral votes to keep America great. 

That’ll surely be written down in a history book.