Sen. Rand Paul: Trump impeachment trial – here's my challenge to Democrats and Republicans

Sen. Rand Paul: Trump impeachment is a ‘partisan farce’

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., provides insight into the Trump impeachment on ‘Fox News Sunday.’

This week, I will sit on a panel of jurors in the U.S. Senate in a most unusual trial.

The trial is of dubious merit and even more dubious constitutionality.

It will stop both sides of the political aisle from pursuing solutions and goals for policy, from presidential appointments to COVID relief bills.

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All of this could be stopped if the leaders of the House and Senate were not still locked in last year’s partisan struggle with Donald Trump.

It also could have been stopped with a small gesture of bipartisan healing from President Biden, if he had told congressional leaders he didn’t want them proceeding.

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But none of that happened, so here we are.

Two weeks ago, I forced a vote to ask my colleagues if they even thought an impeachment of a former president was constitutional – 45 of them said it was not, leaving no doubt as to the outcome of the sham of a trial this week.

Beyond the constitutional question lies the merits of the impeachment against former President Trump.

I’ve spoken out against the words of many on my side, including those of President Trump.

I’ve spoken out against those who tried to object to the seating of the electors, as I thought that was not the role of Congress.

But where is the other side? Where were they all last year when political violence ravaged our cities, when people could barely dine or walk the streets in many places? When businesses burned and people were injured or killed by mobs?

They were silent.

Where was the outrage from the left when their politicians, from Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., to Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., asked people to “get up in the faces” of people they disagreed with politically? When they said to not let Trump officials have a moments peace, even if you see them out in public, dining in restaurants?

Where were they when it was shown the political rhetoric of Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and the rest of the socialist left inspired the shooter who fired at Republicans at our baseball practice, nearly killing Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La.?

Our system only works well if we understand the speaker is not responsible for the actions of the listener no matter if they are Republican, Democrat or other.

And where were they when Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., stood in front of the Supreme Court last year, when he called out Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh by name saying, “You have released the whirlwind, and you will pay the price. You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions”? This earned Schumer a rare direct rebuke from the chief justice, and scathing rebukes from senators and others in the GOP, but not a word from the Democrats.

Their outrage is one sided and that’s not how this works.

You either go after the Democrats who “incited violence” or you say that political speech always inspires great passion, and the speaker is not responsible for the actions of the listener unless clearly calling for violence.

President Trump deserves the same standard as the other side.

He deserves the protections of our Constitution.

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Our system only works well if we understand the speaker is not responsible for the actions of the listener no matter if they are Republican, Democrat or other.

I call on both sides to pay more attention to fealty to our oaths and pressure our own sides to be better.

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