Three years ago this week, I was at a journalism conference in Portland, watching on a projection screen with a few dozen editors as Donald Trump took the oath of office and then delivered an unforgettably dystopian inaugural address—complete with references to “American carnage”—that George W. Bush so eloquently (and accurately) described as “some weird shit.” 

That night, as I wandered Portland’s downtown, I ran into a mass of protesters, thousands of them, winding down every street and across every bridge. The next day, similar scenes played out all over the country, as millions of people took to the streets in Women’s Marches. The day after that, as it became clear that the DC Women’s March had far outnumbered Trump’s pathetically small inaugural crowd, the White House tried to gaslight the country about it. 

The Trump era—angry and chaotic and mendacious and unrelenting—had begun. The impeachment trial that begins this week is, if not its inevitable endpoint, an inevitable stop along the way. 

The verdict, of course, is a foregone conclusion. With quisling Republicans in control of the Senate, there’s no chance that two-thirds of senators will vote to remove Trump. The real question is whether Republicans will even feign enough interest in living up to the oath they took last week—that “in all things appertaining to the trial of the impeachment of Donald John Trump,” they will “do impartial justice”—to bother with witnesses and evidence before rubber-stamping Trump’s “exoneration.”  

For U.S. Senator Thom Tillis, the answer is a hard no. Earlier this month, Tillis—last seen asking his Twitter followers to sign Eric Trump’s birthday card,—went on Fox News to explain that calling witnesses would be a waste of time because the House should have done it, even though the White House blocked the House from doing it. 

“This is just another sham in trying to impeach this president for three years,” Tillis said.  

Polls show that roughly 70 percent of Americans think Trump’s aides should testify—and a slim majority think he should be removed.   

On Monday night—hours after the president’s legal team filed a, um, novel defense that claimed that abuse of power was not impeachable—Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell unveiled his proposed rules for a rushed trial that he transparently aims to turn into a charade. No one who goes along with this farcical cover-up and gives a middle finger to the Constitution deserves to be in power. 

As one of the most vulnerable incumbents on the ballot this year, Ol’ Thommy Boy should keep that in mind. But he won’t. He’s chosen his side. In the long run, history will judge him and his colleagues harshly. Come November, so should the people of North Carolina.   

Contact editor in chief Jeffrey C. Billman at 

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One reply on “Ol’ Thommy Boy and the Impeachment Trial”

  1. Lets not even look into the son of the vice president (Hunter) that made millions overseas during his dads term, and that fact that Joe was one of somewhere between 20 to 25 individuals talking about running at that time, and keeps changing even today, messing with the election, get serious. US Army Special Forces/Operations.

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