Biden in 1999: Senate can dismiss impeachment articles 'without holding a full trial'

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    Poor old Quid Pro Joe. He should just stay asleep

    Joe Biden once urged Democrats two days ahead of President Bill Clinton's Senate impeachment trial that charges could be dropped without taking into account new evidence.

    "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," the Delaware Democrat said in a Jan. 5, 1999, memo Politicopublished Thursday.

    Democrats have argued for witnesses in the current impeachment trial of President Trump. Some have questioned the legitimacy of the trial if new evidence is not brought forth. "In light of the extensive record already compiled, it may be that the benefit of receiving additional evidence or live testimony is not great enough to outweigh the public costs (in terms of national prestige, faith in public institutions, etc.) of such a proceeding," Biden said in the 1999 memo. "While a judge may not take such considerations into account, the Senate is uniquely competent to make such a balance."

    During Clinton's trial, Republicans were able to force the Senate to bring forth new witnesses. Republicans now appear poised to win the witness fight again and end the Senate trial without new witnesses.

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