Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell is in danger of violating his constitutional oaths in the upcoming Senate impeachment trial, according to an op-ed in a leading Kentucky newspaper.
A leading Kentucky newspaper published a scathing rebuke of Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), accusing the majority leader of abandoning his oath to defend the U.S. Constitution due to his loyalty to Donald Trump.
"Every senator has a constitutional obligation of impartiality," Kent Greenfield, a law professor and sixth-generation Kentuckian, wrote on Thursday in the Louisville Courier-Journal. "But McConnell's role as Senate leader makes his obligation even more important and crucial to the constitutional framework. This is not a time for political cynicism or constitutional faithlessness. McConnell's loyalty to Trump should not overwhelm his loyalty to the Constitution."
Greenfield noted that McConnell is in danger of violating not one, but two constitutional oaths.
First, McConnell swore an oath to support the Constitution when he became a U.S. Senator. Second, when the Senate impeachment trial starts, McConnell will swear an oath to "do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws."
Greenfield calls a Senate impeachment trial a senator's "gravest and most serious constitutional obligation" short of declaring war. "All senators should take their obligation of faithful impartiality seriously, especially McConnell," he added.
However, McConnell has already announced that he has no intention of being impartial during a Senate trial.
In a mid-December interview on Fox News, McConnell admitted he would coordinate with the White House on a Senate trial. "Everything I do during this [trial preparation], I'm coordinating with White House counsel," McConnell told Sean Hannity. McConnell added that he will be "in total coordination with the White House counsel's office and the people who are representing the president in the well of the Senate."
Five days later, McConnell bluntly told reporters, "I'm not an impartial juror." He predicted "a largely partisan outcome in the Senate," before adding once again, "I'm not impartial about this at all."
Greenfield warned McConnell of the consequences of potentially breaking his oath.
"We Kentuckians know that our word is our bond," Greenfield wrote. "Oaths are the most solemn of promises, and their breach results in serious reputational — and sometimes legal — consequences."
In a final warning, Greenfield noted that "History is watching, and it will be a harsh judge."
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.