House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has a "moral and constitutional obligation" to send the two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump to the Senate, as the president has the right to exonerate himself and it is up to the Senate to determine how to proceed, Judge Andrew Napolitano said Thursday.
"You know I have been arguing there is a legal basis for impeachment because it's really a political judgment on the part of the members of the Congress," Napolitano, the senior judicial analyst for Fox News, said on "Fox and Friends." "Under the Constitution, the Senate writes its own rules. (It is) not subject to the approval of the Speaker of the House or the majority of the House."
Napolitano said he doesn't know if the Senate can take up the articles of impeachment and proceed without Pelosi sending them over, as that has never happened, but Trump is "entitled to a trial" and to seek his exoneration, and it is up to the Senate to determine how to proceed.
"It could be a Lindsey Graham suggestion, where he says 'Mr. Chief Justice, we move to dismiss the charges and the chief justice will decide whether or not to dismiss, or could be a full-blown trial. But he is entitled to that forum in which to defend himself. If these articles just sit on the speaker's desk and go nowhere, that would be a profound and grave injustice to the president."
Meanwhile, it would be "dangerous" to remove Trump from office "without a substantial and broad national consensus to do so," said Napolitano. "We all know that that consensus does not exist. At best its 50/50. Probably slightly favoring him now. I haven't seen any polls this morning."
It would take a supermajority vote in the Senate to remove Trump, and Napolitano said there has never been such a vote in the Senate to remove a president.
"The (Bill) Clinton trial wasn't a real trial," he said. "Sen. Graham, then-Congressman Graham, was one of the House prosecutors, and they basically read for the Senators transcripts of the testimony from the House Judiciary Committee. So it could be that. It could be a trial with people testifying. The president of the United States could testify. Or could be this, Mr. Chief justice, would you please dismiss the charges."
But at any rate, Trump is "entitled to that forum in which to defend himself, irrespective of what the House thinks," said Napolitano "The House is finished with this now."
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