Having seen the Republican-controlled Senate devalue the powers of Congress to investigate and remove a corrupt and criminal president from office, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) expressed her disappointment on behalf of the third previously co-equal branch of U.S. government that was the other big loser in the vote that has essentially set a precedent for an imperial presidency to rule our nation without any remaining constitutional checks and balances.
In a comment posted to Twitter on Saturday morning, Speaker Pelosi remarked on how sorrowful it was to see Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) subject the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court John Roberts to being put in a position to oversee a proceeding that undermined the very basis of our nation’s governing principles and the rule of law.
It is a sad day for America to see Senator McConnell humiliate the Chief Justice of the United States into presiding over a vote which rejected our nation’s judicial norms, precedents and institutions which uphold the Constitution and the rule of law.
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) February 1, 2020
Apparently, Speaker Pelosi was more concerned about Chief Justice Roberts’ feelings that the conservative jurist was himself, judging from Roberts’ own refusal to speak out against the miscarriage of justice that Senate’s mockery of a trial consisted of in the absence of witnesses and documents and in the face of a president refusing to honor legally binding congressional subpoenas without consequence.
Roberts’ most egregious abdication of his judicial responsibilities as the top judge in the land came when he told Senate Minority Leader Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) that he would refuse to break a tie vote if the call for hearing from additional witnesses and subpoena the documents that the White House had thus far refused to hand over to House investigators found no majority either way.
Calling such a move “inappropriate,” Chief Justice Roberts essentially gave Republican Senators the go-ahead to vote down the essential elements of witnesses and evidence that one would expect from any trial that wasn’t rigged in advance.
While Pelosi’s note of sympathy to Roberts seems more of a backhanded slap at his cowardice than a true expression of condolence, the truth of the Chief Justice’s humiliation — and that of the entire country and our system of law — is undeniable as the Consitution is torn to shreds by the dregs of a Republican party that acted in shameless self-interest rather than out of duty or patriotism.
Roberts’ dereliction of his duty leaves only one sure solution to ensuring that Trump faces the justice that he deserves for his violations of the law. He must be voted out of office by as large a margin as possible and prosecuted as soon as he loses the claimed immunity that his office has exaggerated beyond any previous president’s assumption of privilege.
With a lifetime appointment to the bench, Roberts will see no consequences for his failures except the judgment of history. It will not treat him kindly after this travesty of a trial.
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Vinnie Longobardo is the Managing Editor of Occupy Democrats. He's a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music, and art.