Washington, DC: Despite the Covid pandemic, I find myself in Washington, in the Senate chamber at our Capitol. Here’s an explanation:
See, every honorable attorney in the whole country, and several who are not so honorable, turned down the opportunity to represent Donald J. Trump of Mara Largo, Florida, in this Impeachment trial. They’re scared of the after-effects. Mr. Trump offered to represent himself. However, every legal expert, including those who only play one on Facebook, knows that nobody but a fool would try to represent himself. Therefore, at the risk of being ostracized by my Hollywood friends, I feel obliged to fill the void.
As I stand at the front of the Senate, addressing 100 Senators, I continue. “You may say, ‘But you have no legal experience.’ Well, I beg to differ. I played the lead role in one of the greatest movies of 1934, ‘Judge Priest.’ And that ranks far higher than pretending to be one on Facebook. But don’t take my word for it; ask former President Franklin D. Roosevelt. I’m guessing you distinguished Senators recognize him as a great man and judge of character, at least half of you.
“After watching ‘Judge Priest,’ Franklin wrote me a letter (he said I could call him Franklin) and I’ll read, and provide said letter as Exhibit A. It’s dated October 8, 1934. ‘Dear Will, (I let him call me Will) ‘We saw Judge Priest last night. It is a thoroughly good job.’ Then after a couple more sentences he closed with a paragraph that will firmly establish my credentials to appear before this august body today, ‘I suppose the next thing you will be doing is making application for an appointment to the Federal Bench. I might take you up on that!’ Now if you have any doubt about his judgement, I’ll remind you that he nominated, and had approved right here in this very Chamber, NINE Justices to the Supreme Court.
“See, at one time he had nominated EVERY Justice sitting on the Supreme Court. He wanted to name 5 or 6 more, but your predecessors here in the Senate turned him down flat. They said, ‘No, Mr. President, nine is all we need on that Court. We won’t let you pack any more in there.’”
So, with my credentials firmly established and accepted, it comes my turn to address the presiding officer of every Impeachment trial, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court:
Me: “Wait a minute, you’re Senator Leahy, not Chief Justice Roberts.
Sen. Leahy: “Yes, he declined. I guess one Impeachment was enough for him.”
Me: “Well, Mr. Leahy, I’ll trust you to be fair and impartial and follow the Constitution. Please read to your fellow Senators the part of the Constitution relating to the topic at hand, Article II, Section 4.”
Leahy: “Article II, Section 4: The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”
Me: “Thank you sir. I noticed this Article began with the words, ‘The President.’ Senator Leahy, what is today’s date?”
Leahy: “It is February 8, 2021.”
Me: “And on this date, who is ‘The President?’”
Leahy: “Joseph R. Biden”
Me: “Is President Joseph R. Biden being Impeached for Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors?”
Me: “Thank you. Since you have confirmed that ‘The President’ today, February 8, 2021, is Joseph R. Biden, and he is not charged with any crime listed in Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution, I humbly ask that this trial end immediately.”
And I sat down triumphantly, to a thunderous standing ovation, by half the Senators. Then, with that glorious sound ringing in my ears for at least half a minute, I turned my head… and woke up.
Historic Fact about Will Rogers:
In the movie, ‘Judge Priest,’ two well-known African-American actors were featured, Stepin Fetchit (real name, Lincoln Perry) and Hattie McDaniels (who later earned an Oscar). The movie also revived the career of Henry B. Walthall.