And yet I feel unsettled that 43 Republican Senators voted to acquit.
I’ve listened to McConnell’s speech three times and there is much to admire in it but the reason for voting to acquit still rings a little hollow.
It’s the analysis of this statement that causes me heartache:
The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.
McConnell says that the phrase “shall be removed from Office for, and Conviction of, …” In an odd twist, McConnell says that because the phrase is there and the former President is not in office at the time of conviction, the Senate cannot remove him from office, ergo, he cannot be found guilty of the Articles of Impeachment. This is convoluted thinking in my view. It kind of says that because the impeachment cannot be carried out, the former President cannot be found guilty. Whereas, I look at it and say whether or not the sentence can be carried out is not a reason to find a President not guilty of the charges.
Obviously, the section was intended to prevent a situation where the President is convicted of a crime and put in shackles and no one wants a prison President wielding power, making laws, and recieving a salary while in prison.I get that.
But isn’t the trial separate from the sentence?