(Tea Party PAC) – There seems to be an endless cache of evidence that the Democrats felt very, very differently about the whole impeachment process when one of their own was facing the process of removal from office.
While the Democrats have for weeks been insisting that new witnesses be allowed in the Senate impeachment trial of Donald J Trump, former Senator and Vice President and current 2020 frontrunner Joe Biden argued in 1999 that no witnesses should be allowed.
This has been revealed from a secret memo obtained by Politico.
In a private memo to his then-Democrat colleagues on January 5, 1999, Biden wrote that the Senate should dismiss the articles of impeachment against then-President Bill Clinton without holding a “‘full blown’ trial.”
“The Senate need not hold a ‘full blown’ trial” with witnesses and testimony, then-Sen. Biden wrote. “[T]he Senate may dismiss articles of impeachment without holding a full trial or taking any evidence.”
“Put another way, the Constitution does not impose on the Senate the duty to hold a trial,” he continued. “In fact the Senate need not hold a trial even though the House wishes to present evidence and hold a full trial[.]”
Biden cited several precedents in the memo which showed that the Senate was not obligated in any way to accept new evidence or witnesses despite what the House impeachment managers wanted.
“At present, House of Representatives Impeachment Managers are taking the position that the Senate is required to hold a full trial with live witnesses and evidentiary proceedings,” Biden wrote. “The House of Representatives took the opposite position in 1986 when it argued that the Senate should summarily convict Judge Harry Claiborne without taking any evidence or hearing any witnesses[.]”
These arguments stand in very awkward contrast to claims made by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and other Democrat impeachment managers who, before Friday’s vote determining there would indeed be no more witnesses, that the Senate is obligated to accept new witnesses.
“In a number of previous impeachment trials, the Senate has reached the judgment that its constitutional role as sole trier of impeachments does not require it to take new evidence or hear live witness testimony.”
The Federalist’s Sean Davis notes:
While the Senate eventually requested the testimony of three witnesses in the impeachment trial of Clinton–Monica Lewinsky, Vernon Jordan, and Sidney Blumenthal each of those witnesses had already been deposed before the House of Representatives or a federal grand jury following lengthy litigation. The Senate refused to call new witnesses whose previous testimony hadn’t already formed a basis for the impeachment articles against Clinton.