During a live recording on Friday’s Battleground State Report with Michael Patrick Leahy and Doug Kellett – a one-hour radio show from Star News Digital Media in the early stages of national weekend syndication rollout – Leahy and Kellett talked through scenarios that could happen to the Democratic Presidential candidates that are Senators if the impeachment moves to the Senate.
During the show, Leahy walked through how he thought things might play out for those running for President in the Senate if they would try to be an absentee and how that would affect their campaign efforts.
Kellett: But we also had a Democratic debate this week Mike and you know, Andrew Yang made an interesting comment on an interview with CNN afterward that he’s concerned that with this impeachment going on that there won’t be any Democrat candidates on the stage.
He’ll be left alone (Leahy chuckles) if things continue the way they’re going. How long would this go on if there was a trial in the Senate? How would it impact really the whole presidential race especially the Democrat side on how people view some of these candidates? Is Biden kind of the only one that’s out in front? Have you seen any change recently of those who are sort of in the lead?
Leahy: Well, there’s a couple of questions there. The horse race is always what people are tracking. The other question is, if the impeachment proceedings go to a Senate trial, what happens to those remaining Senate candidates running for President? Are they stuck in Washington, D.C. to be part of that trial?
I think they are stuck in Washington, D.C. I think what will happen is, if you want to sort of fast forward, one scenario would be, the House holds an impeachment vote and it goes on a party-line vote, partisan vote and they impeach the President on X number of articles of impeachment.
All of which, Americans look at and say that it’s silly. For the most part, the majority of Americans do. And the polls are turning towards the President. So then the Senate will take it up and there will be a trial in the Senate then. And that will begin in January. If I’m Mitch McConnell (chuckles) I’d look at this and say: “OK, ya’ll want an impeachment trial?”
Terrific. We’re going to hold hearings, and we’re going to require, and the way it works is, the Senate can conduct no business other than the impeachment trial. And every Senator must be in the Senate during that trial. Which means right now you’ve got Senator Elizabeth Warren.
You’ve got Senator Bernie Sanders. You’ve got Senator, Cory Booker. You’ve got Senator Kamala Harris. You’ve got Senator Amy Klobuchar. They are all going to be required to be in Washington in that trial. They will be unable to go on the campaign trail.
Kellett: So they can’t vote absentee guilty on this one? (Laughs)
Leahy: Well, if you listen to all of them but Senator Elizabeth Warren, she would like you to know the minute the House gives the articles of impeachment to the Senate. She would vote to convict like in that minute. But she’s got a constitutional duty to be a juror in the trial.
And so this presents a real dilemma. Now, might they say, oh, I’m not going to stick around for the trial let me vote guilt and get out into the campaign trail. OK. Now, they can do that. Let’s say, Mitch McConnell says, OK, the only business we’re going to conduct in the Senate is this trial and I’m going to keep you here for like four months. Let’s just say that’s the case.
And Elizabeth Warren says, well the heck with that, I’m going to be on the campaign trail. OK. So she goes out on the campaign trail and she gets hit with you’re not doing your constitutional duty. But I think Mitch McConnell might be within his rights to say, OK, if you’re not here for the trial we’re going to disqualify you as a juror. (Laughs)
Kellett: That would be interesting…
Listen to the full show here:
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