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Schiff Led House Managers Accuse McConnell of “Rigged” Senate Impeachment Trial Rules

Posted on 21 January 2020

With the impeachment trial of President Trump scheduled to begin in earnest Tuesday afternoon, the all Democrat House Managers are slamming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) over his proposed rules for the trial unveiled Monday, accusing McConnell of setting a “rigged process” and “truncated schedule” and saying he does not want the American people to hear from witnesses or see evidence. The comments echo a statement by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) released Monday night.

The Manager’s statement was released by the House Intelligence Committee, whose Chairman, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) was appointed leader of the Managers by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).

This morning, the House Managers in the impeachment trial of the President of the United States, Donald J. Trump – Adam Schiff, Jerrold Nadler, Zoe Lofgren, Hakeem Jeffries, Val Demings, Jason Crow, and Sylvia Garcia – issued the following joint statement:

“For weeks, Mitch McConnell has asserted that he planned to follow the ‘Clinton precedent’ for structuring President Trump’s Senate impeachment trial. It is now clear why he hid his proposed resolution all this time and released it the night before the trial is set to begin. His resolution deviates sharply from the Clinton precedent — and common sense — in an effort to prevent the full truth of the President’s misconduct from coming to light.

“In the Clinton case, the President provided all of the documents — more than 90,000 pages of them — before the trial took place. McConnell’s resolution rejects that basic necessity. And in the Clinton case, all of the witnesses had testified before the Senate trial began, and the only issue was whether they would be re-called to testify once more. The substance of what they would say was already known. Here, McConnell is trying to prevent the witnesses from ever testifying, and the public from ever finding out what they have to say.

“If those efforts are successful, this will be the first impeachment trial in American history in which the Senate did not allow the House to present its case with witnesses and documents. The McConnell Resolution goes so far as to suggest it may not even allow the evidence gathered by the House to be admitted. That is not a fair trial. In fact, it is no trial at all.

“A White House-driven and rigged process, with a truncated schedule designed to go late into the night and further conceal the President’s misconduct, is not what the American people expect or deserve.

“There should be a fair trial — fair to the President, yes, but equally important, fair to the American people. Any Senator who wants the same, should reject the McConnell Resolution.”

The McConnell proposal sets 24 hours of presentations over two days by the Managers and then the same for the President’s defense, meaning with the 1 p.m. EST daily start of the trial in the Senate chamber arguments could go until past midnight on the east coast, taking the trial out of prime time for much of the country. However, Alaska and Hawaii would get to see the trial in its entirety during normal waking hours.

The McConnell rules resolution:

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