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(Thread) Impeachment Update

To see where things stand, we have to back up a bit.

Senate Rule 1 says the Senate trial kicks off when the House sends over notice of the impeachment⤵️

Pelosi isn’t moving—which has the GOP frustrated: Their plan is to get it over with fast.
1/ @LindseyGrahamSC accused Pelosi of using the Senate rules to her advantage.

So he proposed a rule change to allow the Senate to move forward without the notice—but 2/3 of Senators present are needed to change the rules, so that idea won’t go anywhere.
@LindseyGrahamSC 2/ As per the Constitution, the Chief Justice “presides.”

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.)
@LindseyGrahamSC 3/ The hitch is that even if he does make a ruling, he can be overruled by a majority of Senators.

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.
@LindseyGrahamSC 4/ McConnell says he wants the same procedures that were in place during the Clinton trial.

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.
@LindseyGrahamSC 5/ Schumer explains that McConnell is intentionally misleading people about the Clinton trial: speaker.gov/sites/speaker.…

First, in the Clinton impeachment, the House Managers were allowed to call witnesses.

In fact, in the Clinton trial, the Republicans DID call witnesses.
@LindseyGrahamSC 6/ Moreover, McConnell himself advocated for witnesses in the Clinton trial.

So when he says that the Democrats are trying to “deviate from a unanimous bipartisan precedent” set in the Clinton trial, he’s misleading Americans.
@LindseyGrahamSC 7/ McConnell wants this:

💠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.
@LindseyGrahamSC 8/ Schumer accuses McConnell of planning for the “opening arguments” to be the only arguments.

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.”
@LindseyGrahamSC 9/ Moreover, with the Clinton trial, all witnesses had already testified under oath. Everyone knew what they would say.

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.
@LindseyGrahamSC 10/ In a normal situation, if the President obstructed the House, the Senate would use the trial to get to the truth.

This is what trials are for. Everyone knows that.

Notice that the Senate rules specifically give the Senate power to compel witnesses:
@LindseyGrahamSC 11/ There's nothing in Rule VII that says “subject to judicial approval.”

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.
@LindseyGrahamSC 12/ Also while the Republicans were accusing Clinton of lying about an affair under oath, sleuths were uncovering evidence of their own infidelities.

The Republicans countered accusations of hypocrisy by arguing that the case wasn't about sex. It was about lying under oath.
@LindseyGrahamSC 13/ The public wasn’t buying it. A clear majority of the public said the case was about lying about an affair— and most of them viewed Republicans, who had also lied about affairs, were hypocrites.

The Republicans wanted the trial over quickly.

So did the Democrats.
@LindseyGrahamSC 14/ Also, this is important: During the Clinton impeachment, Clinton’s approval shot up to 73%.
Impeachment was hurting the Republicans. Clinton was embarrassed.

So they came to an agreement that would result in a short trial.
@LindseyGrahamSC 15/ Up front, though, they couldn’t decide whether to have Monica Lewinsky testify.

The Democrats didn’t want her there (obviously it would be personally embarrassing for Clinton.)

The Republicans were also concerned about having her testify . . .
@LindseyGrahamSC 16/ It was staring to look like the Republicans weirdly fixated on the lurid details of Clinton’s sex life—so they were afraid having Lewinsky there would backfire on them.

So they agreed to postpone the decision about live witnesses (even though, witnesses WERE called).
@LindseyGrahamSC 17/ Now, McConnell announced he has enough votes to pass a “resolution” at the start of the trial setting up the procedures.

However, he is refusing to show the resolution until after Pelosi sends the articles to the Senate.
@LindseyGrahamSC 18/ Pelosi wants to see the resolution before she sends the articles. speaker.gov/newsroom/1720-0

What’s happening now is a combination of political maneuvering and legal strategy.

We don't know everything Pelosi knows, which makes it hard to predict what she will (or should) do.
@LindseyGrahamSC 19/ But the delay is clearly helping the Democrats.

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%.
@LindseyGrahamSC 20/ McConnell takes jabs, mocking Pelosi for saying Trump posed an imminent danger and then sitting on the articles.

The obvious response is that he announced that he's working with Trump to dismiss the case quickly, promising a sham trial.

@LindseyGrahamSC 21/ How long will Pelosi delay? What will be her next move?

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⤵️
@LindseyGrahamSC 22/ Not a dumb question.
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. . .
@LindseyGrahamSC 23/ On of the House Managers in the Clinton trial was Sen. Lindsey Graham. Two others remain in the Senate, Steve Chabot (OH) and Jim Sensenbrenner (WI).]

By the way, the only questions I dislike are those that begin by calling me stupid, or implying I'm stupid. 🤣 [Mute!]
@LindseyGrahamSC 24/ The framers of the Constitution considered giving the trial to the judicial branch, but decided against it.

They deliberately gave it to a political body elected by the people.

Giving it to Congress makes it quasi-judicial and partly political. . .

@LindseyGrahamSC 25/ There are advantages and disadvantages.

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.
@LindseyGrahamSC Something is definitely wrong. Could have been a cut and paste error on my part.
I flunk cut and paste.

Try this: speaker.gov/newsroom/1720-0
@LindseyGrahamSC You can expect a question about House Managers on the Impeachment Law portion of the Twitter Bar Exam, so I hope you're all taking notes.

@LindseyGrahamSC I loved this comment on the Tweet about Graham trying to change the rules:

Graham and pals certainly don't lack chutzpah.
@LindseyGrahamSC It's hard to give the likelihood because I don't have all the facts. I'm confident backroom wrangling is going on.

I think the testimony has more power in a trial, but that might not be possible.

@LindseyGrahamSC Some questions I'm getting I've answered on my blog.
(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.
@LindseyGrahamSC I have the smartest followers.

A few of you pointed out the key word in this rule.

This point may deserve its own thead.
@LindseyGrahamSC I don't see why not.

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?

@LindseyGrahamSC My threads are also blog posts. This one is here: terikanefield-blog.com/impeachment-up…
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