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Impeachment resolution shortens trial's opening arguments to two days per side

By Lauren Fox, Manu Raju and Jeremy Herb, CNN

 

Updated 6:38 PM ET, Mon January 20, 2020 

 

(CNN)Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell plans to give House impeachment managers and President Donald Trump's legal team each 24 hours divided over two days for their opening arguments in the Senate's impeachment trial, a move that indicates Senate Republicans are pushing to finish the trial as quickly as possible -- ahead of the President's February 4 State of the Union address.

The timeline laid out in the Kentucky Republican's four-page organizing resolution, which was obtained by CNN, is a break from the impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton, when the 24 hours were split over a four-day period.
Democrats are opposed to McConnell's schedule, which House Democratic aides say is an effort to "conceal the President's misconduct in the dark of night."
"It's clear Sen. McConnell is hell-bent on making it much more difficult to get witnesses and documents and intent on rushing the trial through," Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York said in a statement. "On something as important as impeachment, Senator McConnell's resolution is nothing short of a national disgrace."
 
 
 
The condensed timeline for opening arguments raises the prospect that the trial will have 12-hour days and go late into the night, as the trial begins at 1 p.m. ET each day.
McConnell's organizing resolution puts off the question of witnesses until after the two sides present their opening arguments and there are 16 hours of questions for senators, which they will ask through Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, who is presiding over the trial.
At that point, the resolution includes a proposal in which the Senate would vote on a motion on "whether it shall be in order to consider and debate under the impeachment rules any motion to subpoena witnesses or documents."
If the Senate votes no, no one -- the impeachment managers, the President's legal team or senators -- will be permitted to move to subpoena witnesses or documents, according to a Senate GOP leadership aide. If the Senate approves the resolution, then both sides would be able to make motions to subpoena witnesses, at which point the Senate would debate and vote on them.
The resolution's language providing for a vote on whether to call witnesses followed exhaustive negotiations between McConnell's office and the Senate's Republican moderates, including Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, who is up for reelection, Mitt Romney of Utah, Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. Aides familiar with the negotiation told CNN that staff went word by word through the resolution, dissecting what language would be enough to garner the moderate votes McConnell would need to pass the resolution with just Republican support.
White House legislative affairs director Eric Ueland said in a statement the White House is "gratified that the draft resolution protects the President's rights to a fair trial."
"We look forward to presenting a vigorous defense of the President on the facts and the process as quickly as possible, and seeking an acquittal as swiftly as possible," he said.
The resolution does not name any specific witnesses. If any witnesses are subpoenaed, the resolution says, they will be deposed first, before the Senate decides whether they will testify.
Schumer is expected to try to force the issue of witnesses and documents at the start of the trial, offering an amendment to McConnell's resolution. Schumer and other Senate Democrats have pushed for the Senate to hear from four witnesses, including former national security adviser John Bolton and acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney.
But McConnell says he has Republican votes to back the rules resolution without Democratic support.
 
There is no mention of a motion to dismiss the impeachment articles in the organizing resolution, something that the President and his congressional allies have pushed for. But there is an option for motions in the trial after the resolution on hearing from witnesses, which would present an opportunity to propose a motion to dismiss later in the trial.

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And as always Schumer is crying like a little girl. 

 

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i'm not sure if Roberts can preside over this trial if anything related to the FISA court scandal is brought up during this shenanigan.

he's a material witness in that investigation. seems like there would be  conflict of interest there and immediate grounds for appealing any decision rendered.

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Why is a SCOTUS Judge  (because THAT's what a Justice is, essentially)  presiding over a political issue ?

 

Wharever happened to the separation of powers  AKA  Trias Politica ??? 

 

Conversely, can a President invalidate a decision of the SCOTUS ?

 

Hell, Nooooo !

 

It's all a fucking charade !

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47 minutes ago, JinnMartini said:

Why is a SCOTUS Judge  (because THAT's what a Justice is, essentially)  presiding over a political issue ?

 

Wharever happened to the separation of powers  AKA  Trias Politica ??? 

 

Conversely, can a President invalidate a decision of the SCOTUS ?

 

Hell, Nooooo !

 

It's all a fucking charade !

Because the Constitution requires Roberts to preside. 

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16 hours of questions for senators, which they will ask through Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, who is presiding over the trial.
 

 

will we say whose questions he is asking when he asks the question?

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1 hour ago, JinnMartini said:

Why is a SCOTUS Judge  (because THAT's what a Justice is, essentially)  presiding over a political issue ?

 

Wharever happened to the separation of powers  AKA  Trias Politica ??? 

 

I recall reading some time ago that the President has the right to appeal to the SCOTUS any adverse actions.

 

I tried to find it again BUT couldn't BUT did read something else that seemed to contradict that.

 

It would seem right to have a SCOTUS Justice preside over this BUT than that would seem to change the appeal rights...if there are any.

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2 hours ago, theLion said:

Fabre College disciplinary hearing: Greg Marmelard presiding. 

You're whining about the process not being fair now, are you?

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2 hours ago, Golfboy said:

And as always Schumer is crying like a little girl. 

 


All Schumer is saying, you can’t rush these things 🤣

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15 hours ago, Old Mack said:

 

I recall reading some time ago that the President has the right to appeal to the SCOTUS any adverse actions.

 

I tried to find it again BUT couldn't BUT did read something else that seemed to contradict that.

 

It would seem right to have a SCOTUS Justice preside over this BUT than that would seem to change the appeal rights...if there are any.

 

There is no avenue of appeal available when it comes to impeachment.  The Senate is the ONLY body that has the authority to adjudicate an article of impeachment.  Their decision(s) are final.

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17 hours ago, lewstherin said:

i'm not sure if Roberts can preside over this trial if anything related to the FISA court scandal is brought up during this shenanigan.

he's a material witness in that investigation. seems like there would be  conflict of interest there and immediate grounds for appealing any decision rendered.

What does fisa have to do with trumps crimes?

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17 hours ago, JinnMartini said:

Why is a SCOTUS Judge  (because THAT's what a Justice is, essentially)  presiding over a political issue ?

 

Wharever happened to the separation of powers  AKA  Trias Politica ??? 

 

Conversely, can a President invalidate a decision of the SCOTUS ?

 

Hell, Nooooo !

 

It's all a fucking charade !

The constitution is unconstitutional 😀

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8 minutes ago, harryramar said:

What does fisa have to do with trumps crimes?

It's part of the coup attempt against a duly elected president of the United States, just like the impeachment. Agree, there is no direct relation other than they are both part of the seditious attempt to remove an unwanted elected outsider. 

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18 hours ago, lewstherin said:

i'm not sure if Roberts can preside over this trial if anything related to the FISA court scandal is brought up during this shenanigan.

he's a material witness in that investigation. seems like there would be  conflict of interest there and immediate grounds for appealing any decision rendered.

 

Again, there is no avenue of appeal on anything related to an impeachment trial.  The Constitution gives the Senate to sole authority on handling articles of impeachment.  Besides, Roberts is only the presiding officer...not the judge.  Any ruling he makes can be overturned by a majority vote of the Senate.  It is the Senators who decide who, if anyone, can be called as a witness and what evidence is material and/or admissible.

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3 hours ago, BatteryPowered said:

There is no avenue of appeal available when it comes to impeachment.  The Senate is the ONLY body that has the authority to adjudicate an article of impeachment.  Their decision(s) are final.

 

Say the President could claim under the statue of this law...I am entitled to have this action or something reviewed.  It would seem to be up to the SCOTUS to step in and to interpret the law.  For example if it came out that someone took a bribe, was high on crack or someone lied under oath and the majority still wanted the conviction upheld. 

 

Or even the reverse...where the president is found innocent and the minority sought to have it over truned .

 

I wrote what I did because of Jinn's post below. 

 

20 hours ago, JinnMartini said:

Wharever happened to the separation of powers  AKA  Trias Politica ??? 

 

The Senate majority upholding / discharging a wrongful conviction / vindication challenge would not represent a separation of powers.

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20 hours ago, lewstherin said:

i'm not sure if Roberts can preside over this trial if anything related to the FISA court scandal is brought up during this shenanigan.

he's a material witness in that investigation. seems like there would be  conflict of interest there and immediate grounds for appealing any decision rendered.

how so? precedence was set during impeachment where prosecutors can become witness for the prosecution offering heresay evidence from 2nd hand informants that heard if fom someone else or interpreted what was said to mean something other than what a person says.

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4 minutes ago, Old Mack said:

 

Impeachment is done by the House and the trial is done by the Senate.

 

Say the President could than say under the statue of this law...I am entitled to have something reviewed.  It would seem to be up to the SCOTUS to step in and to interpret the law.  For example if it came out that someone took a bribe, was high on crack or someone lied under oath and the majority still wanted the conviction upheld.  Or even the reverse...where the president is found innocent.

 

I wrote what I did because of Jinn's post below. 

 

 

The Senate upholding / discharging a wrongful conviction / vindication challenge would not represent a separation of powers.

 

That's just it...he isn't entitled to have something reviewed.  Impeachment is not a criminal process.  Article I, Section 3, Clauses 6 and 7 state (emphasis mine);

 

"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.

 

Judgment in cases of impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust or profit under the United States: but the party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to indictment, trial, judgment and punishment, according to law."

 

The part in red is key and demonstrates this is nothing more than a political process.  If it were anything else, double jeopardy would apply and anyone convicted and removed from office would not be subject to indictment...much less punishment.  The first part is pretty damn clear, only the SENATE has authority to try (adjudicate) impeachment.  If there was an avenue of appeal, it would be mentioned...besides, only court (judicial) rulings can be appealed.  The Senate is not part of the Judicial Branch.

 

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58 minutes ago, BatteryPowered said:

"The Senate shall have the sole power to try all impeachments.

 

Appealing a ruling is not trying someone.

 

There has to be a safety valve...if their is some kind of legal impropriety.

 

And once again I believe I am correct:

 

Here is a (anti-Trump) article from the ultraliberal agenda driven WAPO that says a Senate ruling can be appealed to the SCOTUS:

 

The Supreme Court can review an unfair impeachment trial

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/the-supreme-court-can-review-an-unfair-impeachment-trial/2020/01/10/00dae97c-32fa-11ea-91fd-82d4e04a3fac_story.html

 

Yes, the founders provided that the House would have “sole power” over impeachments and the Senate “sole power” over trials of impeachment. But the Constitution also grants “all legislative powers” to the House and Senate, and still the Supreme Court exercises routine judicial review over laws.

 

 If McConnell and his Republican colleagues insist on setting rules that turn the trial into a farce, then the matter would be ripe for judicial review, as outlined by the various justices in Judge Walter L. Nixon v. United States. The House — through the speaker or the impeachment managers — could take the matter to court.

 

Sen McConnell has said he does not intend to be impartial so this would be grounds for the DEMs to file a appeal to the Supreme Court.  What is not clear is what the SCOTUS authority would be...I would guess they could order a retrial BUT not invalidate the voting.

 

 

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