Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer just got put in his place by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who shot down the Democrat senator’s deal he wanted to strike on impeachment trial rules in the Senate, should the Democrats’ impeachment attempt against Trump pass the full House vote and be left to the Senate.
Schumer’s proposition for how he and the Dems want the Senate impeachment trial to go includes calling in 4 additional, new witnesses.
However, McConnell isn’t having it.
He described Schumer’s proposal as “dead wrong” and said that it “could set a nightmarish precedent for our institution.”
In his rejection of Schumer’s offer, McConnell delivered this blistering statement,
“The Senate Democratic leader would apparently like our chamber to do the House Democrats’ homework for them. He wants to volunteer the Senate’s time and energy on a fishing expedition to see whether his own ideas could make Chairman Schiff’ sloppy work more persuasive than Chairman Schiff himself bothered to make it.”
McConnell also pointed that Schumer “wants to write a completely new set of rules for President Trump. The same process that Sen. Schumer thought was good enough for President Clinton he doesn’t want to afford to President Trump. Go figure.”
Take a look:
Here's a snapshot of the requests Schumer wanting to impose on the Senate impeachment trial:
Watch Mitch McConnell's speech on the Senate floor rejecting Schumer's demands for an impeachment trial here:
As you may have guessed, Sen. Schumer isn't pleased.
Watch Schumer's response to McConnell shutting him down here:
Fox News has more details on McConnell striking down Schumer's impeachment trial demands:
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell struck back Tuesday at his Democratic counterpart's calls for an in-depth impeachment trial featuring multiple new witnesses, dismissing the push as a "fishing expedition" that would set a "nightmarish precedent."
"The Senate is meant to act as judge and jury, to hear a trial, not to re-run the entire fact-finding investigation because angry partisans rushed sloppily through it,” he said on the Senate floor.
In a Sunday letter, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer had called for the chamber to subpoena new documents and call witnesses who had been blocked by the White House during the impeachment inquiry on the House side.
McConnell, R-Ky., claimed that such investigative steps, though, were part of the House role -- not a mission for the Senate. He warned that entertaining Schumer’s proposal to do House lawmakers’ “homework” could invite a string of future “dubious” and “frivolous” impeachment inquiries.
He stressed the fact-finding mission should have been completed during the impeachment inquiry led by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif. McConnell accused the House of doing a rush job, and said Schumer is now looking "to make Chairman Schiff's sloppy work more persuasive."
The comments come as the full House prepares to vote as early as Wednesday on impeachment articles, alleging abuse of power and obstruction of Congress over President Trump's bid to pressure Ukraine to investigate Democrats. McConnell and Schumer are poised to meet in the near future to discuss the framework for an expected Senate trial, but have traded barbs in the run-up to their sit-down.
ABC News also said:
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday flatly rejected Minority Leader Chuck Schumer's call for a deal on live witnesses at President Trump's impeachment trial -- at least before the trial starts.
In a Senate floor speech responding to Schumer, McConnell made it crystal clear that he is not inclined to call in witnesses -- but he didn’t rule it out either.
“The House chose this road. It is their duty to investigate. It is their duty to meet the very high bar for undoing a national election,” McConnell said.
“If they fail, they fail,” McConnell said of the House’s efforts to make a clear case against the president. “It is not the Senate’s job to leap into the breach and search desperately for ways to “get to guilty.’” That would hardly be impartial justice,” he said.
“We don’t create impeachments,” McConnell said. “We judge them.”
Sarcastically calling the House Democrats’ work the “most rushed, least thorough, and most unfair impeachment inquiry in modern history,” McConnell urged the House to “turn back from the cliff” and not impeach the president.
McConnell slammed his Democratic counterpart for short circuiting the “customary and collegial process” in laying down the basic groundwork in determining the process and procedures for a potential impeachment trial.
“The preferable path would have been an in-person conversation, which nonetheless, I still hope to pursue,” McConnell said.
Later in the day, McConnell doubled down and declared he will not be an impartial juror during the trial.
“This is a political process, there's not anything judicial about it," he said during a press conference Tuesday afternoon. "Impeachment is a political decision, the House made a partisan political decision to impeach. I anticipate we will have a largely partisan outcome in the Senate. I'm not impartial about this at all."
Democrats have criticized McConnell in recent days for promising to work in “total coordination” with the White House, accusing him of allowing the president to plan his own trial.
Schumer, in a letter addressed to the McConnell on Sunday, asked to hear from four witnesses during the Senate’s impeachment trial – acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, former National Security Adviser John Bolton, Associate Director for National Security at the Office of Management and Budget Michael Duffey, and senior adviser to the acting White House chief of staff, Robert Blair – all of whom refused to participate in the House investigation.