Super Lawyers
William C. Altreuter

Tuesday, October 08, 2019

An interesting aspect of the impeachment process is that although it superficially somewhat resembles American criminal procedure on its face it isn't really like that at all. It is, as we are frequently reminded, a political process, and one of the things that this means is that many of the procedural norms that we more or less take for granted in an ordinary criminal trial are not in place. at all. Some are: the 5th Amendment is, for example, but the right to a fair and impartial jury is not. Instead the Senate sits in judgment, which leads me to this observation: how is it that so many Senators are already opining about the case which the House is presently investigating? Hell, ol' Mitch McConnell has pretty much said that the Senate will not vote for removal. Maybe I am leaning too much on my own experience as a trial lawyer, but in my world potential jurors take an oath to decide cases on the facts and the law as the judge charges it, and a juror who announces that they have formed an opinion on the matter is politely asked to leave.

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