Rule 607. Who May Impeach

  1. Under prior practice, the party calling a witness was said to “vouch” for the witness. Ordinarily, that meant the party could not attack the credibility of that witness. However, for purposes of impeachment, a witness need not be adverse.
  2. Rule 607 provides that “[t]he credibility of a witness may be attacked by any party, including the party calling the witness.” The rule contemplates impeachment, however, not the attempted introduction of evidence which otherwise is hearsay. Put differently, the Government may not use impeachment by prior inconsistent statement as a “subterfuge” to avoid the hearsay rule.
    United States v. Hogan, 763 F.2d 697, 702 (5th Cir. 1985). United States v. Ureta, 44 M.J. 290 (1996), cert. denied, 117 S. Ct. 692 (1997).

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