A handful of Republican senators on Thursday openly refused to uphold the oath they took to be impartial jurors in the second impeachment trial of disgraced ex-President Donald J. Trump.
For starters, as Forbes pointed out, “As many as 15 seats of Republican senators were empty during the first few hours of the trial Thursday, compared to just a handful of Democrats who were outside of the chamber, according to pool reports.”
The report notes that Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Rand Paul (R-KY) and Jim Risch (R-ID) were among those who weren’t in attendance as the impeachment trial got underway on Thursday.
Some Republicans who did bother showing up made it pretty clear that they weren’t all that interested in taking it seriously.
More via Forbes:
Many within the chamber were preoccupied with other activities: Sens. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) were reading papers, while, according to CNN’s Jeremy Herb, Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) “had a blank map of Asia on his desk and was writing on it like he was filling in the names of the countries.”
“It’s the same as yesterday and the same as the day before… it’s just redundant. The same thing, over and over again,” Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) told reporters of impeachment managers’ arguments on Thursday. “To me, the more you hear it, the less credibility there is in it.”
Republicans are violating their oath
Presidential impeachment trials are not to be taken likely. After all, this is only the fourth such trial in American history, with Donald Trump now owning two of them.
Before the trial, senators swear an oath to “do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws.” One would assume showing up to the trial and paying attention is part of that duty.
As Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) said on Thursday, “I think we’ve got a solemn obligation to do what the Constitution says. And I think paying attention is a big part of it, whether it’s an impeachment trial or otherwise.”
It’s clear that Donald Trump violated his oath of office last month when he incited a deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Instead of holding the former president accountable, Republican senators are following in Trump’s footsteps by refusing to uphold their oath.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.