Betsy McCaughey: On Trump Impeachment Trial, Don’t Believe Chuck Schumer
From Fox News:
Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., is waging a media blitz to demand that four of President Trump’s White House staff members be compelled to testify at the president’s impeachment trial in the Senate.
Schumer claims that unless that happens, the trial will be unfair. Don’t believe him. It’s a ploy to smear President Trump’s expected acquittal, leaving Trump damaged goods for the November election.
Schumer accused Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Friday of wanting a “mock trial” instead of real justice. This is an act by the New York senator to deceive the public. Schumer knows there is zero chance the White House witnesses he’s demanding will testify.
Close advisers to all presidents are generally protected by executive privilege. This isn’t something Trump invented. Previous presidents, from George Washington to Barack Obama, have said “no” to similar congressional requests, arguing that it is their duty to protect the presidency from congressional overreach.
House Democrats could have gone to court to get a ruling on the president’s claim of executive privilege, possibly compelling the testimony. But once the Democrats voted to impeach, they lost any chance of having federal courts order Trump’s staff testify.
The Supreme Court ruled in 1993 that the courts won’t interfere in impeachment trials, because the Senate has “the sole power” over them under the Constitution.
Now Schumer is pressing Senate Majority Leader McConnell to promise to call four White House witnesses. It’s a charade. McConnell can’t surrender the president’s executive privilege. It’s not his to give away.
Schumer’s demand is nothing more than a public relations stunt.
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