Opinion The Senate’s Potemkin Trial
Schumer on Senate impeachment trial: 'We will force votes' on witnesses and documents
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Sunday night he is prepared to "force votes for witnesses and documents" in the Senate impeachment trial if Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell does not call for it in his proposal. "We have the right to do it, We are going to do it and we are going to do it at the beginning on Tuesday if leader McConnell doesn't call for these witnesses in his proposal," Schumer said at a press conference in New York. "We're allowed to amend it, and ask for them.
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Everyone’s going to hate the Senate impeachment trial of Donald Trump.
The president, who would prefer that there is no trial at all, will hate that it’s happening in the first place. Senators as a whole, who may have to sit——into the wee hours of the morning hearing the case, are going to be miserable. Most of the Democrats among those senators think the rules are a sham, designed to move through the trial quickly, without any serious consideration. Most of the Republicans, well, want to get the trial over as quickly as possible, without any serious consideration. Chief Justice John Roberts has to hold down two jobs, juggling his Supreme Court responsibilities while also presiding over the impeachment trial. And don’t get us started on the journalists who have to cover it, .
Trump arrives in Davos hours before impeachment trial reopens
US President Donald Trump arrived in Davos on Tuesday for the annual WEF forum, where he was to give a keynote speech just hours before his impeachment trial kicks into high gear in Washington. Meanwhile in Washington, Trump's impeachment enters a new phase in the Senate with legislators debating the format for the trial. Although Trump's Republican party holds a majority in the Senate and is almost sure to acquit him on charges of abusing his power and obstructing Congress, the impeachment adds volatility to an already tense 2020 presidential election.Trump returns to the White House on Wednesday.
It’s a good thing that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellwho takes blame for unpopular ideas.
, on which the Senate will vote Tuesday afternoon, provide for a Potemkin trial, not a real one. McConnell has been open that his goal is to dispose of the trial before the State of the Union, on February 4, and the rules show far more interest in speed than accuracy or deliberation.
There’s a good chance the Senate won’t hear from any new witnesses or documents at all; in any case, a vote on that will be held later. Any witness would be deposed before testifying. The Senate will still be able to vote to dismiss the charges outright, though Republicans have suggested there’s not majority support for that step. The House impeachment managers, a team of Democrats appointed by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, will have 24 hours to present their case—but only over the course of two calendar days. Since the days start at 1 p.m., that means that managers will be running late into the night, if they take all their time.
McConnell makes last-minute changes to Trump impeachment trial rules
The sudden revision in the Senate's organizing resolution also ensures House Democrats' evidence will be admitted.The last-minute change was revealed on Tuesday as the organizing resolution for President Donald Trump's Senate trial was being read into the record on the Senate floor. The new version gives both side 24 hours to make their case over three days, instead of the two initially proposed by McConnell on Monday.
McConnell had indicated the rules would mirror those adopted for the Clinton impeachment, but they diverge in crucial respects. These include the two-day limit, which is clearly designed to minimize public attention, and the method by which the rules were adopted: The Clinton rules came out of a bipartisan agreement, while the Trump rules are expected to pass on something like a party-line vote.
Trump’s acquittal is effectively a foreordained outcome—especially if senators don’t hear any more evidence or witnesses, though it’s not clear any evidence of misconduct by the president could really sway Republican senators at this point. So why bother having a trial at all?
The catch is voters, and in particular, the multiple electorates that McConnell has to consider: the nation as a whole, but also the voters in those states where vulnerable Republicans are up for reelection.
Pro-Trump group pressures Doug Jones with impeachment ad
The ad from the nonprofit group America First Policies begins airing in Alabama Wednesday.The ad from the nonprofit group America First Policies begins airing in Alabama Wednesday, backed by a $450,000 buy on TV and digital platforms, according to details shared first with POLITICO. The group is planning to spend a total of $1 million in an ad campaign across three states as the Senate's trial continues.
The Senate can scarcely afford to hold a trial. The Senate majority leader has forged a surprisingly effective working relationship with Trump, who detests the idea of a trial. And if McConnell held a real trial, he would risk uncovering new information that is damaging to the president. The House impeachment hearings,, provided a parade of scathing revelations about Trump’s lawlessness and abuse. Even without a real threat of conviction, that’s not in Trump’s interest, and it’s not in McConnell’s interest to come up with even more evidence against Trump and then still acquit.
Yet McConnell can’t very well not hold a trial, either. He’s said that the Senate rules require one, although he has hedged a bit by allowing the possibility of a motion to dismiss. The public wants a trial, too. There’s beenfor impeachment since September. FiveThirtyEight’s of polling finds a slim plurality supports removing Trump from office. A new CNN poll even finds a majority for removal ( ).
The Senate has to at least have the appearance of a trial to provide cover to vulnerable Republicans likeand Susan Collins of Maine. But it can’t be too fair, because that could expose Republicans to primary challenges from the right, which would only make McConnell’s delicate act of keeping his caucus together more challenging. His best prospect is to run the gauntlet and hope that in the process he makes life difficult for endangered Democratic senators, like Doug Jones of Alabama.
That’s the paradox of the Senate’s handling of impeachment. The proceedings there look like a flimsy excuse for a trial, and they are. But under the surface, there are a series of real trials going on. Vulnerable senators sit in the dock, the jurors are voters, and the verdicts won’t come back until November.
Protester interrupts Senate impeachment trial, yelling 'Schumer is the devil' .
The man was arrested and charged with unlawful conduct.The protester was tackled and escorted out of the gallery within seconds. Jeffries, one of the seven House impeachment managers tasked with presenting the case against Trump, resumed his remarks, but the protester continued to scream loudly just outside the chamber, on the third floor near the press gallery.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell thinks impeachment trial will go into 2020
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he thinks an impeachment trial in the Senate will go into the new year. He also said he "can't imagine a scenario ...
'This Is The Kangaroo Court' Republicans React To Delayed Impeachment Vote | NBC News
Republicans members of the House Judiciary Committee erupt after Chairman Nadler announces that the committee will go into recess and delay the ...