QQOTD: Hakeem Jeffries and Lamar Alexander
“With President Trump, the past is prologue.”
~ Hakeem Jeffries, Closing Argument in the day 12 of the Senate Impeachment Trial of Donald J.Trump (Approximately 45 minutes into the session)
Jeffries has been the U.S. Representative for New York’s 8th congressional district since 2013. A member of the Democratic Party, his district covers parts of the New York City boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens. A corporate lawyer by occupation he worked for Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, then Viacom and CBS, before running for and serving in the New York State Assembly from 2007 to 2012, representing the 57th Assembly District. Jeffries has also chaired the House Democratic Caucus since 2019 and, on January 15, 2020, was appointed by Speaker Nancy Pelosi to serve as a House Manager for Donald Trump’s Impeachment Trial.
“Hopefully he won’t do that again.” (The Atlantic)
~ Senator Lamar Alexander, on 31 January 2020, after announcing he would vote to acquit and suggesting that President Trump will “hopefully” refrain, going forward, from abusing his presidential powers again.
Alexander is an American politician who is currently serving as the senior United States Senator from Tennessee, a seat he has held since 2003. A member of the Republican Party, he also was the 45th governor of Tennessee from 1979 to 1987 and the 5th United States Secretary of Education from 1991 to 1993, where he helped the implementation of Education 2000.
Jeffries’ assertion suggests that past behavior predicts future behavior, while Lamar Alexander hopes that the President has learned his lesson and will avoid bad behavior going forward. Who is correct and why?
Which statement is stronger in its tone and certainty? Why?
What will history eventually write about the men behind these two quotes?
“It was inappropriate for the president to ask a foreign leader to investigate his political opponent and to withhold United States aid to encourage that investigation. When elected officials inappropriately interfere with such investigations, it undermines the principle of equal justice under the law. But the Constitution does not give the Senate the power to remove the president from office and ban him from this year’s ballot simply for actions that are inappropriate.
“The question then is not whether the president did it, but whether the United States Senate or the American people should decide what to do about what he did. I believe that the Constitution provides that the people should make that decision in the presidential election that begins in Iowa on Monday.”
How might such a statement portend a change in the course of history and result in fundamental changes to the U.S. Constitution and our Democracy?
Is it true that the Constitution “does not give the Senate the power to remove the president from office? and ban him from this year’s ballot simply for actions that are inappropriate”? Why or why not?
If Alexander’s assertion is correct, when might it be appropriate to convict a President of the United States of wrongdoing?
Will history be kind to Lamar Alexander and his legacy? Why or why not?