Showing posts from January, 2020


©Wendell Griffen, 2020 Little Rock, Arkansas January 30, 2020 President Trump’s defense lawyers have asserted two clearly invalid legal arguments.   First, they argue that the Senate has the power to decide whether subpoenas should issue for compel witnesses to testify and compel federal agencies to produce documents pertaining to the articles of impeachment against Trump.   Then they argue that the Senate has the power to overrule legal decisions by Chief Justice John Roberts about discoverability of witness testimony and documentary evidence, Trump’s claim of absolute immunity, and executive privilege.   Each argument presents a question of law, not fact.   Resolving them is the work of Chief Justice John Roberts as a matter of law .       None of the arguments are matters for Senators to decide under any circumstances.  The arguments involve the exercise of judicial power.   Senators cannot review and overrule decisions by the Chief Justice on legal questions in Trump’


©Wendell Griffen, 2020 Little Rock, Arkansas January 29, 2020 Like many others in the United States and elsewhere, I’ve been monitoring the impeachment proceedings in the United States Senate involving charges brought by the House of Representatives that President Donald Trump abused the power of his office and obstructed the Congress.   Both charges stem from reports by numerous people and testimony before the House Intelligence and Judiciary Committees that Trump held up for months almost $400 million in aid appropriated by the Congress for Ukraine, a U.S. ally fighting a war against Russian-backed insurgents inside its borders.   The charges contend that Trump held up the aid because he wanted the president of Ukraine to announce that his government would investigate debunked allegations against former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden.   Biden is considered by some observers to be one of Trump’s most formidable re-election opponents in the November 2020 U.S. presidential elec


©Wendell Griffen, 2020 January 23, 2020 Little Rock, Arkansas Adam Schiff, the lead prosecutor from the House of Representatives for Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, knows his way around a courtroom and how to prepare for trial.   He was a federal prosecutor for six years and prosecuted the first FBI agent indicted for espionage. This week Schiff has demonstrated his sense of presence, diligent preparation, and skillful delivery during what is probably the longest opening statement of his career as House impeachment managers state the case they want to present to the U. S. Senate.   And in doing so Schiff and his team are showing they mean business. House managers know they are in a hostile environment.  They realize that many Republican Senators who count themselves staunch Trump supporters don’t want a trial, let alone a trial with testifying witnesses and damning documents from the White House, Office of Management and Budget, State Department, and Pentagon showing ho


©Wendell Griffen, 2020 January 22, 2020 Little Rock, Arkansas The United States Senate debated from 1 p.m. on January 21 until almost 2 a.m. January 22 about the procedural resolution which established the rules for the impeachment trial of Donald John Trump, 45 th President of the United States.   The nation and world watched as three major developments happened that will do more than determine the process for Trump’s trial.   The upshot of what happened arguably signaled the beginning of the end of democracy in the United States. First, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made a last-minute change to the proposed resolution for the proposed trial rules.   McConnell originally intended drafted rules that call for the House impeachment managers and President Trump’s defense counsel to each have twenty-four (24) hours for opening statements that would be delivered over the course of two twelve-hour business days.   When the trial began, McConnell submitted a proposed r


PROFILES IN CHARACTER ©Wendell Griffen, 2020 January 21, 2020 Little Rock, Arkansas The impeachment trial of Donald John Trump on charges of abuse of office and obstruction of Congress begins today, three years after he took office as the 45 th President of the United States.   The trial will reveal the character of Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Chief Justice John Roberts, and the United States Senate to the nation and wider world.   We are about to witness a historic event.   The main facts concerning the charges against Trump are not disputed.   During a July 25, 2019 telephone call with Volodymyr Zelensky, the recently elected President of Ukraine, President Trump asked President Zelensky to investigate a political rival, former U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden.   Trump then tried to pressure Zelensky to announce that Ukraine would investigate Biden by ordering the Office of Management and Budget and Department of Defense to withhold hun