I am an independent voter, from Oregon. Senator Lankford (R-OK) periodically sends me eNewsletters. That is mildly puzzling, but not unwelcome.
Feedback on his communications is typically best left to the people of Oklahoma, the Senator’s constituents. But his press release “Senator Lankford Calls for Transparent Impeachment Process,” requires my answer.
The resolution the Senator co-sponsored disingenuously supports an undeserving president, and arguably disrespects the Constitution that Mr. Lankford swore to defend.
Democrats are following House rules that were passed by Republicans in 2015, when in the majority. The discipline and integrity of the House inquiry appears high, in vivid contrast with the embarrassing attempts at interference by a president seemingly out of control.
The closed-door interviews of witnesses—conducted by House committee members from both parties— will be followed by a public discussion and vote, in the full House. If the president is impeached, a trial in the GOP-dominated Senate will follow. A trial where the president will have the right to fully present his case, as constitutionally established.—and where every Senator will have a voice and vote.
We should let the House do its job. The president should respect Congress, and stop interfering. If a trial is called upon, Senators must put country above party, and judge—on facts—whether impeachable offenses were committed by the president. The Senate should convict if the president is guilty, absolve otherwise.
Regardless of party, each Senator’s individual conscience, history, and the American voters will stand in judgement.
— Antonio Baptista
Note: Versions of this article were originally e-mailed to Senator Lankford, and submitted to The Oklahoman. Prompted by a newsletter received from Senator Shelley Capito (R-WV), a customized version of the article was more recently e-mailed to her, and submitted to the Herald-Dispatch of West Virginia.