Sen. Hawley and other GOP Senators introduce resolution that would allow dismissal of approved-but-not-transmitted Articles of Impeachments

Sen. Hawley's resolution resembles a hypothetical rule I proposed last month, which I think is constitutional

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

The Senate's impeachment rules were adopted in 1986. Rule 1 provides that impeachment process begins in the Senate "[w]hensoever the Senate shall receive notice from the House of Representatives that managers are appointed on their part to conduct an impeachment against any person and are directed to carry articles of impeachment to the Senate." At that point "the Secretary of the Senate shall immediately inform the House of Representatives that the Senate is ready to receive the managers for the purpose of exhibiting such articles of impeachment, agreeably to such notice."

Under the current rules, the presentation of the articles by the managers triggers the commencement of the Senate trial. If the House does not transmit the articles, the Senate trial cannot begin.

Last month I considered several hypothetical rule changes. One of them would have allowed the Senate to dismiss approved-but-not-yet-transmitted articles of impeachment.

if the House of Representatives approves an article of impeachment, but fails to transmit that article within thirty days, the Senate shall treat the article as dismissed for lack of prosecution, and the impeached official shall be deemed acquitted.

This rule was premised on Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 48(b):

The court may dismiss an indictment, information, or complaint if unnecessary delay occurs in:

(1) presenting a charge to a grand jury;

(2) filing an information against a defendant; or

(3) bringing a defendant to trial.

I thought such a rule could pass constitutional muster:

Unlike my first proposal, this second proposal does not purport to define what is and is not an impeachment. Rather, it simply deems the person charged with the offense as acquitted–a power within the Senate's prerogative. The House can dither and take as much time as it wants, but it cannot demand a trial at the time of its choosing. If the House waits too long, it will miss its chance of having a trial at all. I used thirty days as an example, but different time limits may be appropriate. The Senate could reasonably conclude that it does not want a cloud to hang over the accused indefinitely–especially if the President has been impeached–and the House should be pay the price for failing to transmit the articles within a reasonable time.

Senator Hawley, joined by ten other GOP Senators, has introduced a resolution to change Rule 1 along the lines I proposed. Rule 1 would now contain this additional clause:

If, following adoption of such articles, the House of Representatives does not so notify the Senate or otherwise provide for such articles to be exhibited to the Senate within 25 calendar days from the date of adoption of such articles, as recorded in the Journal of the House of Representatives, such articles shall be deemed exhibited before the Senate and it shall be in order for any Senator to offer a motion to dismiss such articles with prejudice for failure by the House of Representatives to prosecute such articles. Such motion shall be adopted by an affirmative vote of a majority of the Senators, duly chosen and sworn, without debate by the yeas and nays, which shall be entered on the record.

And I think Hawley's proposal would also be constitutional.

 

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  1. I also think the change would be constitutional. But it would need 60 votes (or is it 67 votes??) to pass this rule-change, yes?

    1. No, just 51 votes.

      1. Not sure they can get 51 given the anti-Trump Republicans. And no Democrats would dare support it.

        1. Doug Jones of Alabama is in a tough spot since he was elected with aid of fake russian bots. Hard to tell what he would do.
          Which brings to mind, why hasn’t there been more discussion about this ploy by the Democrats?

          1. Maybe because you’re making it up?

            1. A secret effort to influence the 2017 Senate election in Alabama used tactics inspired by Russian disinformation teams, including the creation of fake accounts to deliver misleading messages on Facebook to hundreds of thousands of voters to help elect Democrat Doug Jones in the deeply red state, according to a document obtained by The Washington Post. https://www.al.com/news/2019/01/democrats-distance-themselves-from-russian-inspired-tactics-used-in-alabama-senate-race.html

              more links available

              1. So no fake Russian bots.

                Awww.

                1. They weren’t real Russian bots, now, were they?

            2. i think my reply was deleted because of link but a search on al dot com will yield a few stories. if i’ve double posted i apologize

              “A secret effort to influence the 2017 Senate election in Alabama used tactics inspired by Russian disinformation teams, including the creation of fake accounts to deliver misleading messages on Facebook to hundreds of thousands of voters to help elect Democrat Doug Jones in the deeply red state, according to a document obtained by The Washington Post.”

            3. He isn’t making it up though, there is a series of Washington Post stories about this. It does involve Russia-like false Facebook accounts and also fake Russian bots (part of the alleged disinformation was that Roy Moore’s campaign was being aided by Russia). A couple of weeks ago the Alabama AG was considering whether state campaign laws were violated, and Doug Jones has called for investigations by the FEC and DOJ.

    2. I think its 67 to change a standing rule.

      But the Reid Option might be done. Depends what Mitch et al. want.

      1. It’s 67 to change a standing rule, but 51 on whether it takes 67. As I recall, the “nuclear option” was adopted without 67, by the expedient of having the parliamentarian rule that the existing rule didn’t actually mean what it plainly said, and then a simple majority to uphold the parliamentarian’s ruling.

        67 votes to change the rule, 51 votes to ‘interpret’ the rule as having a changed meaning while leaving the wording intact.

        1. That was sort of my understanding as well.

        2. “by the expedient of having the parliamentarian rule that the existing rule didn’t actually mean what it plainly said, and then a simple majority to uphold the parliamentarian’s ruling.”

          I thought it was the other way around: The chair, supported by the parliamentarian, rules that the rule means what is says, and is then overruled by a majority.

      2. 51 to change a rule, but 67 to invoke cloture on debate of the motion to amend the rules so you can get to the vote.

  2. What is the rationale for not allowing debate on the motion?

    1. What debate would you suggest? This is not the trial itself, it’s whether the House is playing games. Is there any debate as to whether or not the 25 day limit has actually been reached, or whether the House actually did adopt articles of impeachment? It’s pretty straightforward. If the House actually wants a trial, they can forward the articles of impeachment.

      1. The House wants a trial that would actually be a trial. You know, with witnesses and all that. What’s the rationale for not giving them one?

        1. None whatsoever. But the Senate has SOLE power on the trial. You know, just like the House has SOLE power to impeach.

          Look, the House made their choice. Now they need to STFU about the Senate rules, and make their case. The rules of each body are the rules. Deal with it.

        2. The rationale is that it’s none of the House’s business how the Senate conducts the trial.

          1. The House seems entitled to determine how and when to select managers, marshal evidence, and generally prepare to handle articles of impeachment.

            1. They can marshal all the evidence they want, but the Senate has no obligation to admit any of it into the trial.

              1. Some observers are arguing that the House’s preparation must be conducted in compliance with a schedule favored by the president, some senators, Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh, Fox viewers, clingers in general, and/or the living ghost of James Madison.

                1. Really? Which observers are arguing that?

                  I haven’t heard that. But some (indeed, many) observers are arguing that it’s bizarre that the House has approved articles of impeachment but is refusing to present them to the Senate. Has this ever happened before?

                  If the Senate convicts on one or both counts, but Mitch McConnell declines to present the result to the White House, is the President removed from office?

                  1. The current Senate rules require (if a 2/3 majority vote to sustain the impeachment) a certified copy of the vote to be deposited with the Secretary of State.

                    If Mr. McConnell chooses not to deposit such a copy then the President would not – under existing Senate rules – be removed from office.

                    1. If Trump can’t get 34 votes to acquit, but Mitch decides not to follow through, what are Mr. Trump’s likelihood of success as to being President next February, and of Mitch remaining Majority leader?

                2. Rev:

                  I think one of the first things you need to understand about situations like this is the Constiution does not guarantee anyone’s right to win the spin war.

                  That’s a generally applicable principle. Applied here, it means the Constitution doesn’t guarantee McConnell’s right to do the thing on his timetable. It also doesn’t guarantee Pelosi’s right to do it with her witnesses, or on her timetable.

                  The Senate and the House have to negotiate a procedure. In those negotiations, everyone will be aiming for how they can spin this. But the Constitution says nothing about any of that. It just grants the House the power to impeach on its terms, and the Senate the power to try on its terms.

            2. Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, you do not appear to understand the constitutional structure of impeachment.

              1. Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, you think that leaving snarky, unexplained comments somehow makes you superior and a genius at winning arguments.

                Seriously, snark is the equivalent of saying “I only know how to insult people”. Think I am wrong? Explain where I am wrong? Don’t care to explain why I am wrong. Then don’t say anything.

                1. That’s just an obviously wrong statement. You should be ashamed of yourself.

                  😉

                2. I understand the concept of plenary power, and that the Senate has sole power in this matter, but surely the terms “try” and “tried” in section 3 must have some independent meaning. Can this phraseology really include just having a vote on innocence or guilt without a trial of some sort? The text itself seems to be requiring more from the Senate than that.

                  1. That was the question impeached judge Walter Nixon asked the Supreme Court, whether the procedure used to convict him met the requirement of a trial by the Senate. Their answer was that the words do have meaning but the Senate has both the duty and final authority to interpret them and their determination was not subject to review by the Court.

                  2. No, it doesn’t actually require a full trial. They are going to allow opening statements by the House managersand the President’s team, then decide if they’ve heard enough.

                    That’s as far as some criminal trials go, the defense often moves for aquittal right after opening statements, and sometimes the motion is granted. No witnesses, no vote by the jury, just the judge deciding that even if the prosecution proves every element he claims it doesn’t support the charge.

                    The Senate can certainly do the same.

                    Just look at how our act

                  3. “surely the terms ‘try’ and ‘tried’ in section 3 must have some independent meaning.”

                    No, they don’t. “Sole power” means that these terms mean what the Senate decides they mean, and nothing else. If the R’s stay united in wanting this to just go away, and vote together, they can decide that a moment’s rumination is sufficient trial, and move straight to voting for acquittal. I think that choice would lead to a change in administration in November and some changes in Senators this November and on alternate succeeding Novembers.

                    I think the country would be better off with a different Prez, and the Senate would be better off with a different Majority Leader. In either case, EITHER PARTY could produce a better option, but one of them probably won’t until they’re forced to.

        3. In this case the rationale would be that the house has indicted the president but is withholding the material evidence necessary for a trial.

        4. The rationale is that the unanimously adopted rules of impeachment that were used in the Clinton trial are fair and impartial.

          And that Nancy Pelosi doesn’t have a veto over Senate rules.

        5. You mean beside the fact they have no witnesses? They weren’t even willing to take it to court, like happens in a normal trial, for a legal determination as to the use of Executive Privilege.

          1. You mean the court case to require McGahn to testify, that was in all the newspapers, is all fake? Do they use the same crisis actors as the school shootings, or are they different?

    2. Any motion subject to debate would normally also be subject to filibuster. To proceed in that case requires a cloture vote which needs three-fifths of the members duly chosen and sworn (except if the motion is one to amend the rules, then cloture requires two-thirds of those “present and voting”). So, if you really want the motion to be passable by 51 rather than 60, you make it non-debatable.

  3. The Do Nothing Democrats led by Grossi Pelosi need to answer for their crimes against humanity. Time to start the trials.

    1. Grossi Pelosi? Why understate things. Wouldn’t it be more accurate in your eyes to call her: Nancy “Worse than Hitler . . . and she probably kicks her dog” Pelosi?

      When you consider Trump’s collusions, attempted blackmail, pathological lies, cover-ups, etc etc . . . nope, I agree–Pelosi hanging on to the Articles of Impeachment is far far worse. Maybe Nancy “You just made Jesus cry” Pelosi is an even-more-accurate name?

      1. No one said she is far worse. Well, some may, but that’s not the point.

        The point is, if Trump is as bad as you say, then the House delay is even more unreasonable.

        1. Right, if he’s that bad then it should be Nancy “Chamberlain” Pelosi.

      2. Naw, I could with the old tried and true from the Wizard of Oz, The Wicked Witch of the West! 😉

      3. I like Nancy “not even a painter” Pelosi. Sees who knows history.

        Nancy “can’t make the trains run on time” Pelosi works too, but more people catch that reference, and of course it’s not the requisite reference.

  4. I don’t get this idea of ‘transmitting’ the Articles. Its out there for everybody to see. Did Nancy cast a magical curse on it or put the concept in a box or something? Seems really silly.

    1. “Transmitting” includes nominating House managers; a trial can’t begin until House managers have been chosen. The Senate can’t choose those for the House. That’s why Pelosi needs to move.

      1. I must have overlooked that line in the Constitution…

        1. It’s in the part where the Senate sets it’s own rules, Amos.

          1. Yeah which means the Democrats and nerds pretending that Nancy is keeping it in her magical lockbox and the power isn’t 100% in the Senate’s hands are embarassing themselves.

            1. Is anyone saying otherwise?

              There’s been a frankly excessive number of threads on this here and I’ve not seen anyone argue the Senate can’t just change it’s rules.

              But that doesn’t mean that there’s no political leverage in holding the articles back to highlight the GOP’s planned shallow process and also draw out the tension between ‘full trial’ Trump and ‘quicky formality’ McConnell.

              1. If the House can hold a sham impeachment process why can’t the Senate hold a sham trial?

                1. 1. Even accepting your premise, two wrongs don’t make a right.
                  2. Your premise is wrong – it wasn’t a sham. Isn’t viewed as a sham by the public.
                  3. Even if the process isn’t Indictment/investigation is not the same as trial. Trial process is something we make a bigger deal of.
                  4. You don’t engage the metric I set out – what’s politically costly. Senate can formally do what it wants, but politically it won’t exonerate Trump at all if the Senate just says ‘F-off, House.’ And it’ll hurt the GOP at least some.

                  1. You’re funny

                    1. …and correct.
                      You are funny, but for an (ironically) very different reason, alas.

                  2. Has there been any polling on that question though?

                    I know several people (including my mother) who think the impeachment hearing were BS but want the President removed nonetheless (in her case, it’s mostly because she doesn’t want an uncouth President), so a survey showing support for impeachment and removal doesn’t tell us too much about whether people think it’s a scam.

                    And what direction has the poling that’s been done gone since the “we’ve impeached because it’s essential he be removed before the next election, but we’re still going to sit on it until we think it’s politically advantageous to present it to the Senate” started? Without knowing in advance (I’m ore-registering my interpretation of the data I hope you’ve seen) If it’s been heading downward over the last month that’s an indicator that people are starting to believe it’s a scam, while if it’s been heading upwards that’s evidence that they don’t.

                    *obviously these are aggregate beliefs, as I’m sure we’ll find examples of individuals all over the possible range, including Trump should be impeached so that Hillary can be President.

                    1. “*obviously these are aggregate beliefs, as I’m sure we’ll find examples of individuals all over the possible range, including Trump should be impeached so that Hillary can be President.”

                      I think Trump himself may have this (mis) understanding. He complained about the “far left” evangelicals who wrote an editorial saying he should be removed, and went on to complain that they were radical leftists who wanted a radical socialist to be President instead of him. So… apparently he doesn’t know that if he’s removed, Pence becomes President, not Hillary. Either that, or he knows something about Pence that none of the rest of us know.

                  3. Senate can formally do what it wants, but politically it won’t exonerate Trump at all if the Senate just says ‘F-off, House.’ And it’ll hurt the GOP at least some.

                    1. Nobody has any illusions that the Senate vote will be about exoneration or will be motivated by anything other than politics.
                    2. Senate Republicans will say that they used practically the same rules as were used for the Clinton impeachment and this will protect them from public criticism since the public is not sophisticated enough to realize that the Independent Counsel had already ascertained the relevant facts in the Clinton case. Furthermore, the Republicans will ask why, if additional facts are relevant in the current impeachment, the House didn’t do everything in its power to ascertain them, including going to court.

                    1. “2. Senate Republicans will say that they used practically the same rules as were used for the Clinton impeachment and this will protect them from public criticism”

                      Mitch kind of tipped his hand when he said that every step of the process would be coordinated with the President’s lawyers. (which, it shouldn’t be necessary to say, is NOT practically the same rules as were used for Mr. Bill.)

                      To avoid sabotaging themselves at re-election time, the Senate R’s need to put on a show of conducting a trial… and then acquit. On one side, convicting risks angering the base who LOVE the way Trump drives Democrats nuts, even if they don’t actually ever get any of the things he promises. On the other side, if the centrists/undecideds/swing voters think they ignored the fact that Donnie Dun Did It, the R’s could lose Senators from swing states. Mitch doesn’t want to be Minority Leader, but if the Trumpistas don’t believe he’s sufficiently loyal, he won’t be any kind of leader, and he’d like to avoid that, too.

                    2. Mitch kind of tipped his hand when he said that every step of the process would be coordinated with the President’s lawyers. (which, it shouldn’t be necessary to say, is NOT practically the same rules as were used for Mr. Bill.)

                      Are you saying that the Democrat leadership preceding the Clinton trial was more impartial and unbiased than the current Republican leadership, or did not use every effort to instantiate that set of rules most desired by Clinton, or are you just saying that they did not advertise the fact?

                    3. “Are you saying that the Democrat leadership preceding the Clinton trial was more impartial and unbiased than the current Republican leadership”

                      You quoted what I am saying, and the words seem to be all different, and in a different order. What I’m saying is the procedures Mitch has suggested he wants to use are considerably less impartial and more biased that what the D’s actually did. Note that one of the things in this comparison are actual, while the other is just Mitch talking. I can’t talk about what the R’s want, or do, because the trial hasn’t happened yet.

              2. “there’s no political leverage in holding the articles back”

                Is there any indication that this “leverage” has accomplished anything?

                Other than feed Resistance!!!! fan fiction I mean.

                1. Motivations and consequences may become clearer during the first week of February. If we’re playing chuck-a-luck, I’ll put my nickel on February 4.

              3. So providing Trump with the same process used for Clinton, which passed a Senate for 100-0, is now a shallow process?

                The only shallow process so far has been the House so-called investigation that changed everything that was used for Clinton impeachment.

                1. Do you make up your own facts, or buy them prefabricated?

                  1. Do you have some inside information that McConnell plans to supplant the rules used during the Clinton impeachment?

                    I guess the Hawley amendment would be a slight change, but only about when the impeachment needs to be transmitted.

                    1. “Do you have some inside information that McConnell plans to supplant the rules used during the Clinton impeachment?”

                      Nope, just the Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell (R), stating publicly that he intended to coordinate directly with the President’s lawyers. But no “inside” information that suggests he might want to change the rules.

                    2. James Pollock,

                      Do you contend that Senate Democrats did not coordinate with the White House during President Clinton’s impeachment?

                      If so, it is you that has the wrong facts.

                    3. In today’s lesson, we learn that it isn’t true just because you desperately want it to be true.

                    4. Before tomorrow’s lesson please read “The Breach,” by Peter Baker to learn all the ways Daschle’s Senate staff coordinated with Clinton’s White House staff.

                    5. Apparently, you need to repeat the lesson.

              4. Wait a second…”political leverage”? I thought she and the democrats were saddened to have to rush this “impeachment” to save the constitution and the country. Now its admittedly a stunt for some, dare I say it, political quid pro quo. I’m shocked.

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    1. Fuck Iran, and fuck their pistachios. They can jam them up their anus. California pistachios are just fine.

      1. When you make your own two minutes of hate over the latest Eastasia due to a spambot.

        1. LOL 🙂

  6. It’s a cute idea. Unfortunately, 25 calendar days is too fast, and looks “unfair” given there’s only about 5 days left in that limit. Moreover, Democrats “could” just re impeach on the same articles, in theory. (Someone correct me if I’m wrong). They may even be able to subpoena and call the witnesses that they were too much in a rush to initially.

    What shouldn’t happen is that Pelosi holds onto the articles until around, oh, October 25th, and uses the impeachment trial as a “October surprise.” This type of blatant politicking would really offend even the most Centrist republicans (and likely more than a few Democrats).

    Hawley is on much firmer ground with a 30, 60 or 90 day timeline. (I’d lean towards 60). This is more in line with standard timelines, and gives Pelosi a chance to transmit (or not) without being able to argue she’s being “rushed”.

    1. 25 days is “too fast”? It took the House one day after the Clinton impeachment.

      You suggest the House could just re-impeach Trump and call witnesses. So, why didn’t it do that the first time? Because, the Democrats’ priority was finishing before Christmas, not actually conducting a competent investigation. Now the House wants the Senate to do its job for it, and, unsurprisingly, the Senate isn’t in the mood.

      1. In defense of longer than 25 days, it IS true that a holiday break came during that period. I wouldn’t count the holiday recess against the time limit.

        Yes, it’s a BS move to not immediately transmit the impeachment. I can give them a bit of time to decide who the managers will be in light of the holidays.

        1. Sure, so use “by the 20th day that the Senate has been in session”

          That also covers cases where the Senate is in recess for extended periods, without allowing the House to game it if it required they both be in session.

      2. So, regardless of how long it took during the Clinton impeachment, what’s critical here is that the Senate appear like it’s being fair and responsible. In fact, beyond fair, “Super-fair”. Hold to precedent whenever possible. Be the adults in the room. While Democrats in the House play games and change the rules to suit their political whims, the Senate acts dignified and fair.

        Would 25 days normally be plenty of time? Sure. In this particular case, it would end up with a rush though. It might look like a rule change just to throw out the impeachment, without enough time for the Democrats to actually send the articles.

        Instead, be generous. Give them 60 days. Watch the clock tick down after passing the rule change. Make the Democrats sweat. And if the articles never come, and the Democrats complain, show exactly how much time they had. Explain that in order for due process, this was needed.

      3. “You suggest the House could just re-impeach Trump and call witnesses. So, why didn’t it do that the first time? Because, the Democrats’ priority was finishing before Christmas”

        Because the witnesses they want(ed) to hear from were ordered not to appear by Mr. Trump, and seemed primed to follow his instructions rather than the law?

        1. “Rather than the law…”

          I’m not exactly sure what the law here actually IS when Congress subpoenas someone on an issue, but the executive branch says executive privilege bars their testimony.

          If only there was a court or judicial decision that could have cleared this up. If only.

          1. “I’m not exactly sure what the law here actually IS when Congress subpoenas someone on an issue, but the executive branch says executive privilege bars their testimony.”

            Were you a REAL lawyer, you’d know. Privilege doesn’t provide a complete immunity from being called to testify. It gets invoked (when appropriate) in response to specific questions.

            “If only there was a court or judicial decision that could have cleared this up. If only.”

            Yeah. And, if only they’d been followed…

    2. 25 days is fine. If the House feels so strongly that an office holder should be removed from their position, then why should there be a delay in transmitting the actual articles of impeachment?

      1. Any chance there are posts of yours out there crying about how the house has moved far too quickly on the matter?

        1. Probably not. I tend not to cry when I engage in political discussion. (maybe if I’ve been drinking…)

  7. Where does the constitution allow the senate to instruct the House on how it acts? That is what we are talking about here, albeit somewhat indirectly. Despite the semantic game — “We’re not imposing a deadline for transmittal” — that is exactly what this rule change proposes. “Either the House gives us the articles by X date or we toss the whole matter.”

    Then again, the articles are known to the entire country and remain un-contested on the facts. Throwing a tantrum and changing the rules just to get to the same bad-faith result the senate gop already intends is as great an abrogation of the senate’s responsibility as if they toss the matter after receiving the articles. So little changes in that regard.

    Personally, I don’t think the house holds the articles much longer anyway.

    1. The same place the Constitution allows the House to instruct the Senate on how it acts. Which is to say, nowhere. The House can set its own rules – and so can the Senate. If the House wants to play political games with the timing of the impeachment, they don’t get to complain when the Senate plays political games, too.

    2. I find it amusing that y’all whine that the Senate intended to use the same rules as they voted on, 100-0, for the Clinton impeachment yet said nothing when the House completely changed the rules from the Clinton impeachment.

      Truly sad that you ignore that Reps gave Clinton many rights during both the House impeachment investigation as well as the Senate impeachment trial. Instead you cheer for the Dems to give Trump no rights during the House investigation then whine because the Senate wants to give Trump the same rights as were given to Clinton.

      1. What’s even sadder is you ignoring the fact that prior to the House impeachment “investigation” of Clinton, there was a very lengthy investigation by an independent prosecutor. Did Trump have the same rights before the House investigation that Clinton did during the Ken Starr investigation?

      2. “Truly sad that you ignore that Reps gave Clinton many rights during both the House impeachment investigation as well as the Senate impeachment trial.”

        You seem to be suffering from some revisionist history, if you think R’s “gave” Clinton any “rights” during his impeachment trial.

        1. Well for one thing they didn’t have any secret hearings in the secure intelligence compartment.

          1. And if you know about them, neither did anyone else have secret hearings.

            1. Tiresomely glib, and so stupid it’s not even wrong.

              1. Self referential.

    3. “Then again, the articles are known to the entire country and remain un-contested on the facts.”

      ????? Seriously?

      1. Someone who wouldn’t have written the rest of that post might make that statement, intending it to mean that we know what was said on the call – those facts aren’t in dispute, and that it’s only the interpretation of what those words meant that’s still open. So the facts (the “transcript” of the call) aren’t in dispute, merely the question of whether Trump was requesting help with stamping out more of the apparent corruption from the prior era, or whether he was asking for the fabrication of salacious material to be used against his opponents – you know, like whoever hired Fusion GPS did when they hired Christopher Steele to create the Moscow Pee hoax from 2016.

        1. No, the term “remain un-contested on the facts” implies not just the facts but how they must be interpreted. Only something that is in dispute can be contested and the words in the transcript that Trump supplied are not in dispute.

          1. You may infer that, but it isn’t implied. “Uncontested on the facts” means that both sides agree as to what the facts are. If it meant that both sides agree as to what the facts are and what conclusions should be drawn from them, then there wouldn’t be any conflict between the two sides.

            1. Except that the speaker is proposing that the result of the case being uncontested on the facts should be condemnation.

              1. OK. And?

                1. You describe the facts as the transcript of the call. Are they condemning the transcript of the call or the interpretation of the transcript facts and the conclusion to be drawn from it?

                  1. You apparently have me confused with someone else.

                    1. If the speaker, as you apparently agree, is proposing that the result of the case being “uncontested on the facts” should be condemnation, then the speaker is saying that the facts imply guilt. You assert that “uncontested in the facts” does not imply conclusions and while that might be true when that phrase is uttered in a different context, when uttered in this context by this speaker if the speaker is saying that the result should be condemnation then the speaker is implying a conclusion of guilt, and it is not merely an inference made by a listener.

  8. “Where does the constitution allow the senate to instruct the House on how it acts? That is what we are talking about here, albeit somewhat indirectly.”

    Where in the Constitution does the House have authority over the Senate? That is what you’re talking about, albeit indirectly.

    Article I, Section 3, Clause 6
    “The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation.”

    Just as the House can interpret and determine what exactly is an “impeachable offense”, the Senate can interpret and determine how they should try the Impeachment and what the Oath or Affirmation means.

    1. No, that may be what you’re talking about but it’s not what I’m talking about. Neither is your version of events what is even happening. The House says you’ll get the articles when you get them, which may take awhile considering your publicly-stated intention to ignore your responsibilities. And that’s their right. Pelosi knows she has no grounds to force McConnell to do anything. But she can let him twist about for a spell.

      Now, any interest in answering my question? Please go no further if your instinct is to again try to change the subject of my OP. Either answer it, or don’t.

      1. “But she can let him twist about for a spell.”

        He doesn’t care.

        1. Allowing this resolution rather indicates otherwise.

          1. Letting a young, ambitious senator get some pub doesn’t count as “caring”.

            Neither Mitch nor his #2 are sponsors.

            Senators introduce stuff all the time. Some even get votes.

            1. You’re a more savvy political observer than that.

              This is not only introduced, it’s getting a publicity push. Maybe it’s to pressure Pelosi or something, but this is McConnel as much as Hawley. And it’s a move that at least implies McConnell isn’t too happy with the delay.

              We’ll know more about the move soon.

              1. “at least implies McConnell isn’t too happy ”

                Your inference is not supported by anything I have seen.

                1. “Your inference is not supported by anything I have seen.”

                  Have you never seen a photograph of Mitch? McConnell always LOOKS unhappy.

                2. His inference that McConnell is an experienced politician who knows how to play with procedures, especially around timing of votes? That one seems pretty well substantiated (same with Pelosi), so all you need do is apply it to this case and pattern match – is this the sort of thing McConnel would do? Totally. Did he do it? Who knows, but we shouldn’t be surprised if he was involved, even if only at the “someone go draft a resolution that will spike this wheel and we’ll get a laugh out of it” level.

                  1. On the other hand, you’d think McConnell would have had them draft a rule change that would actually, you know, change something. This rule LOOKS LIKE it would do something to someone who didn’t bother to, or lacked the mental acuity to, analyze what it does, but actually accomplishes nothing. That looks more like Trump than McConnell.

                    1. Hawley clerked for Roberts, and is Ted Cruz level bright. If he drafted it, then it does what he wants.

                    2. If this rule change was intended to do anything other than look like they were doing something, then it’s poorly drafted because it does not.

      2. “Please go no further if your instinct is to again try to change the subject of my OP. Either answer it, or don’t.”

        The question is flawed. The article is about the Senate’s procedures. And I am under no obligation to answer a flawed question and can respond any way I prefer, including pointing out how the question is flawed. Perhaps if you thought about the question I asked, you could realize the folly in your own question.

        But since we’re on the subject of House responsibilities and how the Senate can direct the House, Article I, Section 2, Clause 5, includes “The House of Representatives shall choose their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.”

        Presumably, that relates to the power to try impeachments in the Senate. If the Senate dictates rules under their own constitutional authority as “…the sole Power to try all Impeachments.” then the Senate can establish rules that the House *must* follow in order for the trial to occur.

        Does that work for you?

        1. Does it hurt being that ignorant Chris?
          Or just normal for a Progressive prole?

          The House has the Sole power of Impeachment; i.e. they determine if one is impeached or not.

          The Senate has the Sole power to Try Impeachment; i.e. they determine how the trial will work.

          1. The Senate has sole power, but they have to actually have a trial. And that places more obligations on them than you are suggesting.

            For the record, I think the House needs to promptly appoint trial managers and send the case to the Senate. If they didn’t want to do that, they shouldn’t have voted to impeach.

            1. And especially shouldn’t have claimed that it was urgent. I could see a scenario where an impeachment wasn’t urgent (like the guy is in a coma in a hospital), but it sure looks improper to both claim that this is urgent and then refuse to move forward on it.

          2. “Does it hurt being that ignorant Chris?”

            Another flawed question…and really hurts any other point you may be trying to make. Also not sure if FlameCCT is a separate login or another login of OtisAH. Don’t really care either way.

            “Or just normal for a Progressive prole?”

            Funny that you would mistake me for a Progressive.

            “The Senate has the Sole power to Try Impeachment; i.e. they determine how the trial will work.”

            Thank you for emphasizing my point! The Senate determines how the trial will work – including what duties & responsibilities the House must follow during the trail.

            1. For some people, “Progressive” means “differs from my opinion in any way, no matter how tiny”.

  9. I think that the democrats made such a noise that Trump had to be impeached NOW because of the importance of what Trump has done. But now since the impeachment vote has been taken and passed the the “need for speed” for a trial is no longer there. Therefore Mitch McConnell should call for a vote in the senate that would give the house say, two weeks to submit the house prosecutes and send over the charges against or the charges would be dismissed on voice vote of the senate.
    It seams to me that it would be a benefit to the democrat senators for running for the office of president to have the trial out of the way as quickly as possible. But if Pelosi sees it as an advantage to have the charges hanging over President’s head during the campaign season right up to the election then is not Pelosi doing what the democrats of doing interfering in the election except she is using the political process rather than what she and other democrats of, using Ukraine?

  10. The proposed rule, quoted above as “if the House of Representatives approves an article of impeachment, but fails to transmit that article within thirty days, the Senate shall treat the article as dismissed for lack of prosecution, and the impeached official shall be deemed acquitted.”

    Accomplishes nothing but wasting time. Suppose the Senate invokes it, and then dismisses the impeachment without bothering to hold a trial. The House just re-convenes, and votes again to impeach, putting you right back where you were.

    “But wait!” you say. Instead, the Senate dismisses WITH PREJUDICE without bothering to hold a trial. That changes everything, because, oh, no, wait, the House just votes to impeach again, putting you right back where you were.

    It’s true that, as a Constitutional matter, the Senate can choose to hold a trial with whatever rules they determine are correct, including no trial at all. But then again, the American voters can choose to be represented by different Senators. The R’s won’t lose hardcore R voters by acting weaselly, but there aren’t enough hardcore R’s to win all the Senate races, except in Alabama, Mississippi, Wyoming, and South Carolina. Even in Alabama, there weren’t enough hardcore R’s to get a pedophile judge elected to the Senate.

    1. “It’s true that, as a Constitutional matter, the Senate can choose to hold a trial with whatever rules they determine are correct, including no trial at all.”

      Again, the constitution uses the words “try” and “tried” in section 3. I don’t see how this allows the Senate to reach a decision without a trial of some sort. It even identifies who will preside in the trial. How can all this be interpreted to mean vote only, no trial?

      1. I don’t see how this allows the Senate to reach a decision without a trial of some sort.

        If the Senate believes that the reasons stated in the impeachment are insufficient it can dismiss the matter and decline to try it. The Constitution says that “The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments.” It doesn’t talk about a duty to try all impeachments.

        1. More accurately, the “sole power” gives them the authority to determine what a “trial” is. They can go directly from presentment to voting to acquit, if they choose to do so. The power to do so, however, does not imply an ability to choose this path without consequences. (The consequences, if any, will be delivered by the American electorate).

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