Paul Savoy: An impeachment trial without witnesses would be unconstitutionalFor this reason, impeachment explicitly involves fewer rights than a criminal trial does.
The Constitution similarly says an official can be both impeached and criminally prosecuted for the same act—indicating that impeachment is no substitute for a criminal trial.
A federal court did once hold, as the lawyers’ response notes, that due process applied to an impeachment.
Trump’s lawyers’ filing goes on to say that the Framers “surely” did not mean to divorce impeachment from rights like due process.
But if impeachment is a judicial instrument, the House’s authority is comparable to indictment, a process in which the rights of the accused are notoriously meager.

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