The Shakespeare Theatre Company's annual mock trial pokes fun at political power grabs then and now

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A weighty sense of anticipation hangs in the air as the senators filter into the vast chamber. Their faces are stony with the grave task set before them.

Scandal surrounds the president of the United States, and the U.S. House of Representatives has called for his impeachment. There is rampant speculation that the president is carrying on a homosexual, adulterous affair with the attorney general. On top of that, the president also stands accused of firing U.S. attorneys and replacing them with political loyalists. All the while, a treasonous vice president waits hungrily in the wings for just the right moment to make his power grab.

Now it is up to the senators to decide the fate of the beleaguered man in the executive office.

The words of the House’s counsel break the tension: “America has never had a president like Edward Plantagenet Jr.”

The audience erupts into laughter, because indeed, America has never had a President Plantagenet at all.

This was not, after all, the scene of a real impeachment hearing, taking place in the real United States Senate. It was the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s annual mock trial, held last week at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, just steps from the White House grounds. ...

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