Adam Schiff
Credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

If you haven’t already, I encourage you to put aside nine minutes to watch Representative Adam Schiff’s closing remarks from Thursday’s Senate trial.

Schiff began by stating the obvious: the facts prove that Donald Trump is guilty as charged. We all know it. But the question remains as to whether he should be removed from office. Schiff makes the case that Trump should be removed because he has demonstrated that he will choose his own personal interests over protecting our national interests—which makes him dangerous.

At that point, I was reminded of the warning Michael Cohen gave to Congress last year.

The Republican Senators sitting in that chamber are determined to be loyal to a president who always puts his own interests over those of others. They should listen to Michael Cohen’s warning that, “the more people that follow Mr. Trump as I did blindly are going to suffer the same consequences that I’m suffering.”

After pointing out the threat Trump poses, Schiff ended with this.

If right doesn’t matter, it doesn’t matter how good the Constitution is…

If right doesn’t matter, we’re lost.

If truth doesn’t matter, we’re lost.

The framers couldn’t protect us from ourselves if right and truth don’t matter.

You can’t trust this president to do what’s right for this country.

This is why, if you find him guilty, you must find that he should be removed. Because right matters. And truth matters. Otherwise we are lost.

Those incredibly eloquent words speak to what many of us are experiencing as we watch the crisis in our country unfold. We don’t hold out much hope that either right or truth matter to the Republicans sitting in that chamber, which is why we recognize that it is not simply Donald Trump that poses a threat to our country. Jennifer Rubin pointed to the strand of hope we hang on to.

We can hold out hope that Schiff’s magnificent words will resonate with Americans, if not with a majority of the Senate. Perhaps Schiff’s call to our better angels will provide the emotional lift and inspiration to banish Trump from the Oval Office in the November election. Whether they do or not, Schiff’s words will serve as a message in the bottle — a love letter to democracy and truth for future generations.

As the House managers made their case in the Senate trial, even the most hardened cynics that I follow on Twitter have noted the way that Representative Adam Schiff has risen to this occasion. It is a testament to the fact that great leaders don’t emerge based simply on their own individual merits, but are called upon when what they have to offer is exactly what is needed during a crisis.

Given the intransigence of Senate Republicans, there are no facts or evidence that will change their minds. Similarly, there are no words that are so eloquent as to dissuade them from their current course.

However, led by Schiff, the House managers have articulated the evidence in a way that leaves no doubt about Trump’s guilt. Schiff ended on Thursday night by composing “a love letter to democracy and truth” that will go down in history as proof that we refused to become collaborators in the assault against what is right and true.

Nancy LeTourneau

Follow Nancy on Twitter @Smartypants60.