Experts in the East weigh in on Senate trial

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — It’s a highly anticipated process only witnessed two other times in American history.

The Senate trial of President Donald Trump started on Tuesday.

“In some respects, it’s much ado about nothing in that I haven’t heard a single observer forecast that President Trump will be escorted from office,” said Brad Lockerbie, a political science professor at ECU.

One of the key questions to be determined at the beginning of the trial: will witnesses, including new ones not heard on the house side, be called to testify?

“If you’re a Senator who says, ‘yeah he did it, but it’s not impeachable,’ witnesses aren’t going to change your mind. If we look back at the Clinton Impeachment they didn’t have witnesses testify in the U.S. Senate, but they did have some witnesses give a deposition under oath,” said Lockerbie.

But, what does the Impeachment trial mean for our own N.C? Senators?

“For one thing they’re going to have to be quiet. They’re not going to be able to have their cell phones so no Candy Crush, or Facebook, or anything like that,” said Lockerbie.

Thom Tillis, Richard Burr, and their 98 colleagues have to sit at their desks, and just listen.

“Then, they are going to have to think about how their constituents are going to view their behavior as jurors,” said Lockerbie.

According to Lockerbie, how Burr and Tillis will likely vote is no secret.

He expects the verdict of guilt or acquittal to fall right along party lines.

“I would say that a lot of it is a theater in the sense that we all know where this is going, what’s going to be accomplished, and not much is going to change,” said Lockerbie.

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