Chuck Schumer Explodes: Impeachment Rules Are a National Disgrace and Cover-Up
The Republicans go long in covering the entire matter up, will it ever catch up to them?
We now know why Mitch McConnell waited until the night prior to trial to distribute the resolution on the rules. McConnell wanted the least amount of time possible for analysis and distribution through media.
Senator Schumer is furious:
“It’s now certain that Leader McConnell is going along with President Trump’s cover-up hook, line and sinker,” said Schumer. “When you look at his resolution, it’s no wonder he delayed it until the last minute. He didn’t want people to study it or know about it.”
Two matters that struck Schumer as particularly cynical and outrageous include the fact that McConnell wants the Senate to retain the right to reject any evidence brought out in the House hearings and exclude such evidence from admission in the Senate. Additionally, Schumer is outraged about time limits that force much of the trial to occur late in the evening (even early morning), when everyone, Senators, witnesses, and citizens at home, will be exhausted.
This is how a banana republic operates.
It is also how a guilty man-party goes about pretending to do justice and examine “evidence.”
Oh, and – to the extent it matters, in case you didn’t presume it from the beginning – McConnell lied. McConnell had repeatedly said that he would utilize the rules established in the Clinton impeachment, and he said as much right up until he submitted those rules.
“After reading McConnell’s resolution, it’s clear McConnell is hell-bent on making it much more difficult to get witnesses and documents and intent on rushing the trial through,” continued Schumer. “On something as important and serious as impeachment, Sen. McConnell’s resolution is a national disgrace. Sen. McConnell repeatedly promised the senators, the public, the press, that his rules for the trial would be the same as the rules in the Clinton impeachment. Nothing could be further from the truth. Sen. McConnell’s rules dramatically depart from the Clinton precedent in ways that are designed to prevent the Senate and the American people from learning the truth about President Trump’s actions that warranted his impeachment.”
We are, of course, shocked by McConnell’s duplicitousness. Who would ever have thought that McConnell would act in bad faith in the most solemn obligation the senate might take-up?
The proposed trial rules seem designed more to wear down anyone’s interest than an attempt to get at the truth, as set out by Politico:
[The proposed] rules giving both the White House counsel and House impeachment managers 24 hours over two days each to make opening arguments, according to a copy of the resolution. That will be followed by 16 total hours of questions and answers, culminating in a four-hour debate and a critical vote over whether to consider witnesses or new information.
By my count, that is four long long days before one even gets to the point where they vote as to whether to hear from witnesses. It is a transparent attempt to “look” like the Senate is considering a weighty issue, without actually investigating, nor debating, the actual issue – did Trump illegally extort Ukraine, abusing his office, and then obstruct the investigation, getting the story by who saw what and when.
It has been the blog’s position for some time that a trial, by its very definition, must have witnesses. Trials determine facts, by examination of evidence. Without witnesses providing evidence, I do not see how one can consider what occurs as a trial.
The motive is obvious:
The speedy timetable prompted complaints from Democrats, who see the possibility of 12-hour days and midnight arguments as an attempt to cover-up the trial. A House Democratic aide indicated that 12-hour days or arguments beginning at 1 p.m. would ensure that arguments stretch deep into the night, possibly until 2 or 3 a.m. when breaks are factored in.
This is, of course, the way a normal and mature democracy behaves, addressing the single most important question to the Republic at 1:00 a.m., at least if that “normal and mature” democracy is ruled by the shameless iron fist of #Moscow Mitch McConnell. Does anyone know what 1:00 a.m. Eastern Standard time is in Moscow?
Of course, one party was very happy with the rules, McConnell’s side-kick, defendant, Donald Trump.
“We are gratified that the draft resolution protects the [president’s] rights to a fair trial, and look forward to presenting a vigorous defense on the facts and the process as quickly as possible, and seeking an acquittal as swiftly as possible,” said Eric Ueland, the White House legislative affairs director.
Presenting a vigorous defense to what? We haven’t even heard that there will be witnesses yet. They are not “defending” anything, they are on offense, trying to run out the clock – at midnight.
Each Republican who has supported the idea of hearing from witnesses – otherwise known as having a trial – such as Romney and Alexander, both support having opening arguments first, and then voting on whether to hear from witnesses.
This is a set-up. One need only watch one issue of Law and Order to know that opening arguments only highlight what the jury will hear from the witnesses and evidence.
Which brings me to my last point, and I have made this point several times. If I were Chuck Schumer, I might make a motion straight to the Chief Justice, stating that if the Republicans vote to not include witnesses, they are acting unconstitutionally, as the constitution mandates a trial, and witnesses are a defining feature of a trial. No majority vote by Republicans should be able to get around the constitutional mandate.
Yet it appears they are going to try.
The blog will give some free advice to Adam Schiff and Jerry Nadler. Given that the mornings in the next week appear to be free, subpoena Bolton, Parnas, Pompeo and Mulvaney to come testify before the House from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. each day. There is no rule against it, none.
That ought to give them something to really argue about in “opening arguments.”
Let’s see what happens, the numbers are very much against Republicans.
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