One line that defenders of Trump have hammered on is the idea that the President has the right to face the whistleblower.
Facts First: The short answer is no. The Sixth Amendment specifically covers criminal proceedings. The impeachment inquiry is a political process, not a criminal case.
Steve Vladeck, a Supreme Court analyst for CNN and professor at the University of Texas law school, says invoking the Sixth Amendment to suggest that Trump has the right to face the whistleblower “is so wrong as to be embarrassing.”
“The text of the Sixth Amendment literally limits its applicability to criminal prosecutions,” Vladeck said. “Impeachment is not a criminal prosecution.”
“There is no debate,” Vladeck continued, “there is no division on the Supreme Court about this, there is no meaningful room for disagreement, this is just flat wrong.” He also noted that the amendment does not afford the accused an absolute right to face everyone who contributed to the investigation.
Republicans can use the Sixth Amendment as a rhetorical device, suggesting that the President should be able to meet his accuser. But claiming he has the right to do so is false.