Republican Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy on Sunday explained how he would like to see the Senate run the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump.
Appearing on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Kennedy was asked if the American people would think the impeachment trial would be fair if there were no witnesses brought forward. The Louisiana Republican responded by saying, “I would start by giving each side a good amount of time to present their case. I would give the prosecution, say 24 hours. I would give the defense, the president, 24 hours. Then, I would allow plenty of time, maybe 10-15 hours of time for Senators to ask questions, now we can’t ask questions, we submit them in writing. Either side, prosecution or defense can object.”
“At that juncture, I think we should step back and say ok, have we heard enough, do we want to go further. I suspect at that juncture somebody will have a motion to dismiss, that’s what happened in President Clinton’s impeachment, the motion to dismiss was defeated and the Senate decided to hear three more witnesses,” Kennedy continued.
“It’s also possible, I’m not recommending it, but it’s possible for the Senate through the presiding officer, the chief justice, to appoint a committee to hear additional evidence if the Senate thinks it is necessary. All I know today Jake is I don’t know if we’ll ever get the case. I don’t know why the Speaker is doing this. Maybe she is telling the truth and she wants to dictate the procedure to the Senate. If she’s sincere in that I think it’s unconstitutional. Maybe it’s a cynical political ploy. Maybe her actions demonstrate indecision. I don’t know,” Kennedy concluded.
“All I know today, Jake, is this: I don’t know if we’ll ever get the case… and I don’t know why the Speaker is doing this,” GOP @SenJohnKennedy reacts to Speaker Pelosi holding off on submitting the articles of impeachment to the Senate. #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/SjnIOVVreT
— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) December 29, 2019
The House of Representatives voted to impeach President Donald Trump on December 18 after months of debate. The House voted on two separate articles of impeachment. The first vote was on the abuse of power article and the second was obstruction of Congress. No Republicans voted for the impeachment of President Trump. (RELATED: House Votes To Impeach President Trump)
Despite Pelosi’s early reluctance to push for impeachment, 228 Democrats had voiced support for impeachment or an impeachment inquiry before the vote. Pelosi has said she believes Trump is “goading” Democrats to impeach him because he thinks it will help him fire up his base. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: We Asked Every GOP Senator About Impeachment. Seven Ruled It Out.)
The Republican-led Senate will now hold a trial and then vote whether or not to remove Trump.