Could the United States Senate use a secret ballot to remove President Donald Trump from office? Possibly, but it would be an absolutely terrible idea.
An article published Tuesday at Politico Magazine floats the idea, noting that Senate procedure allows the upper chamber to set its own rules for trying impeachment and that a bloc of just three Republicans could potentially force the issue.
The article — written by a former adviser to Republican politicians — argues that “the Senate’s role in an impeachment is analogous to a U.S. jury, where secret ballots are often used” and that Trump would “benefit in the long run” by being able to “focus his energies on his post-presidency.”
The appeal for some in the upper chamber seems obvious; those tired of the Trump presidency or who just can’t stand the man himself get to vote to remove the president from office and replace him with Vice President Mike Pence without having to face certain backlash from their own party and their constituents. But unlike jurors, senators are not selected at random. They are selected by the people with the knowledge that the person elected may have to sit for an impeachment trial, along with approving treaties and voting on the president’s nominees. Senators are accountable to the voters.
To seriously suggest removing this president from office via secret ballot — which has never been done before — could almost pass for bad satire at this point in the current impeachment process. (For more from the author of “Removing Trump by Senate Secret Ballot Would Be a Disaster for Our Republic” please click HERE)