Right to confrontation: The latest bogus legal argument over the "whistleblower"

Meanwhile, Republican Trump defenders first took the position that the “whistleblower” was irrelevant because all his material revelations are hearsay. Since we have a transcript of the Trump-Zelensky call, and witnesses with first-hand knowledge about other pertinent events have testified, they reasoned that he was an unnecessary witness. But, as night follows day, once it became clear that Democrats want to hide him away, the GOP decided that the Republic’s survival hinges on his being exposed and interrogated.

Hence, Senator Paul’s Sixth Amendment meanderings.

The confrontation clause protects only the accused at a criminal trial. The point is that before one’s liberty is taken away, one must have the opportunity to question one’s accusers. Impeachment, however, is not even a legal proceeding, much less a criminal trial. It is a political proceeding. No one’s liberty is at stake; it is strictly about whether an official should be stripped of political authority — in the president’s case, of the executive power.

Moreover, because the Constitution wholly vests the process of impeachment in the House, and the conduct of impeachment trials in the Senate, those chambers have plenary authority over the respective proceedings. No court has the power to tell the House or Senate what quantum of due process must be afforded to an official in an impeachment case. No one can make Congress apply the Sixth Amendment.

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