Gardner needs to work up a little courage, search his soul and answer the question that this impeachment was really about. Let’s say a jury has just sat through days of evidence in a trial for a man who is accused of walking into a bank and demanding money. If a juror insists the man is innocent but refuses to even talk about the charge of robbery because he says “that is not what the trial was about,” it’d be hard to move forward.

Gardner’s job is to take tough positions. He sits on the Senate Committee for Foreign Relations for heaven’s sake, and for several years, Gardner has made combating Russian aggressions a cornerstone of his agenda, including pushing back on Russia’s invasion of Crimea and the superpower’s ongoing war with Ukraine. Of the lawmakers in Congress, Gardner is more qualified than all but a handful to have an opinion on whether what the president did was in the best interests of the U.S. or if it was a dangerous precedent for the president to set as he twisted foreign policy to work for his re-election campaign instead of the nation…

Gardner once said he would stand up to his own party. Turns out he won’t even be critical of the actions of a member of his own party. He must believe what Trump did was fine. Why won’t he just say that?