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Lead House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) closed the second day of opening arguments in President Donald Trump’s Senate impeachment trial on Thursday by attacking the president’s personal character.
“Nobody is really making the argument, ‘Donald Trump would never do such a thing!'” Schiff argued on the floor of the Senate, after 10 p.m. ET. “Because of course we know that he would, and of course we know that he did.”
Schiff - Use - Character - Attacks - Rules
Schiff’s use of character attacks would ordinarily have been barred by the rules of evidence, if the Senate were in fact a court of law. Attorneys are prohibited from attempting to prove guilt by attacking the character of the defendant.
The Federal Rules of Evidence stipulate (Rule 404): “Evidence of a person’s character or character trait is not admissible to prove that on a particular occasion the person acted in accordance with the character or trait.”
Exception - Defendant - Character - ? - Instance
The only exception is when a defendant brings in his or her own character — for instance, saying that he or she could not possibly have committed the crime in question because of good character. Then the...
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