Lawyers Refute Senator McConnell’s Claims Political Bias Is Legitimate in Impeachment Trials

Lawyers Refute Senator McConnell’s Claims Political Bias Is Legitimate in Impeachment Trials

Date: January 7, 2019
Media contact: Emily Demikat  | 857-300-0018

BOSTON – More than 280 distinguished attorneys around the country are refuting Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s assertions that impeachment “is a political process[,]” that “[t]here is not anything judicial about it,” and that he has no need to be an “impartial juror.” (See: Mitch McConnell: ‘I’m not an impartial juror’ ahead of Senate impeachment trial, CNN)

“Leader McConnell’s assertions cannot withstand scrutiny,” the letter states. “[S]enators are obligated by the Constitution and Senate rules to ‘do impartial justice’ in all matters relating to the [impeachment] trial.”

Among the 287 signatories is Laurence H. Tribe, Carl M. Loeb University Professor and Professor of Constitutional Law at Harvard Law School (affiliation noted for identification purposes only). 

“I am honored to join so many distinguished colleagues in the legal profession in underscoring the vital importance of the oath that Senators must take to do ‘impartial justice’ in an impeachment trial and the grave error of arguing that such a trial is a purely political exercise,” states Professor Tribe.

Other distinguished signers of the Open Letter include:

Walter Carpeneti – Former Chief Justice, Supreme Court of Alaska
Robert Dell – Retired Attorney
Fernande (Nan) R.V. Duffly – Former Justice MA Supreme Judicial Court
Scott Harshbarger -Former MA Attorney-General and President of Common Cause
Frederic Kellogg – Former U.S. Attorney, Advisor to U.S. Attorney General Elliot Richardson
Howard Matz – Former Federal Judge
John Montgomery – Former Managing Partner of Ropes & Gray
Lois Schiffer – Former Assistant Attorney General, US Department of Justice
Donald Stern – Former United States Attorney, District of Massachusetts