The ultimate conflict of interest: Democrat presidential candidates as impeachment jurors

A conflict of interest in a judicial proceeding arises when a trier of fact, either by a judge or a member of the jury pool, has a personal interest in a contested interest that affects or gives the appearance of affecting his public presumptively neutral judgment.  This can arise if one litigant is a relative, business partner, or competitor of the trier of fact. 

The sham impeachment of President Donald J. Trump, just transferred to the United States Senate, is now riddled with egregious and glaringly obvious conflicts of interest.  What is a greater conflict of interest than a presidential contender acting as a juror for an opponent?

Before a trial commences, a jury is selected after a proscribed process and great deliberation of the composition of the jury.  At the onset of jury selection, a process known as voir dire starts jury selection.  Voir dire is French for "to speak the truth."   Litigators take voir dire quite seriously.  The attorneys trying the case, on each side, ask questions of the prospective jurors in an attempt to elicit bias or prejudice that could hurt their case.  Depending on the jurisdiction, the attorneys receive a certain number of juror cuts for cause or prejudice and a certain number of arbitrary cuts.  Skillful voir dire can sometimes predetermine the outcome of a case. 

In the Senate trial, there is no voir dire! 

The jurors are automatically preselected — comprising the elected 100 senators of the United States of America.  The chief justice of the United States Supreme Court is the presiding judge. 

Three United States senators are currently running as Democrat potential nominees for president.  How can Senators Sanders, Warren, and Klobachar, with understandable but blatant self-interest and prejudice as potential Democrat presidential contenders, give Republican President Donald J. Trump a fair and unbiased trial?  The very notion is oxymoronic and risible. 

Instead of opining that it is a sacred constitutional duty, or proclaiming as Bernie Sanders has that he would rather be in Iowa, it is shameful and a huge blot on their collective base character and lack of candor that the trio have not already recused themselves. 

One can only hope that one, if not all, of the illustrious legal defense team that President Trump has assembled to defend him will quickly raise the issue of conflict of interest.  Even if such a motion fails, it should be duly noted for the record. 

The Democrats are relentless, craven, and totally lacking in elementary standards of fair legal conduct that apply throughout our national legal system.  Why should the president of the United States be denied the same basic legal protection afforded every other citizen involved in a trial?

Lynne Lechter is an elected member of the State Republican Committee of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and a practicing attorney in Philadelphia. 

Graphic credit: Blue Diamond Gallery.

A conflict of interest in a judicial proceeding arises when a trier of fact, either by a judge or a member of the jury pool, has a personal interest in a contested interest that affects or gives the appearance of affecting his public presumptively neutral judgment.  This can arise if one litigant is a relative, business partner, or competitor of the trier of fact. 

The sham impeachment of President Donald J. Trump, just transferred to the United States Senate, is now riddled with egregious and glaringly obvious conflicts of interest.  What is a greater conflict of interest than a presidential contender acting as a juror for an opponent?

Before a trial commences, a jury is selected after a proscribed process and great deliberation of the composition of the jury.  At the onset of jury selection, a process known as voir dire starts jury selection.  Voir dire is French for "to speak the truth."   Litigators take voir dire quite seriously.  The attorneys trying the case, on each side, ask questions of the prospective jurors in an attempt to elicit bias or prejudice that could hurt their case.  Depending on the jurisdiction, the attorneys receive a certain number of juror cuts for cause or prejudice and a certain number of arbitrary cuts.  Skillful voir dire can sometimes predetermine the outcome of a case. 

In the Senate trial, there is no voir dire! 

The jurors are automatically preselected — comprising the elected 100 senators of the United States of America.  The chief justice of the United States Supreme Court is the presiding judge. 

Three United States senators are currently running as Democrat potential nominees for president.  How can Senators Sanders, Warren, and Klobachar, with understandable but blatant self-interest and prejudice as potential Democrat presidential contenders, give Republican President Donald J. Trump a fair and unbiased trial?  The very notion is oxymoronic and risible. 

Instead of opining that it is a sacred constitutional duty, or proclaiming as Bernie Sanders has that he would rather be in Iowa, it is shameful and a huge blot on their collective base character and lack of candor that the trio have not already recused themselves. 

One can only hope that one, if not all, of the illustrious legal defense team that President Trump has assembled to defend him will quickly raise the issue of conflict of interest.  Even if such a motion fails, it should be duly noted for the record. 

The Democrats are relentless, craven, and totally lacking in elementary standards of fair legal conduct that apply throughout our national legal system.  Why should the president of the United States be denied the same basic legal protection afforded every other citizen involved in a trial?

Lynne Lechter is an elected member of the State Republican Committee of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and a practicing attorney in Philadelphia. 

Graphic credit: Blue Diamond Gallery.