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Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Tuesday, January 21st, 2020

Idaho Republican Jim Risch reportedly fell asleep today during Trump’s removal trial

Maybe he should just retire so he can have ample time for sies­tas?

Via The Wash­ing­ton Post:

The Demo­c­ra­t­ic case to sub­poe­na the State Depart­ment didn’t make much of an impres­sion on one key Repub­li­can sen­a­tor, James E. Risch of Ida­ho, who appeared to be asleep for a sig­nif­i­cant por­tion of it.

Short­ly after 5:30 PM Risch — chair­man of the Sen­ate For­eign Rela­tions Com­mit­tee, which over­sees the State Depart­ment — could be seen from the press gallery motion­less, with his eyes closed and head slumped against his right hand.

Risch was the first law­mak­er seen by Wash­ing­ton Post reporters to clear­ly have fall­en asleep, about four hours after the tri­al pro­ceed­ings began Tues­day. When [Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Val] Dem­ings cued up video of tes­ti­mo­ny from U.S. Ambas­sador to the Euro­pean Union Gor­don Sond­land, Risch briefly perked up, but quick­ly closed his eyes again.

The appar­ent snooze end­ed about fif­teen min­utes lat­er, at 5:52 PM, after Dem­ings sum­ma­rized anoth­er video clip.

Grant­ed, it’s been a very long day of pro­ceed­ings in the Sen­ate.

But that’s the for­mat that Repub­li­cans chose. They are cur­rent­ly in the major­i­ty. They drew up the sched­ule for this tri­al and draft­ed the rules of pro­ce­dure to be pre­sent­ed to the Sen­ate for its con­sid­er­a­tion.

The Ida­ho States­man, the Gem State’s news­pa­per of record, also shared the above report with their read­ers in an arti­cle pub­lished on the front page.

Risch, sev­en­ty-six, is a for­mer gov­er­nor and lieu­tenant gov­er­nor of Ida­ho with an arch­con­ser­v­a­tive vot­ing record. He has served in the Unit­ed States Sen­ate for eleven years, suc­ceed­ing fel­low Repub­li­can Lar­ry Craig, who became infa­mous after being arrest­ed in a Min­neapo­lis air­port bath­room stall in 2007.

Risch is a major ally of the Nation­al Rifle Asso­ci­a­tion (NRA) and reli­ably votes in lock­step with Mitch McConnell and Don­ald Trump on pret­ty much every­thing. If you look at the archives of Last Week In Con­gress, you can see that Risch is aligned with Trump and McConnell near­ly one hun­dred per­cent of the time.

The Sen­ate, as of the time this post was writ­ten, was still in the mid­dle of debat­ing a series of amend­ments offered by the Demo­c­ra­t­ic cau­cus to the tri­al rules of pro­ce­dure. The fifty-three Sen­ate Repub­li­cans have defeat­ed the first four amend­ments to be offered by the Democ­rats so far.

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5 Comments

  1. I was bored watch­ing the pro­ceed­ings also.

    Too bad — you seem to have already made up your mind. Sad. I thought real jour­nal­ists were always seek­ing the truth. I pray the truth is revealed and lies exposed.

    # by Marie Woods :: January 21st, 2020 at 8:34 PM
    • You’re cor­rect, Marie… I have already made up my mind. The evi­dence shows that Trump is guilty. That evi­dence was made avail­able dur­ing Trump’s impeach­ment inquiry. I am not a Unit­ed States Sen­a­tor, so I do not have the respon­si­bil­i­ty of being a juror in his removal tri­al. And I am not an objec­tive jour­nal­ist — I’m an advo­ca­cy jour­nal­ist — so I do not wor­ry about attempt­ing to be fair or impar­tial. I’m trans­par­ent about where I stand. There’s no mys­tery about what my val­ues and prin­ci­ples are or my views on the issues.

      # by Andrew Villeneuve :: January 25th, 2020 at 11:27 AM
  2. I can’t blame him. How many of us have been held hostage in an end­less meet­ing? They always have the room warm and have com­fy seats.

    # by Mike Reagan :: January 21st, 2020 at 8:45 PM
  3. Trump is not guilty of what the Democ­rats have accused him of. If you look at the tran­script of the phone call between Trump and Zelen­sky, which I’m not sure you’ve done, there is noth­ing that Trump did wrong.

    The Democ­rats accuse Trump of hav­ing threat­ened to with­hold aid to Ukraine unless Zelen­sky agreed to start an inves­ti­ga­tion of Joe and Hunter Biden and their deal­ings with Buris­ma. This will be found nowhere in the tran­script. Trump nev­er made Ukraine receiv­ing aid con­tin­gent upon an inves­ti­ga­tion of the Bidens, as Ukraine’s aid was with­held only momen­tar­i­ly, but not for the rea­son the Democ­rats claim. The gov­ern­ment of Ukraine is noto­ri­ous­ly cor­rupt, so it only made sense that Trump would want to see if the new pres­i­dent would respon­si­bly han­dle the aid received from the U.S. before said aid was sent.

    Also, as far as I know, Ukraine’s gov­ern­ment nev­er ini­ti­at­ed an inves­ti­ga­tion of the Bidens, but still received the promised aid, which debunks the afore­men­tioned con­tin­gency claim.

    If Trump actu­al­ly had done some­thing wrong, I would say so. Sim­ply because I’m a Repub­li­can does­n’t mean I won’t call out Repub­li­cans who do things that are wrong. How­ev­er, this is cer­tain­ly not one of those times.

    # by Kaleb Fisler :: January 25th, 2020 at 8:23 PM
    • Yes, I’ve read the tran­script. I’ve also reviewed the oth­er evi­dence, which clear­ly shows that Don­ald Trump tried to use the pow­er of the pres­i­den­cy to coerce an Amer­i­can ally into doing him a polit­i­cal favor. What Trump did is the text­book descrip­tion of cor­rup­tion. It’s unfor­tu­nate you can’t see this. The pres­i­den­t’s own legal coun­sel does­n’t even dis­pute the case against him. Their defense is basi­cal­ly a game of smoke and mir­rors.

      If Trump did noth­ing wrong, why not turn over doc­u­ments? Why not pro­duce wit­ness­es? What is all the stonewalling for?

      I’ve lost track of the num­ber of times I have heard Repub­li­cans say: “Inno­cent peo­ple hav­ing noth­ing to fear from coop­er­a­tion with an inves­ti­ga­tion.”

      It’s anoth­er case of do what we say, not what we do.

      # by Andrew Villeneuve :: January 26th, 2020 at 11:01 AM

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