‘Deeply troubled by the impeachment rules’


As a federal official, the last thing I ever want to do is to intrude on local self-government.

But I am also a citizen of the Commonwealth and deeply troubled by the impeachment rules our Senate adopted.

I understand senators may have already decided for political reasons how they will vote on the impeachment charges filed against Gov. Torres—for theft, corruption, and neglect of duty.

But, if their goal is to protect the governor, stacking the deck against the House prosecutors is entirely unnecessary. Because the governor’s political supporters in the Senate will always be able to vote to acquit, no matter what evidence House prosecutors present.

No, it seems the real purpose of the Senate rules is not to protect the governor, but to protect senators—from embarrassment.

How will it look if House prosecutors make a damning case against the governor, and senators still vote to acquit?

Yet adopting rules to cover up the evidence that led the House to impeach is a mistake. It will not protect senators; it will only increase their embarrassment.

The public is already well-aware of the factual basis for the House decision to impeach. Whether House prosecutors are allowed to present that evidence will not change minds about the governor’s guilt.

But the public may very well change its mind about senators, who voted to suppress evidence by adopting the impeachment rules.

And it will not take a two-thirds vote to remove those senators from office, just a simple majority at their next election.

Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan
Garapan, Saipan

Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan
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