Senate, Mitch Mcconnell, President Trump discussed on Pantsuit Politics
Before we start our conversation about out the Senate rules for the impeachment trial. I think it is important to discuss speaker. Pelosi's he's decision to hold the articles of impeachment in an effort to get these rules. See what the rules were so that she could pick the right manager and make the right decisions and there's a lot of reporting that says. Oh well you know she caved. Of course Mitch McConnell was never going to you Work with her on the rules for the Senate but to me the fact that we are discussing the Senate impeachment rules at all so that many of the moderate senators who are up for election were forced to go on the record about what they see. The Senate's job and the individual senators role in this impeachment. Trial means maybe probably. Nancy knew what she was doing all along. Just saying it's it's interesting to read articles. I read a local article from Maine about how Senator Collins is telling constituents that she's working with a small group of Republicans ends on ensuring that the way the trial proceeds is fair and comprehensive Not share their names she did not Dang thing there would need to be four of them at least. That's becky logger. Sales like four to this speculation that I've seen out there is that Collins Holland's Markowski. Romney Gardner are the most likely people to vote with Democrats on any of what unfolds related to the procedure of the trial. I I just don't know that that would be happening or at least written about if we hadn't had this delay to really focused roles I think there is a a fatigue about everything related needed to Congress and a sensibility among members of the media. That pretty much. Nothing matters across America. Voters are hardened. I got really fired up this morning about a Washington Post piece about the place where I live Florence Kentucky. Oh yeah it was such no one dimensional portrayal of this area. They talked to all of the usual suspects in Republican politics. Here and so what you got was a piece that made Kentucky and sound like like all we care about is protecting the president and I don't think that's true but look even if it is in some congressional districts or places in the country three where it feels like nothing matters here. There are places where it does matter and who wins some of those seats that are in areas where there's more of a contest really matters a lot to the composition and the power of Congress and so anything that anyone does that gives us a little bit more space to think. Think about hard questions around how people use their power I think is a is a fine and helpful thing to do. It's not like there's a right way to do this. You know we don't we haven't done it it enough times to say that it was wrong of her to hold these articles. I mean I don't know that right or wrong exists here. I think what she did was probably effective for the purposes. She intended well as as we record on Monday. It is reported that there will be a caucus meeting today as podcast comes out on Tuesday and she is expected to discuss the next steps APPs on impeachment with the caucus and then most likely vote to send the articles a name impeachment managers later this week and it sounds like she's held it really close to the vest about who she sneaks out for impeachment. Read a single name anywhere. It's it's kind of great. I mean I applaud her for that. I think that's incredibly difficult to do in modern Washington Ashington and so well done so once she does that and it goes over to the Senate. The impeachment trial clause of the constitution commits is to the Senate the sole power to trial all impeachments subject to three procedural requirements the Senate Shelby on oath or affirmation the chief justice shall preside when the president is tried and conviction. She'll be upon the concurrence of two thirds of the members present. That's it does. That's the constitutional roles. Yes and it seems fair to conclude that the Senate can decide pretty much. Everything thing else about how they do that. No courts have really challenged the authority of the Senate to try impeachments. There are decisions regarding questions. Raised one of these came from a case involving a judge named Walter Nixon. It's very consoles names. That the most important case about this is Nixon versus the United States but not Richard Nixon but basically what happened is that he was removed from office after after the Senate adopted rules where they said you know this whole thing is taking awhile. Let's use some trial committees to streamline the process and so these committees can preside over over the evidence so take depositions compile. The record look at the documents. And then the committee's present that information to the full Senate and Walter Nixon accent and other impeach judges said I don't feel like I got my trial by the Senate as the constitution requires and the Supreme Court said. Yeah you did. And we'RE NOT GONNA look at the best because the sole power given to the Senate now. One interesting footnote about that is that there were concurring opinions where justices said it is possible. Will that the Senate could go about this in such a grossly neglectful way that there would be a role for judicial review in in talking about that the justice sounded concern about Jus- convicting people on partisan grounds removing people from office without without any consideration of evidence but there are folks who are arguing that there is perhaps a door to say if a Republican Senate is so casual casual about the impeachment trial of Donald Trump that maybe there is a role for judicial review. I think it is a tiny tiny opening. Left by those concurring opinions opinions that the current Supreme Court is highly unlikely to walk through. But it is out there. If you're damn ago has not gonNA happen but but appreciate I appreciate the analysis. The Senate conducts the impeachment trials based on the rules of procedure and practice the Senate when sitting on impeachment trials so they've put together their own little rulebook however the phrase quote unless otherwise ordered by the Senate appears eight eight different times and these roles. And what does that mean that means unless we change our mind and that only requires a simple majority of senators to vote to change them. So we have these roles but there's a big footnote there when it comes to these rules. We're GONNA talk a lot about numbers in this process. Process era just mentioned a simple majority can change the rules the current Senate has fifty three Republicans. Forty five Democrats and two Independence there are moderate Republicans. That Mitch McConnell would like to prevent from having to go on the record. There is a lot at that. We do not know in terms of the record itself because the White House would not cooperate fully with the House investigation and so there is some wiggle room around evidence. Indi- coming into the process but a super majority two thirds have to decide to convict and remove from office now once a president. President is convicted and removed from office or any federal office holder subject to an impeachment process is convicted and removed. Then only a a simple majority can decide on the second remedy that the Senate has against that person which is saying you may never serve in federal office again I was thinking about this. The Eh moderate Republicans especially those up for reelection and it is a tough election cycle for Republicans tougher than it is for Democrats. And how much Mitch. McConnell likes to protect them from going on the record how much he likes to know what's going to happen and is usually looking several moves in front of him mm-hmm and as I was thinking that I realized man there really is so much still out there like John Bolton and when he has to say like Arneses cellphone records like particularly judicial decisions regarding the trumps and their financial records and what those disclosing those financial records might reveal. And you know I think sitting through all the testimony and the impeachment trial in the house there was a lot of it was easy to feel like what we've really laid it all out there but that's just not true. That's just not true. There is still so much we do not know. And so if you're Mitch McConnell and you're thinking through the rules governing witnesses and how. This trial is going to progress. Then you've got to be considering that you've got to be considering that you cannot depend on donald trump to keep its mouth shut that there could possibly be many more bombshells Regarding this president and his actions and past actions and I I just think that's an important thing to keep in mind and this is rather rules become really important particularly the interpretation of the rules because the Senate rules in place right now were modified last in one thousand nine hundred eighty six. It's it's been a long time. I was five years old and those rules. Say something up. Front like presentation is limited to matters in the record so what does that mean as it relates to the trump presidency. I have no idea the person who is charged at least ceremonially really with making those decisions will be Chief Justice Roberts of the Supreme Court so he will sit in and he will work with the parliamentarian of the Senate Politico has a great rate profile in her. If you'd like to read about Elizabeth McDonnell we'll put the link in the show notes and I highly encourage you to read about her. It's fascinating but she will sit beside aside chief justice Roberts and he will rule on objections that can be raised throughout the trial. However if senators don't like what he says says they get to appeal that to themselves and a simple majority of the Senate can change? What Chief Justice Roberts decides throughout throughout the course of the trial so republicans would like to use the Clinton impeachment as a blueprint in during the Clinton impeachment? The senators agree to a set of preliminary rules which were the two choose. Sides presented their cases. The centers got to question the house trial managers and the White House lawyers than any senator could make a motion to dismiss them articles or call witnesses and tabled the question of whether to call witnesses in the trial. The House filed a brief in support of the articles of impeachment in Clinton opposing brief. And you can read new stories right now about how. The trump team is working on their trial brief. That is the document. I am most looking forward to reading in the next couple of weeks. All We know now is that Mitch McConnell says he has Republican senators on board for this preliminary phase the first phase the presentation tation of the case and the questions but no witnesses yet now. It was more unanimous under the Clinton impeachment and everybody everybody had agreed to the rules. But because it's just a simple majority needed to govern the rules if he has all the Republicans on board with phase one then that seems to be the most likely way it will move forward. There is discussion happening about senator. Josh hollies motion to dismiss the impeachment. And we we are likely to see a motion to dismiss the impeachment completely at some point in the trial as well so when Clinton was impeached. We had three days of house managers presenting their case and three days of the defense presenting. Its case senators. Ask questions for two days but this isn't the kind of fiery spectacle goal. We see in house hearings. The questions have to be written down and given to the chief justice to read to the party being questioned so that significantly alters the dynamic namic in Clinton's impeachment there were a hundred and fifty questions submitted after the house managers and the White House lawyers were questioned.