The Senate’s Trial

U.S. Senate Chamber c.1873 (Library of Congress' Brady-Handy collection/Wikimedia Commons)
As President Trump’s impeachment leaves the House, the upper chamber needs to be what the Founders expected it to be.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE W e have spent the last several weeks intensely debating the Founders’ view of impeachment. Now that the House has actually impeached the president, it’s time to pay attention to the Founders’ view of the Senate.

We know that a Senate’s trial of impeachments is supposed to be more solemn and impartial than the House’s own impeachment proceedings. Alexander Hamilton stresses this in the now-famous Federalist No. 65. Even House Democrats acknowledged this throughout their process; Chairman Schiff, for example, compared the House’s role to that of a prosecutor’s grand jury, whose job is not to decide whether the accused is actually

Adam J. White — Adam White is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and director of the C. Boyden Gray Center for the Study of the Administrative State at the Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University.


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