Fred Henneke, Attorney & Counselor-At-Law

SHIFTING FOCUS: 01/14/2020

The issue of the impeachment of President Trump having been determined, the attention now turns to the issue of removal from office. It appears that the House of Representatives will vote on appointing “Managers”, aka Prosecutors, to present the reasons for the impeachment of the President to the Senate, sitting as a jury. The Managers will then formally and literally carry the two Articles of Impeachment from the House of Representatives chamber to the Senate Chamber.It’s not far. The ball is then in the Senate’s court.

Prior to beginning the trial of President Trump, the Senate will vote on the rules of the trial. Senator Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority leader, wants to use the same rules as were followed for the trial of President Clinton. If his druthers prevail, and he has the votes to approve them, following the taking of the oath by Senators, the Managers will present their case and the President’s attorneys will present their rebuttal. The Senators cannot speak (make speeches) but can submit written questions to the Managers and President’s attorneys to be answered in writing., After both sides have made their case and the questions answered, the Senate will vote on whether or not to call witnesses or subpoena documents; majority rules. When all is said and done, the Senators vote; it takes 2/3rds of those present to remove the President from office, a very high bar. Given the present numbers of Democrats and Republicans in the Senate, 20 Republican senators would have to vote to remove the President if all Democrat Senators also voted to remove. The defection of that many Republicans is highly unlikely.

Once the trial starts, the Senate can not take up any other business; the senators are compelled to attend every minute of the trial. That could hamper those three senators still vying for the Democrat nomination for president. No telling how long the trial will last.

Per the Constitution, the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, presides over the trial of the President. He, or she, can have little impact upon the outcome. The Chief Justice will rule on objections to testimony or evidence but make no rulings on the subject of the trial. 

The oath that the senators take as jurors is not the same one they took upon entering office. This one requires them to be “impartial”. Given the over-the-top partisanship in today’s ;politics, you would be hard pressed to find a senator that has not already made up his or her mind. The system certalnly sounds unworkable today but we should keep in mind that the Constitution makes no mention of political parties, much less mindless hyper partisanship. The Founding Fathers had much higher expectations of elected officials than we enjoy (?) today.

One might ask what Nancy :Pelosi gained by holding the Articles of Impeachment hostage in a futile attempt to put pressure on Senator McConnell to agree to call witnesses that might sway some Republican senators.The answer is Nothing, except to more clearly identify this impeachment as a partisan, electoral issue as opposed to a constitutional one. Sad but true.

STAY TUNED

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IRAN; 01/06/2020

“What I perceive is their strategy is to goad the United States into a military confrontation that compels the other nations to intervene and is opposed by a large percentage of Congress and the Americans, resulting in negotiations with the Iranians as equal participants. Kinda like a Hail Mary pass in the last minute of… Continue Reading

2 responses to “IRAN; 01/06/2020”

  1. Jody H says:

    I agree with your comments and concerns….with the exception of the last paragraph…it seems to me that Trump believes only he can “do this”. I am truly not sure how we got here and hope we can get out. I don’t remember any moment in our history that compares to this. We need our allies and Trump seems determined to blow them off. This is an ugly moment in our history.

    • Fred Henneke says:

      Thanks for your comment. I am not saying Trump alone can do whatever but that he believes and acts that way. He stated so many times at the 2016 Convention and since. The way he treats our allies, the way he uses the Justice Department as his personal law firm, etc. Rather than leading the free world, we seem to stand apart and even opposite it. He is in so far over his head that it will take years to recover.

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IMPEACHMENT INTERREGNUM; 01/02/2020

Well,: the joyous holiday season is over and we return to the ugly, hyper-partisan warfare. Not since the trench warfare of World War I has there been such an unproductive, destructive, polarized, unreasoning stalemate. Congress returns to work (?) on Monday. Here is the state of play:  Prior to adjourning for their 2 week vacation… Continue Reading

2 responses to “IMPEACHMENT INTERREGNUM; 01/02/2020”

  1. Gerry Gentry says:

    Excellent, as always.

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TIME OUT;12/23/2019

I grow weary of impeachment and hyper, unreasoning partisan politics. SO, I am calling a Time Out until after the start of the New Year.. As the angels said, “Peace on Earth, Goodwill To Men”. Merry Christmas and a Happy, Prosperous New Year to One and All. Fred Henneke Continue Reading

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IMPEACHMENT – FINAL PHASE; 12/18/2019

Today is an historic albeit sad day in our Nation’s history. The House of Representatives voted to approve two Articles of Impeachment against President Donald J. Trump, largely along partisan lines. The vote on Article One – Abuse of Power – was 230 Aye, !97 Nay with one vote Present and 3 Not Voting. Two… Continue Reading

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IMPEACHMENT: PHASE III; December 10, 2019

Yesterday the House Judiciary Committee had its second public hearing on the issue of impeachment. The Republicans had criticized the Democrats loudly for not presenting evidence of the alleged crimes committed by President Trump at the first hearing. Partly, I believe, in response to that criticism, this hearing consisted of the attorneys for the Democrat… Continue Reading

One response to “IMPEACHMENT: PHASE III; December 10, 2019”

  1. Gerry says:

    My bet is that re-election comes first. Thanks for your efforts to keep us informed with your thoughtful analyses.

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IMPEACHMENT; PHASE II; 12/03/2019

REMEMBER:  A. Impeachment is NOT removal from office. .                       B.  An impeachable offense is what half plus one of the members of the House of                                         … Continue Reading

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IMPEACHMENT; PHASE ONE; 11/22/2019

The Democrats, acting through the House Intelligence Committee, have completed two weeks of public testimony, including 2 witnesses requested by the Republicans. The witnesses, except for Ambassador Sondlund, were all career intelligence or foreign affairs professionals. The witnesses’ testimony was based on their personal knowledge – phone calls, conversations, written documents – as well as… Continue Reading

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IMPEACHMENT – BATTLE LINES ARE DRAWN: 11/11/2019

Since the first public testimony is scheduled for day after tomorrow, this ia a good time to look at the positions taken TO DATE by the Democrats and Republicans with regard to the impeachment of President Trump. 1  DEMOCRATS.The basic position of the proponents (Democrats) is that the President abused his office as President by… Continue Reading

One response to “IMPEACHMENT – BATTLE LINES ARE DRAWN: 11/11/2019”

  1. Gerry Gentry says:

    2 thirds of THOSE PRESENT AND VOTING in the Senate: what is to stop the Republican Senators who fear a vote to convict would sink their reelection from simply being absent during the vote?

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IMPEACHMENT; A PRIMER; 10/30/2019

This post is intended to be a set of basic facts about what is commonly known as “impeachment”. The goal is to provide a basic understanding of the process and nuances without judgment (at least for now). The drafters of the Constitution were concerned about abuse of the far-reaching powers given to the President of… Continue Reading

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