The impeachment trial of Richard “Rick” Canth, President of the Republic of Panem, began in the Panem Senate today. Presiding over the proceedings is Chief Justice of the Panem Supreme Court Sean Wheeler.
The charges are as follows:
- One charge of corruption by a public official, punishable by up to fifteen years in prison
- One charge of electoral fraud, punishable by up to five years in prison
- One charge of obstruction of justice, punishable by up to ten years in prison
- Two charges of perjury, punishable by up to five years in prison for each charge
Each of these charges was approved by the Panem House of Representatives by a vote of 142-58.
Witnesses called today included two top aides to the president. Excerpts are below, with DA being the attorney of the defendant, Rick Canth, P standing for the prosecution, W standing for the witness, and CJ standing for the Chief Justice:
P: Ms. Tompson, hello. In this email, it reads that you stated the following to a Mr. Resser: “I hope no one reads these emails down the line, they’ll probably start an investigation.” What exactly were you referring to?”
W: I was referring to a widespread rumor that the president was involved in a electoral fraud scandal.
P: Did you believe that the president was directly connected?
DA: Objection, calls for conclusion.
P: I’ll rephrase. Did you have any knowledge of anyone in the office connected with a possible fraud attempt?
W: Yes. I overheard Kendrick Tompkins, the President’s chief of staff, discussing a bribery on the phone.
P: Do you know who he was talking with?
P: What did Mr. Tompkins say exactly?
W: “If he knows what’s good for him, he’ll take the bribe and that will shut him up. It shut him up last time, so it will do well this time.”
P: No further questions.
DA: Do you know if the President was aware of any such bribery, past or previous?
W: No, not to my knowledge.
DA: Nothing further.
P: Mr. Resser, were you aware of a possible electoral fraud rumor?
W: Yes, it spread through the office quickly.
P: Did a Ms. Tompson comment on these rumors in an email, stating that she “hoped no one read these emails” because “they’ll probably start an investigation?”
P: Mr. Resser, were unethical actions considered an everyday activity in the president’s office?
DA: Objection, that’s well beyond the scope!
CJ: Normally, I’d sustain, but given the nature of these proceedings, I’ll overrule this time. Continue.
W: For some people, yes.
P: Would you say that the President and his chief of staff acted unethically over the last term?
W: Yes, I would.
P: Nothing further, Your Honor.
DA: Mr. Resser, what is your current employment?
W: I’m employed by the office of Governor Bertram Spellings.
DA: Is it true that you were dismissed from your post in the Canth administration two years ago following a dispute with another office worker, who you alleged to have committed an ethical violation?
P: Objection, relevance?
CJ: Overruled. You may answer.
W: Yes, that is true.
DA: Is it also true that this worker was in competition with you, giving you reason to unethically turn her in for a violation?
W: That’s not true! She committed a violation, I turned her in. I was fired right after to cover up this violation!
DA: Is it true that you are out to get the President for firing you?
P: Objection, inflammatory and badgering!
CJ: I’ll sustain. I’ll also advise the defendant’s counsel to refrain from wasting our time here with needless cross-examination and insults towards witnesses.
DA: Nothing further.