By Nathaniel DePaul
The impeachment hearing of Student Association President Desann Chin-Carty began in the Senate and proceeded in two back to back special sessions on Wednesday and Thursday.
After the 36-3-1 vote by the senate at the Feb. 12 meeting to begin a hearing on the President’s case with witness testimony and evidence, senate leadership drew up plans for how the process would commence, as, according to senate chairman Nick Chin’s opening statement, there are “no recent precedents set for how to conduct an impeachment, so we are drawing up procedure at each step.”
The Senate named Senator Halimatou Diallo as their head impeachment manager, presenting the case for the Board of Finance’s report and conclusion that President Carty must be removed.
Carty herself headed her own defense, and each side was given the opportunity to both call their own witnesses and cross-examine the other side’s witnesses.
Questions of witnesses from each side had to be internally screened by the senate chairman before they were allowed to be asked, in order to ensure relevance and fairness, given the political tensions created by this impeachment process.
After the questioning and cross-examination of witnesses by each side, individual senators were given the opportunity to submit one question on paper to the chairman to be asked of the witness.
The senate impeachment managers called a total of six witnesses and Carty’s defense called eight.
Despite each special session running late into the night, only the managers’ witnesses were able to be questioned fully.
The process will resume next week, although it is unclear at the time of this publication when the next special session would be. It is likely to resume again during the senate’s usual meeting time, 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday.