Should the Senate take an impeachment vote in secret?

It’s my understanding that the Senate can vote to take the vote in secret in the trial of the President. If approved by simple majority the vote can be taken in secret.

My guess that Dems would unanimously support.

For my part, I think that more R’s would vote for impeachment if it were in secret, that said, I wouldn’t be confident that conviction would be successful even with a secret vote. Personally I’d want senators that vote for or against impeachment to be known so their constituents could made decisions on how to vote in the next election with knowledge of how their representative voted on impeachment.

So I’m mixed, but before I share the direction I lean, just curious if anyone here:

  1. Agrees that with a vote the vote could be done in secret via a vote?

  2. Would you prefer public or secret vote?

No secret voting. We should know how our representatives vote.

This is all.


But you recognize that the could vote in secret if the senate approves a vote?

I agree that a vote could be done in secret. I prefer a secret vote. Impeachment shouldn’t be political. It should be based on whether or not the president committed wrongdoing. Similar to a jury, senators should be allowed to vote in secret so that their vote is not influenced by external factors.

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I realize that, and it shouldn’t.

And don’t get me wrong, the ongoing melodrama with the removal of the president would amuse me while nothing really changes.

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Thanks, that is a compelling reason for a secret vote. Thanks for the answer and welcome to RO!

They represent us, and their decisions should be in the open. They should have the intestinal fortitude to stand up and vote their conscience rather than hiding their conscience behind a close door because they’re afraid of the political ramifications. If they’re so weak they can’t stand up in public and do what’s right, they don’t belong there. But then we know that almost none of them are there for anything principled. Most are there for their own benefits, which means they cannot take a principled stand (even if they had principles) when it conflicts with their re-election campaigns.

We shouldn’t encourage them to do anything in secret ever. They’re not to be trusted.

Welcome to RO :slight_smile:


The vote should be made public. I know it was in the Andrew Johnson impeachment of 1868 and believe it was also public for Bill Clinton. Arlen Spector made a big deal about his “not to convict” vote.

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NO vote should be taken in secret except those that WE cast at the ballot box.



OUR votes at the ballot box should be cast in secret, but NO Congress-critter should EVER be allowed to cast a “secret” vote. We have the RIGHT to know how those purporting to represent us are fulfilling that obligation and we cannot know that when they vote in secret. It will prevent some boob running on a pro-2nd-amendment platform and then secretly voting to take away our gun rights, just as an example. The same can be said for ANY contentious political question. If you run and are elected as a conservative, then your constituents have a right to know that you’re VOTING as a conservative on every issue.


It could be done. I think it would meet with bipartisan outrage. It might technically be Constitutional but it is contrary to our values. A conviction BY SECRET BALLOT would move me to lock and load time.

Yeah, especially if the Prez were convicted. I was arguing with a friend who isn’t a Trump fan tonight that a secret ballot removal of the Prez would only create a much bigger problem, because, say what you want about Trump, he knows how to play to a crowd.

So my take is that:

  1. The only hope of impeaching Trump is with a secret ballot
  2. Impeaching him with a secret ballot would only elevate Trump even more in the minds of people that support him.

So I just want to get you on the record here. Even though it’s perfectly legal, you still think it’s wrong.


Hey, Mr. Brown, why don’t you think about winning the 2020 election instead of living this impeachment and conviction fantasy that seems to occupy your mind?

Trump has proven that he’s willing to risk our national security, weaken us as a nation and break the law to win the next election, so how can he be trusted?

He cannot.

I mean, it’s not like he and his accomplices broke into an office to steal some info on his opponents or obstructed justice when trying to hide a tawdry sexual encounter, nope, this president is cheating, lying and bulldozing his way to win the next election.

So no, you can’t ask me to put aside my feeling that this president should be removed and let the next election decide, because this president has proven that he will do anything in his own best interest to win, no matter who it harms.

You have GOT to be THE most paranoid, cognitively dissonant poster I’ve ever encountered on line, CSB. Facts mean nothing to you. All you care about is your paranoid fantasies about a “national security threatening criminal”…with absolutely NO proof of any of it. Just with a plethora of suppositions, opinions and daydreams to back up your own paranoia. Worst case of TDS on the planet, apparently.

Everything I’ve said is true based on the last several days of testimony.

Let’s see, do I trust you or Bill Taylor? Fiona Hill? Marie Yavonovitch? Col. Vindman? and all the other career people who have each testified to parts of what Trump did and how it’s affected our national security. Let me say that again, they testified under oath and ALL said that what Trump had done with respect to Ukraine put our national security at risk. Almost everyone that testified said that John Bolton, no friend to the Dems told anyone that was involved to report what they heard to the Whitehouse council because he didn’t want to be part of the “drug deal” that were being cooked up. I suppose Bolton is a never Trumper too?

And let’s not forget Trump’s political appointee, a man with a line directly to the President (and who apparently calls him on an unsecured cellphone in a place almost certainly being monitored by Russian intelligence. Oh wait, I’m being paranoid.

You conveniently just ignore it as if they are all part of some wild conspiracy to take down the President. I mean, keep in mind, the people that you would accuse of being out to get the President are a mixture of Trump appointees and career diplomats with exemplary reputations who have served under both D’s and R’s, but suddenly they are all just out to get the President, right?

Now, who’s being paranoid?

I know, again, it’s all a concerted effort, everyone is on it, right?

Again, who’s paranoid?

Taylor, Hill, Yavonovich, Vindman etc. have their opinions but they are not there to make foreign policy, they are there to carry it out (or resign if they find that too distasteful). Other than that they testified to hearsay, second and third hand. I don’t think Bolton is a NeverTrumper but he is an extreme neocon who never met a war he didn’t like. He was totally at odds with the President’s policy of avoiding pointless conflicts.

PS The Ukraine got the weapons that BHO refused to supply for “political reasons”; that according to Hill who also wrote an oped piece in the NYT a few years ago arguing that we should NOT give weapons to Ukraine. Experts! Yeah, sure, tell me about it.

What 'Nutjob said. They’re being paid to represent us, and while the impeachment process shouldn’t be political, unavoidably, it is. There needs to be accountability for that, and it can’t happen with a secret vote.

Oh bullcrap. I don’t agree with CSB on some critical matters pertaining to this impeachment nonsense, but he doesn’t have either form of TDS (Trump-can-do-no-right or Trump-can-do-no-wrong). His objectivity isn’t that bad (might want to be careful of lumber in your own eye), and he’s been very patient for being a minority opinion on a conservative discussion board.


Did you bother to READ the BS I was replying to, FC? CSB apparently thinks these career bureaucrats SHOULD be in charge of our foreign policies and should be able to “suppose” whatever they prefer if their opinions conflict with the President’s. Having LIVED inside some of those bureaucracies for a good part of my life, I can tell you that, for the most part, there’s not a single bureaucratic careerist that I would trust to walk my dog, let alone lead this country. That’s NOT how it’s supposed to work.