It’s disappointing that an attorney as well known, and presumably familiar with constitutional law, as Clayton Campbell could so willfully conflate and misconstrue the impeachment process ("COMMUNITY VOICES: David Valadao's betrayal of justice," Jan. 19).
First, impeachment is a “political action,” not a criminal trial, and governed by different rules. Any comparison to the requirements of a criminal proceeding is of limited validity at best. Even if we do use criminal procedures as a guide, as misleading as that is, the “trial” in an impeachment occurs in the Senate, not the House of Representatives. The House may conduct hearings to determine if there are sufficient grounds for the issuance of Articles of Impeachment, or not, depending on how apparent the alleged misconduct is. Once the Articles are passed in the House, it becomes the Senate’s responsibility to conduct a trial.
During the last impeachment process, the Republican controlled Senate refused to call witnesses, or conduct any meaningful trial, despite the stonewalling and obstruction by the Trump administration of the House investigation. The Senate chose to ignore its responsibility and only debated the evidence presented in the House, all the while complaining loudly about witnesses and evidence not presented in the House.
This time the Senate, no longer controlled by Trump’s sycophants and enablers, can throughly investigate and conduct a genuine “trial” to determine whether Trump instigated a violent assault on Congress, and our Constitution, in an attempt at a coup to seize power and disenfranchise 81 million voters who lawfully elected Joe Biden as president!
Ralph Mcknight Jr., Bakersfield