Hearsay and the Trump impeachment hearings
It was midnight in the gritty city. The gangster lay dying in a filthy back alley, his blood filling the rutted macadam surrounding him. With his last spurt of energy, he wrote in his pooling blood, "Gino did it." Across town, 99-year-old matriarch Mabel was dying comfortably in the hospital's dimly lit VIP suite, surrounded by close relatives. Suddenly, Mabel lifted her withered head and gasped, "Please make sure Alice and Sam get my beach house." She then expired.
Both of these statements, in legal terminology, are called dying declarations. In a gentler, more religiously compliant America, jurisprudence reflected the belief that a person about "to meet his maker" would state the truth. And these dying declarations became part of the strongest legal exception to the prohibition of hearsay evidence at trial, know commonly as the hearsay rule. This exception prevails today.
The Democrats' sham impeachment proceedings have now brought evidentiary topics, such as hearsay, to the fore of water-cooler conversations.
Hearsay is defined as "an out-of-court statement" that is related in court not by the person who originally made it, but by another person who "heard" it said. Hearsay is usually inadmissible in a court of law because the person who made the original statement cannot be confronted through cross-examination.
The defendant's right to cross-examine negative testimony or accusations at trial is rooted in the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution, contained in the Bill of Rights. It began as a right afforded to criminal defendants but now encompasses evidentiary rules in civil trials as well. Any accused has the inalienable right to confront his accuser. Cross-examination provides the trier of fact in court proceedings, by jury or a judge, the opportunity to evaluate the credibility of the accuser and to uncover his interest, motives, and anticipation or lack thereof of gain in exchange for testimony. Cross-examination, or questioning an accuser's testimony, is the most reliable method of obtaining the truth of the accusations.
The Sixth Amendment right to "confront" one's accuser also cuts across the entire inane "whistleblower" status of President Trump's accuser. Schiff surely knows that the identity of the "whistleblower" will be exposed, just as the curtain is pulled open on the wizard of Oz, if a trial in the Senate is held.
At that point, Schiff's sanctimony and his faux whistleblower's political ties will be shredded.
And not even a dying declaration, if one were to be found, will save them.