New Demand Justice Ads Target Chief Justice John Roberts’ Failure to Ensure Fair Impeachment Trial

01.27.20

Digital Ads Encourage Americans to Call Supreme Court and Tell Roberts to Rule in Favor of Witnesses

WASHINGTON, DC—On Monday, Demand Justice announced a paid ad campaign calling out Chief Justice John Roberts’ failure so far to ensure a fair impeachment trial, and urging Americans to call the Supreme Court to demand he do so.

Roberts has so far shunned any meaningful role when it comes to presiding over the trial. In the first few days of the impeachment proceedings, Roberts sat idly by while White House lawyers lied about the facts of the case and Republican senators broke Senate rules, publicly declaring their intention to violate the oath they took to do “impartial justice” and skipping out on the trial to be interviewed on Fox News. Roberts spoke up only once, after Senator Susan Collins complained about a House impeachment manager calling out the Republican coverup.

This week, Roberts could choose again between acceding to the Republican coverup or taking steps to ensure former National Security Advisor John Bolton and other relevant witnesses can testify. As a new op-ed published in the New York Times this morning explains, Roberts has the ability, under Senate rules, to issue a subpoena for potential witnesses such as Bolton if the House impeachment managers move for him to do so. According to this analysis, Roberts’ ruling to subpoena these witnesses could only be overturned by a two-thirds vote of the Senate.

The digital ads encourage Americans to call the Supreme Court and tell Roberts to both ensure a fair trial by ruling in favor of a motion to hear testimony from all relevant witnesses and to enforce the Senate’s own rules by compelling all jurors to be present and paying attention during the proceedings.

“So far, Chief Justice Roberts has shown more concern for Susan Collins’ feelings than for ensuring a legitimate impeachment inquiry,” said Demand Justice Executive Director Brian Fallon. “ Roberts has a responsibility to preside over a fair trial, and that means a trial where jurors actually listen to evidence and relevant witnesses are heard from. It’s time for him to do his job instead of enabling McConnell’s coverup operation.”

An example of the ad appears below.

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