Petitioner goes on to contend that her participation in the determination of sufficiency of form and substance was indispensable. As mandated by the Impeachment Rules, however, and as, in fact, conceded by petitioner’s counsel, the participation of the impeachable officer starts with the filing of an answer.
Is it not that the Committee should first determine that there is sufficiency in form and substance before she is asked to file her answer (interrupted)
That is correct, Your Honor.
During which she can raise any defenses she can assail the regularity of the proceedings and related irregularities?
Yes. We are in total conformity and in full accord with that statement, Your Honor, because it is only after a determination that the complaint is sufficient in form and substance that a complaint may be filed, Your Honor, without that but it may be asked, how is not your action premature, Your Honor, our answer is- no, because of the other violations involved and that is (interrupted). (emphasis and underscoring supplied)
Rule III(A) of the Impeachment Rules of the 15th Congress reflects the impeachment procedure at the Committee-level, particularly Section 5 which denotes that petitioner’s initial participation in the impeachment proceedings – the opportunity to file an Answer – starts after the Committee on Justice finds the complaint sufficient in form and substance. That the Committee refused to accept petitioner’s motion for reconsideration from its finding of sufficiency of form of the impeachment complaints is apposite, conformably with the Impeachment Rules.