Senate Rules V and VII, provide that the Chief Justice shall direct preliminary preparations and “may” make all orders and rulings that an ordinary judge would make. (“May” means he can defer the decision to the Senate.)
This gives a majority of Senators a great deal of power over evidentiary and other decisions—which is why both sides are maneuvering to try to get enough votes.
This sounds good—except that the circumstances that led the Senators to enact those rules were entirely different, and moreover, McConnell is maneuvering to change those rules midstream.
💠The House managers (acting as prosecutors) present their “opening” arguments.
💠Trump’s defense responds.
💠The Senators pose written questions. (Senators aren’t allowed to speak! 🤣)
THEN they decide whether to call witnesses.
He says McConnell wants to “postpone the decision as long as possible so that it becomes a foregone conclusion that no witnesses or documents will be obtained.”
In Trump’s case, as we all know, Trump ordered people not to testify, and they obeyed him. He is also refusing to disclose relevant documents.
This is what trials are for. Everyone knows that.
Notice that the Senate rules specifically give the Senate power to compel witnesses:
The Senate rules basically assert that they don't have to wait for the courts to decide whether it has authority to call witnesses.
Moreover, the Constitution gives the Chief Justice a role.
The Republicans countered accusations of hypocrisy by arguing that the case wasn't about sex. It was about lying under oath.
The Republicans wanted the trial over quickly.
So did the Democrats.
The Democrats didn’t want her there (obviously it would be personally embarrassing for Clinton.)
The Republicans were also concerned about having her testify . . .
So they agreed to postpone the decision about live witnesses (even though, witnesses WERE called).
However, he is refusing to show the resolution until after Pelosi sends the articles to the Senate.
Unlike in the Clinton impeachment, Trump’s numbers are currently on a downward slope.
On Dec. 17, his approval was 43.8 on the 538 aggregate.
Now it is at 41.9%, a long way from Clinton's 73%.
The obvious response is that he announced that he's working with Trump to dismiss the case quickly, promising a sham trial.
All anyone can really do is guess.
What people can do is keep up the pressure, particularly if you live in Red States.
Gotta love this⤵️
The House selects managers who act as prosecutors at the trial.
In the Johnson trial, there were 7 managers. In the Clinton trial, there were 13 managers. Interesting tidbit. . .
By the way, the only questions I dislike are those that begin by calling me stupid, or implying I'm stupid. 🤣 [Mute!]
They deliberately gave it to a political body elected by the people.
Giving it to Congress makes it quasi-judicial and partly political. . .
Giving it to an elected body necessarily makes it political.
It also prevents the judges from being people appointed by the President.
The framers wanted the people to weigh in on whether a president would be removed.
Graham and pals certainly don't lack chutzpah.
I think the testimony has more power in a trial, but that might not be possible.
(That's where my threads go to live after their short life on Twitter)
I find and fix most of the typos.
There's a search function and categories. You can learn more about impeachment than you ever wanted to know.
A few of you pointed out the key word in this rule.
This point may deserve its own thead.
At some point, they'll get the court rulings that the witnesses must testify, so all the evidence will come out eventually anyway.
If they acquit, and then damning evidence comes out, how will that help the Senate in 2020?