Amid a rising American atmosphere of political death threats and violence, some are calling for a secret vote to determined Donald Trump’s upcoming impeachment trial to protect senators’ safety.
The idea was discussed last time around after Trump’s first impeachment in 2019. Some argued that Republicans were unable to vote their conscience because of pressure from their party and constituents.
Secret votes, however, run contrary to a principle of transparency and senators’ accountability. Critics on Twitter complained Republicans would claim they voted one way, while actually voting exactly the opposite.
This time around, for Trump’s second impeachment, the risk of danger appears significantly higher in the wake of a death plot against Michigan’s Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, and death threats against infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci for crossing Trump — and the storming of the Capitol by Trump supporters.
Former Clinton administration labor secretary Robert Reich was among those suggesting a secret vote in the upcoming February impeachment trial.
Harvard law professor and Constitution expert Laurence Tribe, supported Reich’s idea as the “fairest way to proceed — as with any ordinary jury,” but didn’t think it was “in the cards.”
New York Times author Kurt Eichenwald also backed the idea.
Other responses were sharply mixed.