Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is in England talking about, among other things, impeachment. She tells the BBC we should not look to the defendant for legal analysis:
Earlier this month, the president suggested in a tweet that the Supreme Court could step in.
“Radical Left has NO CASE. Read the Transcripts. Shouldn’t even be allowed. Can we go to Supreme Court to stop?”
When the BBC’s Razia Iqbal asked the justice what her reading of the constitution was in this context, she replied: “The president is not a lawyer, he’s not law trained” [“Trump Is Not a Lawyer—Ruth Bader Ginsburg,” BBC News, 2019.12.17].
Justice Ginsburg also indicates that Senators called on to judge impeachment and convict the President for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress should watch what they say before the trial:
There was criticism over the weekend of Mitch McConnell, who leads the Republican party in the Senate, for saying an acquittal was a foregone conclusion.
When asked about senators making up their minds before the trial, the Supreme Court Justice said: “Well if a judge said that, a judge would be disqualified from sitting on the case” [BBC, 2019.12.17].
Senator M. Michael Rounds appears to be failing the Ginsburg test: on Friday, he said the House has “not provided the evidence to substantiate an impeachable offense” and said that “After reviewing the accusations made by the House, the Senate should be able to move expeditiously to bring this to a close and get back to things that matter to South Dakota families.”
Aside from sending Chief Justice John Roberts to preside at the trial, the Justice Bader and the Supreme Court will have no role in impeachment… other than perhaps to act as legal conscience for our leaders.