Some Parts of Trump's Impeachment Trial May Not be Televised

Posted: Jan 17, 2020 7:25 PM
Some Parts of Trump's Impeachment Trial May Not be Televised

Source: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Closed sessions are likely to happen during Trump's impeachment trial in the Senate, and now that Republicans are in full control, the liberal media is suddenly worried about openness and transparency when it comes to Trump's impeachment.

(Via The New York Times

While it seems anachronistic today given the expectation of wall-to-wall news coverage and an emphasis on government transparency, impeachment rules and precedent allow the Senate to clear the chamber of journalists and spectators and bar the doors so senators can talk privately among themselves for hours on end.

Senators met extensively in closed session during the impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton in 1999 — at least six times — to debate questions of witnesses and whether to dismiss the articles of impeachment, and also to conduct final deliberations much as a court jury would on whether to remove him from office.

Such sessions also occurred in the impeachment trial of Andrew Johnson and have been typical in the impeachment trials of federal judges. But those events are in the past, and the notion of the Senate essentially going dark during such a momentous event might catch many people off guard.


Even though “maximal transparency is not always conducive to honest and healthy deliberations,” Colombia University Law Professor David Pozen said, “the cultural association of closed-door proceedings with bad motives and illegitimate actions has never been stronger.”

That might be an issue for the Senate if it has to shift into closed sessions to debate an impeachment that has already divided the public in an era when suspicions and conspiracy theories are easily stoked on social media.

“This is for the American people to witness,” said Senator Richard J. Durbin, Democrat of Illinois, as he urged that the Senate avoid closed-door sessions to the extent possible. “For many of them, this will be the first time they have paid attention to this.”

There's never a shortage of liberal law professors to tell Democrats whatever they want to hear. Where was this concern about transparency when Chairman Adam Schiff was conducting closed-door interviews of the so-called impeachment witnesses -- witnesses to what exactly is still anyone's guess -- in the secretive SCIF room where the chairman kicked out Republican lawmakers as they tried to enter?

At the time, the media dismissed the concerns of the Republican lawmakers as mere politics. The media was covering for the Democrats, just like they always do, allowing Democrats the opportunity to audition which witnesses to use once their little impeachment farce became televised. The liberal media even argued that such openness and transparency inside the SCIF room was a threat to national security. 

Please. Adam Schiff still hasn't released the testimony of Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson. According to Ranking Member of the House Intelligence Committee Devin Nunes, Schiff isn't releasing Atkinson's testimony because it's damaging to the Democrats' "impeachment scam."

That's what this is all about. Now that Republicans are calling the shots, Democrats want 24/7 surveillance of what the Republicans are up to. And devoid of anything impeachable, the Democrats are depending upon their media allies to paint Trump's inevitable acquittal as a coverup orchestrated by Senate Republicans.