Political Education

Why Might the White House Refuse to Participate in Impeachment Hearings

If you have been following the Impeachment hearings for Donald Trump you know two things, not one person has refuted the whistleblower and that the White House has not participated in any of the other hearings.

Having seen President Trump’s normally combative personality, this seems strange. Why would he not participate? The White House was involved with the Clinton Impeachment hearings, and with President Johnson, there were four days between the impeachable offence and articles of impeachment being written. Those 19th-century Congressmen could get stuff done. White House attorneys were heavily involved in Watergate as well.

In this age of social media and multiple news media outlets, Trump’s team wants to put forth the narrative that these impeachment hearings are illegitimate and unfair. If the White House participated or if the President got involved it would hamper that narrative. Also, I am sure the Trump team is afraid of the President contradicting his attorney. President Trump is not good at keeping his opinions to himself.

By allowing this impeachment to happen without their involvement the Trump team is banking on the Senate, which has a Republican majority, to be on his side. The Senate needs a two-thirds majority to convict the president. Currently, there are 53 Republican Senators, 45 Democratic Senators and 2 Independent Senators (these Senators caucus with the Democrats). To convict the President and throw him out of office they need 60 votes.

According to media outlets, Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer are already discussing the procedure for the impeachment trial, and they want the trial to be shorter than the president wants. We will see what happens and how this affects the 2020 race: two out of the top three Democratic candidates are Senators. Hopefully, we will know before Christmas.

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