Published January 21, 2020
Democrats are as furious about the Senate’s proposed trial rules as Republicans were about the House’s “investigation.” In both cases, party leaders simply used their power to set rules that pushed an outcome their party’s voters demanded. For the Democratic House, it was a rushed vetting of witnesses heavily tilted in Democrats’ favor with daily leaks from supposedly closed-door depositions fed to a ferociously anti-Trump media. For the Republican Senate, it’s a rushed trial schedule that forces House managers and the president’s defense team to make their arguments over two calendar days each, ensuring that the hearings go late into the evening and beyond the ability of many Americans to watch live. To borrow from Carl von Clausewitz’s famous dictum on war: Impeachment is simply the continuation of political warfare by other means.
Henry Olsen is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.