Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Sid Salter: 'Peachment Drama Different for Senators

In what has to date been an almost exclusively partisan enterprise, the Democratic U.S. House majority impeached President Donald Trump last month and walked those allegations across the Capitol to the Republican U.S. Senate, where the trial continues amid tension and high drama.


As that drama plays out on Capitol Hill, there’s not a great deal of mystery surrounding the eventual votes on the two articles of impeaching brought to the floor of the U.S. Senate by the House Managers – at least not by Mississippi’s senators.

Senior Mississippi U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker said on Dec. 19: “House Democrats made a historic mistake today. By impeaching President Trump on a partisan basis and with little evidence, they have set a dangerous precedent. The truth is, congressional Democrats have sought this result since the day Donald Trump was elected. Their effort has never been about the facts or accountability. It was always about politics and damaging a president they cannot tolerate. . .

“Now this process comes to the Senate, where the president will be treated fairly. I anticipate he will be acquitted and justice will be served. But significant damage has already been done.” Wicker said.

Mississippi’s junior U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith said after the House impeachment vote: “Democrats have wanted impeachment since the day President Trump won the election in 2016. I’ve followed the House Democrats’ partisan hearings, and I haven’t heard or read anything regarding the charges against the President that rise to the level of impeachable offenses.

“Any attempt to remove a sitting President is a very serious matter. We don’t know the framework for a Senate trial, but I am confident the President will be treated more fairly in the Senate,” said Hyde-Smith.

Back in 1999, Mississippi was represented in the U.S. Senate by Republicans Thad Cochran and Trent Lott when the GOP-controlled House brought articles of impeachment against Democratic President Bill Clinton and the GOP-controlled U.S. Senate ultimately acquitted Clinton. Both Cochran and Lott voted to convict Clinton on both articles.

Mississippians played a significant role in the Watergate scandal in the early 1970s – and unlike the Trump and Clinton impeachment dramas, Mississippi’s U.S. senators were not burdened with partisan concerns over the looming impeachment of Republican President Richard Nixon.

Two Democrats, U.S. Sens. James “Big Jim” Eastland of Doddsville and John C. Stennis of DeKalb, were friends and confidantes of the Republican president. Nixon, in part because of Eastland’s status as Senate Judiciary Committee chairman and Stennis’ chairmanship of the Senate Armed Services Committee, opened the federal spending spigots wide in Mississippi after the devastation of Hurricane Camille in 1969.

As the Watergate noose tightened on the Nixon White House during the scandal in October of 1973, Nixon and his advisers were desperate not to release the Watergate tapes. As a last resort, the so-called “Stennis Compromise” was proposed by the White House.

Esteemed for his integrity, Stennis was to compare the White House-approved transcripts of the tapes to the actual tapes and certify the authenticity of the transcripts – less any national security information or frequent expletives. Watergate Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox rejected the proposal, which set in motion the “Saturday Night Massacre” in which Nixon summarily cleaned house in his own Justice Department.

Eastland, after the resignation of Vice President Spiro Agnew, became President Pro Tempore of the U.S. Senate. That status led to him being in a small meeting with Nixon and the five top congressional leaders on the night of Aug. 8, 1974, when Nixon addressed the nation on television and told of his intent to resign. Nixon formally resigned the next day.

Yet does partisanship matter in impeachment battles? Of course, it does. Notably, former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott opposed impeaching Nixon in 1974 but supported impeaching Clinton in 1998. And Democratic 2nd District U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson opposed impeaching Clinton in 1998 but supported impeaching Trump in 2019.

Sid Salter is a syndicated columnist. Contact him at sidsalter@sidsalter.com.

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

So brilliant and insightful! (as usual)

Anonymous said...

A minor correction to the historical facts given by Salter -

Big Jim Eastland didn't become President Pro-Tem of the Senate upon Agnew's resignation - he held that position since the beginning of the 1972 Congress.

When Agnew resigned, Eastland became next in line for the Presidency. He held that position until the appointment and confirmation of Gerald Ford as Vice President, at which time Eastland (who was still the President Pro-Tem, regardless of the movements in the VP office) moved to be second in line behind Ford.

Otherwise, a good column by Salter. No new news, but a good recitation of the roles played over the past two and a half impeachments.

Anonymous said...

The impeachment effort is being pursued as a last resort to rid the country of a duly elected President the left despises. They know 2020 is going to be a repeat of 2016, especially with the pathetic slate of candidates available.

But, those of us who did not vote for the correct President in 2016, plan to make the same mistake again.

While anything can happen in politics and November is a long way off, we deplorable's
have made up our minds.

Anonymous said...

Ukraine has a GDP somewhere between that of Arkansas and Nebraska while having 40 million more citizens.
The country is considered the most corrupt in Europe and we know per ample documentation. Yet this country has effectively paralyzed our senate and House of Representatives from accomplishing anything on our behalf for the better part of 4 months. Does that make sense to anyone?

During this same 4 months - Trump has signed agreements that benefit us all with China, Japan, Mexico and Canada.
Asians, blacks, Hispanics and women have had the lowest unemployment in US history during the same time. Middle class households have seen household income increase by $5,200 during 3 years of Trump which is more than all 16 years of Bush and Obama. Congress wastes our time while Trump improves just about everyone’s lives. Smh

Anonymous said...

It's absolutely partisan, pure and simple. And it's nothing new. The main thing is whether the president gives his opposition sufficient ammunition to blow the thing up. Mr. Trump like Mr. Clinton, and Mr. Nixon, carry gunpowder in both pockets and sprinkle it everywhere they go. If everything came out and the law strictly applied all three would be impeached AND removed. But that is not the way our system works and Mr. Trump, arrogant and foolhardy as he may be is no worse than others who have been successfully defended by their partisan cronies. Hopefully he will take warning and control his tongue better in his second term. But I doubt it.

Anonymous said...

For some reason I get the feeling that some republicans will take this opportunity to get back at Trump for beating the hell out of the other republicans who ran for president. Hope I am wrong.

Anonymous said...

There is no question Trump abused his power as President. Even his lawyers really do not argue otherwise. And if allowed, Bolton and Mulvaney will so testify under oath. The only real issue is whether Trump engaged in an impeachable defense. The answer from Republican Senators and perhaps a couple of spineless Democrats will be “no,” simply because they are afraid of the political consequences if they vote to remove. Hopefully, the impeachment process will be enough to convince moderate Republicans and independents that Trump should not be re-elected.

Anonymous said...

The behavior displayed by the majority of elected officials in the country simply confirmed my suspicion that we actually live in a one party system like China. And if the elected puppets fall out of line then the unelected self proclaimed DC politburo works to remove them.

Anonymous said...

@11:36- How is requesting an investigation, of a company owned and operated in a well-documented cesspool of corruption, an abuse of power? Trump has cleaned up so many shitty foreign deals and is well known to ask questions. ANY sane person would be asking how Hunter attained that position. There’s NO OTHER explanation but through his Daddy’s vice-presidency. If Joe wasn’t VP, Hunter would NEVER have gotten the sweet gig. And, WHY didn’t the VP SQUASH the gig given the well-known corruption in Ukraine?! It was BEYOND inappropriate.

I believe Trump would have asked for some investigation, even if Joe wasn’t currently running for office., because there’s juice there, and Ukraine’s new government was ELECTED on the promise to clean up corruption. When you consider what the left did to Trump, through TRUE abuse of power, while he was running for president, the hypocrisy is absolutely blinding.

As a taxpayer I’m SICK of our money pouring out to other countries without any benefit to the USA. More so, the amount of money Congress has WASTED pursuing Trump’s demise, makes me view Democrats as mentally-ill with ZERO common sense. I can’t take a word out of their mouths seriously. I mean, even in MS, the same liberals bitching and moaning about prison and education shortfalls, support this extremely wasteful circus. Like I said... ZERO common sense!!

Anonymous said...

12:21 Whether it's an impeachable offence or not, it's quite obvious that Trump's interest was not corruption itself in Ukraine but a particular event involving his political enemy. He wasn't concerned about Ukrainian corruption. We give aid to corrupt regimes all the time. And if you use any common sense at all you can easily tell he intended to make aid to Ukraine contingent on their "help" in prosecuting that enemy (or his son). It was too obvious. The question is whether it's so damn bad the elected president should be removed from office. I don't think so. If the shoe were on the other foot the Democrats would support their man. It's all bullshit.

Anonymous said...

to 11:36...dont hold your breath

Anonymous said...

Whether Trump is guilty or not is a forgone conclusion. What really matters is how harsh will history be on his enalbers.
The damage done to the GOP will sting for elections in decades to come. Young educated people are not wanted in the party just like Reeves noted in his SOS address.

Anonymous said...

@12:21, if Trump were interested in corruption involving Biden and/or his son, why didn’t he ask the DOJ ot the FBI to investigate during the first 2.5 years of his presidency? Because that was not his interest. He only got interested when Biden announced his candidacy and led Trump in early polls. Trump wanted to damage Biden as a political rival and tried to engage a foreign government to do the dirty work. I can understand opposing removal from office, but don’t take the ridiculous position that Trump cared about corruption in Ukraine.

Anonymous said...

@4:25 - you mean the same DOJ and FBI that was lying to federal judges and spying on his election campaign?

Anonymous said...

@5:15- Thank you!!

@1:50- If Trump was handing out dough in the same manner as our previous leaders, and not buckling down on a lot of the bullshit, you may have a point. But, he’s not freely doling out the money like the others did. Plus, Biden’s formal announcement was LITERALLY within days of the Ukrainian election that hinged in ending corruption and promised to bring a new political environment to Ukraine. The timeline of being out to get Biden is weak. Besides, Trump is not, and has not ever been, worried about losing... especially to Biden!

Although, I do agree both parties are GINORMOUS hypocrites! I also agree this entire impeachment drive is complete bullshit!!

Anonymous said...

In listening to some of the impeachment proceedings, the Democrats are using an "abuse of power" reason for removal of Trump. While Republican leaders said when Obama was first elected that they'd do everything they could to make him a one term President, they didn't stoop to what today's Democrats are doing to Trump because they know that they don't have a candidate that can beat him. So if anyone is guilty of "abuse of power", it's the Democrats in this bogus impeachment scheme.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, the only way we (the people) got the information necessary for us to make informed decisions, was for the impeachment process to unfold as it has. Absent this process, I don't think we would have ever been presented with the evidence that we now have, for each individual to evaluate for himself/herself.

Should President Trump be removed form office? I, like probably everyone else, have an opinion on that. The main thing, to me, is at least I now know approximately what the hell happened, and our elected leaders have been forced to publicly declare positions on issues they would rather evade.

Knowingly or not, intentionally or otherwise, Donald Trump has helped to bring a lot of things into the light of day have long existed in the shadows.

Anonymous said...

You better bet Trump is afraid of Biden. He appeals to Dem Necks too.

Anonymous said...

Pretty soon you won't have to worry about a brain drain.

Anonymous said...

Trump's approval has been consistently 39%, Biden is going to beat him like a drum. Even the Mayor of South Bend beats him head to head.

Anonymous said...

So was corruption in Ukraine wiped out between the July call and the release of the money?

Anonymous said...

On the floor of the Senate yesterday, Trump’s lawyers could not cite a single occasion when Trump said anything about corruption any where in the world before Biden announced his candidacy. Can any of you Trumpers?

Anonymous said...

What part of 75% of Americans who want witnesses doesn't the Republicans see.

Anonymous said...

@10:27- How absurd! Just because they couldn’t provide detailed accounts on the spot, you believe they don’t exist?? You should probably prepare for a parade of evidence on social media soon (LOL), similar to the Bolton videos yesterday. If you hinge your arguments on gotcha moments, I feel sorry for you. And before you accuse me of being a blind-Trumper, I feel this way regarding both sides of the aisle. Politics are just beyond nasty at this point. I trust no one and nothing at face value.

Anonymous said...

Democracies and republics have a short shelf life . We've just seen why that is.

They fall into factions artificially created to evoke fear and a loss of confidence in the system by those who seek power. Each faction seeks charismatic leaders. And, enemies all take note and look for opportunities.

Congress ( both the House and Senate) just gave away the only power they had for oversight of the executive branch and Supreme Court is also now political rather than impartial. There is no longer a balance of power and our enemies have a green light to influence and corrupt our elections or do worse.

There is no " citizen army" ( we didn't want our sons and daughters to " serve" the Nation). Though the " weekend militias" fancy themselves as a " citizen's army", they overlook that a lack of strategic coordination and intelligence could be problematic. And, then there's the lack of " big boy" weapons.

We have no allies who could save us as we saved Europe. Indeed, they relied on us and will also fall in short order.

The " little experiment" is over. It's just a question of how long it takes to finish it and whether it ends in chaos or one party control.

The arrogance and greed of both parties killed us along with our inability to or ignorance in how to be good citizens who demand better from those we elect.

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Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).


Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.


In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.


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Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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