Washington, D.C.- U.S. Senator Jim Risch has been selected to serve on the impeachment trial committee set to gather evidence in the case of U.S. District Judge Samuel B. Kent. Risch is one of six Republicans who will serve on the 12-member panel.
The committee will investigate and gather evidence related to each of the four articles of impeachment and present their findings in a summary without recommendation to the full Senate. The Senate will then hold a trial and vote, where a two-thirds majority of the Senators present will be required to convict Judge Kent of any article of impeachment.
"Serving on this committee is a constitutional responsibility I take very seriously," said Risch. "Our justice system requires us to be impartial stewards and it is imperative that we look only to the evidence and facts of this case."
Kent, who had been serving on the bench of U.S. District court for the Southern District of Texas, pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice charges in February and is currently in prison. He submitted his resignation from the bench, but made it effective in June of 2010 allowing him to draw an additional year of salary. The House of Representatives approved four articles of impeachment against Kent last week. If the Senate convicts him of any of those articles he will automatically be removed from office.
The impeachment committee will meet later this week to set up a schedule for their work. Kent is the 14th federal judge to be impeached, the most recent occurring in 1989.
Members of the Committee:
Senator Claire McCaskill, Missouri, Chair
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Rhode Island
Senator Ted Kaufman, Delaware
Senator Amy Klobuchar, Minnesota
Senator Jeanne Shaheen, New Hampshire
Senator Tom Udall, New Mexico
Senator Mel Martinez, Florida, Vice Chair
Senator Jim DeMint, South Carolina
Senator John Barrasso, Wyoming
Senator Roger Wicker, Mississippi
Senator Mike Johanns, Nebraska
Senator James E. Risch, Idaho
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