Guest column submitted by U.S. Senator Mike Crapo
The unprecedented impeachment process House Democrats have undertaken lacks transparency and due process. I am a strong supporter and co-sponsor of a Senate Resolution highlighting the shortcomings of these proceedings and calling on the U.S. House of Representatives to provide the President of the United States basic principles of due process.
On October 24, 2019, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) introduced S.Res. 378 that specifies serious concerns with the impeachment proceedings initiated in the U.S. House of Representatives, provides past context for why the proceedings are unjust and calls on House leadership to take steps to address these failures. Fellow Idaho Senator James E. Risch and I are among the original co-sponsors of this commonsense resolution. The resolution includes the following key assertions:
The resolution highlights that the main allegation against President Trump is from an anonymous source, and witness interviews have been conducted behind closed doors with limited participation by Republican Representatives. We also point to the unprecedented nature of the Speaker of the House directing the proceedings without any debate or a vote on the House floor.
We compare these actions with the impeachment investigations of President Richard M. Nixon and President William J. Clinton, in which the House Judiciary Committee adopted rules of procedure to provide due process rights and to ensure fairness. We included an outline of these rights that included allowing the President to be represented by counsel, enabling the President’s counsel to be present at all hearings and depositions and giving the President’s counsel access to, and the ability to respond to, the evidence.
These are fundamental expectations that all Americans must be afforded, especially in a process of such magnitude. The fact that basic due process is being ignored is reprehensible. As we call for in the resolution, prior to proceeding any further with impeachment proceedings, the House of Representatives should provide President Trump, like every other American, with due process; vote to initiate a formal impeachment inquiry; and provide Republicans and Democrats both the ability to participate fully in all proceedings.
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