Impeachment Week Overview
American Center for Law and Justice
February 8. 2021
Unfortunately, it is impeachment week and the political theater has begun.
Today on Sekulow, we discussed the impending impeachment trial of President Donald Trump which begins tomorrow and that we are delivering the ACLJ’s legal analysis on the unconstitutionality of the trial to the Senate today.
Senator Rand Paul (KY) appeared on Fox News Sunday this weekend. Here’s part of what he said:
“The thing is, is when you look at impeaching the President, the Constitution has some very specific requirements. It says when the President is impeached, the Chief Justice shall preside. And to me, this is one of the shocking things. When we showed up and we found out that yes, Chuck Schumer had called [Chief] Justice Roberts – and this hasn’t been reported widely, but he did – and [Chief] Justice Roberts said heck, no, I’m not coming across the street because you’re not impeaching the President.”
Senator Paul continued:
“This was a strong signal to all of us that this was going to be a partisan hearing with a Democrat in the chair who’s already voted for impeachment. You think we’re going to get any fair rulings out of a Democrat that’s already expressed favor for impeaching him previously and is going to vote this time to impeach him? So it is a farce; it is unconstitutional. But more than anything it’s unwise, and going to divide the country.”
Today is the day before the second impeachment trial of President Trump. It looks like tomorrow, at 1pm, the U.S. Senate will be in session for the trial. Of course, Chief Justice John Roberts will not be presiding, as President Trump is no longer in office and is a private citizen.
Senator Pat Leahy (VT), dubbed the “nastiest Democrat” by National Review, will be presiding. According to reports, there is likely to be four hours of debate over the issue of whether this trial is constitutional at all – the jurisdiction question.
Last month there was a vote in which forty-five Senators voted that this was not constitutional at all. That means the votes are not there to convict President Trump, and it is clear that he will be acquitted. So they will go through that vote again. Then each side will get sixteen hours to make their case. That will be around two days each. It looks like the process will bleed into next week. They said they are going to conduct business on Sunday and Monday, President’s Day.
It is also reported that the House Managers will be granted the right to initiate a debate and a vote on whether witnesses will be permitted. The question of witnesses is critical to determining how long this trial will last. If they vote on Monday or Tuesday of next week to allow witnesses, this trial could go on for weeks. If they vote against witnesses, then they will proceed to the vote on acquittal or conviction. It is also likely that there will be a question and answer period.
This will be a busy week with a lot of political posturing. We’ll continue to bring you our coverage as the trial moves forward.
The full broadcast is complete with much more discussion and analysis by our team of what we are calling impeachment week.