President Clinton won't be the only one on trial. It is the United States Senate that will be on trial as well. The House of Representatives lived up to its responsibilities. Now the focus of the country will be on the Senate to see if it follows its constitutional mandate.
The pressure on the Senate will be immense. First, there are those who want the Senate to rush to judgment. They want a verdict even before the evidence is presented. They argue that since there are not 67 senators who would vote to remove the President from office, we should speed through a trial. In the end, that would make a mockery of the constitutional process.
Then there are those calling for censure. Never mind that many of those people weren't even talking about censure until the House Judiciary Committee voted out articles of impeachment. And never mind that the Constitution says nothing about censure. And never mind that the last time the Senate applied censure to a president was in 1834. That president is on our twenty dollar bill today.
And these are just a few of the voices. Two former presidents have called for a senatorial compromise. Leading senatorial Democrats have called for a quick resolution in order to prevent what they call "the agony of a protracted process."
But to his credit, Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott has stayed the course. He says that a trial will commence shortly after the Senate reconvenes this week. But whether it continues and how long it lasts depends upon those in the Senate. President Clinton won't be the only one on trial. The United States Senate will be on trial. And decades from now, historians will look back at these days and see if the Senate met the test.
I'm Kerby Anderson of Probe Ministries, and that's my opinion.
© 1998 Probe Ministries International