Asha Rangappa @AshaRangappa_ Fmr FBI Special Agent, lawyer, faculty @JacksonYale. Tiger(ish) mom. @CNN analyst. Editor @just_security. Karaoke, golf, and Shakespeare aficionado. Views mine. Jan. 17, 2020 1 min read

Yes, basically. The argument is, "He did it, but so what?" Normally questions of law (👆🏾) are decided by a judge, and questions of fact ("did he do it?") by a jury. In a Senate trial, the Senators are basically the judge AND the jury. (CJ presides, but doesn't do much.)

Another way to say it is that the Senate is already treating this as some sort of appeal -- a review of "the record" -- rather than as an independent arbiter of the facts. So they are setting themselves up to rule on questions of law (which is what an appellate court does).

.@MiekeEoyang lays this out very eloquently in this piece. If the Senate wants to act as an appellate court, then it would be limited to "the record" -- and Trump does not have the option to present a new (including legal) defense 

As she points out, this isn't what the Constitution contemplates. If it did, then Trump's legal claims should be limited to what scholars have *already* testified to. If Dersh is basically a new expert witness, then he should be cross-examined and D's can bring in their own

You can follow @AshaRangappa_.


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