No need for a vote on witnesses and documents

Yeah, I know. It’s beyond the reach of some here. However here are couple of key pints form the article:

The Senate rules for impeachment date back to 1868 and have been in effect since that time. They specifically provide for the subpoenas of witnesses, going so far in Rule XXIV as to outline the specific language a subpoena must use — the “form of subpoena to be issued on the application of the managers of the impeachment, or of the party impeached, or of his counsel.”

As you can see, there is no “Senate vote” requirement whatsoever in the subpoena rule. A manager can seek it on his own.”

“The rules further empower the chief justice to enforce the subpoena rule. Rule V says: “The presiding officer shall have power to make and issue, by himself or by the Secretary of the Senate, all orders, mandates, writs, and precepts authorized by these rules, or by the Senate, and to make and enforce such other regulations and orders in the premises as the Senate may authorize or provide.” The presiding officer, under our Constitution, is the chief justice. As such, the chief justice, as presiding officer, has the “power to make and issue, by himself,” subpoenas.”

“But its plain text says otherwise. It’s carefully drawn to be about “questions of evidence”: whether, for example, a line of witness questioning is relevant or not. The issuance of a Rule XXIV subpoena, however, is not a question of evidence.”

The authors of the piece have bona fide expertise in these matters. Hard to question their judgement. But I know someone will. And just because they wrote it for the New York Times.

26 thoughts on “No need for a vote on witnesses and documents

    1. It would be truly ironic for Bolton to be the “missing 18 minutes” for this president.

      He has been an anathema for liberals for years. Bush had to get a recess appointment for him as UN Ambassador because of Democratic opposition.

      On the other hand Trump doesn’t reciprocate loyalty except as it helps or rewards him.

      Paybacks are hell.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Mr. Green, if you’re going to share inaccessible material, what you have done here is a good way to do it. I agree with Mr. Rothman, too. This material is interesting and informative. Nice job.

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  2. {“The presiding officer shall have power … as the Senate may authorize or provide.}

    “As the Senate may authorize” are the pertinent words.

    The Constitution authorizes the Senate to try cases of impeachment — not the Judiciary — and Mr McConnell exercises leadership authority over the Senate.

    As presiding officer, Justice Roberts has no more authority than the vice president or president pro tempore, when they preside in impeachment cases involving other officials. His role is defined and delimited by the Senate’s rules.

    Justice Roberts may not like Mr Trump; however, he loves his legacy. Trust me, he is not gonna interject himself into this mess, for there is no precedent to support it.

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    1. @Thad

      “… and to make and enforce such OTHER regulations and orders in the premises as the Senate may authorize or provide.”

      He can already order subpoenas, that’s not the question.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Sorry, Thadd but the rules say otherwise. The presiding officer CAN issue subpoenas at the request of the manager, the impeached or his counsel.

      And there need not be precedent for following the rules. Unless your name is Trump and you believe that the rules, as written, do not apply to you.l

      Liked by 1 person

    3. @lenrothman
      RE: “He can already order subpoenas, that’s not the question.”

      @Adam Green
      RE: “Sorry, Thadd but the rules say otherwise.”

      Nope. The Senate authorizes the rules to begin with. The language only says that the Senate may also modify them.

      The presiding officer is inferior to the Senate in this regard. While the authorized version of the rules allows the presiding officer to make and issue orders, mandates, writs, and precepts, it is unlikely Justice Roberts would assert the authority in defiance of a vote by the Senate over witnesses and subpoenas. That would be a true Hail Mary.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. RE: “The rules do go back to 1868.”

        That’s interesting to know, but of no particular relevance here. A rule adopted in 1868 is still a rule authorized by the Senate and subject to change by the Senate. The presiding officer in an impeachment trial has no authority to violate it.

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        1. RE: “We read it differently. As did the authors of the piece”

          In the excerpts you provided, I don’t see the authors claiming that the presiding officer has the power to call witnesses or issue subpoenas after the Senate votes not to. I get it that the argument might be tried, but you have ask yourself whether Justice Roberts would find it persuasive. I don’t think he would, since it would violate the Senate’s overarching authority to conduct the trial as it sees fit.

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          1. I refer you back to the third paragraph of the quoted text. Specifically :”As such, the chief justice, as presiding officer, has the “power to make and issue, by himself,” subpoenas.””

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          2. RE: “Specifically :’As such, the chief justice, as presiding officer, has the “power to make and issue, by himself, subpoenas.'”

            Yes, he does before the Senate votes otherwise.

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  3. I really don’t think the Senate would have developed the trial rules in both Clinton and Trump trials if it was that easy. Why would they develop the rules in the first place if they are meaningless? Sounds like a NYT slant to me.

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    1. Why a NYT slant? What difference does it make if NYT reported the facts or FOX….or, er, um…uh National Review reported them.

      The Senate trial won’t be affected one iota.

      Like

      1. Well, let’s see. Because…oh, er, um… the only outlet to report this sudden revelant that the entire Congress was unaware of, that Senate rules are meaningless, is a left wing media source?

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