trump stays: will the u.s. senate get away with it or reap what they’ve sown?

an article on the guardian website by kenya evelyn summarizes the impeachment of president donald trump like this:

trump faces removal from office after being impeached in the u.s. house of representatives for his efforts to coerce ukrainian officials to investigate his chief 2020 democratic political rival, former vice-president joe biden.

fun elt practice  richyrocks english on youtube

coerce means convince, force. chief means main, principal. after being impeached is an example of using an -ing verb after a preposition. it is also passive voice (being is an auxiliary and impeached is a past participle). impeachment means accusing a public official of criminal behavior with the motivation of removing them from office

president trump on the phone

trump was impeached in the u.s. house of representatives (jabin botsford /getty)

during the senate’s participation in the process, senate chaplain barry black has become a recognizable figure. evelyn explains that…

the daily prayer of the u.s. senate chaplain, barry black to lawmakers conducting the impeachment trial of donald trump took on a blistering undertone [last] friday, generating both praise and criticism on the senate floor and online. the scathing remarks included cautioning senators that they will “reap what they sow”.

a chaplain is a religious leader associated with a specific organization. a prayer is a request for help from god; praise is related, it means positive feedbackremarks are commentsreap what they sow is an idiom (expression) from the bible. literally the idea is  u will have to harvest what u plant. figuratively it means that actions have consequences. it is frequently used as a warning. 

 planting seeds     woman harvesting wheat

planting (sowing) and harvesting (reaping) 

undertone refers to what chaplain black was really trying to communicate.  blistering and scathing both mean that the undertone was intense. a blister is a bubble that forms on skin as a reaction to friction , heat or irritation. it is used in the title and the chorus of this famous song by the violent femmes

the most scathing part of chaplain black’s prayer was…

remind our senators that they alone are accountable to u for their conduct. lord, help them to remember that they can’t ignore u and get away with it.

remind means make remember. accountable means the senators must answer to god. get away with is used to describe scenarios when there are no consequences for an action. chaplain black is saying senators CAN’T get away with it

chaplain barry brown

chaplain barry black: u can’t ignore the lord and get away with it. (rogelio v solis/ap)

evelyn reports on the importance of the timing (correct moment, synchronization) of chaplain black’s prayer

the opening prayer came as lawmakers prepared to vote on whether to permit new witnesses or evidence, possibly the penultimate act before voting on the whole case of whether to remove or acquit the president.

whether indicates a choice between two alternatives. there are two examples above: allowing witnesses or not and removing or acquitting president trump. witnesses are people from trump’s administration who would provide more detail about trump’s efforts to coerce ukrainian officials. penultimate means second to last. acquit is exonerate, clear from the charges.

a woman rebuking a small man

he’s getting a rebuke

and  evelyn shares how chaplain black’s prayer has been received

some viewers interpreted the prayer as a strong rebuke of republicans’ impeachment defense of the president. gop senators are likely to acquit trump despite calls for additional investigations.

a rebuke is strong criticism. gop stands for grand old party. it’s a nickname for the republicans, who currently have control  of the senate. the democrats are the other major political party in the u.s. they control the house of representatives, the entity that impeached trump. likely means probably.  despite means the calls for additional investigations didn’t matter to republican senators.

indeed, as expected, the senate did vote to acquit president trump today.

the u.s. capital building

the u.s. congress is divided into two houses: the senate and the house of representatives (

what do u think about the efforts to impeach u.s. president trump?  do u agree with chaplain black’s rebuke of the senate? share your views under leave a reply


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