Without Witnesses, Headline will Be Trump Acquitted*
At the start of the impeachment trial, there were several rounds of voting to decide whether or not to allow certain witnesses as part of the impeachment proceedings in the Senate. All of these attempts were voted down.
Some Republican Senators said that they might vote to allow witnesses later, after they have heard both sides, and with the additional details coming out around Bolton, there is a higher probability that more will be swayed. This still remains to be seen.
What the Republican Senators fail to realize is that without allowing witnesses, even if Trump is acquitted, there will always be an asterisk following it, in people’s minds, if not in books. Just like the asterisks by the sports records broken by people later found to be using performance enhancing drugs, when things aren’t done fairly, there is always a lingering doubt if the result is valid or false.
Take for example, when news broke about how the Astros won the World Series in 2017, partly by cheating. Their win and their name in the sports history books now has an asterisk by it. The trouble is that even though they were a good team, even if they played better than the Dodgers, even if they would have won without cheating- no one knows for sure. Their win is forever tainted by the questions that the unfair game play brings to the table.
The same is true of this impeachment trial in 2020. Trump may very well be acquitted. The Republican majority in the house hinted at that result before the trial even started. But it will always have an asterisk by it if the Republicans continue to block all witnesses who could potentially change their minds and change the trial outcome. No one who thinks Trump is guilty is going to be satisfied by a trial half done. This is a deeply divided country already, and people will be angry either way, but if they vote to allow witnesses, and then he is acquitted, at least the public can feel that all the evidence was heard. There needs to be an attempt to show the public that they believe what they took an oath to do before the trial started- be impartial.
If they continue to block the repeated attempts to bring in the witnesses that could change the course of the trial, and thus, change the course of history, then we will never know what the true verdict of the trial might have been. Trump might be able to keep his head high, and proudly proclaim on Twitter that he was acquitted, but to a portion of the United States his acquittal* will always be with an asterisk.