Senate Trial

January 6, 1999

With the imminent prospect of a Senate trial, many are wondering what it would look like. Assuming that the Senate does not seek an early compromise of censure, this is what to expect from a Senate trial for impeachment.

House managers have been appointed by Congressman Henry Hyde to argue the case against President Clinton. These managers will present the articles of impeachment to the Senate. The actual questioning of witnesses could be left to a team of hired prosecutors.

Before the trial begins, witnesses will be interviewed and evidence will be gathered. During this time, the Senate may renegotiate the existing rules for trial and impeachment.

When the trial is convened in the Senate, Chief Justice William Rehnquist will preside as the senators sit quietly as the jury. Each senator will take the following oath: "I solemnly swear that in all things appertaining to the trial of William Jefferson Clinton, now pending, I will do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws, so help me God."

From that point the Senate trial will proceed in a manner similar to a criminal trial with the prosecution and defense each allowed time to give an opening statement. Both sides may present and cross-examine witnesses and may introduce evidence. Senators may submit written questions or motions to the chief justice.

Closing arguments will be made by both sides. Then the Senate goes into closed session to debate the articles of impeachment. Each senator has 15 minutes to speak. Separate votes are taken on each article requiring a two-thirds majority.

This is the solemn responsibility placed before the Senate. The world will now watch to see if it upholds this constitutional mandate. I pray that it does.

I'm Kerby Anderson of Probe Ministries, and that's my opinion.

© 1998 Probe Ministries International