What Would Impeachment In The Senate Look Like?
Many with the press are saying that the Senate, if the House does issue articles of impeachment, will undo much of what the House has done, call up witnesses they would not allow, and end up exposing the whole hoax, but is this true? It seems many in the press are ignoring how the impeachment of Clinton happened, what could happen now.
Chief Justice Roberts Role. This is the author’s view of what the impeachment in the Senate would look like.
Chief Justice Roberts Role
The constitution is rather clear what the role of the Chief Justice is, it states:
The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two-thirds of the Members present.
While the Chief Justice will preside over an impeachment trial, it does not mean he will control the trial. With Clinton the two sides had agreed to how the hearing would be held, late Chief Justice William Rehnquist had a rather passive role in President Clinton’s 1999 due to an agreement between Lott and Daschle.
While there was animosity between the two sides then, it was nothing compared to now, so what if neither Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. can come to an agreement, then what?
I personally see little chance of them cooperating, the House saw to that by excluding the GOP in their hearings, tightly controlling what they could question, whom they could call to the stand and how much they were allowed to speak to the press, all while Schiff and others were daily saying whatever they wished.
Could Trump Stop Impeachment With The Courts?
Could Trump challenge the case before it even went to the Senate due to obvious political bias by the left?
As was stated by the legal expert with the New York Times, Adam Liptak:
The Constitution seems to exclude the court from the impeachment process. It grants the House of Representatives “the sole power of impeachment.” The Senate, similarly, has “the sole power to try all impeachments.” Those are the only provisions of the Constitution that use the pointed word “sole.”
The Supreme Court, too, has been pretty categorical. “The judiciary, and the Supreme Court, in particular, were not chosen to have any role in impeachments,” Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist wrote for the court in a 1993 opinion that rejected an impeached judge’s objection to the procedures used at his Senate trial.
What Will Chief Justice Roberts Do?
In 1999, Chief Justice Rehnquist presided over the impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., who succeeded Chief Justice Rehnquist after his death in 2005, will preside over Mr. Trump’s Senate trial if the House impeaches him.
But the chief justice’s role is mainly ceremonial, as Michael J. Gerhardt, a law professor at the University of North Carolina, wrote in a 1999 review of “Grand Inquests,” which had been reissued after Mr. Clinton’s impeachment.
“Chief Justice Rehnquist demonstrated great sensitivity to adhering to and respecting Senate procedures and precedents,” Professor Gerhardt wrote. “No one understood better than the chief justice that the impeachment trial was the Senate’s to conduct as it saw fit.”
In the 1993 case, Judge Walter L. Nixon Jr., a former chief judge for the Southern District of Mississippi, challenged his removal by the Senate after he was convicted of perjury, sent to prison and impeached by the House.
As we have seen, the Chief Justice, as a rule, is set up as a ceremonial role. Still, this impeachment is turning out to be different and far more partisan then we have seen in the past. Because of this, Justice Roberts could take a more active role if he felt it was needed, but still, his role will be confined to what the constitution stipulates.
What If McConnell And Schumer Can’t Reach A Deal?
This is where things get dicey. The Senate majority takes control of the proceedings if no agreement is reached, what you would have in the end is a free-for-all, it would most likely set up at that point to something more like the House hearings, where each side will try to position itself, any chance of partisan work would be dead.
The problem comes with how the Senate runs its affairs. They are set up as a parliamentary construct; it governed by the law of “unanimous consent.” This works by setting up a 100% agreement by all Senators; it was done during the Clinton impeachment. Yet, there is little chance that can be done here; the left is too entrenched in impeachment, the GOP refuses to budge on this, if they did it would most likely cost every GOP Senator their job come election time.
This also brings into where the Senate now has enormous problems with this, if just one Senator objects to how things are set up, the Senate has to restart the whole procedure. With some Senators running for President, there is no way they would agree with anything less than a set up as seen in the House where they control the proceedings; they know anything less would kill any chance they could ever be voted in to lead the DNC opposition to Trump in the 2020 elections.
What we could end up having, if the House continues with the highly partisan way they are doing this now, the Senate could end up doing as the House has done, to broadcast leaks and put this on a public realm where information the House did not want to be released will be.
We could also look at the Biden’s, the Whistleblower, and others, including Schiff, be called to testify in public, this could come back to bite the Democrats fatally.
The Democrats started this but they aren’t in control of the Senate, it seems the left failed to count on the fact that it will be the GOP, not the DNC that will finish this. Any move for impeachment in the Senate is doomed to fail.