There were no surprises at all about the outcome of the Senate impeachment ‘trial.’
In a way, it would have made no difference in the outcome even if the Senate leadership had allowed the team of House prosecutors appointed by the speaker, and all 8,000 pages of evidence plus video- recorded testimony. There would have been at least some appearance of impartiality, so there’s that.
But the verdict would have still been a foregone conclusion.
Look no further than how the senators voted on Article 6, neglect of duty, contempt of the Legislature. Contempt is failure to comply with a valid subpoena. All officers and employees of the commonwealth are required by law to cooperate with legislative investigations. The JGO Committee subpoenaed Gov. Ralph Torres. He failed to show up, so we held him in contempt.
The attorney general said the subpoena was valid and charged Torres with the crime of contempt. The court said the subpoena was valid, and junked Torres’ lawsuit against the JGO.
Torres had a statutory duty to comply with a valid subpoena, and he neglected that duty. As Rep. Ed Propst observed in his statement to the Senate during public comments, “It really is that simple.”
The Senate leadership still voted no.
There are some shining stars in the Senate who deserve recognition and gratitude. Sens. Paul Manglona, Edith Deleon Guerrero, and Teresita Santos: thank you for your courage. Thank you for dissenting. Thank you for your steadfast loyalty to the people we serve.
The Senate ‘trial’ was a train wreck, an utter travesty of justice. It ended exactly as expected. But I firmly believe justice will prevail nevertheless—perhaps through the courts, perhaps in November.
Christina M. Sablan (Special to the Saipan Tribune)
Rep. Christina M. Sablan is a member of the House of Representatives in the 22nd Legislature.