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Gregory Schildmeyer

Jefferson City

Dear Editor:

The House of Representatives will soon send the two Articles of Impeachment against Donald Trump — abuse of his office and Obstruction of Congress — to the U.S. Senate for trial. This is a solemn and uniquely significant event in the history of our country. It needs to be treated as such by everyone involved, and not degenerate into a sham or political circus.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has already indicated he is willing to sell out on his responsibilities in order to keep Donald Trump in power, regardless of the facts and evidence of the matter. He has stated that he is working in lock step with the White House to protect Trump at all costs. But those costs are extremely high for America's future.

I call on Missouri's senators, Roy Blunt and Josh Hawley, and all other senators, Republican and Democratic, to reject McConnell's disgusting cowardly example, and instead uphold their sworn duty to the Constitution and the citizens of their state and country. They must treat the impeachment trial seriously, and conduct it in a dignified and impartial manner. This includes calling witnesses, obtaining documentary evidence, and determining whether the president committed the "high crimes and misdemeanors" that he has been charged with, based on the facts presented and not the president's party. Would they acquit a Democratic president if she committed the abuses Trump is charged with? The precedent they set will have long-lasting impact.

The framers of the Constitution wrestled with the question of where an impeachment trial should take place. Madison and Pinckney proposed the Supreme Court or the chief justices of the several states. Hamilton and others argued, however, that such bodies would be too small and susceptible to corruption, so ultimately the Senate was decided upon. Hamilton explained in The Federalist, No. 65:

"The Convention thought the Senate the most fit depository of this important trust. Where else than in the Senate could have been found a tribunal sufficiently dignified, or sufficiently independent? What other body would be likely to feel confidence enough in its own situation, to preserve unawed and uninfluenced the necessary impartiality between an individual accused, and the representatives of the people, his accusers?"

We must, for the sake of our democracy, pray that all senators will live up to this sacred trust of impartiality, as they will each swear to God to do when the trial begins.

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