Biden’s 1999 Memo Argues AGAINST Witnesses In Impeachment Trial

In January 1999, ahead of the impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton, then-Senator Joe Biden argued vehemently against the need for new witnesses or evidence in a memo sent to his fellow Democrats, according to Politico.

Politico reported: “Biden circulated the four-page document, titled “Arguments in Support of a Summary Impeachment Trial,” on Jan. 5, 1999. In his memo, obtained by POLITICO, Biden cited historical precedents from impeachment cases going back to the establishment of the Senate and asserted “The Senate need not hold a ‘full-blown’ trial.”

In his memo, Biden cited multiple examples of historical precedent to support his argument against obtaining additional witnesses for the Senate impeachment trial of Bill Clinton.

“The Senate may dismiss articles of impeachment without holding a full trial or taking new evidence. Put another way, the Constitution does not impose on the Senate the duty to hold a trial,” Biden wrote in the memo.

Biden added: “In a number of previous impeachment trials, the Senate has reached the judgment that its constitutional role as a sole trier of impeachments does not require it to take new evidence or hear live witness testimony.”

Biden’s comments from 1999 undermine the Democrats’ current arguments for additional witnesses in the Senate impeachment trial and are very similar to the arguments Republicans are making today.