INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — If the House does vote to impeach President Donald Trump, a trial in the Senate would likely take place next. This process would determine whether to remove the president from office.
In a normal criminal or civil trial, you would need an impartial jury. Courts go a great length to make sure jurors don’t know anything about the case before hearing the facts. However, this process is vastly different in nature and that’s why some Senators say they’ve already made up their minds on whether to remove the President.
“I feel that there is an obligation constitutionally that you listen to the merits of the case,” said Indiana U.S. Sen. Mike Braun.
But in the case of President Donald Trump, U.S. Senators Mike Braun and Todd Young feel the facts have already been presented.
“I don’t see that there will be any new evidence because that would have happened by now,” said Braun.
On the off chance there is something new, these Senators say they’ll consider the evidence.
“I’ll be a conscientious United States Senator making an objective decision based on presentation of all facts,” said Young.
But not without a partisan lens.
“This is not a standard court of law. It’s neither a civil nor a criminal court. The President of the United States is not up for criminal or civil charges. Which is why impeachment exists,” explained Young.
“It is a political process. There’s probably not one Senator that would be seated as a juror in a regular trial because you bring that political predisposition point of view into it,” added Braun.
UIndy Political Science Professor Laura Wilson says they’re well within the law to view the trial this way.
“There’s nothing in the constitution that tells us it has to be done in a partisan way or it should not be done in a partisan way,” said Wilson. “And I think in this case you see the interpretations of the leaders themselves.”
Though impeachments can be political, Wilson says there needs to be a good reason for one. Senator Braun says democrats were looking to impeach the President from the very beginning of his Presidency.
“If the Democrats only wanted to remove, to impeach, if that was their only focus, I think they could have done that easily with the Mueller report,” said Wilson.
Regardless of motives, both Indiana Senators say at this point, they do not feel the president should be removed from office.
“I don’t think though, there was anything tangible in the sense that there was no quid pro quo,” said Braun.
Dr. Wilson fears how this process will impact voters who are turned off by all this political bickering.
“From the Political Science literature, we know a lot of times if people are frustrated with the system, rather than vote for somebody else, they’re just not going to participate,” said Wilson. “And that is my big concern.”
If the President is impeached, the trial in the Senate will likely take place in January.
The Senate would need a two-thirds supermajority vote to remove the President.