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Kennedy: Trump impeachment proceedings raise some serious questions

After reading several columnists and editorials over the past couple of weeks, several questions keep popping up in this addled brain of mine for which I can’t find any answers. Most of these questions are, unfortunately, connected to the ongoing impeachment circus.

First and foremost of these questions is: How or why does the president — and, by extension, his minions — get away with ignoring legal subpoenas issued by a congressional committee? If you or I were subpoenaed to appear before such a committee, for whatever reason, and failed to appear at the appointed time, there would be a federal agent at our door with the firm statement, “Please come with me,” before dinnertime. The president has routinely and cavalierly ignored such requests to appear or provide documents having to do with the investigation, and ordered his staff to do the same, apparently with no repercussions. I wonder why this is. Those who have failed to honor the subpoenas should be prosecuted for contempt of Congress at the very least.

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I wonder why Trump is so afraid to allow his people, who presumably would provide exculpatory testimony on his behalf, to testify. Could it be that, under oath and with the possibility of a conviction for lying to Congress — witness Mr. Roger Stone — hanging over their heads, those folks would only corroborate the testimony that was previously given by those who did appear, thus solidifying the case for impeachment? If the president has done nothing wrong, as he continues to claim, why does he continue to stonewall? That, to me, is an indication of guilt. Let the truth, whatever it might be, come out, and then let Congress decide if he deserves to remain in office or be kicked out in disgrace.

A national columnist with access to the members of Congress wrote recently that he has had conversations with several Republican members who have expressed “private disgust” and, off the record, “personal concern” about the president’s actions. Why keep such concerns and disgust quiet? If members of Congress have concerns about the course that Trump has taken during his presidency, they should express them openly. I think that if any Republican representative or senator who will be up for re-election in 2020 stated their concerns and disgust publicly they might even attract more votes from those more centrist-leaning voters. Counting on Trump’s hardcore supporters for votes seems to be a self-defeating strategy to me, considering his approval rating among all potential voters is still about 44%.

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Why is it that our legally elected president has continued to hold, seemingly weekly, campaign rallies all across America? He won the election. Does he simply need the adoration of his loyal followers to feed his outsized ego? He continues to spend inordinate amounts of time at his resorts from Florida to New Jersey to Scotland and Ireland, costing the U.S taxpayers untold millions of dollars. Estimates have been made that it costs about $3 million each time he flies on Air Force One, and that’s not counting the costs for his entourage when he goes to one of his resorts, which, by the way, are paid to his companies. A violation of the emoluments clause of the Constitution that he has violated from the day of his inauguration. What did his last trip, to Hershey, Pennsylvania, cost us taxpayers for the use of the Marine One helicopter and the necessary security details?

The latest reports indicate that he will not be satisfied if the Senate simply votes to acquit rather than engaging in the full-fledged trial where witnesses on both sides will be called and the ultra-partisan rhetoric will be amplified to the max. If Trump has his way and elects to go for the big-show trial, besides the toadies and yes men for him who will be called by the Republicans, the Democrats will be able to call witnesses as well, and some of those witnesses will be aides and cabinet members who will then be questioned under oath and may very well tell tales that support the Democrats’ positions. Mitch McConnell, the Republican Senate majority leader, has stated that he hopes not to go down the path that Trump favors and is trying to dissuade him. I wonder if Trump, despite his protestations, secretly wants out and is looking for a way to get there without resigning honorably. It’s just a thought.

My next attempt to fill this space will come from the great white north. I’ll be spending Christmas in Michigan with my son and daughter-in-law, a much-anticipated get-together. I’ll take this opportunity to wish one and all a very merry Christmas, happy Hanukkah, joyous Kwanzaa, or whatever you celebrate at this time of year. Gather together and enjoy the fellowship and love of family and friends.

Bill Kennedy writes every other week from Taneytown. You may contact him at wlkennedyiii@verizon.net.

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