Chief Justice John Roberts may be wild card

Alan Dershowitz argues act not impeachable if done to help get elected

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WASHINGTON – Republicans hoping to end the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump and Democrats seeking to extend it with witnesses and documents may be looking to one man Friday: Chief Justice John Roberts.

With Republicans increasingly confident they have the votes to block any additional testimony that could delay the trial and jeopardize Trump’s likely acquittal, the mild-mannered jurist sitting as presiding officer has emerged as Democrats’ last hope.

But whether Roberts has the authority under Senate rules to insist on further fact-finding is disputed. And even if he does, most experts on presidential impeachments don’t expect him to use it.

“There’s no earthly way that John Roberts is going to put up his hand and say, ‘I think I’ll step right in the middle of this poisonous fight,'” predicts Frank Bowman, a professor at the University of Missouri School of Law who has written extensively on impeachment. 

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