Impeachment: When We Judge Ourselves

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Nearly a month after voting to pass articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, House managers have ceremonially walked the articles from the House chamber to the Senate.[1] As such, the Senate will soon hold trial on whether to remove President Trump from office.

The dramatic impeachment of President Trump has been filled with more twists, plot gaps, and anti-climactic revelations than any soap opera. Never has there been such a partisan impeachment process. Throughout the entire ordeal, President Trump has been treated as a team player, not a defendant. Democrats have viewed him as an opponent that must be defeated, and Republicans have viewed him as an ally that must be defended.

Republicans cried foul throughout the House impeachment inquiries, describing it as an unfair and secretive process that denied the president opportunity to cross examine witnesses, access evidence, and be afforded basic rights guaranteed to all Americans.[2] Furthermore, they challenged the hypocrisy of the charges.[3] Democrats accused President Trump of abusing his power by withholding military aid to Ukraine until they looked into why the investigation of Burisma ended—the company employing former Vice President Joe Biden’s son at the time. Republicans argued that any serious abuse of power charge must also consider whether former Vice President Joe Biden admitted to abusing his power when he bragged about threatening to withhold military aid to Ukraine as a pressure tactic to force the firing of a prosecutor investigating Burisma.[4]

Having pre-determined President Trump’s guilt, Democrats have interpreted every ambiguous piece of testimony in the worst possible way for the president. Only facts that fit their preferred narrative have been recognized while all other facts have been denied. In fact, Republicans have been denied even the opportunity to call any fact witnesses that might exonerate the president.[5][6]Similarly, Republicans in the Senate have pre-determined the innocence of President Trump. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell even told Sean Hannity that he’d coordinate with the White House in determining how to proceed with the trial.[7] Furthermore, there appears to be no interest in hearing facts that might challenge the innocence of the president.[8][9] Like the Democrats, the Republicans have their own preferred narrative, and they are reluctant to see it challenged.

Many have complained that Republican Senators are incapable of remaining impartial throughout the Senate trial.[10] Of course, the same charge has been levied against Democrat Senators, some of whom have called for the impeachment of President Trump for years or are campaigning for the president’s office in 2020.[11] Truth be told, this entire impeachment debacle has been devoid of objectivity. Both parties are too invested in the outcome of the process to permit an honest and objective evaluation of the president’s guilt.

Essentially, both parties are judging themselves, and this is the problem. Republicans see President Trump as a member of their team. As such, he can do no wrong, and they must resist witnesses who may say otherwise. Likewise, the Democrats see former Vice President Biden as a member of their team. As such, he can do no wrong, and they must resist witnesses who may say otherwise. Because both parties are too close to the problem, both parties are incapable of seeing the magnitude or the significance of their player’s faults. Furthermore, an indictment of against their “team player” would effectively be an indictment against their entire party.

The same can be said about us as Americans. God has called us to evaluate the moral state of our nation. If we acknowledge that we have embraced the moral sins for which God has judged mighty nations in the past, then we must conclude that we deserve to be judged ourselves. Unwilling to accept such a conclusion, we find ourselves accepting only the facts that fit our preferred narrative. We find ourselves defending political leaders, cultural icons, and national attitudes that are morally repugnant to God because an indictment against them would essentially be an indictment against ourselves.

Many of us who have followed this impeachment debacle are angry with our leaders in Washington D.C. for how they have conducted themselves throughout this investigation. Their blatant bias and disregard for even the most common-sense truths make us sick. At some point, most of us have found ourselves impatiently yearning for truth to expose the sham so that justice can come upon those who have abused it.

If we ourselves experience such righteous indignation, why do we assume God does not? The testimony of Scripture provides us with every reason to believe that God is also angry with how we as Americans have conducted our investigation into our moral condition. Perhaps God too is yearning for truth to expose this sham so that His justice can come upon those who have abused it. Perhaps God is yearning for His people to speak His truth and expose the true state of our nation. But this requires that we stop viewing ourselves as belonging to team America. Instead, we must value justice above all else.

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Timothy Zebell

As a former missionary to Asia for twelve years and the author of several books, Timothy is passionate about helping people understand the relevancy of God's Word in today's world. His goals are to help Christians discern truth from error, empower Christians to speak into cultural matters with relevancy, and to help Christians capitalize on the opportunities that these matters provide for sharing the truth about God and His gospel message.
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1. Viebeck, Elise, Rachael Bade and Seung Min Kim. “House Delivers Historic Impeachment Case against Trump to Senate.” Politics. Washington Post, January 15, 2020, 7:58 p.m., EST.

2. Wolfe, Jan. “Explainer: Protesting Republicans Say Impeachment Probe Violates Trump’s Rights. Is That True?” Politics. Reuters, October 24, 2019, 2:22 p.m.

3. Bonn, Tess. “GOP Lawmaker Blasts Democrats Hypocrisy Amid Impeachment Fallout.” Hill TV. The Hill, November 15, 2019.

4. Hains, Tim. “FLASHBACK, 2018: Joe Biden Brags at CFR Meeting about Withholding Aid to Ukraine to Force Firing of Prosecutor.” Real Clear Politics, September 27, 2019.

5. The Blaze Staff. “‘This Is an Inquisition’: Schiff Denies GOP Witness Requests on Eve of ‘Fair’ Public Impeachment Hearings.” The Blaze, November 12, 2019.

6. Beavers, Olivia. “Nadler Dismisses GOP Witness Requests.” News. The Hill, December 9, 2019, 12:35 p.m., EST.

7. Blake, Aaron. “McConnell Indicates He’ll Let Trump’s Lawyers Dictate Trump’s Impeachment Trial.” Politics Analysis. Washington Post, December 13, 2019, 12:42 p.m., EST.

8. Khan, Mariam. “McConnell Rejects Schumer’s Call for Deal on Witnesses before Trump Impeachment Trial Starts.” Politics. ABC News, December 17, 2019, 4:39 p.m.

9. Musto, Julia. “Graham Says He Won’t Call Any Impeachment Witnesses in Senate Committee: ‘It’s a Crock.’” Fox News Flash. Fox News, December 12, 2019.

10. Barrett, Ted and Ali Zaslav. “Mitch McConnell: ‘I’m Not an Impartial Juror’ Ahead of Senate Impeachment Trial.” Politics. CNN, n.d. Last updated December 17, 2019, 8:12 p.m., ET.

11. Contorno, Steve. “Marco Rubio on Impeachment: No Senator Can Be an ‘Impartial Juror.’” Tampa Bay Times, December 19, 2019. Last Updated December 19, 2019.


Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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