In an op-ed published on Thursday, Fox News senior legal analyst Andrew Napolitano warned Republican senators they will suppress the truth and risk being unfaithful to the U.S. Constitution if they fail to call witnesses in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial.
Carefully laying out the separation of powers afforded by the Constitution, Napolitano argued that it is the Senate’s job — and the Senate alone — to determine the truth surrounding Trump’s behavior, and the only way to accomplish this is to hear from people who know the truth.
In his editorial piece, Napolitano argued that the House performed its constitutional duties well.
“In President Trump’s case, the House has not charged him with having bad hair. It has charged him with high crimes and misdemeanors by coercing a foreign government to aid his reelection campaign, a crime; and by refusing to perform a required governmental duty until the foreign government gave him a personal benefit, a crime; and by refusing to comply with congressional impeachment subpoenas, a crime,” he wrote.
As for the Executive Branch, the president’s attorneys have offered a bogus explanation of how the impeachment process should play out.
“The president’s lawyers have misrepresented the separation of powers by arguing that when Congress and the president are at loggerheads over congressional demands for documents or testimony, it becomes the duty of the Congress to turn to the courts,” Napolitano wrote. “That is a general proposition of law, yet an incomplete one, as it does not apply in cases of presidential impeachment where the House has more than primacy — it alone has power.”
He continued: “Stated differently, the president has no legal or constitutional basis to reject House subpoenas when the House is conducting an impeachment inquiry.”
And as for the Senate, where Republicans have argued that House impeachment investigators presented a weak case insufficient to warrant a conviction, Napolitano warned that senators risk betraying their constitutional duty to seek out the truth by blocking relevant witness testimony.
“[I]f the Senate is faithful to the Constitution, then Trump’s trial will be a search for the truth. And those offering to tell the truth should be welcomed, not pilloried,” Napolitano said. “How can the Senate be faithful to the Constitution if it suppresses the truth?”
You can read the entire piece here.