Thursday, February 27, 2020
Miles from the Mainstream
D. R. ZUKERMAN, proprietor

Senate Republicans, Take Note

January 19, 2020 --

The Framers, as Hamilton pointed out in The Federalist Papers, gave the House of Representatives responsibility for the accusatory phase of impeachments, and gave the Senate responsibility for conducting the trial phase.

There is, therefore, no need to be concerned about calling witnesses, should the Senate vote to hear witnesses.   Clearly, at this impeachment trial,  the president's right to call witnesses is no less than the right of the House managers to call witnesses, pending Senate approval. 

LPR doubts that the Senate, on its own, can call witnesses, as that would seem to be an investigative function, and the sole responsibility of investigation (the accusatory phase) lies with the House, no matter what Speaker Pelosi says, to the contrary.

Hamilton may well have had a vision of this impeachment in mind,  when he wrote, in Federalist  No. 66, that there is danger that "a factious spirit" might bring an impeachment that results in persecution.

Likewise, Hamilton seems to have been clairvoyant in writing, in No. 65, that "the most conspicuous characters in [an impeachment] will, from that circumstance, be too often the leaders or the tools of the most cunning or the most numerous faction, and on this account can hardly be expected to possess the requisite neutrality towards those whose conduct may be the subject of scrutiny"   

How apposite these words are to describe House Democrats in 2020, 232 years after they were written.   

Senate Republicans, take note.