Impeachment And The Sixth Amendment For Dummies. AGAIN.
"Judge" Jeanine Pirro, who believe it or not was actually a lawyer once upon a time, is saying even dumber shit than normal. (Or maybe it's the same?)
On Fox News this past weekend, Ms. Pirro decided to get mad at Mitch McConnell for not being far enough up Trump's asshole and just dismissing the impeachment case against Trump outright (not a thing) for violating his right to an impeachment speedy trial (not a thing) and passing the statute of limitations (not a thing).
So that's ... a real thing that this person who actually used to be a lawyer said.
Oh goodie, we're making up laws again!
Republicans are shitting a brick again, this time over House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's decision to hold the articles of impeachment in the House, what with Mitch McConnell, Lindsay Graham, and the rest of the GOP announcing their intentions ahead of time to violate the oaths they will have to take to be impartial jurors in Trump's impeachment trial.
Throughout Trump's impeachment, the new favorite game of most Republicans has been making up laws about impeachment that don't exist in reality. Time and time again, we heard that Trump's Sixth Amendment rights were being violated because the Democrats were being VERY MEAN by not letting Republicans illegally unmask the whistleblower and put his life at risk.
The Sixth Amendment, which until 2019 had gone unnoticed by Republicans, does, indeed, contain the Confrontation Clause, which gives the accused the right to confront their accuser(s). Unfortunately for people like Rand Paul, Mollie Hemingway, and my former constitutional law professor, the Sixth Amendment kicks in at (1) criminal prosecutions; (2) at trial; (3) when a witness is providing testimonial evidence against the criminal defendant. So yeah. Not during impeachment hearings.
With the comment about speedy trials, Pirro here is doing the same thing, only this time with a different part of the Sixth Amendment!
Once again, I'm very happy that Republicans are recognizing the existence of the Sixth Amendment. Unfortunately, once again, they are butchering it.
The Sixth Amendment contains what's known as the Speedy Trial Clause. And, like the Confrontation Clause, it's quite specific that it applies to criminal prosecutions. Specifically, it says:
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy [...] trial.
Yup. The words "criminal prosecutions" are RIGHT THERE in the text. Aren't Republicans like Pirro who worship at the grave of Antonin Scalia supposed to worship the written text of the Constitution?
Pirro also decided to invoke statutes of limitations in her rant, because, sure, why not?! Statutes of limitations are, like it says there in the name, statutory by nature; they don't come from the text of the Constitution.
Statutes of limitations do exist in both criminal and civil cases, so I guess in a way Pirro is a little closer to the mark with this one? Only not really, because there is decidedly not a statute of limitations on impeachment. And there is absolutely nothing that says Pelosi can't hold the articles of impeachment in the House for as long as she damn well pleases.
And finally, we get to Pirro's third dumbass comment: that Mitch McConnell should just dismiss the articles of impeachment against Trump. Like everything else Pirro rambles on about, this is decidedly NOT A THING.
The Constitution lays out the basis of impeachment. The House has the sole duty to impeach, which they have already done. And the Senate has the sole duty to try all impeachments. And in between, if the House wants to hold on to the articles of impeachment, it has every right to.
We've said it before and we'll say it again: This may not be the worst timeline, but it certainly is the dumbest one.
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