PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The House of Representatives formally delivered two articles of impeachment against President Trump to the Senate on Wednesday, setting the stage for a trial to determine whether a president should be removed from office for just the third time in U.S. history.
Joe Mistick teaches law at Duquesne and has a rich background in Democratic politics across the state. Keith Schmidt was the state director for Republican Senator Rick Santorum and also knows politics in this state.
Mistick and Schmidt joined KDKA’s Stacy Smith for a discussion on impeachment. Four weeks after the house voted to impeach, those articles were finally delivered to the Senate today.
After it’s in the Senate, what can we expect from this?
Mistick says a good comparison is thinking about it like a criminal trial.
The presiding officer is the chief justice of the Supreme Court.
The jury is the United States Senate.
“They’re not to act in a partisan fashion. They’re not supposed to prejudge this. They take an oath just like a juror would to hear all the evidence fairly,” Mistick says.
Then there are the prosecutors, who are like the House impeachment managers.
“I think Speaker Pelosi has overplayed her hand,” says Schmidt. “She waited too long. She’s lost the attention of the American people. I think the impeachment hearings are now anticlimatic. Everyone knows the outcome: the president will be acquitted.”
Disagreeing, Mistick says Pelosi played her hand carefully, with some recent evidence being released.
“The court of public opinion has already spoken,” says Mistick.
As for impacts on the 2020 campaign, Mistick says there are a lot of good PR opportunities for Democratic presidential candidates, especially those who are senators.
Schmidt says he thinks Democratic candidates sitting in on the jury will get more press than if they were out on the campaign trail.