Napolitano Wrong Again: Schiff Inquiry a Kangaroo Court

Sunday, October 20, 2019
By Paul Martin

By Daniel John Sobieski
AmericanThinker.com
October 20, 2019

Fox News legal analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano, who of late has been the poster child for the increasingly leftward tilt of the network touted as “fair and balanced,” and who believes that President Trump is guilty of colluding with the Russians to affect the 2016 election and of pressuring Ukraine to investigate a political opponent, insists that the inquiry by Rep. Adam Schiff is perfectly legal because there is no requirement in law that a vote to conduct such an inquiry be taken. As he states in an article in the Daily Herald:

The due process Trump seeks — notice, hearing, fairness, counsel, cross-examination, confrontation, neutral judges — is only relevant during a trial. The House does not conduct trials; the Senate does. There and only there — if we get there — will the president have his due process rights.

But, as Napolitano himself notes, the House has rules, and one of those rules says that in the absence of a clear legal guideline, House precedent should be honored. The House may not have trials, but it is capable of witch hunts and inquisitions. President Trump is entitled under House precedent to the same process, including due process, that Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton got. Until the impeachment inquiry against President Trump, the House honored the tradition of relying on precedent as a guarantor of fairness:

Little has changed in the House in terms of the process for impeachment. A guide to the process is House Practice: A Guide to the Rules, Precedents and Procedures of the House. As this guide explains, “Under the modern practice, an impeachment is normally instituted by the House by the adoption of a resolution calling for a committee investigation of charges against the officer in question.” (p. 614)

Although the Senate is more known for precedent, the House also relies on precedent to conduct business. There are different sources for precedent. One of those sources is Deschler’s Precedents, authored by the first House parliamentarian, Lewis Deschler. In Chapter 14, Section 6, Deschler’s Precedents discusses the impeachment process in great detail, including the precedent for an authorizing resolution for an impeachment proceeding.

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