Pelosis Conundrum & End-Game Scenarios becoming more clear
WASHINGTON D.C. (Texas Insider Report) Not only could former Vice President Joseph Biden be forced to testify in Washington D.C. at a critical moment in the presidential campaign if the U.S. Senate holds an impeachment trial of President Trump so could many of his chief rivals the half-dozen or so Senators vying for the Democrats presidential nomination say impeachment experts who are questioning whether Democrats have thought through the full implications of their impeachment drive.
Mr. Trump could even be present for the entire spectacle.
Experts say the Senate would have a hard time refusing him if he demanded to confront the witnesses against him.
If the House chooses to formally impeach Mr. Trump Congressional aides say it could even open the door for witnesses such as fired FBI Agent Peter Strzok and his paramour former FBI lawyer Lisa Page the authors behind a series of embarrassing text exchanges exposed to the nation over the past three years to be forced to testify in public.
I dont think the Dems have thought this through at all" one Congressional staffer recently told The Washington Times.
Democrats have control of impeachment in the House where it takes only a majority vote to pass articles of impeachment which are effectively a political indictment.
But should the House take that step Speaker Nancy Pelosi insists shes not yet made up her mind while her troops rush toward committee action the matter would then go to the Senate where a trial is held.
Senators sit as a jury and it takes a two-thirds vote to convict and oust the president.
Republicans have a majority in the upper chamber giving them full control over what an impeachment trial would look like.
And the Senate impeachment trial would likely be televised.
Over the course of nine pages the official Senate Rules Manual lays out some guidelines:
- All senators take a special oath of duty for the trial
- The Supreme Court chief justice presides
- And witnesses can be compelled to testify
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee said last weekend that the GOP would certainly force the whistle-blowers who have accused Mr. Trump of improper behavior to testify publicly.
He also suggested Cong. Adam Schiff (D-CA) who Speaker Pelosi has spearheading the impeachment push so far could become a witness in any impeachment trial given revelations he hid interactions with one of the whistle-blowers.
Jonathan Turley a law professor at George Washington University who was part of the defense team for a 2010 impeachment of a federal judge said much of what an eventual trial looks like would depend on the Articles of Impeachment passed by the House.
If the focus is on Mr. Trumps attempt to have Ukraine investigate Mr. Biden and his son Hunter for the vice presidents role in getting a prosecutor fired and possibly protecting his sons business dealings there then the two men may have to testify.
If Trump is impeached on the Ukrainian call the Bidens would be fair game particularly Hunter" Turley said.
While I do not agree that the evidence supports the allegation against Biden in pushing the termination of the prosecution there is little question that the Hunter Biden deal smacks of profiteering on his fathers position."
Things could get even crazier if the Articles of Impeachment include the now-rejected Special Counsel Robert Muellers investigation into President Trumps alleged behavior into colluding with Russia.
Turley said such a scenario could give the president a chance to raise all the lingering questions about decisions made by President Barack Obamas Justice Department and the FBI.
The optics of this Senate trial could be quite grotesque. You could have the Democrats beating Trump with the Ukraine call you could have Trump beating the Democrats up over Biden" Turley said.
He said such possibilities may explain why Speaker Pelosi has been so reluctant to pull the impeachment trigger over the Russia accusations and her insistence on trying to keep things focused on Ukraine.
The majority leader has a lot of leeway and Mitch McConnell knows the rules of the Senate as well or better than anybody I know" said former Sen. Trent Lott of Mississippi.
Lott served as the GOPs Majority Leader in 1999 when the last presidential impeachment trial addressing President Bill Clintons cover-up of his now-confirmed Oval Office sexual encounters with intern Monica Lewinsky took place.
Senate Leader Mitch McConnell said just last week that if the House does impeach Mr. Trump the Senate would be required to take up the matter although he has yet to elaborate on what a Senate trial would look like.
The way that impeachment stops is a Senate majority with me as Majority Leader" the Kentucky Republican said recently in an ad.
That likely means that the Trump White House would have the opportunity to play an outsized role in the proceedings.
Should the president want to personally confront the witnesses the Senate would be hard-pressed to stop his participation. The president might well say I want to be there I want to ask questions.
My advice would be calm down shut up and start passing some legislation thats in the best interests of the country" Lott said.