- - Monday, January 20, 2020

Destroying is much easier than building. As his relentless adversaries file into the U.S. Senate Tuesday to judge articles of impeachment brought against President Trump, they open the door for irreparable damage to a system of justice founded on both the U.S. Constitution and American common sense. There can be no justice without fairness.

The original Framers, who established procedures for removing a president for “high crimes and misdemeanors,” would not recognize the process underway in the 116th Congress. Led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Democrats have progressed from gnashing their teeth over the president’s election to barring them over his governing derring-do. The last straw was raising the issue of possible corruption by political rival Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and purportedly tying U.S. military aid to Ukraine’s agreement to investigate. For this, the president’s ouster began in earnest.

Abuse of power and obstruction of Congress make up the double-barreled legal barrage leveled at Mr. Trump. All evidence of purported presidential intent to harm the Bidens has been a product of presumption and speculation on the part of the president’s antagonists — scuttlebutt, in the vernacular. Any evidence of a link between investigation and aid is chimerical — no inquiry occurred and no funds went unbequeathed. Abuse of power? There was no use of power.

The House conducted its impeachment hearings in secret and denied Mr. Trump both legal counsel and the chance to rebut the allegations. Rushing to complete their indictments, Democrats dropped efforts to question Trump associates with possible first-hand knowledge of the president’s Ukraine dealings, including then-National Security Adviser John Bolton and acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney. Rather than risk lengthy court battles over the president’s right to invoke executive privilege, Team Anti-Trump simply moved on and charged him with obstructing Congress.

With impeachment landing in the Senate following a four-week Pelosi pause, Democrats now demand that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell allow testimony from those witnesses bypassed by the House. A more secure Senate boss would dismiss the half-baked impeachment paperwork and advise the hasty lefties to return when their homework was finished.

Nursing a slim majority, Mr. McConnell has reluctantly opened the Senate door to Mrs. Pelosi’s prosecutors, but vows to resist her demands for an open-ended witness parade until lawmakers have heard the existing evidence.

The White House reinforced the speaker’s stance on Saturday by erecting its own rhetorical battlement: “President Trump categorically and unequivocally denies each and every allegation in both articles of impeachment.”

Trembling Thursday under the weight of his constitutional obligation to preside over the Senate trial, U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts administered to senators their impeachment oath: “I solemnly swear (or affirm) that in all things appertaining to the trial of Donald John Trump, now pending, I will do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws, so help me God.”

If Lady Justice were truly blindfolded, Justice Roberts would have been obliged to strike four Democrats from the jury: Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado. As candidates for their party’s nomination, all are vying to run against Mr. Trump in November, all are unquestionably biased against him, and all stand to benefit by voting to convict and expel him from office. Some “impartial justice.”

Now that they’ve cracked open the door to the upper chamber, Democrats are likely to roll in bombshell after bombshell, splattering the proceedings with new allegations of Trump misdeeds to back their constitutionally questionable coup.

In fact, it has already begun: In quick succession, the Government Accountability Office announced that Mr. Trump violated the law by delaying aid to Ukraine, though the Office of Management and Budget disputed that claim. And Lev Parnas, an associate of Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, claimed Ukraine was pressured to investigate the Bidens, and the president was behind it. Under indictment for campaign finance violations, Mr. Parnas can be counted on to sing from the score of the deep state’s favorite anti-Trump musical, “The Lyin’ King.”

The land of the free spurns a throned sovereign but reserves common decency for all, including the Oval Office occupant. The day he was elected, Democrats signaled their goal of expelling Mr. Trump from office. Unwarranted attacks on the president compromise the nation’s stability and violate Americans’ sense of fairness. They will not go unatoned.

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