Could Trump’s Impeachment End In A Mistrial?

Ever since the Senate voted along party lines on Friday to not subpoena documents or witnesses pertinent to the impeachment of Donald Trump, many have been asking the same question: What, if anything, can Democrats — and by extension the 75 percent of Americans who say they favor witness testimony — do?

A former federal prosecutor has a possible solution, and he’s urging Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the lead House impeachment manager, to try it.

Glenn Kirschner is a legal analyst for NBC News and former Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, where he worked alongside former Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

Though he admits it’s a long shot, Kirschner says that Schiff and House Democrats should move for a mistrial in the Senate trial of Donald Trump.

Granted, most of us have heard of a mistrial, but what exactly does it mean?

According to the Legal Information Institute at Cornell University Law School, a mistrial is defined as:

“A mistrial occurs when 1) a jury is unable to reach a verdict and there must be a new trial with a new jury; 2) there is a serious procedural error or misconduct that would result in an unfair trial, and the judge adjourns the case without a decision on the merits and awards a new trial.”

Here’s how Kirschner sees an impeachment mistrial playing out, as he explained Sunday on Twitter:

You have to admit, it’s certainly one hell of a novel and provocative proposal. And Kirschner isn’t the only person suggesting that Schiff and his fellow House impeachment mangers at least try it.

Back in December, Jennifer Rubin of the Washington Post also theorized what might be done to stop a sham impeachment trial, and the last item on her list was also calling for a mistrial:

“If, at the end of the proceedings, Democrats have not had access to witnesses, they could ask Roberts to declare a ‘mistrial.’ That is highly unlikely to be granted, but it would cement in the public’s mind a key argument: The Senate did not acquit (or decline to remove) by a full and fair trial. The stain of impeachment should remain, Democrats can argue.”

Just imagine how such a move would enrage Trump. He’d stay up all night tweeting and whining about how unfairly he’s being treated. If only for that reason, such a Hail Mary tactic might just be worth a try.

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