Hugh Hewitt Urges McConnell To Run Impeachment Trial Merrick Garland Style

YORBA LINDA, CALIFORNIA - JULY 23: Hugh Hewitt speaks onstage to honor Buzz Aldrin at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum on July 23, 2019 in Yorba Linda, California. (Photo by Harmony Gerber/Getty Images)
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November 7, 2019 10:30 a.m.
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Conservative radio host and commentator Hugh Hewitt urged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to take a page from his own playbook in deciding which ground rules to follow as he tackles the looming prospect that the House will send impeachment articles in coming weeks.

Follow the Merrick Garland approach.

In a new column in the Washington Post, Hewitt laid out the risks of the perceived three options that stand before McConnell — a quick dismissal; a long, extensive trial; and a limited trial, which he argues would “serve only to reward Democrats for their bad behavior.” Hewitt said the long trial approach might help President Trump’s reelection chances because it would give Republicans ample time to poke holes in House Democrats’ evidence. But, he lamented, this approach also stands to give legitimacy to Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) “process,” which he believes is “compromised.”

That leaves McConnell with just one solid option, according to Hewitt: “Peremptory dismissal” of the charges to express Senate Republicans’ belief that the articles “do not merit the Senate’s sustained attention,” he said. McConnell performed the same outright stonewalling when Congress was tasked with picking another Supreme Court justice in the last year of former President Barack Obama’s presidency. Garland famously was never afforded a hearing in the Senate, and with Trump’s ultimate election victory, he has been able to name two justices to the high court.

Hewitt argues:

“When Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died on Feb. 13, 2016, it took McConnell about an hour to declare that the Senate would not consider a replacement nominee until after the November presidential election. This bold move on behalf of the Constitution will always be McConnell’s crowning achievement as leader: He let the people decide the direction of the court. The vacancy proved to be a key motivator in Trump’s stunning upset,” he wrote.

“Americans who supported McConnell can be counted on to back him now if Senate Republicans decide that bogus articles of impeachment do not merit the Senate’s sustained attention. Peremptory dismissal — think of it as a motion for summary judgment — would serve future presidents of both parties even if it would deny Trump the high-profile political theater he delights in and almost invariably has succeeded in dominating since he came down the escalator. I’d love to see a competent defense team unravel Russiagate or Spygate or whatever you call the last three years of guerrilla political war waged by ‘the Resistance.’

“But the price of defining “high crimes and misdemeanors” down is steep.”

Read the full column here. 

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