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Recusalpalooza: Democrats Demand McConnell Recuse Himself from Impeachment, Republicans Respond

Recusalpalooza: Democrats Demand McConnell Recuse Himself from Impeachment, Republicans Respond

“This is a political process. There is not anything judicial about it. Impeachment is a political decision.” – McConnell

Democrats added another ring to the impeachment circus Wednesday night when Rep. Val Demings, a Congresswoman serving as one of Pelosi’s impeachment managers, called for Senate Majority Leader McConnell to recuse himself from the upcoming impeachment hearings.

From the Miami Herald:

Rep Val Demings’ position, shared publicly by a just a few other Democrats, could undercut House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s efforts to frame impeachment as an exercise of constitutional duty. Republicans have argued for months that Democrats are on a partisan mission to remove Trump from office.

Yet in selecting Demings on Wednesday as one of the seven impeachment managers, Pelosi is giving a national spotlight to a Democrat who has often gone against House leaders on impeachment issues — she first called for Trump’s removal from office a year before party leadership and is now agitating for McConnell’s recusal.

Her opposition to McConnell’s participation in the Senate trial that is set to start next week stems from the Kentucky Republican boasting that he won’t be impartial in deciding whether Trump should be acquitted or convicted.

“I’m not an impartial juror,” McConnell said at a press conference in December. “This is a political process. There is not anything judicial about it. Impeachment is a political decision.”

Demings released a statement on Dec. 13 declaring McConnell unfit to vote in Trump’s impeachment trial after Senate leader went on Fox News to further detail his coordination with the White House on impeachment strategy.

“The moment Senator McConnell takes the oath of impartiality required by the Constitution, he will be in violation of that oath,” she said at the time. “He has effectively promised to let President Trump manage his own impeachment trial. The Senator must withdraw.”

Following the press conference announcing impeachment managers on Wednesday, when asked if she still holds that position, Demings told McClatchy, “I certainly do.”

“I’m disappointed,” she continued. “As I said before, the senators and we have been given a tremendous responsibility, as well as the president. For the Senate Majority Leader to publicly announce that he has no intentions on being impartial and, as a matter of fact, he’s coordinating every step with the White House and there will be no difference between the White House and his views, is absolutely shameful. It’s hard to take that one back and put that toothpaste back in the tube.”

In response, Sen. Marsha Blackburn called for Democrat presidential candidates to recuse themselves from the impeachment process. Her office released the following statement:

“Tomorrow, one hundred United States Senators will be sworn in to serve in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump. Four of those Senators must recuse themselves for their unparalleled political interest in seeing this President removed from office. These four Democrats, Senators Bennet, Klobuchar, Sanders, and Warren, cannot sit in judgment of the very President they seek to replace. To participate in this trial would be a failure of the oath they took to be an ‘impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws’. Their presidential ambitions prohibit their ability to view this trial through an objective lens.” – Senator Marsha Blackburn


In Andrew Johnson’s impeachment trial, an objection was lodged against an Ohio senator who was next in line to become President, if Johnson were removed.



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4:1 trade lol…

I’m sure this blowhard will try to come up with some stupid excuse, but Blackburn is right on point. Aren’t the Dems contending in this whole fiasco that Trump can’t be impartial while investigating corruption against someone who MIGHT run against him for POTUS?

    I think those who were running for the nomination should also recuse, as they have a vested interest in seeing Trump go down. That takes the total to 9 Democrat recusals.

    Oh, and still require the 2/3 vote of the entire body to evict.

    I completely support the idea that McConnell may be biased and should recuse himself, and he should do so as soon as every democrat recuses themself, for the exact same reason.

Oh God, is this circus ever gonna leave town?

    CorkyAgain in reply to rinardman. | January 16, 2020 at 12:42 pm

    Sorry, no. Washington DC is the home of this particular circus just as much as Baraboo, WI was HQ and winter home of the Ringling Bros.

    They only leave home when it time to hustle the rubes for donations and votes.

    Gremlin1974 in reply to rinardman. | January 16, 2020 at 1:40 pm

    Hopefully, in January of 2021, but we will see.

why do the democrats expect the republicans to recuse themselves when the democrats will not do the same thing

    irv in reply to ronk. | January 16, 2020 at 11:09 am

    Because the last 50+ years of experience has shown them that if they just make enough noise, Republicans will give them anything they want, no matter how unreasonable or even unethical.

    The idea that they are not in charge has not yet occurred to them.

Lucifer Morningstar | January 16, 2020 at 9:57 am

And here we go with the endless attempts by House democrats to portray the Senate trial as “illegitimate” because traitor Pelosi knows full well that despite her big talk about “impeachment is forever”if Pres. Trump is exonerated in the Senate trial that will spell the end of the democrats one and all.

Gonna be interesting to see what happens these next few days/weeks.

‘Recuse.’ In other words, cancel culture comes to the Senate floor.

They accuse but refuse to recuse… I’m equal parts amused, bemused and confused.

So let me see if I have this straight. The Democrats who decided Trump needed to be impeached even before he was the GOP nominee are demanding McConnell needs to recuse himself for not being impartial.

    Voyager in reply to Arminius. | January 16, 2020 at 10:42 am


    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to Arminius. | January 16, 2020 at 12:05 pm

    Plus, Remember the Democrat Party has filed impeachment for 5 out of the 6 last GOP Presidents.

    (Wasn’t Ford who presided over the Warren Commission a Democrat too?)

      The Warren Commission was presided over by Chief Justice Earl Warren, hence the commission’s name.

      And Gerald Ford was never a Democrat.

      Plus, Remember the Democrat Party has filed impeachment for 5 out of the 6 last GOP Presidents.

      No, it has not. Individual congressmen filed impeachment resolutions against Reagan and both Bushes, but they were ignored by both parties.

        Vladtheimp in reply to Milhouse. | January 16, 2020 at 7:14 pm

        So, the Impeachment Motions were filed by Republicans? Independents? They were filed by Democrats – deal with it.

        By the by, how many impeachment motions against Democrat Presidents have been filed by individual Congressmen? Can you see the difference

          Milhouse in reply to Vladtheimp. | January 16, 2020 at 7:29 pm

          The congressmen’s party is irrelevant. The motions were theirs alone, and were not supported by the Democrats.

          I don’t think anyone actually filed an impeachment resolution against 0bama, though there were rumblings, and of course Clinton’s impeachment was filed by the congressional Republicans, not just individual congressmen acting on their own, so I think the last Dem president against whom an impeachment resolution was filed without the backing of a major party was Truman.

FWIW…..In Johnson trial……”The arugment was raised by
Senator Thomas Hendricks of Indiana that since Senator Wade had
an interest in the outcome of the trial, inasmuch as he would
succeed to the office of President if conviction had been
obtained, that he was not competent to sit as a member of the
court, Senator Oliver Morton of Indiana pointed out that under
the Constitution the Senate has the sole power to try all
impeachments and that Senator Wade, as a member of the Senate,
had a constitutional right to sit there.”

The issue was withdrawn and not voted on.

A second attempt at forced recusal occurred:

“In the trial of Judge Pickering, three Senators, Samual
Smith, Israel Smith, and John Smith, who had been Members of
the House of Representatives, and who had voted on the question
of impeaching Judge Pickering, were members of the Senate
during the trial. A resolution was introduced to provide that
any Senator of the United States, having previously acted and
voted, as a Member of the House on the question of impeachment,
be disqualified, but this resolution was simply ordered to lie
over for consideration, and all three Senators voted during the
trial of Judge Pickering.”

One scores enough points to win by playing offense not defense. The Dems know that. I hope the Republicans know that too and play aggressive offense.

If the Dems are trying to regain control of the Senate in 2020, does that constitute a conflict of interest for every Democrat in the Senate? Should they all recuse themselves if they had any sliver of ethical substance?

Why wasn’t Alcee Hastings named one of the House Managers, he seems to be uniquely qualified for the task
1. He has served as a Federal Judge
2. He was impeached, in a bi-partisan manner by the House on 17 articles, 413-3
3. He was removed from the position by the Senate after 8 of the original resulted in a conviction vote.

If any knows how the process works for multiple angles, it is him.

He only has to say one word.


I suspect Democrats may try to lodge a complaint against McConnell similar to the one made in Andrew Johnson’s trial.

And while it is very unlikely that such a move would succeed I am not 100% positive of that. Thanks to Mitt Romneycare & Co. Schumer probably already controls the Senate trial. I would not be surprised if the Vichy Republicans help Democrats call any witnesses they like while blocking the Trump team from putting the Biden crime family under oath. The Kavanaugh lunching will probably look tame compared to what is about to come.

    Notice Schumer is being quiet right now. It does make me wonder what he has up his sleeve, as I know he has SOMETHING up his sleeve.

      notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to stevewhitemd. | January 16, 2020 at 12:07 pm

      Chucky was Screeching about somethin’ just a couple of days ago…

      Schumer is the LAST spokesperson the Dems should have heading any calls for recusal based on lack of impartiality. Putting to one side any “the fix is in” behavior he displayed during the house impeachment effort, he was elected in the middle of the Clinton perjury scandal and one of his campaign promises (that he kept) was “elect me and I’ll vote against impeaching Clinton.

    the problem there though is having to defend said position to their state voters

    if these 4-5 republicans choose to open more inquires for the Dems during trial, then by default they have to do so for republican witnesses called upon

    otherwise they cannot sugarcoat their two-faced attempts here because they will be on record

      “if these 4-5 republicans choose to open more inquires for the Dems during trial, then by default they have to do so for republican witnesses called upon”

      I am not sure of that. Simple fairness would dictate that Trump get to call defense witnesses, but the Vichy Republicans in the Senate like Romneycare have a nuclear-hot hatred of Trump. I can easily see Romneycare & Co. saying something like, “This is a beryberybery serious matter …. it should not be made into a circus … gravity of the charges … dignity of the Senate … respect for the process …. tradition … honor … history … blah blah blah…” and then rubber-stamping the Democrats’ requests in the Name of Holy Bipartisanship. That might include denying Trump ANY important witnesses.

        then their problem, should they vote that way, is the stigma that will long follow them after this pony show is over

        because it will end in an acquittal
        there is no way Trump can get removed from office with the party makeup of the Senate

        and the thing is – said “vichy” republicans are well aware of that fact

        so it is like betting on a one-legged horse to win the Kentucky Derby

        if they choose to vote to allow new testimony, which will only further the argument the House made no case for high crimes and misdemeanors, then vote to block chosen republican witnesses and questions

        then they expose themselves
        there is no more sugarcoating their actions because it will be out in the open for all to see, especially their home state

    you also have to remember that this Impeachment attempt has zero chance for a conviction

    the Dems will be hard pressed to reach 54-55, let alone 67

    and once the republican “flakes” see the sham up close and personal, I doubt they will continue their fake “seriousness” of it

    remember – the House hearings were a partisan show of secret meetings in the Capital basement and Schiff-face directing “hearsay” witnesses to not answer republican questions

    THAT all goes away here in this Senate trial because Schumer cannot block said occurrence without those like Romney looking like partisan hacks themselves

    so the image of DJT’s eventual acquittal will make those republicans look even more foolish should they go that route

    which I doubt they want blemishing their political career going forward

      You are more optimistic than I am! You are correct in saying there is zero chance of Trump being removed, but I have to think that was never the goal of Democrats and their Vichy Republican sidekicks. I think the goal here is to get at least 51 votes for removal on one count, which would give the MSM/DNC axis that chance to crow about a “bipartisan majority” to remove Trump nonstop until the elections in November.

      Murkowski won election three times to her Senate seat, but always with a plurality, so she may be feeling invincible since (so far) she always seems o come out on top. Collins may calculate that her re-election chances in November would be better if she voted to remove Trump. Mitt Romneycare reminds me of those deranged lunatics who set themselves on fire to protest the Vietnam war, so he may decide to toss his political career away for the chance to poke Trump in the eye (and maybe land a sinecure in a future Democrat administration).

        but that would be like them cutting off their nose to spite their face

        it is the worst of the options presented to these R-Senators who are trying to walk this fine line between both sides

        because that proverbial line is barely a millimeter thick
        it is non-existent

        so there is no way they can balance themselves on it without consenting to the same actions the other party is engaged in

        the Dems goal here isn’t 51 – it is to try and create enough bad press in the trial so it will hurt Trump’s re-election bid

        and that means re-opening their case on all actors not complicit in the House hearings

        but the thing the Dems do not want is what they did in the House – the rush to impeachment – to be exposed in the Senate trial

        they do not want a re-hash of their own witness cast because there was never anything there but “hearsay”

        the Republican leadership for the most part are signaling they just want a hasty trial on the articles and evidence which they already know the Dems rushed through to a vote

        but the best thing McConnell could do is re-hash the previous House investigations, recalling all those witnesses and getting them on record to answer those questions Schiff directed a non-answer

        then call Schiff himself on the Senate floor, then the “whistleblower” himself

        the big question is is will McConnell go scorched earth on the Dems, or try to anyways, during this trial or just call a vote after the first few days

    This will be the most vicious and vitriolic trial ever held. We all know “May you live in interesting times” is a curse, right? History has no real comparison with what’s happening now. It truly is unprecedented.

Recusal is such a farce here … during the House proceedings, Omar the antisemite, outspoken Trump critic, bigamist, immigration and campaign finance fraudster, voted to impeach Trump for a non-crime. Tliab and OAC with their own list of crimes and ethic violations, also voted to impeach. If every democrat who abused the power of their office to engage in ‘pay to play’ or ‘quid pro quo’ recused, the vote to impeach would have failed 0 to 192 or thereabouts. No telling how many R’s would have cast “present” votes.

And here we are in the Senate – with just as many snakes considering the non-crimes of Trump? In the vein of “people who live in glass houses …”, I kinda wish Trump would call all the Senators to testify and confront them with evidence of their own abuse of power and at the conclusion of each questioning, demand the Senator resign.

While making BS demands the left needs to get it in their tiny head Newt recused himself from choosing the Clinton managers. You notice San Fran Nan was in every shot yesterday.

    healthguyfsu in reply to 2smartforlibs. | January 16, 2020 at 11:19 am

    Newt was a good one, but he played by a set of rules that only he and a few others are willing to play by. Those rules are a handicap in modern politics.

McConnell is right. Democrats have jumped the ass.

Blackburn should expand her demand to include Senators Booker, Gillibrand and Harris. They were running when the impeachment process began.

The Dims will make this into a circus, anyway they can.

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to Virginia42. | January 16, 2020 at 12:11 pm

    Yes, because they have way too many un-employed Klowns
    even those those Klowns were elected to do a JOB in the House.

So, McConnel must recuse himself because of a conflict of interest, but the Democrat candidates must be allowed to stay and try to remove their campaign’s Republican competitor. Sounds completely fair. /sarc

Ask Val if she ever found that weapon that was stolen from her cruiser when she was police chief in Orlando.

StandingAthwartHistory | January 16, 2020 at 2:01 pm

I don’t want to give Pelosi too much credit (or any for that matter), but did anyone else notice the timing of the release of the GAO report about the legality of the OMB’s delay in the aid for Ukraine? Could she have waited to deliver the articles until she knew what the GAO report was going to say and when it would be released (hoping to bolster the articles)?

    the problem with the GAO report is it is not rooted in any legality

    because the foundation of their opinion can only be correlated by “hearsay” testimony of second-hand accounts

    so where is the basis of how the GAO came to that conclusion?

    they even admit early in their analysis that what the OMB did (the delay) violated no statute

Some people bring up Bill Clinton’s impeachment. Gigantic difference, Clinton DID some of what he was accused of. He was later disbarred for 5 years for making false statements on a deposition. Yet, the Senate acquitted him.

    BobM in reply to Romey. | January 16, 2020 at 11:46 pm

    “Acquitted” as a judicial term that doesn’t really reflect what the senate does when it doesn’t vote to remove someone who is impeached from office. McConnell is correct in that impeachment is not a purely judicial process, so that judicial terminology doesn’t really mean the same thing in this circumstance. You can actually break dozens of laws and not be removed from office – or break no laws at all and still be removed from office.

    In the case of Clinton, he did break specific laws, specifically perjuring himself, but the senate didn’t get a 2/3rds of members to agree that that justified removal.

    Notice the Pelosi articles of impeachment never specify a specific criminal act. Even if you assume quid pro quo (which they arguably never proved) , if quid pro quo horse trading was illegal, diplomacy itself is illegal, and the past few decades of presidents and secretary’s of state have some ‘splainin’ to do. If refusal to voluntarily breach executive privilege without a court ruling on it first is illegal, executive privilege itself is illegal, and ditto on the ‘splainin’ again.

      artichoke in reply to BobM. | January 17, 2020 at 12:07 am

      No problem. President Trump should work out his deals, his foreign policy, then run everything by Adam Schiff for approval, and he’s good.


It really is a very bad look for four senators, almost 10% of the Dem senators trying this “case”, to be running for president this year. The margin on a lot of critical votes could be less than 10%. Only 34 senators are needed to acquit. Imagine if the Republicans could count all 4 of those votes for themselves, the trial would be over on Tuesday.

4 senators with an obvious vested interest is a huge number.

Why are the Republicans making this so hard; just say “We are giving our democrat colleagues in the Senate all the same due consideration our Republican colleagues were given in the House.”