•   
  •   
  •   

Politics McConnell defends his impeachment trial rules as even-handed and fair

21:05  21 january  2020
21:05  21 january  2020 Source:   courier-journal.com

Impeachment trial: What comes next?

  Impeachment trial: What comes next? More than three weeks after President Donald Trump was impeached by the House, his impeachment trial has not begun in Senate. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told Democratic colleagues on Friday to prepare to transmit the two House articles of impeachment within the coming week.

U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell defended his proposed rules for the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump as fair and even-handed in a speech on the Senate floor.

Mitch McConnell, Joni Ernst standing next to a person in a suit and tie: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., walks to talk with reporters outside of the Senate chamber, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020.© Jose Luis Magana, AP Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., walks to talk with reporters outside of the Senate chamber, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020.

"Today, we will consider and pass an organizing resolution that will structure the first phase of the trial," McConnell said Tuesday, shortly before the trial got rolling.

"This initial step will offer an early signal to our country: Can the Senate still serve our founding purpose? Can we still put fairness, even-handedness and historical precedent ahead of the partisan passions of the day?" he asked.

McConnell unlikely to pursue dismissal vote on impeachment articles

  McConnell unlikely to pursue dismissal vote on impeachment articles There's little appetite from Republicans with tough re-election fights for a vote to dismiss the charges against President Trump outright.That's because there is little appetite from Republican members facing difficult re-election races in 2020 to cast a vote that could be seen as overly protective of the president, GOP aides and senators say.

Start the day smarter. Get all the news you need in your inbox each morning.

McConnell made it clear Tuesday that he thinks the way for the Senate to show its determination to be fair during the trial would be to approve the rules he has proposed.

Read this: McConnell called 'Midnight Mitch' for controversial proposed impeachment trial rules

The GOP-controlled Senate includes more Republicans than Democrats among its members. And McConnell said his proposal, which he considers a "fair road map" for the trial, already has the support of a majority of senators.

"On every point, our straightforward resolution will bring the clarity and fairness that everyone deserves," he said.

The longtime Kentucky senator and current Senate majority leader faces a major test as the nation watches to see how he and the chamber he helms will handle the Trump trial.

No tweeting: Senators have to keep quiet, stay off iPhones, and remain seated during Trump's impeachment trial

  No tweeting: Senators have to keep quiet, stay off iPhones, and remain seated during Trump's impeachment trial Senators cannot take electronic devices into the chamber during the trial, which means they will not be live-tweeting the proceedings.They are not allowed to use their iPhones, they have to keep quiet, and they must remain seated during the process.

McConnell already has been slammed by top Democrats for refusing to agree up front to allow witnesses to testify during the trial and for saying he is not an impartial juror.

Scott Jennings: Impeachment rules could help free senators from their personal bias bubbles

This week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other high-profile members of Congress had a fresh reason to criticize him after he unveiled his proposed rules for the trial, which follow a layout similar to (but not exactly like) the way the 1999 trial of President Bill Clinton was run.

Two key points of contention concerning McConnell's proposal are:

  • An accelerated pace that would require the prosecution and defense to complete each of their respective opening arguments within two days
  • The suggested rules' refusal to automatically admit the findings from the House of Representatives' recent impeachment inquiry into evidence

In a statement Tuesday, Pelosi said: “Leader McConnell’s process is deliberately designed to hide the truth from the Senate and from the American people, because he knows that the President’s wrongdoing is indefensible and demands removal."

McConnell has yet to share memo on impeachment rules, Sen. Dick Durbin says

  McConnell has yet to share memo on impeachment rules, Sen. Dick Durbin says With Trump's trial set to start on Tuesday, there hasn't been the "most basic exchange of information," Sen. Dick Durbin said on "Meet the Press."Speaking on NBC's "Meet the Press," Sen. Dick Durbin said the Senate's leadership team hasn't been negotiating behind the scenes and the memo hasn't been shared. That memo, he said, "is supposed to kick off this entire trial.

"No jury would be asked to operate on McConnell’s absurdly compressed schedule, and it is obvious that no Senator who votes for it is intending to truly weigh the damning evidence of the President’s attacks on our Constitution," she said.

The Senate's top Democrat, U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer, once again called on the Senate to require witnesses to testify and documents to be produced during the impeachment trial in a speech he gave right after McConnell concluded his remarks.

You may like: Louisville protesters tell Mitch McConnell to be impartial in Trump impeachment trial

In recent weeks, McConnell has cast doubt on whether the Senate should call new witnesses whose testimony wasn't included in the House's impeachment investigation. And he has repeatedly criticized the House Democrats' impeachment as the "most rushed, least thorough and most unfair" such proceeding in American history.

But Schumer tried to use McConnell's own words against him Tuesday.

"The truth is Leader McConnell is plotting the most rushed, least thorough and most unfair impeachment trial in modern history, and it begins today," Schumer said.

The Senate is expected to debate McConnell's proposed rules Tuesday afternoon.

Contact reporter Morgan Watkins at mwatkins@courierjournal.com and 502-582-4502 or follow her on Twitter @morganwatkins26. Support strong local journalism by subscribing today: subscribe.courier-journal.com.

This article originally appeared on Louisville Courier Journal: McConnell defends his impeachment trial rules as even-handed and fair

Adam Schiff Offers Deal to Senate Republicans: Let's Cap Witness 'Depositions to One Week' .
House impeachment manager Adam Schiff on Thursday offered to cap witness depositions to a time limit of one week. "Let's take a week to have a fair trial," he said.Schiff's remarks were in response to Senate Republicans who have complained about the length of the trial, saying there is no need for witnesses to give their testimony to the Senate. Trump himself reportedly wants the trial to be completed before he delivers the annual State of the Union address in February.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks

Topical videos:

usr: 1
This is interesting!