The link is a useful complement to the opening argument presented by the president’s defense team in the impeachment trial, and a bit easier to comment on than the video posted earlier, for anyone who feels they can refute the record in a competent way. But I actually want to comment on something else.
I heard Chuck Schumer on TV yesterday claim that the president’s defense team made a strong argument in favor or more witnesses and documents.
Schumer’s claim is ridiculous on its face.
The president is under no obligation to prove his innocence. Some people may want him to, but they really have no right to demand any such thing.
We saw the same problem in the Kavenaugh hearings. Those opposed to Kavenaugh’s confirmation leveled outrageous charges against him and demanded that he prove he his own innocence in response. It was ugly to the point of seeming almost demonic. It was certainly unamerican to so distort the rule of law, over the nomination of a justice, no less.
In our system the burden is on the prosecution to prove guilt. So far, the House Managers have presented a remarkably shoddy case that is full of holes and deficiencies. More witnesses and new documents might, conceivably, remedy all that, but it is also true that a failed prosecution doesn’t deserve to be made whole.
Some senators might argue that the American people have a right to know the truth about issues related to this impeachment. I certainly agree, but it’s not a good argument for adding witnesses and documents to the trial. The trial should dispose of the case before it. If there are other issues to be explored, other venues can be used to explore them.