California Rep. Adam Schiff proposed Friday night that Chief Justice John Roberts should resolve the dispute over witnesses during President Trump’s Senate impeachment trial.
As Friday night marks the closing oral arguments of the House impeachment managers, Democrats are attempting to summon new witnesses to the Senate impeachment trial, such as former national security adviser John Bolton.
Republicans have warned Democrats that any attempt to do so would trigger a prolonged court battle. They argue President Trump could invoke executive privilege to prohibit Bolton from speaking.
“To the degree that there were a dispute over whether a privilege applied, we have a perfectly good judge sitting behind me, empowered by the rules of this body to resolve those disputes,” the Democratic congressman said.
The Constitution requires the chief justice to preside over a presidential impeachment trial. The rules show that they “may rule” on any questions of evidence, but, if the ruling is appealed, a simple majority vote could overturn the ruling.
Schiff joked with his fellow legislators toward the end of his remarks about the possible scenario, saying, “How often do you get the chance to overrule a chief justice of the Supreme Court? You have to admit, it’s every legislator’s dream.”
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