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Posted at 6:00 AM ET, 12/ 7/2010

Senate to hold impeachment trial for federal judge

By Ed O'Keefe

U.S. Federal District Judge Thomas Porteous (AP)

Eye Opener

Despite a packed schedule involving tax cuts and treaties, the Senate is scheduled to squeeze in some time this week to fulfill a constitutional duty it's exercised only 18 other times in its history.

Senators will consider four articles of impeachment against U.S. District Court Judge G. Thomas Porteous of New Orleans, who faces allegations related to decades of corruption. He allegedly maintained improper relationships with lawyers and bail bondsmen who appeared in his courtroom, made false statements about his personal bankruptcy, and lied to Senate and FBI investigators in the 1990s who conducted background checks related to his nomination to the federal bench. Mix in tales from the often-sordid state of Louisiana's politics -- episodes involving free shrimp, vodka and Las Vegas lap dancers -- and you've got the makings of some captivating C-SPAN2 coverage.

Porteous' defense team, led by George Washington University professor and frequent television legal commentator Jonathan Turley, has argued that the charges don't rise to the "high crimes and misdemeanors" threshold set forth in the U.S. Constitution.

Regardless, the House approved the articles of impeachment in March and the Senate Impeachment Trial Committee heard more than a week of testimony in September. The panel, led by Sens. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), prepared a summary of the trial that all 100 senators will consider starting today.

Senators will also hear closing arguments from Turley and the House lawmakers who presented the impeachment charges against him to the Senate panel. The 100 members of the jury -- sorry, the Senate -- will deliberate privately before holding votes on the articles of impeachment in open session.

And yes -- for those of you scratching your head, wondering, "When was the last time they did this?" -- the answer is 1999: Supreme Court Justice William Rehnquist wore his gold-plated robe, future senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) was a House impeachment manager, Arlen Specter was still a Republican (and oddly voted "Not proven"), and the Senate acquitted President Bill Clinton of impeachment charges.

Leave your thoughts in the comments section below

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By Ed O'Keefe  | December 7, 2010; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  Congress, Eye Opener  
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Next: Postal workers behaving badly


Here is another example of: Name That Party!!!

G. Thomas Porteous is a Clinton appointee.

This is as much fun as Where's Waldo thanks to the Democrat mainstream media.

Posted by: VastRightWingConspirator | December 7, 2010 7:53 AM | Report abuse

why does it take congress so long to throw out the wonder we are broke.

Posted by: SISSD1 | December 7, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

When Social Security first became law, according to what I read somewhere, it was illegal to use SS numbers for anything other than Social Security. We would all have more secure IDs if we returned to that restriction. The state of Virginia generates unique numbers for the ID cards it issues, so that would surely be easy to do for other organizations needing ID numbers.

Posted by: wsheppard | December 7, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Looks one of the 'good ol' boys' didn't do what he was told. These animals don't eat their own until someone steps out of his/her assigned duties, which have NOTHING to do with following the Constitution. The Illuminati/Mason brigade taking care of their stray dogs.

Posted by: stienster | December 7, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

no life time jobs for anyone

Posted by: joe1948718 | December 7, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

So why did it take decades to remove a corrupt judge? Will the many injustices he caused be reversed?

Posted by: cwheckman | December 7, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

And when will the impeachment hearings for the Senate and House begin? Who's going to present impeachment articles on them? Unfortunately, no average citizen, i.e., the 300m citizens of the US, can do this, so I suspect this won't happen anytime soon. However, it's a nice thought.

Posted by: jsdoodlerex | December 7, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

What is on that chick's face?

Posted by: getjiggly1 | December 7, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

"What is on that chick's face?
Posted by: getjiggly1 | December 7, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse"

You know... you are one pathetic person. I am sure you are just as lovely in person as you are online. You must have been very abused, or like the Rooster use to say, "your brains ain't even grown yet".

Posted by: darbyohara | December 8, 2010 7:31 AM | Report abuse

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