Former Rep. Duncan recalls 1998 presidential impeachment vote


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Impeachment talks are all too familiar to former Republican Rep. Jimmy Duncan who voted for the articles of impeachment against former President Bill Clinton in 1998. Those articles passed the Republican-lead House, but President Clinton wasn’t convicted in the Senate and was able to complete his second term.

Duncan believes, if this inquiry rises to the point of drafting any articles, history will repeat itself.

“Because the Democrats have such heavy control of the House, it wouldn’t surprise me, in fact, I think they will probably pass an article or articles of impeachment against President (Donald) Trump, but I do not believe he’ll be convicted in the Senate.”

The best way for Duncan to explain the difference in roles of the two bodies of Congress during an impeachment proceeding, is the House acts as the grand jury and the Senate is like the jury, which holds the actual trial.

It’s essentially up to the House of Representative to indict someone, but up to the Senate to convict.

Duncan said in the late 1990s he and his Republican colleagues knew a conviction in the Senate was unlikely, but they “were all trying to do what was right, despite our odds.”

Duncan doesn’t believe what’s publicly available today merits an impeachment inquiry. In fact, he’s more interested in the investigating into former Vice President Joe Biden’s son.

“That’s where the real questionable deal is, in my opinion,” he said.

Duncan, mostly a party voter throughout his time in Congress, despite voting against the war in Iraq, said he was still able to work with both parties and get along with everyone. He fears bipartisanship may be a thing of the past now.

“I know President Trump is hated by a lot of people, but I think some of this has gotten to a ridiculous point,” Duncan said. “It seems like there is more hatred in politics today than at any point in our nation’s history.”

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