The Senate wont haggle with the House over rules guiding the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Wednesday.
“There will be no haggling with the House over Senate procedure. We will not cede our authority to try this impeachment,” he said on the Senate floor a day after he said Republicans secured the necessary votes to start the trial under similar rules that governed President Bill Clintons impeachment trial in 1999.
“The House Democrats turn is over. The Senate has made its decision,” he added.
McConnell said he wasnt summarily dismissing the idea of calling witnesses but that the Senate would follow the precedent set during the Clinton trial, where the Senate heard from the prosecution and defense before voting on whether to hear from any witnesses.
“The 1999 precedent does not guarantee witnesses or foreclose witnesses,” McConnell said.
McConnell cited multiple Democratic senators who this week said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) should stop withholding the impeachment articles against Trump from the Senate, which has so far prevented the trial from starting.
“My Democratic friends are losing patience, just like the American people are losing patience,” McConnell said. “We all know that senators have a diversity of opinion about President Trump, about the House inquiry, about the optimal structure for a trial, but withstanding all of this, no senator—no senator—should want the House of Representatives to steamroll institutional norms and dictate our business to us.”
Pelosi has said the withholding of the articles was to try to ensure a “fair trial” in the Senate. Democrats control the House and impeached Trump last month in a sharply partisan vote that saw four Democrats not vote for both articles and one defect to the GOP. House Republicans all voted against. Republicans control the Senate, where a supermajority vote is needed to remove Trump from office but only a simple majority is needed to dismiss the impeachment case.
McConnell ended his time on the floor by urging Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), who has praised Pelosis tactics, to stop being “in thrall to the speaker.”
“He does not need to keep colluding with outside efforts to supplant the judgment of his own colleague,” he said. “Stand up for the Senate. Stand up for our institutions. Stand up for the country.”
Pelosi met with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Wednesday. They held a brief press conference but she didnt mention impeachment and did not take questions.
Schumer later said on the floor that it doesnt make sense “for both sides to present their entire case and then decide whether the Senate should request the evidence that we already know is out there.”
“Its extremely telling that Leader McConnell and Senate Republicans are not willing to tRead More – Source