Share This Article with a Friend!

No, the Senate is not a jury, and other misconceptions about impeachment

Byron York, Washington Examiner

An impeachment trial is simply not like a trial in the justice system. Throughout, the Senate acts as a body. It can set the rules for the trial. It can stop the trial. It can start it again. It can pause the trial. It can rule out witnesses. It can call witnesses. It can dismiss the articles of impeachment altogether. It can do what the chief justice suggests, or it can ignore him altogether. Each senator can decide what evidence he or she wants to consider or reject. Each senator can vote guilty or not guilty or make up some kooky verdict based on Scottish law. All of that is part of having the "sole power" to try all impeachments. To impose some sort of judicial template on the process makes no sense.