QQOTD: Mitch McConnell
“I am not an impartial juror.”
~ Mitch McConnell, to the press on December 17, 2019, according to The Daily Caller and verified in a January 19, 2020, video posted on C-SPAN. See also The New Yorker.
Senator McConnell is an American politician serving as Kentucky’s senior United States senator and as Senate Majority Leader. McConnell is the second Kentuckian to lead his party in the Senate, the longest-serving U.S. senator for Kentucky in history, and the longest-serving leader of U.S. Senate Republicans in history.
On January 16, 2020, Senate Majority Leader McConnell, along with his 99 colleagues, raised his right hand and took the following oath, administered by Supreme Court Justice John Roberts:
“Do you solemnly swear that in all things appertaining to the trial of the impeachment of Donald John Trump, president of the United States, now pending, you will do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws, so help you God?” (The Hill)
Mr. McConnell answered “yes.”
Now that the Senate impeachment trial is over with an acquittal in the bag, did McConnell fulfill his role as an impartial juror? Why or why not?
In light of McConnell’s comment to the press, was this a fair trial? Why or why not?
In his oath, he promised to be an impartial juror in the Impeachment of Donald Trump. But in light of his blatant admission of partiality, should this trial be nullified and retried with jurors who are willing to 1. entertain an open mind, (2) examine additional evidence, and (3) interview appropriate witnesses? Why or why not?
What other Senate jurors admitted before and after taking their oaths in the affirmative that they were not willing to conduct this Impeachment trial in an impartial manner?
How would similar admissions of partiality play out in a regular court of law, such as a local murder trial?
Should this Impeachment trial be retried with all partisan Senate jurors removed, perhaps replaced with ordinary citizen jurors who would be held to the high standard demanded by the regular courts? Why or why not?
Taking this to another level, might all the jurors be replaced with ordinary citizens who take an oath to decide impartially? Why or why not?
Historical queries (To be determined in the near or far future):
How has history judged McConnell and his Republican cohorts?
How has history judged Mitt Romney, the lone Republican who voted to convict Trump on the Abuse of Power amendment? (Politico)
How has history judged the outcome of the trial?
In retrospect, what could the House of Representatives have done differently in its Impeachment process?