Senate’s refusal to call witnesses a blow to democratic norms

Senate Republicans pledge loyalty to President Trump — not the United States of America.

By

Opinion

February 3, 2020 - 10:31 AM

President Donald Trump gives an air kiss to Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds during a campaign rally. Photo by (Tom Brenner/Getty Images/TNS) Metadata

By evidence of Friday’s vote, Senate Republicans have essentially anointed Donald Trump their king. Though in theory they might acknowledge a president’s request for a foreign power to interfere on his behalf in a U.S. election as an abuse of his powers, Republicans refused to put their leader to the test. Instead, they blocked passage of a vote to allow documents and witnesses to appear in what was to be a trial on charges against the president.

The short-term damage in giving Mr. Trump a pass is negligible. After three years, Americans are de-sensitized to his theatrics.

The long-term damage, however, is acute. Allowing a president to flagrantly defile the U.S. Constitution sets a low bar for future administrations.

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