Protesting Republicans say impeachment probe violates Trump’s rights. Is that true?

The lawmakers were echoing objections made by White House Counsel Pat Cipollone in an Oct. 8 letter to top House Democrats that said Trump’s lawyers must be allowed to call and cross-examine witnesses, access evidence, and be afforded other “basic rights guaranteed to all Americans.”

The following examines the procedures followed in past impeachment investigations and explains why, contrary to Republican claims, the current inquiry does not violate Trump’s constitutional rights.


According to several experts, no.

Frank Bowman, a law professor at the University of Missouri, said the U.S. Constitution gives the House the freedom to set its own ground rules for the process.

No full vote is needed to authorize an investigation and the House is not obligated to let Trump’s lawyers participate, Bowman said.

“Trump has no standing whatsoever to insist that the House do impeachment the way he would like it done,” Bowman said.

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