Professor Doron Kalir has published an op-ed on Cleveland.com titled, “Stop calling it a ‘trial.’ Senate impeachment proceedings had no resemblance to one.” Professor Kalir points out many striking differences between the Senate impeachment proceedings and an ordinary legal trial. He notes that the many of the “jurors” were either victims of or witnesses to the attack. In addition, some of those supposedly neutral jurors actively met with the defense team during the trial–and others made a public display of disregarding the evidence as it was presented. Several Senators announced their decision before the “trial” even began.
Finally, Professor Kalir calls out “the most ostentatious” departure from a real trial, the conduct of Senator Mitch McConnell. Professor Kalir explains that Senator McConnell took two remarkable steps that would be unheard of in an ordinary trial: he first delayed the trial so that it would not start until after President Trump was no longer in office, and he then relied on that very fact as a reason to vote against conviction.
Professor Kalir concludes, “please, stop calling it a ‘trial.’ It is demeaning to the very concept of a legal proceeding. Instead, just call it a GOP free-for-all. This would be a much more appropriate description.”