Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wasted no time on the first day back from the holiday break to attack Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Democrats over the impeachment of President Donald Trump:

“We’ve heard it claimed that the same House Democrats who botched their own process should get to reach over here into the Senate and dictate our process,” McConnell said from the Senate floor.

“Let me clarify Senate rules and Senate history for those who may be confused,” McConnell added. “First, about this fantasy that the Speaker of the House will get to hand-design the trial proceedings in the Senate, that’s obviously a non-starter.”

McConnell expressed his continued desire to hold a trial similar to President Bill Clinton’s impeachment trial in 1999. Clinton had two resolutions, which McConnell wants:

  • Determine the rules for the proceeding
  • Determine which witnesses to call to testify

The leader told the chamber that “President Trump should get the same treatment that every senator thought was fair with President Clinton.”

However, McConnell also said that the Senate cannot hold a trial without the articles of impeachment:

“We can’t hold a trial without the articles,” McConnell said. “The Senate’s own rules don’t provide for that.” McConnell had planned to begin the Senate trial this month but said he will instead move to regular legislation.

“For now, we are content to continue the ordinary business of the Senate while House Democrats continue to flounder, for now,” McConnell said, adding that if Democrats “ever muster the courage to stand behind their slapdash work product and transmit the articles,” the Senate will start the trial.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer then whined that McConnell did not provide “one good reason why there shouldn’t be relevant witnesses or relevant documents.” I guess he missed McConnell’s speech because he said that could happen once they have settled on the rules, but especially once the Senate possesses the articles of impeachment.

 

 
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