According to him, the chamber may decide to call witnesses
Republican Senator John F. Kennedy, often in support of President Donald Trump, said on Sunday that there were no rules for impeachment proceedings in the Senate and that the chamber could decide to call witnesses.
“When it comes to impeachment, the rule is that there are virtually no sustainable norms,” Kennedy said in a statement on CNN’s “Country Position” program.
Therefore, the Senate can take many steps, including the formation of a committee to hear evidence in the case, he said.
The House of Representatives, which is controlled by Democrats, earlier this month introduced Trump to impeachment on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
The Senate, where Republicans are the majority, is expected to hold impeachment proceedings early next year as soon as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sends impeachment articles to the Senate.
“This is not a criminal process,” Kennedy said, noting that “there are no standards of evidence” and “there are no rules for presenting evidence.”
Senators did not agree on the advisability of calling witnesses. Republicans have a majority of 53 seats in the 100-seat Senate, where the rules of the proceedings will be adopted by a majority of 51 votes.
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said he would like to hear testimony and ask questions before deciding to call witnesses. McConnell said that he “fully coordinates” his impeachment actions with the White House, noting that he “is not an impartial jury member”.
According to Kennedy, the Senate has several options.
“I would not recommend this, but the Senate, through the presiding judge, head of the Supreme Court, may appoint a committee to hear additional evidence if it considers it necessary,” he said.
Prior to the impeachment proceedings, the senators vow to “administer the judiciary in accordance with the Constitution and the Laws”.