US Senate Can't Wait to Try Kent
First of all, he's been officially impeached. The House voted on Friday to send articles of impeachment to the Senate. The vote was unanimous. Ouch.
Today, the Senate accepted those articles and began process leading up to Kent's trial. It's the first impeachment since Bill Clinton's in 1999.
[For those of you who don't know Kent's backstory, I've posted on the saga here, here, here and here. There, that should get you caught up.]
In a dramatic play scripted by the Constitution itself, select members of the House and their staffs walked the articles through the Rotunda and delivered them into the Senate Chamber.
Once the articles were inside, the Senate voted to appoint a 12-member committee, to be led by Sen. Claire McCaskill (D - MO), to gather evidence and produce a summary of their findings for consumption by the full Senate.
If Kent hasn't resigned by the time the committee has finished the report, the full Senate will then chime in, asking questions of the House representatives and Kent's counsel before voting on whether to convict.
The Galveston County Daily News tried to contact Dick DeGuerin, Kent's attorney during his trial for obstruction of justice, to find out whether DeGuerin would represent Kent before the Senate, but didn't receive a response.
It could be that DeGuerin has better things to do. Another high-profile client of his - a Texas financier named R. Allen Stanford - is apparently in hot water over some Ponzi scheme or another, and DeGuerin may have decided to move on to this latest photo opportunity rather than defend a client who's about to lose his income and whose trial will only barely make C-SPAN, much less the network news.
Let's just hope, for Stanford's sake, that DeGuerin's suggestions to him are better than his advice to Kent that he postpone his retirement while collecting his federal judicial salary in prison. That one didn't go over so well, apparently.
Senate Impeachment Proceedings (C-SPAN)
Imprisoned judge's impeachment begins (MSNBC)
Judge Samuel Kent Impeached By House (Huffington Post)
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